Our wonderful family trip to South Africa involved an extra element; an onward flight to Mauritius for a five night stay, compliments of Beachcomber hotels. I have booked many clients to the island over the years and I had knowledge of the place but was I was looking forward to experiencing it first-hand.
Mauritius is everything I envisaged and more. A volcanic island, 65 km long and 45 km wide, situated in the Indian Ocean. Famous for its beaches, lagoons and coral reefs this beautiful island also offers mountainous regions, rain forests and waterfalls. Mauritius has a multi-ethnic culture with Hinduism being the predominant religion. The island is fortunate to have lovely weather all year round with coastal areas varying between 22 degres in winter and 34 degrees in summer. The western and northern regions are warmer and relatively drier than the east and the south.
We arrived on the island after a direct four hour flight from Johannesburg and transferred to our first night stay at the Shandrani Resort & Spa, only 15 minutes from the airport on the South East of the island. A 4 star deluxe hotel, situated on a gorgeous peninsular, bordered by three beautiful beaches. It was surrounded by a unique marine park making it one of the best places for diving and snorkelling. We were lucky enough to be taken out on a boat to snorkel amongst the reefs and the sea life was stunning. This hotel is fantastic for families, sport enthusiasts and nature lovers. It also has the added benefit of offering an All Inclusive package.
After the wonderful hospitality of our first night stay, we were taken to our second hotel for two nights at the Dinarobin Hotel Golf & Spa. A 5 star deluxe hotel with an air of sophistication and elegance. During our stay we were lucky enough to experience a one hour body massage in the world acclaimed Spa. Dinarobin is situated right next to the 5 star Paradis Hotel. The facilities at both hotels are interchangeable!
I loved the Paradis Hotel! Having just undergone an extensive renovation, it has a fantastic vibe. With its plentiful activities both on land and sea. This amazing hotel is situated on a private 150 hectare peninsula, with the famous Le Morne Mountain as a back drop.
Golfers would be in heaven at both of these hotels, with the world class 18 hole Golf course, set within the grounds of the hotels, spread along the most spectacular peninsular.
On day four of our visit, it was time to travel to the north of the island, visiting places of interest on route. We drove through many villages and towns, most of which had a wonderful Hindu feel, locals seem to live a very simply but happy existence. We stopped off to see the Charmanel Waterfall that cascades into a beautiful gorge followed by a quick stop at Seven Coloured Earth Reserve, a geological phenomenon. As we travelled further north we visited the Grand Bassin Lake. The lake lies in the crater of an extinct volcano and apparently the water communicates with the waters of the Holy Ganges. I entered the little temple that sat alongside the lake, where I was blessed with a third eye.
Our day ended at the Le Victoria Hotel, situated between the tourist town of Grand Baie and the capital Port Louis. Our one night stay here was very enjoyable. A 4 star hotel offering an All Inclusive package with an extremely lively atmosphere both day and night. I would certainly recommend this property to families with children of all ages.
The next day was filled with hotel inspections. The first on our list was the Le Mauricia. This hotel is situated right in the middle of the lively tourist town, Grand Baie. It has a very casual atmosphere, lacking the sophistication of all the other Beachcomber properties, but ideal for anyone looking for a base close to a resort centre. The staff were very friendly and hospitable and it seemed very popular with repeat guests.
The second half of our day involved lunch (a spectacular extravaganza!) and a site inspection at the Le Canonnier Hotel. It lies on a stunning peninsular, with super little sandy coves. The extensive grounds are extremely pretty, lying amongst historical landmarks, bearing testimony to the island’s colonial past. The Wellness Centre is built amongst the branches of an ancient Banyan Tree and the kids club is based in an old light house. This hotel was a real surprise for me. Although it is not presented as the most luxurious hotel within the Beachcombers group, I thought it was wonderful and would certainly return there for my own holiday!
Our last site inspection was at the 6 star Royal Palm, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. A beautiful boutique hotel, with an intimate and luxurious atmosphere, designed for the more discerning guests. Although I must say; the food at Le Canonnier far excided even the standard of this hotel!
Our final stay was at the stunning Trou Aux Biches. Another 5 star luxury hotel and although it was there as one of the top hotels, it still had a wonderful relaxed feel. Situated on one of the most beautiful beaches of Mauritius, the best really was left to last. I loved it here and did not want to leave! We were given the keys to the most stunning bedrooms, with our very own plunge pool, we were told to meet on the beach. I ended our last night floating in the Indian Ocean with a glass of Champagne, witnessing the most wonderful sunset. What a memorable way to end our stay!
I will return to this most magical of islands!