Review: The St Regis Mauritius – Returning to a Beachfront Suite, Le Morne, Mauritius
The St Regis Mauritius has been our “go to” property while visiting Mauritius. It has a a terrific location with the property set in the shadow of the giant Le Morne mountain in a peaceful corner of the island. We’d previously stayed at the property on our last trip to Mauritius. Unfortunately, there were some teething problems on that stay which continued on this stay.
This post is one chapter on our trip to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines AAdvantage & Alaska Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates via Emirates First Class, South African Airways Business Class and Qatar Airlines Business Class
- American Airlines First Class: Vancouver – Los Angeles
- American Airlines AAdmirals Club: Los Angeles
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge: Los Angeles
- Qatar Airways Business Class: Los Angeles – Doha
- The Westin Hotel and Spa, Doha, Qatar
- Souq Wahif, Doha, Qatar
- Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha, Qatar
- Qatar Airways Business Class: Doha – Johannesburg
- The Slow Lounge, O.R. Tambo Domestic, Johannesburg, South Africa
- British Airways Club Class: Johannesburg – Cape Town
- The Westin Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
- Winelands of Paarl, South Africa
- Shark Diving at Gaansbai, South Africa
- The Hermanus Coastal Walk, Hermanus, South Africa
- Returning to Stellenbosch & Franschoek, South Africa
- A Repeat Visit to the Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
- Air Namibia: Cape Town – Windhoek
- Overland Travel: Driving to the Desert; Windhoek – Sesriem
- The Sossus Dune Lodge, Sesriem, Namibia
- The Majestic Sand Dunes of Sossusvlei, Namibia
- Overland Travel: Sesriem – Walvis Bay, Namibia
- The Pelican Point Lodge, Walvis Bay, Namibia
- Overland Travel: Walvis Bay – Spittskope – Windhoek, Namibia
- The Hilton Windhoek, Namibia
- Air Namibia Windhoek – Maun – Victoria Falls
- The Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Stopping Hippopotamus on a Zambezi River Cruise, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Feeling the Smoke that Thunders, a day at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- British Airways Club Business Class: Victoria Falls – Johannesburg
- The Hyatt Regency Johannesburg
- South African Airways Business Class: Johannesburg – Mauritius
- The St Regis Mauritius, Le Morne, Mauritius
- Emirates First Class: Mauritius – Dubai
- The Grosvenor House, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- The Heat of the Desert at Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
- Emirates First Class Lounge Terminal “B” Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Emirates First Class: Dubai – Los Angeles
- Alaska Airlines Board Room Lounge, Los Angeles
- Alaska Airlines First Class: Los Angeles – Seattle
- Delta Sky Club Lounge Seattle South Terminal
- Delta Airlines First Class: Seattle – Vancouver
Review: The St Regis Mauritius – Returning to a Beachfront Suite, Le Morne, Mauritius
This is a review of our second visit to this property. For the first visit, please see our Review: The St Regis Mauritius
“The St Regis Mauritius featured excellent hard product, but really seemed to be efforting hard on delivering on the soft product. ”
Booking The St Regis Mauritius:
We last stayed at The St Regis Mauritius in November 2013. This particular stay relates to our visit in November 2016. While I won’t make this review as comprehensive as our initial review, I thought it was worthwhile to outline our return experience. I never thought in my lifetime that I would be returning here, let alone twice within 3 years.
Like last time, we booked a cash and points rate at 10,000 Starwood Preferred Guest Points + $180 USD per night. The regular rate was well over 400 ($450 USD) so the discounted Cash and Points rate was of much better value. The hotel seemed to be playing around with the room categories that they applied the Cash and Points inventory to. I had seen the Junior Suite category in the Cash and Points pool at times and removed at other times. I ended up booking a Deluxe Garden View (lowest category), and then we re-booked into the Junior Suite rate category when it became available approximately 30 days before our stay.
I also applied Suite Night Awards for a St Regis beach suite. The Suite Night award failed to clear. I also noticed that the hotel was also changing the availability for the SNA inventory pool as they had offered a Manor Suite in the SNA Pool when I made the initial booking which was gone after I had re-booked it. I suppose, it is also possible that the manor suites were also fully occupied and not listed for an available upgrade.
