Early start for the little family with a 8:something am flight. There are 2 airports and daily flights to Reunion Island from Mauritius. St Denis in the Northern part is busier and larger planes are used. We were going to the south and flew to Pierrefonds in St Pierre. A military airport that has been opened for commercial flights and that is very good news. Driving on Reunion Island takes time. Easy little flight under 1 hour and the mother likes that. The kiddos though are not convinced by flights without an in-flight entertainment – the kids have a preference for Emirates (of course) and kiddos 2 loves the games on Sri Lankan airlines – 2 years later the 5 year old still mentions it.
We landed on a wet island. Reunion has the same climate as Mauritius, so the weather changes fast. The southern part is known to have windier weather and a bit wetter as well. It rained all day but cleared up an hour before sunset.
Sorry, I love pictures from the plane! I love looking down and for once I was allowed to sit at the window (thanks kiddos 2) – I think that was the first time in 7 years I have sat at the window while travelling with the kids. All the times we spend flying in and out of the Maldives, I never managed to get pictures flying in. The only time I sat at the window, it was night. Don’t you love irony?
We stayed at a lovely hotel in Grand’Anse, Petite Ile, called Palm Hotel and Spa. A very well kept small hotel, located on the side of the mountain (like many houses on that island) and that just gives magnificent views. Grand’ Anse is located South-South-West, so we had sunset! Yay! I love sunsets. It’s a 20 minutes drive from the airport.
The hotel only has 68 rooms, suites and lodges (the number of room, am not 100% certain about, but I think that’s it). We stayed in a family suite: it has a large master bedroom, with a couch that can be used as bed, a smaller second room (that would be a dressing room in the normal suite). A nice bathroom with a tub and an outdoor shower (I heart that). On the deck there is a hot tub, the kiddos had so much fun in there. The rooms and suites are located in a pretty garden. I didn’t know about the lodges otherwise I would have asked to have a look while a was there! They are for 2 adults only though, anyway. But the views must be spectacular.
The grounds of the hotel are lovely, the garden in which the rooms are, is just so nice and well maintained. There are small resting areas here and there – all is done so the guests have a relaxing time.
The hotel has the the European Eco Label: it shows initiative to reduce the impact of the hotel on the environment: encouraging recycling, less water and energy consumption (in the rooms but also with the washing of linens and towels). Electrical cars for rent, use of less hard detergents. They also train the hotel staff to be more more eco-conscious.
The staff were all very professional and took the time to talk to their guests. The Front Office personnel was great: helpful, remembering our name, chatting to the kiddos, always smiling! We only ate in one of their restaurants, I’ll make a separate post about the food there, but the restaurant staff also has a great attitude, even when super busy! They have in all 3 restaurants and one bar. Also a Spa, that unfortunately I just did not get the time to try out.
2 pools, with I think one that is warmed – the water was still a bit too cold for me, but the kids enjoyed! There is also a jaccuzi with the most stunning view… Finally there is the possibility to walk down to the beach front via a small trail, pretty steep, so not recommended if not 100% mobile and it gets super slippery if wet.
I am literally in love with the place and to top it all up, there is a whale point just in front of the hotel, so if you are there during the right season and you have been good to mother nature, she might offer you the awesome sight of a humpback whale passing by, with its calf. That happens in the austral winter time, peak would be between July till September. Info on dolphin and whale watching on Reunion Island, here. The hotel concierge can of course help you to plan that.
as usual this is not a sponsored post. All the pictures are mine and have not been edited in any way.