“A Touch of France In The South Pacific”

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Arriving early evening at Noumea’s modern La Tontouta International Airport, we moved quickly through customs and immigration procedures, collected the luggage and went outside the terminal to meet the Arc en Ciel transportation service that was to drive us to the hotel. We had booked and paid for this service on line, prior to leaving Sydney, which streamlined the procedure. We shared the spacious mini-van with others from the plane, but if desired, a private transportation could be booked for a higher fee. The airport is 45kms from the city, so it’s a shame the flight arrives after dark, as you cannot see the beautiful scenery on the way into town. However, I did enjoy the scenic trip on the return journey to the airport.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe stayed at the newly opened Chateau Royal Hotel, located on the beach at Anse Vata, set amidst tropical gardens and lawns. Our room, which was actually a two room suite, had a full length balcony that could be accessed from both rooms, and the sweeping views across the bay could be seen from almost every part of the room. There was also a fully equipped kitchen, complete with dishwasher, oven and cooktop along with dinner plates, cups, saucers and cutlery for four people. Perfect for those wanting to try their hand at cooking some of the local produce.

There was a large flat screen TV in the lounge area as well as the bedroom.

The bathroom had a large shower recess but no bathtub.

Although the hotel is right on Anse Vata beach, there’s also a large swimming pool, surrounded by palm trees, ideal for relaxing in the sun. The hotel is also famous for their spa, providing massages and every sort of beauty treatment one would expect. With several restaurants and bars, the hotel offers almost everything for a perfect stay.

The hotel, in my opinion, is 4 star and offers almost everything for a perfect holiday – except one things – SERVICE.

The staff generally seem to be doing you a favour and were certainly more towards 1 or 2 star service. The Reception area was very unwelcoming and we had to wait a lengthy period before being acknowledged each time we went there.

Service generally in this hotel left a lot to be desired, but apart from that, we had a pleasant stay.

Little to criticise about the hotel, so if your expectations of service are low, you may enjoy your stay.

Room Tip: Ask for a view over Anse Vata Bay.
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About John Pond, J.P.

Pioneer in television as producer of thousands of hours of TV shows on Australian and American television including Graham Kennedy, Tommy Leonetti, People in Conflict, Hollywood Bowl, Major Specials and Dr John‘s Casebook TV Shows. TV manager J. Walter Thompson & McCannErickson Advertising and head of production for Columbia Pictures TV. John changed careers to the hospitality industry working for Sydney’s top 5 star hotel as director of sales and marketing and GM. Then with Harrah’s/Caesar's World, the world’s largest hotel and casino group in Nevada. Playboy Magazine in Chicago, head of worldwide PR/Marketing, for their Resorts, Clubs, Hotels & Casinos. Producer at Fox Studios in Los Angeles. Co-creator of hit US network TV show Joker, Joker, Joker, first TV show to give away a million dollars. Writer travel articles for magazines and newspapers including Washington Post, New York Times, American Playboy as well as local Australian papers and magazines. In the USA represented many personalities including Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Bob Hope, Mel Torme, and many other major names. John is Editor at Sea of Australia’s leading cruise magazine, Travel & Cruise writer for The Retiree Magazine, Destinations Magazine and Spectator Group of Newspapers. John reviews cruise ships, Destinations and Hotels, and is ably assisted by his Associate Editor Sandra Tiltman.
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