Honeymoon package. Deluxe room. Sea view. Airport pickup. Breakfast included.
Every couple dreams of having the perfect honeymoon or getaway at one point or another, but finding a good hotel long distance in a touristy location can be difficult, especially if you are on a budget and can't afford to book five-star, first-class, name-brand hotels and just forget about it. (That might not be as interesting, anyway.)
Our hotel in Mauritius wasn't the best or worst, but we decided to write a detailed review to share our experience and what we learned.
We found our hotel, "Pereybere Hotel and Apartments," through hotels.com, and got a relatively good deal on the room rate -- at just under $100 a night, the price was one of the hotel's key strengths, the other being its location. For proximity to the beach and restaurants, the location was really great, there is a large grocery store just down the street and tons of places to eat just next door.
There is a downside to the location, too, though. When we booked, the listing on hotels.com and the hotel website advertised a special "honeymoon package" with sea view rooms and included breakfast. That sounded ideal to us, but you can see the reality below.
|Next to our balcony|
While the room faced in the direction of the sea, none of the rooms in the hotel actually have a "sea view" because of the trees. Now, the trees aren't bad and you can actually see the glint of the sea through them if you look carefully, but the real downside is that there is a road (and bus-stop) directly below the window. The traffic was very loud. We had an extra door that we could close at night to help make it quieter, but it was still pretty noisy sometimes. Of course, this wasn't enough to ruin our honeymoon, but what we found worst about the "sea view" at Pereybere Hotel and Apartments was the feeling of being lied to about the reality of the room.
Actually, our primary complaint about the hotel was this sense of being duped or getting less than promised. Long before arrival, the hotel offered to have a taxi sent to pick us up and drop us off at the airport (for 90 euro round trip, there and back). We decided it was worth it not to worry about finding our way immediately after a long flight, so we agreed. They said they would have someone sent who would stand at the airport arrivals gate holding a sign with our names.
When we arrived, we waded through a crowd of eager taxi-hawkers looking for our sign, but we didn't see it anywhere. After saying "no, thank you, no, No" to repeated taxi offers and waiting for 45 minutes, we decided to call the hotel to check if we were looking in the wrong place. We got through to the hotel and they told us they simply hadn't sent a car to pick us up. We took a taxi with a guy who had offered a slightly discounted rate for a one-way ride (about 50 euro instead of the regular rate of 55 euro.) He was nice and told us some facts about the island and stuff, so it was fine overall. Upon arrival to the hotel, we asked why there hadn't been a taxi. They didn't seem concerned about it, and didn't really give a clear answer. They asked how much we had paid for the taxi. We told them and they said "Oh, OK." Why did they ask, then? Weird.
They led us up to show us our room. They gave us a bottle of champagne and on the bed they had left flowers and made swans out of some towels, which was really nice! We put the champagne in the sink to keep it cool and save it until later, because we were too tired to drink it right away.
We settled in and tried connecting to their internet. There was some small problem with their password or something, so we asked the desk and they helped us to fix it. While the desk agent was there, he told us in an offhand way that because it was our honeymoon, he'd booked us into their restaurant for dinner that night. I was surprised and said "Oh, OK... uh, what time?" He thought for a minute and said "8 o'clock." Then he said goodbye and left. We were confused, did they mean they would give us dinner, or what? And was it rude not to come if we decided we wanted to do something else instead? Again, weird.
We went back down to the desk and asked about it more directly. After hesitating a moment, he told us that they just liked to give people a "reservation" and "recommend" their restaurant for the night, no discount or deal at all (although he did simultaneously offer us a small discount for lunch the next day.) Despite this, we actually did end up eating at their restaurant that night, since we were unfamiliar with the area and it gets pitch dark at 6:30. The food was pretty good, but overpriced compared to other restaurants nearby that offered the same thing. There was also a saxophonist at dinner, which was kind of cool when we were there, but since the hotel restaurant was also right below our window and he continued until around midnight, it would have been nice to be able to shut it off when we were ready to sleep.
