16 Days in Mauritius - Sept / Oct 2014
Firstly, I must emphasise that we enjoyed our break at the Tropical Attitude. It must be borne in mind that this is a 3 Star hotel and, to my mind, we obtained tremendous value for money.
This is a compact (rather than boutique) hotel on the edge of the bay at Trou d'Eau Douce, on the East coast of Mauritius with beautiful views across the wide bay to the Ile aux Cerfs and Le Touessrok hotel.
All rooms look very pleasant and all have a sea view. They have a touch of French style which fits in well with Mauritius.
The hotel's location offers stunning views over the bay to the Ile aux Cerfs. There are sun loungers on a strip of grassy land between the hotel and the rather small and relatively poor "beach" in front of the hotel. Shade is provided by palm trees, which can present a problem (as well as a blessing), causing frequent moves to find the sun.
The hotel provides a boat transfer to the Ile aux Cerfs, free of charge, where much better sand and beaches may be found.
If you walk around the headland to the left of the hotel (facing the sea) around the headland there are also some much better beaches within a very short stroll.
The staff at this hotel are, in the main, helpful and friendly. In general service is good, but this is no 5 star establishment.
Managers are both approachable and helpful and work swiftly to rectify any problems that may arise. We had several "issue-ettes", none of which spoiled our vacation, but which could so easily have been avoided - perhaps with better staff training and monitoring.
It is also worth pointing out that private trips from the hotel can be obtained through the local "hotel" taxis, far cheaper (frequently less than 1/2 the price) of organised trips by bus that will be offered by your travel company's ground staff. It is worth noting though that there is a very inexpensive (25 MRU - approx 50p) bus service that will take you into the district main town of Flacq. There is much to see and do in Mauritius.
The hotel also provides nightly entertainment shows. We found these to be, mainly, interesting. The Sega dancing was excellent.
OK now for a few issues that we experienced.
Location - This is excellent for its views and the service to the Ile aux Cerfs, but there is little to do (bars, restaurants, shops, etc.) outside of the hotel. The main village of Trou d'Eau Douce (which is well spread out along the road) is a fair walk away (very dark and down a narrow road at night) and, even there, we did not find a decent restaurant.
Food - The hotel is quite small (60 rooms) and therefore food is limited. To be fair the breakfast was acceptable, the lunch was adequate, but the evening meal was reminiscent of poor canteen fare, little choice, bland, poor quality and poor co-ordination. This was a general feeling amongst guests. Once more, to be fair, we always found something to eat.
Bar / Drinks - This is an All Inclusive hotel. Perhaps it should be called a full board plus hotel. Many drinks, including those containing local ingredients, were only available on a premium payment (They have pineapple, coconut, rum etc., so why should Pina Colada be excluded as a cocktail?). The bar area is too small and adjoins the pool. Service can be slow and most drinks seem weak. The local Rum is acceptable (particularly if you ask for a rum and rum and add your own mixer), as is the local bottled Phoenix beer.
Room - our room was upstairs (odd numbered rooms) with a pleasant appearance, great views and sufficient wardrobe space. A mini-bar/fridge, flat screen TV, hairdryer and electric mosquito repelling device/tablets were provided. The air conditioning was more than adequate and worked well. The bathroom had a good shower with excellent pressure. The sink was cracked and no toiletries were provided, other than a small bar of soap. The room was poorly ventilated (no extractor) and mould had built up in the shower, walls and ceiling. The bathroom was not particularly clean, but a word with management soon had this brought up to an acceptable (though not perfect) standard.
Laundry - Some of our laundry was returned damp and un-ironed / poorly ironed, including men's trousers which were returned damp and un-pressed. Once again, a word with the manager, cured the problem and we were provided with a free service. One of the few moments of frustration was when the laundry person stated that my trousers were not pressed when received. Hhm - 18 hours of travel and a thorough wash of cotton trousers does tend to remove the sharp creases normally present in my trousers!
Spa - Oh dear. The spa was a major frustration (once again we were not alone). Despite opening times being posted, the spa reception was not staffed and we were unable to book a massage (I expect we could have done through reception) for two days. As we really wanted to look over the facilities (which were not brilliant) before booking a massage, this was less than ideal. Eventually we found someone in reception who just said fully booked for the next 2 days (strange - there were no entries in the diary). She was not at all interested in taking a booking and her attitude reflected this lack of interest. On getting the manager involved, once more, we were provided with an excellent complimentary session, following which we booked a 75 couples massage 2 days later. Unfortunately, the girl who gave my wife her complimentary massage had a day off. My massage was excellent, but my wife described hers as being the worst massage ever, feeling like a gentle rub-down with cold engine oil, using a lettuce leaf. How she knows what this feels like is beyond my understanding - and is, perhaps, best left that way. Needless to say, whilst we did not wish to complain again, we did not book another session.
So, why did we enjoy our time there?
Firstly, our expectations were for, at best, a 3 star hotel. This is precisely what we got.
Secondly - Managers responded rapidly to resolve problems, not letting them become a major issue.
Thirdly - In general terms the staff were friendly and helpful.
Fourthly - Other guests. They were a good crowd and saw the "Faulty Towers" aspects as being all part of the rich experience.
Finally - Mauritius. A beautiful, diverse and interesting country (although I don't think that there is enough to make us want to return).
A sense of humour and realistic expectations are what is required.
Do we regret staying at the Tropical Attitude? No! It was very realistically priced, reasonably well located, with staff having a good "Attitude".
For this we say "Thank You"!
* A personal view only based upon a 16 day visit, Sept / Oct 2014
Travel operator: Hayes & Jarvis
Hotel tip: Odd room numbers - Top floor for best view. Use hotel Taxi for trips FAR cheaper than TA organised.
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