Written on: 22/12/2010
We are very fortunate in that we travel widely and in the past year have stayed at 5* Hotels in Hong Kong, USA, Central & South America and Europe, so we have an expectation of what a 5* hotel is.
This is not a 5* hotel in million years, it might just about scrape 3.75 stars somewhere.
We expect a certain degree of hygiene, quality, good food, consistency, staff who are well trained and who are vested in the operation, and service that prides itself on attention to detail. Paradise Cove fell way short in
all of these:-
1. I was totally APPALLED that around the gazebos around the main restaurant there was and ever increasing amount of bird faeces that had been there for a very long time. This is not only unsightly and slapdash, but a MAJOR HEALTH HAZARD. I did point this out before I left and Kris the assistant manager went ashen faced when I took him to physically show him and got on the phone.
2. At both lunch or dinner on the La Belle, 9 times out of 10 there was something missing from the table setting. Either cutlery, crockery, salt & pepper , napkins etc. Not a major drama, but when it happens every day that tells you about staff, service, training and attention to detail.
3. Many of the seat covers in La Belle restaurant are threadbare, stained in food and/ or bird faeces.
4. When I have dinner at a 5* hotel I expect to eat off of tablecloths, which never happens at la Belle.
5. The bedrooms were mostly ok, but suffering from numerous inconsistent makeovers. For the most part it was clean and there was hot water. However, on 2 occasions the bins weren't emptied and on 3 days the mini bar wasn't serviced.
6. I really expect a 5* hotel to have a turn down service in the evening, while I'm at dinner. Not here.
7. The towels in the bedrooms were shabby & worn. Again not what one expects from a 5* hotel.
8. Own label toiletries, rather than a premium brand, hardly 5*.
The WORST and enduring issues of all was the food, which was frankly DISGRACEFUL:-
9. As I found out on the 1st day there was a mountain of cold congealed sausages and sweating fatty bacon. Now they did offered to grill me fresh ones and this was appreciated, but what about the other poor guests!
10. I knew there was a buffet element to dinner, but I certainly didn't expect it to be 4 nights per week. However, even with that the waiting staff couldn't cope and were literally running around to keep up. The Indian and Asian nights were edible, but the quality was equal to that of a takeaway that you wouldn't go to twice. The Creole buffet was inedible, especially the luke warm Tuna that was so overcooked it was like shoe leather. The Mediterranean night was appalling, tasteless pasta dishes that tasted as if they had been microwave zapped within an inch of their life, so again I passed on that meal.
11. Every buffet meal the starters were cold and even the table d'hote it was either a cold starter or soup. Very convenient for the kitchen that made them hours previously. Every desert was a cold pre made one, either ice cream, sorbet or fruit salad combination - nothing made freshly to order, so I never ate a desert. This is factory bulk produced 'food' for the hotel's convenience, not the guests. Even on table d'hote nights,
every thing is made in advance. That was why my supposed 'chicken tagine', was vastly over cooked rubber chicken, which I didn't eat.
12. The Bikini lunch restaurant in general was slightly better. Well apart from the day it was raining and lunch was served in La Bella and I ordered the duo of grilled fish. This time one of the fish was totally raw and cold in the centre & translucent. This shows a total lack of care and skill from the kitchen. Another meal I just didn't eat.
All in all the food was below so far below what I would expect from even a 3* hotel. I really think that they have less than 50% of the waiting staff required and many are poorly trained. With the exception of Sabina and Sangeeta, who were pretty much the only staff that really seemed to care and know what they were doing.
13. Drinks service around the Cove was once per day! Hardly service in 30C climes. Mind you on our last day it was more frequent. Do they genuinely think this is 5* service?
I could go on with many other issues, but to be honest I felt Paradise Cove let us down and let Mauritius down.
I asked the hotel to review my issues before I posted this review and they just stuck their heads in the sand and denied the realities.
So if you're looking for a casual relaxed, efficient 5* Hotel with edible food and a modicum of service avoid Paradise Cove.