Michaela murder hotel stays top of travel review poll
THE five-star resort where newlywed Michaela McAreavey was murdered is still considered the best in region.
The Legends Hotel in Grand Gaube, Mauritius, has remained in the number one spot on travel website tripadvisor, despite its tarnished reputation.
The enquiry into the killing of former Rose of Tralee contestant Michaela (27) is set to open in nine days, but it does not appear to have damaged the standing of the hotel.
Dozens of travellers have left reviews since the tragedy took place five months ago and the vast majority gave the hotel over five stars.
While tripadvisor has been previously criticised for removing negative comments about the luxury hotel, just over half of this year's reviews make reference to the murder of the teacher from Co Tyrone, showing some regard for the tragedy.
"Coming from N Ireland[sic], Legends has had some bad press but dont [sic] let that put you off this place is magical and we cannot wait to come back," a Belfast man wrote.
A number of holidaymakers made a point of reassuring potential customers.
"We were at the hotel when the 'incident' happened," a Scottish native wrote.
"Thankfully this was unique and not a situation I would worry about should you decide to holiday in Mauritius.
"It is a safe place to go to and incidents against tourists are rare and should not be held against the hotel or the island - though I do have to say the management team handled it very well and kept all of the guests informed and moved those that wished to move - we stayed and loved every minute."
Tripadvisor previously admitted to taking down some comments which were posted two days after Michaela's death.
"Reviews will be removed from tripadvisor if the review does not meet our guidelines, one of which is that reviews must be based on the traveller's own experience," a spokeswoman for the company said.
Three men have been charged in connection with the killing of the daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte on January 10.
The suspects all worked at the Legends Hotel where newlyweds John (30) and Michaela McAreavey stayed.
Hotel attendant Avinash Treebhowoon (29) and floor supervisor Sandip Mooneea (41) were charged with murder. They have been denied bail and are awaiting trial.
A third man, security officer Dassen Narayanen (26) was charged with conspiracy. He was released on bail in April.
Mauritian detectives believe that Michaela caught the first two men stealing money from her room and they panicked and attacked her.
Police think a crime ring operating in the five-star resort targeted the room and other staff members are involved in the theft, if not the murder.
The preliminary trial is scheduled to start on June 20.