A hotel offering simple comfort but in an ideal location to enjoy the bustling life of Saint-Gilles, the Aigrettes is a good place for young customers who wish to keep their budgets under control, without cutting back on expenses.
This hotel review is a translation from the French published on our French site, Easyvoyage.com.
It is located on the hills of Saint-Gilles, 1,640 feet from the town centre and 25 miles from the airport at Saint-Denis. For the transfer, expect about 45 to 90 minutes, depending on traffic.
Located on the heights of Saint-Gilles, barely 1,640 feet from the town centre, the Aigrettes hotel lets you enjoy the animation of the resort without having to rent a car. It is also a good place from which to set off on a trip to the corries and villages of the Heights.
The nearest beach is located beside the marina, 1,640 feet from the hotel. It is a large strip of clear sand descending gently into the lagoon. Of various quality, the sand may contain some pieces of coral. Avoid wearing plastic sandals in order not to damage the fragile coastal ecosystem. The beach is public, no equipment is provided. Don't forget to bring along a towel and a sunshade to bask in the sun. Those who prefer visiting the public beach of Boucan Canot (located at 2.5 miles to the north and much appreciated on La Réunion) can take the free shuttle from the hotel.
Dating back to 1986, the Aigrettes hotel underwent a "facelift" in 2003. This sprawling complex of 11 buildings with balustrades of painted wood and corrugated iron roofs, overlooks the Indian Ocean. Very small but charming, the reception area is decorated in cool tones - turquoise, pink and orange, also found at the bar and the restaurant. Just opposite the common area is the swimming pool, which overlooks the sea in the background, beyond a setting of tropical flowers and coconut trees. About 645 ft² in size, it is well suited for the aquagym courses held there, but not for swimming laps. You will be happy to bask in the sun on the terrace which is equipped with plastic deckchairs and sunshades.
To access the rooms, go along a path with flowers and climb one or more staircases. Those who do not like walking will take it into account. Of the 94 units in the Aigrettes, 9 can accommodate up to 4 adults and 2 children. The others are planned for up to 2 people, with the possibility of adding an extra bed for a child under the age of 12 years. All rooms overlook the sea, but you see it most often through a curtain of vegetation. The rooms are each equipped with a small terrace or a balcony that has an armchair and a coffee table made of plastic. Relatively small, the rooms provide modest amenities. Air conditioning and a telephone. The television picks up, at least for the time being, 3 local TV stations. However, there is no refrigerator and the use of the safe is charged extra. The bathrooms are very simple, equipped with a bathtub.
Widely open to the outside, the restaurant is bright and airy. There are small wooden tables which are good to preserve the privacy of the guests. Served buffet style, the breakfast is a selection of breads, ham, cheese, pastries, yogurts, cereals and boiled eggs. The evening meal is from a menu with recipes based on the traditions of the island such as fish curry or coconut foam. At noontime, a very nice snack bar under a "guétali" (a Creole style kiosk), by the swimming pools serves salads or hot dishes while you enjoy the beautiful view of the sea horizon.
The closest beach is located next to the marina, some 500m from the hotel. It is a large strip of clear sand descending gently into the lagoon. Of variable quality, the sand may contain some pieces of coral. Avoid wearing plastic sandals in order not to damage the fragile coastal ecosystem. As the beach is public, no equipment is provided, so don't forget to bring along a towel and a sunshade for your sunbathing session. Just 2.5 mi to the north you will find the public beach of Boucan Canot, much appreciated by the locals.
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