Hotel Paradis D’Ouvea – Heaven or Hell?

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Half an hour’s flight from Noumea, (often flights are cancelled or just do not leave) you find yourself in what could be described as a mini-paradise.  Unfortunately you quickly realize it is more like hell.

We stayed at the best resort on Ouvea (there are no others).  On arrival we were greeted with two coconut drinks, this possibly was the highlight of our stay.

Our accommodation, supposedly the best on offer, was a freestanding one bedroom bungalow, literally right on the beach.  There was a large bathroom with a floor level sunken bath that was impossible for anyone but the fittest to access.  There were no safety handles, making having a bath for most, impossible.  The wall shower was fine, but nowhere to hang a towel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe bedroom and lounge area was very large, with picture windows offering views over the white sand beach.  A large terrace off the room was very pleasant to sit and watch the stillness of this tropical paradise.  Our only passers by were the dogs roaming the resort.  They appeared very friendly, unlike the staff.

The resort has a pleasant swimming pool and nice gardens, but the general finishes and surrounds are poor, such as cracked paths and overflowing garbage bins by the front entrance.

Our first night’s dinner in the resort’s dining room was, to say the least, disappointing.  The large room had about six other diners, the others must have known.

The menu was in French and Japanese – too bad if you spoke only English.  The only waiter spoke French.  Fortunately a Japanese couple at the next table translated for us.

For a tropical island, the food was more like European winter hunting lodge.  Breakfast was even more of a disappointment.  When my wife and I asked the surly waitress, if breakfast had finished, due to the fact there appeared to be no food on display in the buffet area, she managed to say “No American Breakfast” and showed us a plate of bread and pastry, with packaged jams and three tubs of yoghurt – that was it.  Now we know why the French are so thin.

Rather than go on forever, this resort has enormous potential, if they change their current management and taught the staff about service.

Would I go there again – never.

Location and accommodation:  4 stars.  Service and food:  1 star (I was feeling generous).

John Pond

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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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