One & Only Le Saint Geran was a special trip for us and in this review, I give you all what you need to know about this luxury resort in Mauritius and there are also lots of One&Only Le Saint Geran photos.
Celebrating life at One&Only Le Saint Geran Mauritius
We spent a blissful 8 days there and there is so much to say that I’m breaking this review in several parts (as I had done for le Domaine des Etangs).
Table of Contents
Why we chose One and Only le Saint Geran
For the past few years, we had talked about doing a winter sun holiday. During the summer after my diagnosis, I looked at various places in Mauritius, thinking “what if”. We considered the Caribeeans but I was pushing for Mauritius because of its reputation for kindness and the easy jet lag. When hurricane Irma sadly affected the Caribbeans, we firmed up our choice for Mauritius.
Regarding the hotels, as it’s not a destination that I look for usually and as it has mostly resort hotels rather than boutique ones, I contacted Charlotte, a private travel agent who had been recommended by Boutiquologie.
With her help, we considered several places before I read that the One&Only Le Saint Geran would be all refurbished and renewed just in time for our trip. The hotel is a legend on the island and well known of the French (former presidents went there), the quality of service, the location on a peninsula with beach and lagoon and the new beautiful decor won us over.
I booked it on my hospital bed two days after surgery by calling Charlotte who did a fantastic job arranging everything!
My advice for chosing your room
Here are the things to know when choosing your room:
- Go for a room at ground floor level as you then have a terrace and chairs and can just walk to the beach. Size depends on the category of rooms you have.
- Some people have said on forums that they preferred the rooms with balcony as it meant less people walking just by the front of your room. See what you prefer.
Then choose based on the areas. There are three areas roughly
- To the left of the resort between the Terrace and La Pointe restaurant are the rooms with the shortest access to the beach. As in 10 meters from your terrace. Handy for getting to the family pool and the breakfast restaurant. It’s also the best area for swimming as the sand is without stones. Downside is that it feels much busier there.
- To the right you have more sense of privacy. And especially if you choose the ocean facing rooms. The walk to the beach is still very short as it’s about 20 meters from your terrace! Beach feels more private with less people but is rockier. However, it’s then a longer walk to the pool and La Pointe.
- Then you have the lagoon rooms. On the lagoon side obviously, so no direct view or access to the beach but there is a lagoon beach which is very lovely too. The lagoon is very peaceful and those rooms are in the lowest category so they could be a really good choice and represent great value. You are also closer to the spa and the one club where all boat activities are.
A beachfront suite with terrace meant great views in the morning
We had a beachfront suite which was very spacious. There was a big lounge, with a sofabed for Mademoiselle and a table where we often had brekfast, a double bedroom, a big walk-in wardrobe and a very nice bathroom. The new decor is nice and fresh although a bit corporate in style.
Location was not ideal as we were just next door to the Terrace restaurant. It meant music until 23:30 at night and some noise in the morning as this is where breakfast is served. We stayed up quite late so the music didn’t bother us much. It was more the fact that your terrace was in view of the guests at the restaurant that annoyed us a bit.
We did ask if we could change rooms but the only one available was on the busier side of rooms. In addition our room was really roomy and lovely. So we stayed put. They were very gracious about it all.
Actually because they did some works on the restaurant during the day they offered us a 60 min massage free of charge!
Once used to the location, we really had a great time in that room and all conforts were there for us.
The suite came with butler service. I never had that before and it’s really nice. A lovely gentleman or lady would come to us every day and ask us what we needed to book or arrange. He would then take care of everything. Apparently he could have also unpacked our luggage if we had wanted!
The room category also included free aperitif brought to the room every evening with little canapés. We felt quite posh to have our glasses of champagne delivered at 19:15 every night!
Finally, it also meant that on our last day, they transferred us to another smaller room (photos in the gallery) after our checkout so that we can shower and refresh later that afternoon before going back to the airport. Really nice!
One & Only le Saint Geran restaurants review
What made the food at One&Only Le Saint Geran special?
One of the main strengths of the One&Only Le Saint Geran really was the food at the various restaurants. The executive chef and the executive pastry chef are French so that gives immediately confidence in the quality and it showed. The local chefs also do fantastic cuisine and are heading up each restaurant.
