The Domaine des Pierres is a hotel immersed in nature, situated in the heart of a botanical park, away from the tourist bustle of Saint-Gilles. It has got fine architecture, but quite erratic equipment. It will inevitably seduce the holiday-makers who are desperately seeking "green" in a quiet setting favourable for relaxation.
This hotel review is a translation from the French published on our French site, Easyvoyage.com.
The hotel is between Saint-Pierre and Etang Salé, on the road leading to Entre-Deux, near Pierrefonds airport, located in the south of the island. Saint-Denis airport is about 41 miles away, or one to two and a half hours by car depending on traffic.
The hotel is located in the heart of the Exotica park, a botanical garden of about 12 acres in the south of the island that has more than 5,000 varieties of plants. It offers a free visit to the hotel's customers (entry costs ? 6 for all other visitors). The natural setting is demanding, so you should not forget to take anti-mosquito devices (sprays, coils, electric dispensers). The area is also a good stopover point to set off on an exploring tour to the south and the east of the island, often ignored. A rent-a-car is essential if you want to be autonomous.
Built in 2003 in the heart of a botanical garden that opened in 1994, the Domaine des Pierres consists of thirteen white bungalows, their slanted wooden-shingle roofs supported by wooden beams, are housed ?n a space of over 6 acres of lush greenery and flowers. As soon as you cross the reception hall, with a small bar at the rear and a large flat screen television, you can access the gardens. A beautiful round swimming pool, decorated with a waterfall, invites you to relax or sit on deckchairs under the canvas terrace, surrounded by greenery. You can access the restaurant, to the right of the reception, along a wide flowered passage. The decoration of the domain alternates between wood, marble or tiled floors with pattern, and sculptures arranged here and there in the gardens. The botanical garden is a stone's throw away.
The 41 rooms are divided into bungalows around the swimming pool. An area of 270 ft² on average, in shades of beige with a marble tiled floor, they all have a terrace furnished with a table and two wooden chairs, a large marble bathroom, with a bathtub or a shower, a hair dryer (separate toilet), telephone for direct international dialling, satellite TV, a safe (free) and air-conditioning. It is a pity that the standard rooms, a little too dim, do not have a refrigerator. The furniture is wood, with large closets and walls decorated with paintings.
The advantage of the hotel. The owners raise their own poultry and game (including wild boar, lamb), and grow their own exotic fruits. The beautiful dining room decorated in wood can accommodate up to 80 guests and is protected from the sun by trees and a white pergola. The restaurant serves all three meals (à la carte) - local specialities mixed with regional French dishes. In addition, thematic evenings (Creole, European, Chinese) are regularly organised for customers.
The closest beach is at Etang Salé in Saint Pierre. Expect a 5 minute drive to get there, plus around 10 minutes to find a parking space on weekends. The beach is nice but very crowded on Saturdays and Sundays.
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Mark out of 10 for geographical location