The Best Places to Stay in Reunion
In this paragraph of the guide, we are going to go over the main areas to stay on Reunion Island.
For each of these places, we discuss the geographical location, the things to do nearby and the accommodation available.
The West Coast of the Island: Saint-Gilles Les Bains And its Surroundings
The west coast of Reunion has the advantage of bringing together several interests . To sleep there is above all to stay in an environment of relaxation and idleness since one appreciates the prettiest seaside resorts of the island.
Saint-Gilles is one of those villages where the atmosphere is good. In the evening we appreciate a festive and friendly atmosphere in its bars and restaurants. During the day, you can relax on its beaches , surf or swim with your mask and snorkel to discover the island’s aquatic fauna and flora.
Accommodation in Saint-Gilles and its surroundings offers access to several points of interest on the west coast. Close to Saint-Gilles, we discover:
- the beaches of the Hermitage protected by a reef and that of Boucan Canot , picturesque, are two of the prettiest with their white sand
- the Bassin des Aigrettes , in a green setting, we can see a waterfall flowing into a body of water
- the Forain Market of Saint-Paul , one of the most beautiful in France, on the seafront, with its displays of fresh and local products
However, sleeping in Saint-Gilles and its surroundings grants a central location which authorizes access:
- in 1 hour, at Maïdo , starting point for several hikes but also a panoramic view of the Cirque de Mafate which culminates at 2200 meters above sea level, a must
- in less than 1 hour, at Cap Noir and Roche Verre Bouteille , two other viewpoints with their hiking trail
- in 15 min, in Kelonia . Located in Saint-Leu, it is an observatory that recovers injured sea turtles and educates travelers about the environment
Note that the cirque of Mafate is only accessible on foot and that most of the hikes that cross it find their starting point on the west/north-west slope. This makes the option of staying on the west coast of Reunion very suitable for hikers.
The accommodation offer in Saint-Gilles and its surroundings is great , it meets all budgets . The west coast of the island offers a variety of activities, making it a convenient and relaxing place to sleep in Reunion.
Our Accommodation Recommendations
DINA MORGABINE SAINT GILLES €
Inexpensive hotel located 5 minutes by car from the Hermitage beach. The rooms are modern, the restaurant offers local cuisine. The accommodation also has an outdoor swimming pool, which makes this establishment a pleasant place to spend a few nights.
HOTEL LE RECIF, ILE DE LA REUNION €€
This establishment consists of several Creole villas . It has an exceptional geographical location on the beach and a green setting within tropical gardens . Its themed restaurant and its belvedere terrace add a relaxing note which makes it a beautiful hotel for accommodation in Reunion.
LUX* SAINT GILLES RESORT €€€
On the edge of the beach, this Creole-style hotel is a luxury place to sleep. It is located in the middle of a tropical park and its coconut palms where it is pleasant to rest or to practice the various sports activities offered by the establishment. Its rooms and suites are spacious.
Accommodation in the South Of Reunion: Saint-Pierre And Its Surroundings
Staying in the south of Reunion means staying close to the wild coast of the south-east . It is not very far that nature has taken back its rights , in particular because of the Piton de la Fournaise, a volcano which is still active.
Cap Méchant, to the south, is an example of verdant nature with its raging sea that washes up on its black cliffs. Further east, Anse des Cascades is a relaxing, verdant place between waterfalls and the ocean. But, in both cases, we are a little out of the way there and wanting to sleep there is not practical from the point of view of travel.
This is why, one will find in Saint-Pierre, a more interesting city thanks to its central geographical position . We sleep 3 or even 4 nights there in order to fully explore it as well as its surroundings. Accommodation is plentiful here and there is something for everyone .
On the one hand, Saint-Pierre is a multicultural and rich city . On the other hand, it allows to radiate in the most interesting points of interest of the south.
Saint-Pierre is a bustling port city. It has many points of interest such as:
- its seafront market, one of the most beautiful in France
- the Tamil Narassingua Perournal Temple with splendid and colorful architecture: Hinduism is the second most practiced religion on the island
- Terre-Sainte , to the southeast of the town is a small fishing village. The atmosphere is relaxed and under the banyan trees of Reunion, you can even come across dominoes players
- the Saga du Rhum , one of the must-sees, this museum is located within the Isautier family distillery and traces the history of rum production on the island
In addition to the points of interest offered by the city, Saint-Pierre provides access in about twenty minutes by car to essentials such as:
- Grand’Anse beach , one of the most beautiful on the island because it is of great beauty. It is not easy to swim there, but a natural swimming pool has been built with basalt rocks in order to swim in complete safety.