We all loved the fresh, tasty and well thought food. The menus in each restaurant and on the beach were really well thought. We were just slightly less convinced by Prime.
I had connected with the executive pastry chef, Simon Pacary, on Instagram before our visit and it was really nice to chat with him about his deserts.
Understanding the One&Only restaurants options
The explanation of restaurants was a bit confusing when we arrived so here is my simplified version
Breakfast: is only at la Terrasse.
Or you can order it in your room. They actually set it all out for you on the table rather than just leaving the trays! Very lovely.
If you go to the buffet style, you have everything you can imagine. Fresh fruits, cooked eggs, pancakes, cakes, many breads, pastries, salads, cold meats, cheese, fresh juices, and even some cooked indian or japanese cuisine.
Lunch: la Pointe (where you have the family pool) or on the beach.
On the beach, I highly recommend the tomato mozzarella salad which came with a tomato compote and pesto and delicious tomato bread. The Mauritian salad was also very good. If you order a sandwich, it actually comes in a box with salad, fries and a fruit salad. So lovely.
You can also order hot food such as pizza, burger. And of course a full range of wine.
I must say that having a glass of rose and a tomato salad while seating on a lounge facing the turquoise sea was one of the highlights of our holiday!
If you want freshly grilled fish, then you’ll just walk a few steps from the beach and take a seat overlooking the pool and the beach at La Pointe. The menu is again very well judged and the sharing platter of fish is really nice.
Diner: 3 options
- La Terrasse where you can have a fantastic buffet food or order a la carte
- Tapasake, the Asian restaurant
- Prime, the steak restaurant.
At la Terrasse, the buffet changes every day and they cook your main course fresh for you if you want meat or seafood. They can also do pasta as you wish, pizza to your desire. Great Chinese counter and Indian curry counter too
Tapasake is great for a more romantic dinner. There is something quite glamourous seating on the cushioned benches in the bar over the water. Food is either Japanese, Korean or Mauritian. It is using the tapas formula but the portions are quite big so don’t order too many of them to start with. You can always adjust if you’re still hungry. I recommend the scallops carpaccio with spicy avocado purée. Delicious. We all thought it was very good and fresh and went back twice.
Prime appeared to be the fancier restaurant of all as the dress code was “elegant”. However, the decor inside is more like a steak house and the menu was definitely meat oriented. It was not that fancy but I suppose if you are a meat lover you’ll be pleased to have a selection of beef from various countries. On the plus side, this is where Simon Pacary, the pastry chef, does fancy deserts and they are delicious! I tried his signature dish, the caviar, which looks like a caviar box but is actually based on a mojito. Very very nice!
For a cake or a snack at any time: L’Artisan.
The stuff of dreams: lots of cakes, biscuits, sweets, chocolates, ice cream on a beautiful display that changes every day. You can buy some during the day, also order some sandwiches for lunch, and this is the desserts buffet for la Terrasse so all included in the evening. So nice to be able to indulge on sugary treats! Of course Mademoiselle loved it.
Make it even more special with a private diner!
To end our stay in style, we booked a private diner. You can have it not far from la Terrasse, on the boat jetty at the boat house or, like we did, at the end of the peninsula. It ‘s more private and silent there.
The price is not much more than the diner at la Terrasse but the difference is that there is a preset menu and you have to choose between two starters, two mains and two deserts. Once again, they were very accommodating for Mademoiselle and she was able to choose from a separate kids menu.
There truly is something quite magical to walking at sunset towards your lovely area with tent, rug and cusions and lighting. You have one single waiter looking after you the whole evening. I really recommend it!
The beaches at One&Only le Saint Geran
The hotel is on its own lagoon and as a result, there are many beaches so you are sure to find a spot.
The three beach areas at One & Only le Saint Geran
- There is the main one all along the building and where you have most of the chairs.
- You also have the one closer to the ocean, which is generally less busy as it’s not close to the pool so people without kids will prefer that one. Service is also quicker there as they have less chairs to look after.
- Finally you have the gentle one on the lagoon itself, perfect for families with small children.
