Hi Briar, 

Thanks so much for following up on our holiday with us.  We had a terrific time and yes it was brilliant to have some summer weather to enjoy.  We would definitely recommend Chateau Royal Beach Resort & Spa, it was lovely and very well located.  The coach was at the airport to meet us and the trip to the hotel was good.  The 2 bedroom apartment had a view of the sea over the pool and the 1 bedroom had a view of the sea the other way towards the Le Meridien.  Both were nice but the view on the pool side would be our pick as that side of the hotel got the afternoon sun which made the balcony and lounge a gorgeous place to relax in the afternoon and watch the sun go down. The apartment kitchen were well set up with everything you need from a fridge/freezer, hobs, combo microwave, dishwasher, kettle and all the crockery, cutlery, utensils, pots and pans that you are likely to need.  The area is also great for walking as it is very flat but there are also some hills if you want something a little bit more energetic.  The views from the top are well worth the extra effort.

We had dinner at the restaurant downstairs, La Pirogue three times but we didn’t eat at the upstairs restaurant as it was a quite a bit more expensive and also had less vegetarian options.  The food was delicious, it was a bit on the pricey side but that is to be expected in New Caledonia and at a hotel restaurant.  Within a 10 minute walk of the hotel there is a large selection of restaurants.  One of which is the Stone Grill which we would definitely recommend.  We would also recommend L'Atelier Gourmand - 141, Route de l'Anse Vata – just up the road from The Hilton.  It is an awesome patisserie with delicious pastries, cakes, filled and unfilled baguettes, breads etc etc.  They are open from 5am until 7 pm every day and everything is fresh and delicious. Also, between the Hilton and the L'Atelier Gourmand Patisserie there are 2 supermarkets which are great for buying cold drinks, cheeses, snacks etc to take back to the hotel.  They also sell a limited selection of wine.  We found the one closest to the Hilton the better of the two as it had a better selection and it was slightly cheaper on a couple of things.

Yes we did heaps of swimming both in the sea and in the hotel pool.  I forgot to say that while Chateau Royal doesn’t hire water sports equipment, Le Meridian right next door does and it wasn’t a problem at all to hire from them.  We hired stand up paddleboards and kayaks which were great fun.  They were about NZD13.50 each per half hour.  Also the beach is really nice and great for swimming.  We didn’t go snorkelling as there were only a few small fish to see off the beach and we decided to relax rather than do a snorkelling day trip.  We did take the local bus to Noumea which was super easy and only cost about NZD2.85 per person each way.  There isn’t much in the way of shopping but it was great to have a look around.

I also forgot to say about the breakfast at the hotel.  We were very impressed with it.  They had a wide selection of things and it was served from 6 am until 10.30 am so you could have a lie in if you wanted to and then still go down for breakfast.  They have scrambled eggs out each morning but we discovered on the last day that you can actually have eggs and omelettes made to order if you want.  Also, if you have an early check out they deliver a large selection of items to your room the night before (it was about 6 pm).  You get so much that we actually ate the breads, cold meats and cheeses for dinner and we had the fresh fruit, cereal and fruit juices for breakfast before we left and we still probably only ate about 2/3 of what they delivered.  It says you need to arrange for it to be delivered but when we went to do that they had already organised it for us.

Thanks again for all your help