- Etang-Salé beach, a rare volcanic sand beach made from a mixture of basalt and coral
- the Manapy basin , natural swimming pool of Saint-Joseph, a unique place very popular with locals
- a little further, about fifty minutes away, the Langevin waterfall, Grand Galet , a magnificent place where several waterfalls flow into a basin
In summary, Saint-Pierre and its surroundings is a cultural area , active as well as an easily accessible place to stay in Reunion to shine on the rest of the island.
Our Good Addresses in the South of the Island
THE FLAPPING BLADES €€
Located in Saint-Pierre on the beach, this charming 3-star hotel offers a view of the sea . These comfortable rooms are fully equipped and offer a pleasant place to stay in Saint-Pierre. The hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool as well as a restaurant and a wellness center to make your stay in Reunion a pleasant one.
LAGOON SIDE GUEST HOUSE €€
This establishment offers guest rooms that offer a view of the lagoon . Its rooms are spacious and include a terrace. Its homemade breakfast and jacuzzi add a pleasant touch to your stay. It’s a nice place to sleep.
PALM HOTEL & SPA €€€
This luxury hotel offers a seductive experience in the heart of the wild south of Reunion. It offers a jacuzzi on its beach overlooking the Grand’Anse. These rooms are well equipped and very comfortable. The establishment offers restaurants with panoramic views of the ocean . Everything is there to make this accommodation a pleasant place to stay.
Stay Around the Cirque De Salazie
The Cirque de Salazie is a must for your adventure in Reunion. It is the wettest of the three because there are many waterfalls , streams and precipitation is more numerous.
By car, you have to take the only road that starts from Saint-André in the northeast of the island. This route, quite easy, offers beautiful views of waterfalls and gorges covered with vegetation.
In the vicinity of the village of Salazie, we find Hell-Bourg . A traditional and picturesque village, it is one of the most beautiful in France with its authentic and colorful Creole huts . It can be an interesting place to stay on the island.
Overall, the circus and its surroundings are a famous base for hikers who come to Reunion Island. There are many hikes there and it is not uncommon to stay here for 2 or even 3 nights, here, in order to fully live the experience.
Hell-Bourg and Salazie are respectively less than 7 kilometers from each other, the journey takes about fifteen minutes by car.
A few of the points of interest will be a little closer to one or the other, so the total travel time may differ a bit. But both offer an easy access point to nearby sites and hikes:
- the Trou de Fer viewpoint , accessible from Hell-Bourg in just over 3 hours on foot
- the view of the Cirque de Salazie at the Gîte de Bélouve is a little over 2 hours’ walk from Hell-Bourg
- in about twenty minutes walk from Salazie you are close to the Voile de la Marie waterfall
Note that the ascent of the Piton des Neiges is possible from the Cirque de Salazie. It is longer than by Cilaos. Count from here about 10 hours round trip (compared to about 7h30 from Cilaos).
The accommodation offer is really limited . There are few of them and that is why you have to book in advance to stay in Salazie. However, its many waterfalls, its green mountain sides and its beautiful hikes make the Cirque de Salazie a little paradise in which to stay.
BED AND BREAKFAST L’ORCHIDÉE ROSE €
This charming traditional guest house is located in Hell-bourg. It offers comfortable rooms and a view of the mountains from its terrace. It is a small, simple accommodation in which it is pleasant to stay cheap .
THE CIMES RELAY €€
In Hell-Bourg, this reasonably priced hotel has comfortable rooms . The restaurant offers local cuisine and the accommodation its breakfast which make this accommodation a popular stopover to stay in the Cirque de Salazie.
Accommodation in Reunion at the Cirque De Cilaos
Sleeping in Cilaos means spending the night at the foot of the Piton des Neiges , at around 1200 meters above sea level . Cirque de Cilaos is the driest and sunniest of the three.
Its access is not so easy since to get there, you have to take its only road and certainly one of the most impressive in Reunion. It is nicknamed “the Road with 420 bends”, it is made up of narrow passages where sometimes only one car passes. Vigilance is therefore essential.
Arriving in Cilaos, we discover a charming village , courted by hikers. Accommodation here is above all for its hiking trails or activities such as canyoning. Just above the village, there is a magnificent view of the Cirque de Cilaos: the Roche Merveilleuse.
It is also the starting point for several essential walks such as:
- the one that leads to the Bras Rouge waterfalls , where you can even swim
- for the more adventurous, the emblematic hike to the summit of Piton des Neiges which culminates at an altitude of 3071m. It is the highest peak in the Indian Ocean and you have to climb for more than 4 hours, usually at night in order to watch the sunrise!