The service on the beach is fantastic. Your lounge chair seat under a palm tree leaves canopy which is very handy to hang things from. As soon as you arrive beach attendants come and lay the towels on the chairs for you. Then they bring you a box with iced water and fresh perfumed face towels. It’s only on day 5 when finally we had to use suncream that I realised that it was also to wipe your hands after you applied it.
The box also comes with the beach menu as described above.
Throughout the day they may come round with an offer of complementary ice-cream, watermelon or just before lunch some crudités and dip. All really nice.
At other times, if you ever need them you raise the blue service flag. They can even come to clean you glasses!
There are regular Mauritians coming to try to sell you jewellery, pareos or shells. We didn’t buy any so I don’t know how expensive and pretty they are.
The sand is as white and soft as you hope. The water has a nice light colour but is not as clear as I had seen in Cuba. Interestingly on the main beach, there are big dips once you walk into the water so you are soon up to chest height. So not one to send the small kids to alone. Of course the water was really warm!
From the poolside at One&Only le Saint Geran
So needless to say, we were in heaven with the three pools!
- at La Terrasse around the restaurant. In theory this is the adults only pool. I didn’t see anyone swimming there during our week as the place was not full. I imagine that when it’s at capacity that’s where people without children will go. The bar tender also told me that kids can go in, I suppose when it’s not too busy.
- At La Pointe, you have the family pool which is watched by a guard. There are several areas within the pool itself, some with very shallow depth so perfect for toddlers. There are enough seats by the pool for you to watch over your children but there is also a lifeguard. That same pool extends to the lagoon side which is less windy and therefore where most families with young children will be
- The spa pool which is a lap pool and very secluded and quiet. Only for adults.
There are some nice cabanas around the family pool but you have to pay extra to use them. They come with a drinks service but still with a hotel of this quality you wouldn’t expect to have to pay extra for using facilities on the resort.
For a bit of fun, you can also have your drinks on the immersed bar in the pool!
The pools are also where the night entertainment is. Every evening you have musicians or a DJ at La Pointe. This is the place to have aperitif, watching the sunset on the lagoon side.
And at La Terrasse, during your diner, groups of musicians come to play lounge, local or dancing music. I even got the party started one night by being the first on the dance floor!
A full range of activities for all
There is so much to do at the One&Only le Saint Geran that we didn’t leave the hotel once in a week. I must confess that I would have liked to explore the island a bit more but Mr Big was really exhausted and needed the rest. And there is really enough to keep everyone occupied:
- the spa
- the gym
- the kids club
- the lounge
- the boat house
One&Only le Saint Geran for kids
The hotel is really a great place for families. First of all the rooms are spacious and can accommodate a kids bed or a cot. In suites your kid will sleep on a sofa bed large enough for two.
Second of all, the kids club is open from 10 am to 10 pm!!! The lady who showed me around was lovely and very gentle. She showed me the various areas for play with zones for reading, craft, drawing, education games, outdoor playground etc. Every day they organise different activities such as pirates day or Mauritius day. Really can’t get bored!
For the tweens and teens there is a big room with computers (Macs of course), tv, books and video games. There are also activities planned for them such as karaoke or scavenger hut. Or table tennis competitions.
As we were on a non holiday week mademoiselle didnt go as there were not many children to play with. But I have no doubt it would be a lot of fun.
The family pool is watched over until 18:00. There are many areas of various depths so perfect for all ages. Parents can relax on large chairs and mattress all around. The watch guard means you can also stay on the beach facing the sea while your older children are monitored back at the pool.
Food wise there is everything you may want for your kids. They can accommodate any wish. At night you can have pizzas made to your exact specs for instance when eating at La Terrace. At lunch the beach box for a sandwich comes with fries and a fruit salad!
At Tapasake, they offered to do grilled fish with rice and broccoli for her. At Prime they don’t have a special menu but you can have small portions of the meat. Mademoiselle loves beef so she had that and a baked potato with it.
Water activities for kids and adults
The boat house is where you can do all the different water sports and also plan various excursions to nearby islands. Waterskiing, kayaking, pédalos, paddle boarding, hobby cat sailing, snorkeling expeditions are all complementary.