In order to get to the property, we opted for another rental car from Sixt and a tourist map from the rental car company. I had Google directions printed and ready but as usual in the developing countries, they were just terrible. I was going to book a hotel car transfer but at $200 USD each way, I figured we’d just save $200 by renting a car instead and driving ourselves to the property. It was a much quicker experience at Sixt this time around as two ground staff were working and they had to complete all forms and paperwork by hand. I also had to provide a 17,000 Rupee ($480 USD) credit card deposit for the Suzuki Swift.
After arriving off a South African Airways Business Class Johannesburg – Mauritius flight, we collected the rental car. We followed the B9 route along the water to get to the Le Morne area. It was a much easier experience the second time around having visited previously. It took approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to get from the airport to the St Regis driving in a spirited manner.
Checking Into the St Regis Mauritius:
On arrival at the resort we had a rather bizarre check in experience.
Our check in today at the St Regis Mauritius has now been moved to the individual butler pavilions at each pod of rooms. The area where the check in used to be in the main entry way by the front valet gate has now been converted to a concierge desk. In our case, we were sat down in the lobby bar where our passport information was taken by a concierge desk manager. While we were checking in, I asked about Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum upgrades but was told that the resort was at 90 % occupancy and that no upgrades were available. We were then passed over to a front end manager who gave us a “good news / bad news” story. The good news was that someone at the hotel had arranged for us to have our original and previous suite back (#273) “Your usual room Mr Bond / WT73?” The bad news was that the guest prior hadn’t checked out until 6 PM and that the room wasn’t ready. In the interim, we were offered #361, which was a lower level Junior Suite to freshen up in, or to stay in if we wanted for the first night or the duration.
We had our bags moved to #361. It was of the same configuration as our old room #273. However, the out door space was much smaller and it was set back quite a ways from the ocean, with absolutely no view at all. The ceilings were also low. It didn’t look super appealing based on what we remembered from our last stay. We opted for our better previous #273 room and were told to come back. The strange thing was that none of the staff seemed to recognize the SPG Platinum Status or the fact that we were returning guests, despite us being re-assigned to #273 (without directly asking for it). Loyalty status recognition is one of those things that you don’t really notice until it’s completely gone. The room assignment experience was more of a cattle hoarding experience of trying to get the guest over to the room and leave them there.
By about 9 PM on the date of our arrival, we were finally given keys to our #273 room. Our assigned butler, whom was very polite, had no idea that we were returning guests. This absence was also re-enforced throughout the welcome card and the welcome letter where these things are usually mentioned.
The Park Hyatt Maldives gets a lot of coverage around these forums as a bloggers paradise. Despite this, we’ve had better recognition as returning guests there with absolutely no status as members of the Park Hyatt Gold Passport Program (Base Gold Members on both visits). There we had received category room upgrades, complimentary leather luggage tags and encouragement and requests for us to return. We’ve even had better loyalty recognition at our recent stay as Fairmont Premier’s (mid tier) with the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui, USA. Sadly, that recognition was missing from the St Regis Mauritius where it all seemed horribly disorganized. Despite giving approximately 86 nights a year to the Starwood Program, it make me think whether this was a wise endeavour, or perhaps simply an errant property.
The Room: A Beachfront Ocean Suite
As a review wouldn’t be complete without photographs of the room, here are some older pictures of the room #273 from our last stay.
The Beachfront Ocean Suite is about the size of a standard luxury hotel room. It doesn’t have a separate sitting area like a traditional suite might have. The room is slightly larger and is very comfortable to occupy. Instead, the Ocean Suite makes up for is a large deck space, outside of the room.
The room offered a fully featured bathroom with rain shower, massive tub and soap the size of hockey pucks.
The in room amenities included a beach bag, and fabulous view. In the past, the sandals made a great souvenir of our travels. Unfortunately, the St Regis disposable beach sandals have been retired permanently.
