This year we were fortunate enough to have our annual Travel Counsellors Conference in Mauritius, from 17 – 20 May. Three of my colleagues and I decided to fly to Mauritius 2 days early so we would have the opportunity of experiencing a little more of the island.
We flew out on Air Mauritius on the direct flight (4 hours) from Durban on the Tuesday. The transfer to our hotel, Le Mauricia in Grand Baie was about 1 hour 10 minutes.
Le Mauricia had arranged for the four of us to stay in a family apartment. The set-up of these rooms is ideal for a family of 4. Our particular apartment had a room downstairs with a king-size bed and en-suite bathroom. Upstairs was another bedroom with twin beds and an en-suite bathroom. The room had access to a small private patio and enclosed garden. The rooms had tea/coffee facilities and a mini-bar, which is included if guests opt for the all-inclusive option.
The hotel has 2 restaurants, with Le Quais being the main restaurant, serving buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Le Nautic is the a la carte restauarant. The hotel is ideal for families with a mini club for children from 3 years until 12 years. There is also a wellness centre and a selection of watersports.
The hotel is less than a 10 minute walk to Grand Baie. There are many shops selling curios and souvenirs. The Grand Baie Bazaar is a must visit for those wanting to buy gifts. But you must be prepared for some tough bargaining! There are also many restaurants and bars in Grand Baie.
We then transferred to Shandrani, situated on the south-east of the island. It is near the airport – only a 10 minute transfer. The main entrance to the hotel is open and airy and you are greeted by a welcoming view of the sea.
You are spoiled for choice with 5 restaurants, 3 separate beaches, a spa and wellness centre, many watersports, including a sailing club and a dive centre.
Shandrani is a very big resort with the guest rooms set in 3-storey blocks surrounded by palm trees with views of the sea. The hotel will be undergoing a soft-refurbishment of the rooms which will be completed by mid-September 2012.
Shandrani is only sold on an all-inclusive option with Serenity Plus. This makes it a very good choice for incentives and conferences.
I had the opportunity to visit Long Beach situated on the east coast. The hotel is very new and celebrated its first anniversary in April this year. It’s a very contemporary and stylish hotel with sea views from all points in the hotel. There are 5 restaurants, including Japanese, Chinese and Italian surrounding a piazza. It has one of the longest stretches of beach of any resort in Mauritius. The rooms are spacious and all have a seaview.
It has a luxurious spa and excellent sports centre, with the island’s only rock climbing wall. The mini-club is well-equipped with its own pool.
Mauritius is an all-year around destination and I would definitely recommend it as not only a holiday destination for families, couples and honeymooners but also for incentives and conferences.
Sadly our 5 night stay was over too quickly and it was back to a chilly South Africa!