Reunion Island

Reunion Island

Weather on Reunion Island

The best time to visit is from April to November. October and November tend to be the busiest months. December to March suffers from hotter weather and typhoons which bring torrential rain.
Entertainment & Golf There are many sports to enjoy such as a helicopter tour over the island and volcano, paragliding diving, snorkelling and, of course, hiking for the very fit and energetic!

This volcanic tropical island is close to Mauritius and Madagascar but Reunion is very different. The island is part of France and is part of the European Union. The currency is the euro and the principal language is French. The French style accommodation is variable but does include a few luxury hotels and some more affordable boutique style lodges. In some parts of the island little English is spoken. The scenery is exceptionally dramatic and the highest peak in the centre is some 3,000 metres. With much of the island’s interior at over 1,500 metres, hikers should be able to cope with altitude. Whilst the coastal fringe has tropical temperatures, the high mountains can be cold and in the winter months (July / August) snow is possible on the peaks. Beaches are on the dry western coast behind a small coral reef but they don’t compare to Mauritius or the Seychelles. The east coast is wetter, very dramatic but has few beaches. Stay on the west coast or (for the more adventurous) in Cilaos.

Reunion’s Coasts

West Coast   This area includes the towns of St Gilles and St Leu. There are good beaches with excellent diving / snorkelling off the coral reef. There is also night life.
South & East Coasts   Generally wetter but dramatic coastal scenery. On the SE Coast, frequent lava flows from the volcano have produced impressive volcanic scenery. Here you will be able to walk on still hot lava and see the ‘Lava’ church which was spared in the eruption of 1977.
Les Trois Cirques    The dramatic interior and good for hikers. The eastern cirque, Salazie, is the most remote and you will find little English spoken here. Accommodation tends to be basic. Cilaos is the most popular but is only for experienced drivers as the road into the cirque is narrow and tortuous but the scenery is incredible and the accommodation is good.
The Volcano   Easy to get to, but accommodation in this area is very basic and the 15 km hike to the volcano starts at a gruelling 2,000 metres. The scenery, however, is truly awe inspiring and the volcano is one of the most active in the world.

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Le Vieux Cep, Cilaos

Le Vieux Cep, Cilaos

Family style hotel in the centre of this unusual island

A charming hotel with excellent facilities including a wellness centre. The hotel is quite large with 45 rooms including a few suites. The accommodation is tastefully decorated in a combination of local Creole and rural France style. Natural wood finishes are used extensively and although the standard rooms are quite small they are, nonetheless comfortable. The pool is an exceptional feature and the activities include mountain bikes. The restaurant is well regarded locally and is charmingly situated by the pool. The mountain views are among the best of any of the hotels in this area and each room is designed to maximise the view. Some English is spoken. The hotel caters for families.

About the location

Cilaos is one of the most spectacular locations on this extraordinary island. The views from the hotel are stunning and you are within walking distance of all this little, very French,  town has to offer.


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Tsilaosa Hotel, Cilaos

Tsilaosa Hotel, Cilaos

Old world charm in this extraordinary destination

One of our favourite hotels for friendliness and atmosphere in Reunion. The hotel has no pretensions but as soon as you step through the doors from the busy village street you appear to step back in time. You are welcomed with a warm smile and you will be helped up to your delightful room beautifully decorated in local Creole style. The rooms are a little larger than normal for Reunion with stripped wood floors and excellent bathrooms complete with whirlpool baths. The hotel does not have a pool as it occupies a fairly restricted village centre site close to local restaurants. There are magnificent views from most of the rooms that also have balconies to relax on and enjoy the ambiance or, if you are artistically inclined, from which to paint local scenes in the bustling village surrounded by spectacular mountains. Indeed, the hotel specifically caters for artists.

About the Location

Cilaos is a truly amazing location set in a collapsed caldera which was originally the home of the volcano in the south west of the island. Yes, it has moved over the aeons. The road up to the village from the coast is incredibly scenic but also extraordinarily tortuous – not for the fainthearted.

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Hotel Le Cilaos, Cilaos

Simple but comfortable accommodation on the edge of this fascinating town

This is a medium sized, 24 roomed, country hotel. All the rooms have commanding views over the spectacular mountain scenery around Cilaos including the highest point on the island – Piton Les Nieges at 3,300 metres. The standard rooms are simple in decor but comfortable. The larger rooms are similar in style but with individual touches. Bathrooms, again, are fairly standard in size but reasonably equipped. There is a mini bar in the room. The hotel has an excellent pool and from here the views of the mountains are awe-inspiring. The hotel also has a sauna and wellness centre. The restaurant serves mainly buffet style food for breakfast and evening meals and this is a mixture of local and international cuisine – mainly French inspired. We would rate the food above average for the Island. English is spoken and we found the staff friendly and helpful. We would, however, warn that the hotel is built on many different levels and, common with most of Reunion, there is no porter service so you will be faced with carrying your own luggage often up fairly steep steps.

About the location

The hotel’s location is on the edge of town – approximately a 10-minute walk to the centre. This is a good base for hiking in the mountains and the hotel has details of the excellent and well-marked and maintained hiking trails in the area.