On the second or third day, as we entered our room, the key card broke off in the door! Surprised, we went down to the desk to tell them. It was a quick fix, they gave us a new card and sent someone to get the other card out of the door. A guy fixed it and we tipped him, and he told us he would come back later to tape a part of the door handle that was loose and would fall off. That was fine, except that he never came back to tape it, and for the rest of the stay whenever we would open or close the door, that little part would go tinkling off down the hall.
Our breakfast was included, which was good, but it was a little questionable. You could order an omelet, a crepe-style pancake or a fried egg, and then they had some bread, yogurt, "sausages" (hot-dogs), fruit and baked beans on the table as a buffet. It was alright and the restaurant staff was very friendly, but some of the fruit looked suspiciously like it simply stayed in the bowls, day after day, until somebody ate it. The overall impression was that the hotel paid as little for the included breakfast as was humanly possible. You could also order a drink with breakfast: coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Katie likes hot chocolate, so she would usually order that, but as she described it: "it was like someone had made hot chocolate, drank it, leaving the remnants, and then refilled the cup with water" -- it was pretty tasteless. I usually ordered coffee and they would bring me some milk in a little cup to pour in it, but on one occasion they forgot to bring the milk. Realizing his mistake, the waiter asked me if I wanted some. I said "Yes, sure." Some other people had just left the table next to us, so he turned around and grabbed the half-empty cup of milk from their table and set it on our table. I thanked him and went to get my own milk from the buffet.
Another good point about the hotel was that our room was generally clean, bug free(!) and nice. Overall, we had no complaints about housekeeping at all. On one occasion they forgot to bring us new towels. That was no big deal. Having worked at a hotel, I know that sometimes things get forgotten. The only problem was that we had to return and ask the desk twice if we could have some, which was kind of annoying.
We finally got around to drinking the champagne around the 6th or 7th day of our stay. We took it out, popped it open, filled too glasses and toasted, only to discover that it was not champagne at all, in fact, but sparkling grape juice! We laughed really hard about it because it seemed like a perfect representation of the whole stay.
On the way out, we decided to try again and take the hotel's taxi to the airport, at least, since it was still a little cheaper than a regular cab (45 euro one-way.) They asked us what time we needed to be there and what time we needed the taxi to arrive. The "taxi" turned out to actually be a van which we rode with other guests who were also leaving that day, which probably explained why they hadn't sent it to pick us up (it wasn't worth their while.) Again, it wasn't really a big deal to ride with other people, but for only 5 euro less than a private taxi, the entire offer again seemed purposely misleading.
We still had a great time, despite the little problems (which we mostly just thought were funny.) The main thing we took from the experience was that it's best to ask tons of questions and clarify the answers when you're booking a hotel in a touristy location, especially with important aspects of your stay like airport pickup and location of rooms in relation to traffic, etc.
Just to recap, here are the pros and cons of Pereybere Hotel and Apartments:
- Location. This is a big plus for the hotel. The beach is right outside, there is a grocery store five minutes away and there are plenty of restaurants in the area.
- Price. The price (for a honeymoon destination) was pretty moderate/affordable.
- Clean room. As a tropical island, there are bugs (including large cockroaches), spiders and lizards on Mauritius, but our room was clean and absolutely free of pests.
- Misleading or insincere "offers." And a general sense that we could not trust the hotel to provide what they advertised or promised.
- No "sea view." The hotel has no rooms with a clear view of the ocean at all, it is simply not possible. It shouldn't be included as a selling-point, especially when the reality is a view of the noisy road.
- Noise. From the road, restaurant and other guests.
- Low-effort/No follow-through. Staff wasn't very responsive to requests and their failure to send a taxi or offer compensation at the beginning was a big disappointment.
- Questionable Breakfast. Again, low-effort.
This is what we wanted to share about the hotel, we hope it is helpful. If you have any questions about our trip or stay, please contact us (via comments or our email email@example.com). Enjoy your travels!