Mauritius - My Favourite Island Getaway
Tuesday 15th May 2012
I was lucky enough to visit Mauritius for the 7th time in May 2012. This time it was for the Travel Counsellors South African Conference which was held at Shandrani Hotel on the south east coast.
Two days before the conference, I went to Grand Baie so I could get some retail therapy. It is a place where I love to shop and pick up some bargains. Mauritius isn’t a place for fancy shopping, it is more for “fun shopping” i.e. bracelets, necklaces, sarongs, beach towels, hairclips, t-shirts, baskets etc. It is also well known for its textiles and rum.
I stayed at Le Mauricia Hotel for 2 nights which is in the heart of Grand Baie up in the north. It is a very short walk along the beach to the centre of the village with lots of restaurants, bars, shops, banks etc. My favourite shopping places are Grand Baie Bazaar and the Super U (which is like a Pick ‘n Pay). Bargaining is the order of the day at the Bazaar and I feel that is part of the fun of the whole experience.
Le Mauricia is a 4 Star hotel with a small beach and 2 lovely swimming pools overlooking the beach. It also has 2 restaurants. This is the place to stay if you want to be where the action is. It also has its own night club.
After some good retail therapy I went down south of the island to the Shandrani Hotel which is in the south east near the airport. I have always loved this hotel for its three beautiful beaches and the relaxed holiday feeling of the whole place. My favourite beach is the Wild Beach. The hotel has 5 restaurants which make dining a pleasure as you don’t need to eat at the same restaurant over and over as there is plenty of choice. It also has a large Wellness Centre where one can relax and be pampered. The hotel has free WIFI which I find very useful for clients who like to stay in touch. The conference facilities are very good. The hotel rooms are a reasonable size and are about to be refurbished. I know they will be lovely once done. The Shandrani has more activities than most hotels. One of the very popular activities is the Sailing Club. There is also water skiing, wind surfing, glass bottom boats, and pedalos etc. There really is something for everyone. It is a 10 minute transfer from the airport which is really nice as most hotels are at least 1 hour or more from the airport.
I also had the opportunity to visit Club Med La Plantation d’Albion which is on the west coast of the island. It has spacious rooms, a great restaurant with many choices of food, a very good kiddies club as well as a zen area just for adults. They have the only trapeze on the island so for the brave and adventurous, it is a fun activity they can’t get elsewhere. Children can use it too, under the supervision of the kiddies’ club staff. The beach has lovely inviting loungers on it, so for those who want to relax, they can do so on the beach in comfort.
Reasons I love Mauritius – it is a quick 4 hour flight from South Africa, the weather is almost always good, most hotels have “kiddies clubs” which means adults and kids both have a relaxing fun holiday and South African passport holders don’t need a visa.
Important Tips – I always take an “all inclusive” basis when visiting Mauritius as food and drinks can be very pricey and it is definitely worth it in the long run. Most all inclusive deals include water, tea, coffee and all kinds of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks as well cocktails, snacks and lunch.
I hope to be back in sunny Mauritius very soon again. I just can’t keep myself away from the island which has become my “happy place”! Let me take you there so you can enjoy it too.
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