Africa Hotels Mauritius

Hotel Review: RIU Le Morne, Mauritius

Mauritius. It’s synonymous with paradise. A far-flung island in the middle of the Indian Ocean that boasts hot weather, luxury and all-inclusive resorts.

After changing our holiday plans twice already (remember my blog about our amazing yet affordable Maldives honeymoon? Well, thanks to Covid, that all fell through), we booked RIU Creole with only three weeks to go.

I emailed the hotel to let them know this was our honeymoon and I’d also be pregnant because, let’s face it, any accommodations or perks would be greatly appreciated. So imagine my surprise when they offered us a free upgrade to the adults only resort RIU Le Morne right next door – just goes to show it was worth getting in touch.

First impressions

When we stepped out the taxi into the spacious, open lobby, I truly felt like we’d just stepped into the epitome of luxury. Everything was so modern, open and airy. And through the lobby, you could catch glimpses of bright green palm trees and hear the peaceful sound of running water. Perfect.

Even walking through the hotel, everything felt breezy, inviting and spacious. There were more than enough places to chill out and have a drink. 

On our way to our room we walked past several pools, all of which had a calm serenity to them.

This was going to be the perfect holiday.

The room

The room itself was a little disappointing. At first glance, it looks ideal; large, tiled room that’s nice and cool, with a huge bed and a roomy bathroom. But it was only on closer inspection that we soon realized the room was dated and the bathroom needed a refurb.

Having said that, the room wasn’t bad. The units were a little old and worn, the grouting in the shower desperately needed redoing and the sink and bathtub needed a good wipe down every day to get rid of the little bugs that seemed to appear everywhere – but hey, it’s a tropical climate, right? You’re gonna get bugs.


There were five restaurants in total, across both RIU Le Morne and RIU Creole. Each hotel had it’s own buffet restaurant and as guests of the adults-only resort, we were free to use either. The buffet at Le Morne didn’t offer quite as much variety as Creole. But there was always a great selection of meats, Indian cuisine, pasta, pizza, cheeseboard, fruit platter and – what we all secretly want to know about – cake. They also had a cooking station where a chef was on hand to create a different specialty every day. And let’s not forget the occasional appearance of a chocolate fountain with a whole array of goodies you could dip.

The only frustration was when Le Morne closed their buffet restaurant – without warning – for almost a whole week and it was only after asking at the front desk that we learned it was because the resort was really empty. Some kind of signage would have been nice…

The three other restaurants required booking a table in advance and we decided to try them all:


By far our favorite restaurant, the Kulinarium offered a gourmet menu and we had:

Appetizer: Gua Bao stuffed with ‘gateau pimient’, yogurt, coriander and cucumber

Starter: Poached egg, sauteed mushrooms with reduced beef broth, creamy mash potato and truffle oil

Main: Beef tenderloin, cornichons, mustard, mushroom, asparagus and Mauritius-style hash brown potato (though the hash brown style potato was more just a lump of potato without the skin)

Dessert: Crunchy chocolate mousse with warm toffee sauce

This dining experience felt a lot more like a ‘normal’ restaurant and was really enjoyable. It was also the only restaurant on both resorts that was adults-only and not a buffet.

Personally, we would have loved to go back but the menu didn’t change in the two weeks we were there and there wasn’t anything else we felt like trying.


This Indian themed restaurant offered a buffet of starters and side dishes followed by a tasting menu where you got to try:

  • Rogan Josh lamb curry
  • Tikka Tandoori chicken
  • Fish in a coconut curry
  • Dal Makhani

All-in-all it was pretty good. I tried the fish curry – not something I would normally do – and really enjoyed it. Wasn’t such a fan of the tandoori chicken as it was pretty dry and the Rogan Josh was okay but not something I’d choose again.


An Asian themed buffet, I could have eaten here every other night, but it was enough that I managed to persuade Lee to try it just the once, plus it was only open on Saturday evenings and really hard to get a reservation for.

It was also a little tricky to avoid certain foods due to my pregnancy (like sushi and seafood) which meant the label for ‘mixed flavour dim sums’ was particularly unhelpful. And I’d been really looking forward to the dim sum.

The facilities

The hotel had a lot to offer in terms of facilities and we were rarely wanting for anything. There were more than enough bars scattered around the place, at least four different pools to choose from, and a pretty good gym too.

The adult-only pool also hosted a poolside snack bar that was open pretty much all day and served a variety of different foods.

Some of the more basic amenities like decent WiFi were hard to come by. Some days it was near-on impossible to connect to and others it would constantly drop off, only to reconnect 20 minutes later. There were also restrictions on how many devices you could connect (1 per person) which meant adding my laptop to the network wasn’t feasible unless I paid an outrageous additional device charge.

Their app which was meant to give you all the news and updates about what was going on at the hotel was pretty sparse – some activities just weren’t clear, such as JEU Café. No idea what that was (or where). And the handy hotel map was vastly different to the paper one handed out by reception which meant key information was missing.

However, getting around was pretty easy, with clear signage almost everywhere you went. We did venture down to the other end of the resort and discovered RIU Creole was at least two or three times the size of Le Morne.

The staff

We learned pretty early on that while Mauritians are super nice and really polite, I wouldn’t consider them friendly. I don’t know if this is because we’re blatantly tourists or if this is just the way they are. Of course we encountered a few exceptions (our airport taxi driver was one), but this theory largely held fast when encountering any of the hotel staff. Everyone said hi and were happy to help with any issues but a smile was a rare commodity. The bar staff were a lot friendlier and after spending almost all of our second week by the adult-only pool, our local mixologist insisted on making me my own zingy lemon-flavoured concoction.

Activity program

We also soon found the hotel had a – what can only be described as – sporadic activities program that rarely followed the pre-planned agenda on their app. We joined in with a few activities such as the Aqua Gym and enjoyed the live music in the evenings. I really wanted to go to the shows they hosted at RIU Creole but could just not mentally keep myself awake long enough – lounging by the pool all day really does turn your brain to mush.

We also enjoyed the spontaneous Coconut Parties that would take place by the pool with a live DJ and dancers. It was a lot of fun and a great way to liven the mood. However, we did find it hard to pin down a lot of the other activities, and also work out whether they were intended for adults or kids, which meant we just didn’t bother.

The experience

Overall, the experience of RIU Le Morne was exactly what we needed. Yes the service from the staff in the restaurants was patchy and it got really busy in the second week which made things slightly stressful and meant we spent a lot of our time hiding in the adults-only part of the resort, but actually we had a pretty good time. Really, what more did we need than access to a decent buffet, a pool and some shaded sun loungers?

We ventured out of the hotel for a couple of days to see more of the island and even cracked out the snorkeling gear a few times as there are some great shallow corals right by the beach. We commandeered the ping pong table a few times on our way back from RIU Creole and could just take things real easy. An endless supply of drinks was always within easy reach.

What else did we really need?

Would I go back?

I’m not sure if RIU Le Morne captured my heart in the way I wanted it to. It’s a nice and affordable hotel but I didn’t love it as much as the Secret St James Resort in Montego Bay or Ikhaya Safari Lodge in Cape Town.

Mauritius itself was definitely the slice of paradise I’d seen in pictures and I was surprised it’s such a thrill-seeker’s destination. So yes, I’d consider revisiting the island, but I think next time I’d stay somewhere else – maybe somewhere at the North end of the island or closer to Port Louis.

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