The room also featured a sliding glass wall that allowed the suite to be opened up to allow the ocean air in. This was easily the nicest feature of the room and the property.
A Room with a View:
There are solid views from the right rooms at this property. We appreciated being on the second level and slightly off the ground.
We enjoyed a day at the beach on our first day on loungers steps from our room. We had some excellent sunsets enjoyed from the room, and enjoyed a self catered bottle of wine or two from the outdoor space from the room.
A stay at the St Regis offers access to a complimentary white glove butler service. While we were on the beach for our second day, I called the butler to take advantage of the complimentary garment pressing for dinner. Unfortunately, the staff was unable to complete the pressing until the day of our departure; a wait of 48 hours! I ended up just using other shirts instead. After the day, we came back to some pretty spotting housecleaning. I don’t how you can miss all this glass wear on a house cleaning but, indeed they were left behind dirty and we had to go source some fresh stuff.
Around the Property:
The St Regis Mauritius sits directly on the Le Morne peninsula and beach. The beach is good, although the sand is not super fine. You’ll want to bring sandals on any walk along the beach to avoid getting prickles on the feet. The resort grounds are reasonably nice, although there is not a lot of spare real estate to make it feel like a spacious area.
The St Regis Manor House Pool:
The main pool at the Manor House is impressive and has an opulent feel to it. The grounds were nicely landscaped and had a resort like feel to them.
The main hotel pool itself is a tremendously large sized. It was a place for families to gather, and as a result it was occasionally noisy. We found it a bit of a quieter experience out towards the lounge chairs along the beach.
Food and Beverage:
Despite the wonderful hard product and stellar sunsets, the teething problems at this property seemed to continue. There are 5 restaurants on the property. On the night of our arrival, the Floating Market (Asian inspired) was completely closed to to a private function, despite being totally empty at 7 PM. The Beach House was serving a mandatory 5 course Lobster menu at $140 USD per person, the Manor Restaurant was serving mandatory buffet with no a la carte offerings, leaving only the expensive Japanese and the Indian restaurants. We opted for Indian, which appeared to be quite disorganized, with staff not knowing what items came with what dish. Despite this, the kitchen manager came around and personally introduced himself. The combination of the inability to get a light dinner was prevalent during our visit.
The Floating Market:
That night, we attempted a dinner at the Floating Market restaurant. We arrived at 7:45 PM without a reservation and were told that they were full until 9 PM. “Maybe come back at 8:45 PM and we might be able to seat you?” The alternative Boathouse restaurant as another fixed price menu at $100 USD, we didn’t fancy Indian food, having had it the night before and the Manor House Restaurant was full of families. We eventually returned to the Floating Market at 8:35 PM and were seated. Keeping with with the odd stay experience, I happened to notice that there were 7 empty tables in the restaurant that had not been used or seated tonight. These tables were totally clean so they must have been short staffed.
Making some small talk with the supposed sommelier, we ended up asking for wine by the glass instead of a full bottle. The sommelier actually told me that I didn’t know a thing about wine since I was buying “by the glass” instead of an entire bottle, and that the wine by the glass ” were not so good”. I think this was intended to be a joke, but he was serious on his delivery.
While we were waiting for our meals, a younger couple at the table next to us broke out a pair of playing cards and started playing a card game during the meal service. I started laughing to myself about it since it took us 45 minutes to get seated. It turns out they may have been regular customers since it took us an 1hour and 5 minutes from order to delivery to get the mains / entrees out on the table. When they did arrive about 100 minutes into the service, the mains were totally overcooked. The duck was as white as pork chop and the Kaffir Lime Chicken was dry. We mentioned the dissatisfaction to the chef when he presented himself. The chef was very apologetic. He returned later and offered to fire up some sea bass and some prawns, even offering to send it to the room. As it was already 10 PM, we declined and just opted for the bill. The restaurant ended up comping us the meal and invited us back for a special table the next night. We indicated that we would think about it and let our butler know.
