February 28, 2011 in MAURITIUS | Comments (35)

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Approaching Le Victoria by boat

We arrived at Le Victoria by boat from Trou aux Biches. Over the turquoise lagoon, with wind in the hair. Victoria is an exotic sight as you approach, with its palms erupting in a thick plantation along the beach, the thatched roofs of the hotel just visible here and there.

Four star Victoria is a kids and family haven, but it felt good for us too as adults. Casual and casual-smart enough for a beach holiday. The beach was a pleasant place to be in the afternoon with comfy sunbeds placed both in and out the sun and palm shade. Swimming was more of a challenge as the lagoon is rather shallow where we were at low tide and to get in deeper shoes would have been welcome, because of the corals. They do apparently sell swimming shoes at the shop.

The pool meanwhile is large, and attractive. In the evening with lights all around, the area looks softly romantic. In fact all around the beachfront Le Victoria felt festive and welcoming in the balmy  breeze.

There are 3 restaurants, the main restaurant spilling over to the main pool, a small Italian one, and a very pleasant beach restaurant where we experienced innovative style. Here you can choose your fish and watch it being grilled.  We experienced the main restaurant the next day at breakfast when long counters were covered with a wide variety of breakfast favourites. (One of our party complained about the orange juice, however – declaring it not to be freshly squeezed.) That night we missed the dancing at the outdoor dance floor – being too tired after our 3 days of inspections and touring.

Rooms at Victoria are generous. The Superior rooms (60 sqm) take 2 adults and 2 kids, and family rooms can take 2 adults and 3 kids. As if in celebration of the children, the décor of these rooms is playful, with big starfish in bas relief. The Junior Suites allow one kid giving uncluttered luxury at 75 sqm and the Senior Suites at 120 sqm are for adults only. Instead, the excellent formula of connecting rooms is in full swing.

All rooms in true Beachcomber style have ample bathrooms and balconies. Nothing special about the colour scheme of my Junior Suite – perhaps a bit dull even. But who cares, when you can go out onto your balcony, entranced by waving palms. My Junior Suite had a glimpse of the lagoon through the sea of palms, and was at the furthest point in the crescent. Those placed at the tip of the crescent are close to the beach, and all are sea-facing, another Beachcomber formula for success.

My room at Victoria can be seen in the gallery above. I believed this was a Junior Suite, but now wonder if it was a superior room as the sofa showed signs of being extendable.

Recently they have upped the price of the ground floor Superior room. That may not sound generous, but it is. That is because families were inevitably requesting the ground floor, and with these rooms on request only it lead to many disappointed families. This way those who really want them can make sure they get them.

In comparison with Paradis, Victoria is of course a lower category. It certainly is in a different league from Dinarobin and Royal Palm, to name two top Beachcomber properties we inspected. The one thing that struck me was the service at Victoria – I noticed it perhaps by its apparent absence.

Finding my room was a challenge, and my suitcase was left standing, not placed on a stool. I found myself scrabbling on the floor for garments. And while crouching down there saw the floor was crawling with small creatures. Probably ants, but one CAN predict all sorts of things in the tropics. It was exactly where the connecting door was, so I had haunted images of children running through the connecting door with crumbly biscuits…it was their fault ;).

My idea about the kind of guests for Victoria is families who are more laid-back, sporty, fun-loving and who definitely do not have a five star budget. Not for families who are constantly sprucing up their homes nor ambitiously marshalling perfection. Or maybe it’s just for families who want to escape from all that for a week or two yet enjoy a decent four star standard. I hope however that the miniature pet problem (insects) was a flash in the pan coming after drought and heavy rains. Further, I do suspect the hotel will get a few complaints if it doesn’t up its staff quota.

I tested one facility – with visit number two to a hotel dispensary in Mauritius. That was faultless. Instant medical care! The cuts on my arm were not yet obviously healing – so the doctor kindly covered it with “antibiotic”. If one could only see a doctor or even a nurse that quickly in Sweden. When I broke my arm on an ice slick in December, I spent 8 hours at the emergency unit at Södersjukus before leaving with a set arm.

This stay at Le Victoria was 2 February. By 7 February my arm had healed totally and was later declared fit for swimming at yet another hotel  – Four Seasons.

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