Value Rating: ****
We felt bad for the Grand Bay Beach Tourist Residence. We only saw one other guest the entire six night stay, and it was clear that they were having a tough year. After we checked in the owner pleaded with us, "if you like your stay, will you please post something on the internet and recommend to your friends!"
The funny thing is we kinda hit the jackpot with this budget hotel ($30 USD per night). It was in walking distance of the beach and all major shopping in Grand Bay. The hotel is perched above French and Japanese restaurants, with at least three dozen other places to eat (every type of food) within five blocks every direction. The hotel itself was clean, provided high-speed Wi-Fi (it worked the entire time), cheap on-site laundry, simple but tasty breakfasts, and a friendly staff (although one in particular was a bit nuts). For those planning a vacation to Mauritius without the disposable money for an all-inclusive beachfront hotel, this is a terrific bet.
A couple of things to note:
1) Grand Bay is nearly two hours by taxi from airport
2) Locally the hotel is known as Guest House Auberge: Colonie de Vacances (in case your taxi cab driver is confused)
3) Don't visit the water park. It's touted for families, but don't waste your time or money. It is run down, far away, and most of the rides don't work.