On the other side of the village, we find:
- the Chapelle trail is a great classic and its canyon is more than 100m high and more than 10m wide: you can see incredible landscapes of the circus on the upper part. You will also have to get your feet wet to reach the end of the fault
On the accommodation side , we discover small hotels, bungalows, villas or even Bed and Breakfasts. The choice is varied but not very numerous. It is therefore strongly recommended to book as soon as possible.
If you come to Reunion for its trails and hikes, the Cirque de Cilaos is a must . Given its difficulty of access, and depending on its program, it is practical to spend one or more nights there.
LA VILLA KAZUERA & SPA €
In Cilaos, at the foot of the Piton des Neiges, this inexpensive accommodation offers clean and comfortable rooms . It is pleasant and relaxing to stay there. Equipped with a jacuzzi on the terrace, you can also observe the mountains and relax.
HOTEL DES NEIGES €€
In the heart of the circus, it offers comfortable rooms as well as heated outdoor swimming pools so you can relax. It is very good value for money to sleep in Reunion near Cilaos.
OTROIZA HOTEL €€
Near the Piton des Neiges, this accommodation has clean, spacious and pleasant rooms. Its hearty breakfast and welcoming team make it a popular place.
Accommodation around the Piton De La Fournaise
The Piton de la Fournaise is certainly one of the main attractions of Reunion Island. Sleeping in its surroundings or at least considering the idea of staying nearby is completely normal.
Even if for the most experienced, it takes about 5 hours there and back to cover its 12 kilometers. It is therefore advisable to take the day to fully enjoy this exceptional hike.
The road from Saint-Pierre is not very long, but sleeping around the Piton de la Fournaise has a practical side. Indeed, to climb it and see the sunrise, it is best to leave very early in the morning (even at midnight).
And from Saint-Pierre you have to add about 45 minutes by car to reach the car park.
For accommodation, the Plaine des Cafres or more precisely Bourg-Murat is thus a very practical option . We rather unearth holiday homes, relays or other bed and breakfasts as accommodation offers.
Note that if you want to climb the Piton des Neiges , the Plaine des Cafres is also a starting point. This is the one with the least elevation gain but it is by far the longest: 11h30 are needed to go there and back!
Sleeping in the surroundings of Piton de la Fournaise is not the choice to make to shine in Reunion. But it is a practical option to stay there to climb it.
Our Hotel Addresses in this Part of Reunion Island
THE GREVILLEAS, ROOMS AND TABLE D’HÔTES €
Boasting a view and a magnificent setting, the establishment offers comfortable guest rooms in Bourg-Murat. This accommodation also offers dinner upon request, at an additional cost. The benevolent welcome of the host makes it an attractive stopover. A good accommodation located near the Piton de la Fournaise.
HOTEL L’ECRIN €€
Located just 150m from the volcanic observatory, this leafy hotel offers spacious rooms with a terrace and an apartment. Excursions are offered to explore the Piton des Neiges. A jacuzzi and a sauna are available for relaxation.
BEAUTIFUL LIFE €€€
Located on the Plaine des Cafres, near the Piton de la Fournaise, this beautiful villa offers 2 comfortable bedrooms , a living room and a fully equipped kitchen to make this accommodation a pleasant place to stay in Reunion . It also has a sauna where you can relax at the end of your day.
To Stay in Saint-Denis, the Largest City on Reunion Island?
Capital of Reunion, Saint-Denis, in the north, is a dynamic city which is rather considered as a place of passage. Nevertheless, it has been trying for several years to reverse the trend by investing in several rehabilitation projects (particularly its seafront) or even construction (the viaduct which connects it to Saint-Paul).
Among the few places to visit, we stroll on the rue de Paris , the historic axis of the city center. On the seafront, we discover the Barachois district , a former relaxed and friendly place, as well as a makeshift port. Right next to it you can also see several buildings of the Compagnie des Indes.
We find there the multiculturalism specific to Reunion with its Cathedral , and its own architecture, the Kali Kampal Temple in bright colors and its Noor-E-Islam Mosque , long considered the oldest in France (before the integration of Mayotte) .
In addition, there are some interesting museums such as the Natural History Museum or the Léon Dierx Museum , dedicated to the poet and painter of the same name. You can also stroll through its Botanical Garden or the Parc de la Trinité .
It is pleasant to come there for a day in order to feel its atmosphere of the capital, but sleeping there does not offer much interest . Accommodation in the west of Reunion, towards Saint-Gilles in particular, offers more advantages.
Saint Denis remains today, the place of arrival on this territory. You can spend some time there to see its few places of interest. However, regarding accommodation, you will have understood that this is not the most interesting place to stay in Reunion Island.
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