The Manor House:
On our third night, we went to the Manor house for dinner. I had walked up the beach to the Lux Resort during the day to see about other options since I wasn’t too impressed with the St Regis food (which is saying something). Finding only buffets on offer elsewhere, we ended up at the Manor house for dinner. We passed through the St Regis Bar, and the excellent library upstairs on the way to dinner.
We had a complimentary glass of rose from the supervisor as a welcome drink. I’m not sure if this was because of our last experience at the floating garden or what.
MrsWT73 had the crab cakes starter, which tasted surprisingly like canned tuna. It was a bit steep priced at $25 USD, since the portion size was pretty small.
I had the sea bass. It was well executed and the nicest meal that I had the entire stay. The spinach and ravioli with goat cheese had only 5 raviolis and frozen vegetables.
Similar to the Floating Market, there were several service oddities. We asked for butter to accompany the bread basket (the bread was tasty when we had some) but it was never delivered during course of the meal. I didn’t mind the meal, but MrsWT73 not overly impressed. When the bill arrived, it only included the wine. There was no explanation as to why it was the lessor amount. I suspect it was as a result of the long meal the night before at the Floating Market. However, it was strange since we management was kind enough to provide the Floating Market meal with compliments. It was a bizarre experience all up.
St Regis Champagne Sabering:
On our last visit, we did a free champagne sabering on a set night during the week with one glass. In that experience, we had the rest of the bottle given to us complimentary at a restaurant on the property. On this visit, I inquired about the champagne sabering with the butler. It turns out it can be arranged, but you must buy a bottle of champagne in order for it to happen. It seems to be no longer free for elite level loyalty members. We were invited to buy a bottle of Veuve Cliquot Posardin, Carte Jaune to accommodate this at 10,400 MUR ($300 USD) or a bottle of Mumm Cordon Rouge at 8,800 MUR ($251 USD) for this to occur. When we declined to do this, as a gesture, the butler later brought a small 375ml bottle (not for sabering) of Deutz champagne for us to enjoy later. It wasn’t really the point, but a nice gesture nevertheless.
Overall, it was a bizarre stay with lots of strange things happening around the stay experience. ON the housekeeping side, on the second day, MrsWT73 returned to the room from the beach to get some more sunscreen to find the room left insecure with the night latch between the door and the door frame. She thought house cleaning was inside. It turned out no one was inside and just she just walked in and out of our unlocked room unchallenged.
Departing the Property:
As we left the property on the next day, I asked for the manager’s card to follow up on some of these things. The stay was strange enough with lots of different service mis-steps that I thought I would write him to explain our experience compared to our last visit.
The manager did pro-actively come over within 7 minutes and we had a brief chat. In a telling point, our conversation was interrupted by some departing Russians who were also disappointed with some aspect of their stay. I bid the manager good bye, leaving him to the Russians, and followed up with a letter surrounding my concerns. I outlined the unlocked room, the 110 minute dinners, the lengthy garment pressing, the sommelier’s sense of humour, the missing housecleaning and our generally better experiences at other properties in this price point. The We were offered a very generous Starpoint compensation for the experiences.
My Thoughts on the St Regis Mauritius:
In conclusion, this post may make us sound like a rambling over entitled travellers. However, despite the excellent hard product and a fantastic location of the property under the shadow of Le Morne Mountain, I am less inclined to recommend this property for a full luxury experience. The hard product is excellent but the service shortcomings at this price point seem to relate to disinterested and inconsistent staff. While there was nothing glaring (despite the suite at one point was completely left unlocked and unattended with laptops and cameras left about in our room) it wasn’t a super enjoyable nice holiday. When you’re paying for the St Regis experience, you don’t expect Holiday Inn or Best Western treatment. Unfortunately, we got the Best Western experience on this visit. As a result, I’m hesitant to strongly recommend this place for a spectacular stay as it may lead to disappointment until they get things fully organized here. It’s too bad because I really want to like this property and location. It offers a spectacular setting if they ever get it right and the rooms and finishing are excellent.
At the time of this report, this property is in the process of being re-flagged to a JW Marriott and will be branded as the JW Marriott Mauritius Resort