Memories made in Mauritius

May Swan-Easton on 04 November 2011
Journey: Non-stop British Airways from Gatwick with a 12 hour flying time. Other airlines also offer the route on a non-stop & indirect basis.

Weather: Mauritius has 2 seasons; Summer from Oct-April (their cyclone season is in during the month of February) with & Winter May-Sep. Mauritius enjoys an average year round temperature of 32 degrees.

My accommodation: 5* Long Beach Hotel on the East Coast of Mauritius. A brand new hotel which opened April 2011 on the longest stretch of beach in Mauritius. Something completely different for Mauritius as its Uber trendy, with spacious airy rooms. The main feature of the hotel is an urban-style piazza with surrounding restaurants, shops & bars. This is where the evening entertainment takes place with Sega dancers, local dance troupes, bands and the weekly Managers cocktail party. It’s a great place for parents to have a drink and watch their children play safely in the centrally located Piazza Square in the evening and during the day there is a children’s club & pool. The resort also has a large spa and hamman for adults.

There are 255 rooms at the resort with different 2 categories arranged in 3 ‘crescents’. Every room has a view of the ocean but the cost of the room depends on the actual location on the resort. The chic contemporary designs blend together with open-air & indoor living. Rooms feature a 42’’ LCD flat-screen TV, IPod docking stations, digital clocks, radios, electronic room safes, hairdryers, A/C and international direct telephone. Bathrooms have twin basins, a separate shower, bath & WC. The children have their own specially designed bathroom in the Family rooms.

Free Wi-Fi everywhere at the resort even on the beach!

Tipping in Mauritius is not compulsory unlike other countries, and do not have a fixed percentage tipping policy. It's not uncommon to leave a small tip to your room maid at the end of your stay but many hotels operate a ‘common tip box’ policy.

What to do locally: • Miles of soft golden sand beaches for sunbathing. • Mauritius is a paradise for deep sea fishing. The ocean is 70 metres deep one kilometre away from the coast. Huge fishes like the Blue Marlin roam the seas and hunt around the island from November to April, and often until May • There are three 18 hole Golf Courses & five 9 hole courses the most popular being one on its own tropical island. All have instructors & offer private tuition, golf balls, clubs and caddies can be hired. • Mauritius has an enviable reputation for textiles production, namely T-shirts & knitwear. Leading brands of shirts, trousers, suits, dresses, suits for women, shorts or swimwear are sold at unbeatable prices. Basketwork, embroidery, pottery, gem stones, spices, tea and rum can all be found at reasonable prices including Duty Free shopping. • Balaclava Ruins a few metres away from Baie aux Tortues, which 17th century sailors named after the many tortoises in the area, can be found the ruins of the old Balaclava estate. • Pamplemousses Botanical Garden • St Louis the Capital city • Safari adventures & Lion encounter at Casela Nature & Leisure Park • Horse-riding • Snorkelling & scuba diving • Giant Tortoises and crocodiles at Riviere des Anguilles

Transportation: Depending on where you stay there are local buses but timetables rarely exist and some stops are merely a pole in the ground. Taxis are expensive so either hire a car & driver for the day that will take you around the island and show you the sights & tell you of its history from an islander’s perspective. Book and organised Excursion or hire a car for a few days, but be careful at as the police are very strict on speeding.

Food: Fresh fish & seafood in abundance. Creole flavours due to the French influence and also Portuguese as they discovered the island back in 1507.

Venturing further afield: Mauritius is a great destination to combine with South Africa or Dubai.

My view: A French-based Creole is the everyday language in Mauritius. Yet almost everyone speaks French and English. Mauritius is great for families, couples or friends.

Top tip: Make sure you stay on the right part of the island for your holiday. Each coast offers something different in the form of climate, scenery, types of beaches & remoteness so think about what type of experience you want from your holiday in Mauritius to ensure I help you choose the right resort & location.