They can teach adults and kids alike at no cost. Mr Bigg did his first waterskiing lessons and got out of the water and skied properly after two sessions. Mademoiselle tried too and they were the most gentle with her. The teachers were very gentle and expert. Because it was not a full week you could have as many turns as you want.
We went for a kayak trip around the lagoon which was gentle and nice. They also do a bottom glass boat trip twice a day. We tried it and it was ok as you could get a nice view of the resort from the sea but the coral reef on that part of the island is not very lively so there’s not much to see.
We also tried the floating sofa. You seat at the back hold the handles tight and then they pull you with a motorboat. Mr Big and Mademoiselle loved it. I was less cool!! I sudddenly realised in the middle of it that this was probably not recommended given my recent surgery, oh well! Still a lot of fun.
Gym and sports to keep you fit
With all the good food that you eat at the Saint Geran, exercising regularly is recommended! The gym is of course air conditioned and had enough running machines and weight machines for the number of guests going when we were there.
Again, the teachers and coaches were really nice and gave me some free advice and exercise for my back and a stretching session. I also attended a complimentary yoga lesson which was really relaxing. Other fitness activities are offered for free during your stay as water fitness or stetch and relax or padle initiation.
For those who like tennis there is a tennis court. Then you can also borrow cross-country bikes and explore outside of the resorts or have fun with the electric bikes. Those need to be paid for and also don’t allow kids on them.
Relaxing treatments in the spa
Just in case the setting, the food, the beach and the nice weather didn’t have you relaxed enough, you can have some more pampering at the spa! The spa is not as grandiose as other spas I’ve been too. It’s probably because it would be hard to compete with the beach and the turquoise water even if you a full indoor/ hot water kind of spa. I did like the very pure white decor.
This is also where you can have the lap pool for adults only.
Mr Big and I had several treatments. I had the one and only massage, refloxogy and back massage. I would recommend you asking for Prakash, he did a fantastic massage.
I also had a Bastien Gonzalez manicure. My hands and fingers are short and fat and still the lady managed to make them look elegant. I really recommend it.
They also have a hair salon which was very handy as I hadn’t managed to find the time to book a hair appointment for Mademoiselle for more than 7 months!
As you can see, there is really everything you could wish for. And on top of that there is a lounge on the first floor if you wanted to work with Macs, long tables for meetings and discussions, a great library and some board games too!
Our overall verdict on One&Only Le Saint Geran
You can read on the other posts the details of what we thought of the food, the activities, the beaches and pools. In short, we loved it!
What we liked
What could be improved
We had chosen to go the week before half term holiday because of the massive cost saving on the flights and the room price as well. The additional benefit was that the hotel was only at 53% capacity so it never felt busy despite having 162 rooms. We always had lounges on the beach with unobstructed views, there were hardly anyone in the pool, getting a table was a breeze and at the boat house, the staff really wanted to help and make us do things as they had not much activity!
The renovation has really tastefully done. While the rooms lack a bit of personality, all the common areas are just to my taste. Lots of touches of blue, my favourite colour, white and bamboo for the exotic touch. They compliment the blue of the sea or the green of the gardens so well.
Everyone was really nice, the setting was magical, the food was really really delicious and the weather was mostly clement. We had one and half day in the middle with torrential rain and thought it would be like this for the rest of the week but it cleared up and we then had great sun and wonderful sunsets.
The three of us agreed without hesitation that we would come back to Mauritius and to One&Only Le Saint Geran next time we have a big celebration. We just need to start saving for it now!
One&Only le Saint Geran, Mauritius details
- 162 rooms
- From 436 Euros in low season, 700 in high season
- Half board rates available
- Check their site for special offers, we had a 30% discount for instance
Double queen rooms are good for a family of four
Suites like ours have a wide space and sofabed for your kids
Kids menu everywhere. They’ll also love the artisan with all the cakes, pastries, chocolates
Kids club from 10 am to 10 pm with a great variety of activities, table tennis
- Pool area for todlers, for babies, life guard at the pool as well
- Teenage clubs as well with video games, Mac…
Karaoke, 5 a sides
Food adapted everywhere. They’ll love the artisan
Free waterskiing lessons
Snorkelling and glass bottom boats
- Tennis court
- Boat house with lots of complimentary activities
- Electric bikes for hire