Travel Counsellors annual conference was hosted in Mauritius during May 2012.

Roshnee Govender on 17 May 2012

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Mauritius is most definitely a dream destination with green palm trees, white sandy beaches and cool cocktails. It is a short 4 hour flight away, with (currently) no visa requirements for South African’s or health requirements. Our conference was held at Beachcomber’s 5 Star Shandrani Hotel, located on the South of the Island, a mere 10 minute drive from the airport, offering an all inclusive package, which includes your drinks - be it soft or alcoholic (inclusive of cocktails) and all your meals. Food and beverages are relatively expensive in Mauritius, so an all inclusive package is highly recommended, especially if travelling with children. Should you wish to explore the island and if you will not be at the hotel during lunch time, a lunch box can be requested from the hotel. The distance from the airport is ideal for a short stay, especially for groups and conference delegates. The hotel boasts 327 rooms, as follows: superior suites, deluxe rooms, family apartments and superior rooms, all situated around a private lagoon. With 5 restaurants, a wellness centre, two swimming pools and 3 beaches, this is an awesome resort for families and couples alike. During our stay at the Shandrani, we experienced the stunning wellness centre during a charming cocktail evening. We were spoilt with good food, from a variety of buffets plus the choice of different restaurants at the resort. Our Gala Dinner – an All White themed evening for the Travel Counsellors “Angels” was experienced at La Sirius Restaurant which is another one of the alternate dining options available during your stay. Our final night was a Pirate of the Indian Ocean Islands themed evening, which was set up on the beach in front of the La Sirius Restaurant – what an amazing setting for a group function, with all delegates dressed for the occasion! One of the activities during our 3 day conference was to visit a property of our choice; I visited LUX Belle Mare (previously known at Beau Rivage Hotel) and it is a 5 Star property. This hotel is unique in its own right. We experienced a delightful lunch, set virtually on the beach. Dessert was served a few steps away, from an ice-cream booth near the pool where sugar cones are prepared whilst you wait with a choice of numerous interesting ice-cream flavours to tantalise your taste buds. The hotel offers their very own coffee bar, where they grind their own coffee. Guest may purchase their preferred blend to take home. I have only mentioned a few unique features on offer at this property. I was fortunate enough to extend my stay with my family. We stayed at the 3 Star Emeraude Beach Hotel on the East coast of the Island, which is about a 45 minutes scenic drive from the airport. It is located across the road from the beach, this property is ideal for the budget conscious traveller who is not looking for a luxurious getaway. Having said this, the staff were extremely gracious and accommodating to the guests every need. Our children felt like celebrity guests from the manner in which the staff treated them. The hotel was clean, the food was good and there was a variety of entertainment every night. The Mauritian hospitality and warmth of its people spoke in leaps and bounds at this 3 Star property. During my 10 day stay on the island, I visited in excess of 12 properties from basic 2 Star to 5 Star deluxe. I have excellent firsthand knowledge of many properties, knowing their locations and what they have to offer, and knowing which budgets will suit each property - this was the purpose of me visiting this Memorable Island of Mauritius! Looking forward to turning your dream of visiting this magical island on our door step, into a hassle free reality!

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