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Le Boucan Canot

Le Boucan Canot, St. Gilles les Bains

Resort hotel in a great location on this unusual island

This large hotel has 44 rooms and suites including 38 standard rooms. The property has the aire of a resort style hotel with all the amenities you would expect. It is perfectly located on the main beach of the island  and can be accessed relatively easily from the main airport.

About the Location

From here it is relatively easy to drive to the town of Cilaos perched high in the centre of this spectacular island. You can enjoy paragliding, mountain biking (for the fit!) and canyoning as well as deep sea fishing. The volcano is a 2 1/2 hour drive and then a long hike at 8,000 ft but you can also take a helicopter tour of the volcano and island. You would normally combine this hotel with others closer to some of the key tourist locations.


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Lux Saint Gilles, La Saline les Bains

Large Resort style hotel with comfortable rooms, a great pool and an almost private beach

This hotel is where  French Presidents are known to have stayed on their annual holidays! It is a large, by Reunion standards, resort style hotel similar to those found on Mauritius. The rooms (aside from the Presidential suite!) are of a reasonable size and simply decorated emphasising cool colours and tiles. Each has a balcony overlooking the tropical gardens. There are two restaurants. One is a tropical buffet style and mainly open air by the huge pool. The other is a more formal a la carte restaurant and whilst not especially cheap the food quality is among the best that you will find on the island. The restaurant is partly outdoors next to a water feature reminiscent of a babbling brook! You can hear the ocean quietly in the background.

About the Location

The hotel offers numerous activities including tennis, volleyball, petanque and archery. The semi private beach is beautifully kept and you will be able to swim in the calm, warm waters of the lagoon. From the hotel, you can drive into the mountain regions around Cilaos. This is a 3-hour drive along tortuous roads providing some of the most spectacular views on the island. You may want to use the hotel as a stylish base and combine it with a couple of nights in Cilaos. We also recommend taking an organised day tour to the volcanic southeastern side of the mountain where you will be able to walk out on lava flows by the sea that are still steaming! For the volcano, La Fournaise, we suggest a helicopter tour unless you are very fit and enjoy hiking at high altitudes. The beaches at St Giles are a 30 minute drive away although there is a black, volcanic sand beach within walking distance of the hotel.


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Blue Margouillat Hotel

Blue Margouillat, St Leu, Reunion

Blue Margouillat is exquisitely located with sweeping views to the Indian Ocean and providing some of the best accommodation in La Reunion 

Blue Margouillat is a small, 10 roomed, luxury boutique hotel. All the rooms have commanding views over the Indian Ocean and each has its own private balcony from which you can enjoy the beautiful, tropical sunset. The rooms, although not particularly large, have been well designed and are comfortably appointed. We particularly liked the individual artwork incorporated as part of the wall decoration. The beautiful and colourful gardens incorporate a pool, floodlit at night, to enjoy or just relax beside with a cocktail from the pool bar. The restaurant serves some of the best food we have encountered on Reunion often on the terrace overlooking the pool and the ocean with soft classical music in the background. In the morning you will awake to the sound of exotic birds in the trees mixed with the sounds of the ocean.

About the location

From the hotel, you can drive into the mountain regions around Cilaos. This is a 2 1/2 hour drive along tortuous roads providing some of the most spectacular views on the island. You may want to use the hotel as a stylish base and combine it with a couple of nights in Cilaos. We also recommend taking an organised day tour to the volcanic southeastern side of the mountain where you will be able to walk out on lava flows by the sea that are still steaming! For the volcano, La Fournaise, we suggest a helicopter tour unless you are very fit and enjoy hiking at high altitudes. The beaches at St Gilles are a 30 minute drive away although there is a black, volcanic sand beach within walking distance of the hotel.


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St Alexis, St Gilles les Bains

An unusual,  luxurious hotel on the main beach of the island

This is one of the most unusual hotels we have encountered. From the time you enter the reception area with its model of the boat (St Alexis) that brought the French to Reunion) and underwater views of the pool, you know that this hotel is different. It is large with 58 rooms and suites of varying sizes and all on the ground floor have a terrace with direct access to the pool which winds its way around the hotel complex. Accommodation is spacious and decoration is sophisticated using cool and uncluttered schemes. Bathrooms are also larger than normal. There is direct access to a great beach, which has a semi private feel at the quieter end of this popular bay. There is an excellent restaurant serving a variety of well-prepared dishes at tables that are on a terrace overlooking the beach as well as inside. The hotel has gym and spa facilities in addition to several Jacuzzis located around the pool.

About the Location

Although the hotel fronts onto a busy street in popular St Gilles, once you are inside the hotel you are in a different world where you will be able to relax. From the hotel, you can drive into the mountain regions around Cilaos. This is a 3-hour drive along tortuous roads providing some of the most spectacular views on the island. You may want to use the hotel as a stylish base and combine it with a couple of nights in Cilaos. We also recommend taking an organised day tour to the volcanic southeastern side of the mountain where you will be able to walk out on lava flows by the sea that are still steaming! For the volcano, La Fournaise, we suggest a helicopter tour unless you are very fit and enjoy hiking at high altitudes.


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