My journey started at Heathrow, where I boarded the plane for the 12-hour flight to Mauritius. Upon arrival, having flown overnight, we were then whisked away to the Yu Lounge – a private Terminal which provides a VIP service, for a small additional cost, to both private jets and commercial aircrafts. Here you can relax in comfort whilst the formalities of luggage collection, and immigration are dealt with in approximately 30 minutes, before you take your transfer to your hotel. We then made the 15-minute journey to our first hotel. The Shandrani, a stunning all inclusive resort on the South East Coast of Mauritius, which faces the Blue Bay National Marine Park. Once we had been taken to our deluxe beachfront rooms, we met in teams for a treasure hunt style tour of the resort. We viewed all the different types of accommodation and I was immediately impressed by standard of fittings, and the spacious feel of them all. I must also add at this point that the food throughout all of Beachcombers Hotels is outstanding, with a wide choice to suit absolutely all tastes. It was amazing.
The Shandrani offers an All Inclusive package which extends to the variety of watersports offered at the resort. The resort offers everything you could want from a holiday, catering for couples (especially Honeymooners) and families alike. On our second day, we were taken to see some of the other attractions that the Island has in store for its visitors. We were divided into three groups, with some taking a tour of Bois Cheri Tea Factory and the sacred lake of Grand bassin, whilst another group went to the Casela Wildlife and Adventure Park and tried their hand at zip wires, which gave a stunning view of the gorges below. If you were brave enough to look that is ! My group also visited La Vanille, Reptile and Tortoise Park and met with the Giant Tortoises.
The third group went on a speed boat tour of the coast, to view the nature sanctuary of Ile Aux Aigrettes, the pretty inland waterfalls, and the beautiful area of Ile Aux Cerfs, before we all met up at the next hotel, Trou Aux Biches. That evening we dined in one of the luxurious villa suites, and were treated to a wonderful meal, prepared by the resort chefs. This catered service is available to anyone who would like to have a more intimate dining experience rather than eating in one of the six stunning restaurants.
On our third day we were hosted by the staff at La Victoria, Le Canonnier and Le Mauricia, all fantastic hotels, again offering the range of services, Spa facilities and sporting activites for guests, whether they wish to relax or spend their time on more active pursuits. We tried our hands at archery before enjoying a very relaxing hand and arm spa treatment at Le Canonnier. The Spa has been built in and around a magnificent banyan tree, with its roots trailing from the branches until they touch the ground. After a lavish lobster dinner on the beach at Le Mauricia, we let off Chinese lanterns and then walked into the Grand Baie area in the evening to sample the night life at the Banana Bar. This area is definitely somewhere I would recommend for anyone who likes to enjoy the Island outside of the resort. I can also whole heartedly recommend the Pina Coladas.
Day Four took us to the Jewel in Beachcomber’s Crown, The Royal Palm. An absolutely amazing hotel where guests are treated rather aptly like royalty. The level of service towards their clients is absolutely second to none, and the well manicured gardens and facilities are stunning. We were then transferred to our next hotel by helicopter! and had a wonderful journey (my first ever flight in a helicopter) taking in the beautiful scenery of the Island and the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean.
We landed on the helipad, situated within the championship 18 hole golf course at Le Paradis. And with its sister hotel Dinarobin just next door they are dominated by the iconic rock formation known as Le Morne Brabant. Guests are welcome to dine at any of the eight restaurants, with four at Le Paradis and four situated at Dinarobin.
After a tour of the two resorts we were taken by speed boat, out to a catamaran for a sunset boat trip. With music, champagne and a barbeque on board we had a magical evening, the pinnacle of which was a pod of dolphins who chose to swim along in front of the catamaran. It was a beautiful end to a day I will never forget. Our penultimate day was spent being wedding planners for a couple, so that we could see first hand how a wedding is performed at Dinarobin.
We were divided again into teams, and were taught how to make wedding bouquets and button holes, to ice and decorate a wedding cake, and to make a selection of canapes, for the evening reception. The wedding turned out to be a staged wedding between two of the Beachcomber staff, (very amusing). But it certainly gave us an idea of the attention to detail and level of care that the staff at the resort put into every wedding.
At all of Beachcomber resorts there will only ever be one wedding taking place on one day. This ensures that each couple’s day is especially for them, and that they have the undivided attention of the staff. With its white sandy beaches, beautifully clear waters and the wonderful hospitality of the Mauritian people, and not forgetting the amazing food. I can honestly say that Mauritius has left me longing to go back………………………