The conference will be held at Hotel Le Récif in Saint-Gilles-Les-Bains, La Réunion.
The hotel is located literally right next to the most renowned beach of the island, with a direct access to a coral reef protected by a marine reserve (bring your snorkeling equipment if you have some !).
You have the option to either stay on-site at the conference hotel (Hotel Le Récif) or find an alternate accommodation in the vicinity. The area has anything from rental apartments, AirBnB, to hotel of different price ranges). As the area is a popular tourist destination, you’ll have options but accommodations can get quickly booked so we strongly recommend you book as early as possible. Note that many accommodations allow canceling a booking at no cost until a few weeks before the stay (ex. on Booking.com), so check their cancellation policies and consider booking as early as you can and canceling later if needed.
We have a small block of rooms held for GeoHab participants at the Hotel Le Récif until March 31st. Those rooms are available from the Sunday 7th to Saturday 13th. Negociated price at the Hotel Le Récif is 120 euros/night (single occupancy) or 150 euros/night (double occupancy), both including breakfast (with an extra 1.1 euro/night tax). You also have the option to include dinners at the hotel for an extra 25 euros/night (note that our conference supper will be on Wednesday evening at another venue). Requests for room at the conference hotel can be done at the time of the registration. The block of room may not meet all the needs so they will be allocated on a first in, first served basis.
Other accommodations include (but are not restricted to):
• Hotel Coco Island (20 mins walk from the conference venue, near the beach)
• Hotel de la Plage (20 mins walk from the conference venue, downtown Saint Gilles)
• Hotel le Grand Bleu (near the Hotel La Plage, next to the harbour)
• Village de Corail (5 mins walk from the conference hotel – budget rooms only available from Monday to Friday)
• Hotel Les Creoles (right across the road from the conference venue! – but now appears to be full for some nights of the conference)
Note that some hotels offer packages that include the supper. If this is a convenient option (and often cheaper as a full menu will cost you much more in restaurants), many restaurant options exist within a 15-minute walk radius. Also keep in mind we have the ice-breaker (with some light food) on Monday and the conference dinner on Wednesday.
Flying to La Réunion
Yes, we say “Flying to…” as it is an island! La Reunion has an international airport located at about an hour from the hotel, the Roland Garros airport (airport code: RUN).
The easiest options to reach La Réunion are:
• Daily flights from Paris (Roissy or Orly airports depending on the flights), France, several times a day with several companies (e.g., Air France, Air Austral, Corsair, French Bee)
• Regular (but not daily) flights from/to Johannesburg (South Africa), Bangkok (Thailand) and Chennai (India) on Air Austral
• Daily flights from the nearby island of Mauritius (45 mins flight), which itself is better connected with for instance direct flights from Perth (Australia), Dubai (UAE), Hong Kong, London (UK), Frankfurt (Germany), etc.
Main companies flying directly to La Réunion:
Due to the long travel time, but also the fact that La Réunion is a renowned touristic destination, we strongly recommend you take some personal time to visit the island before or after the conference! A lot of budget/backpacker options exist to make the stay affordable.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to the Tourism Reunion people to get advice on things to do/see. Key touristic spots include the volcano (NB. Friday’s field trip will get you there if the weather cooperates) and the three “Cirques” of Cilaos, Salazie and Mafate (the last one is only accessibly by foot).
Transportation from/to the airport to the conference venue is relatively easy using the public transportation system using the Route T of Car jaunes departing from the Roland Garros airport every 1-2 hours (tickets are 5 euros, to purchase in the airport, through their app or sometime directly in cash in the bus) – The schedule is only in French but should be understandable (usual bus table format – careful though as schedule changes between week days (“Lundi au vendredi”) – the first yellow block of time – saturdays (“Samedi”) – the second one, and sundays (“Dimanche”) – the last block in grey). It may be harder to get a bus when arriving late in the day (in this case, it may be best to spend the first night in Saint-Denis or favor another type of transportation mode). The last bus on Saturday 6th leaves at 8:00PM, while the last buses on Sunday and Monday leave at 6:45PM (count a good 45 mins between the time your plane lands and when you can catch the bus). The closest bus stop to the conference venue is “Filaos St-Gilles” (10-15 mins of easy walk from the hotel but could be harder depending on your baggages) but depending on your accommodation you could also stop before, at “Saint-Gilles les Bains”. Note that finding a taxi in the street is generally not possible (it has to be booked) – they are also not cheap.
Note that buses are less frequent on week-ends and do not run late in the evenings so check your options if you are planning to arrive on a late flight. If you want to book a cab or check their costs, you can consult : https://www.reunion.aeroport.fr/en/passagers/transports/taxis. Note that cabs are not always available outside of the airport. The conference cannot unfortunatly organize shuttles from the airport to the hotel.
Many car rental companies exist, at the airport but also at many other places (at more affordable costs). Some car rental have offices next to the conference hotel (ITC Tropicar and Rent a Car), which can be helpful to rent a car before or after the conference. Some private shuttles also offer rides from the airport.