Mauritius is a beautiful volcanic island where everything is easily accessible. With a driver or a private hire car you can get from one side of the island to the other in little more than an hour. During my week-long trip I managed to see most of what the island has to offer and have picked out a few of my favourite resorts and experiences.
The Oberoi = One of the most impressive resorts I visited Mauritius. Terracotta paths lead through manicured lawns, past striking head sculptures and artefacts. There are 20 acres of landscaped tropical gardens to explore. Top quality 5 Star boutique option with an Indonesian looking design. It is a Village concept, boasting luxury pavilions and private pool villas on Turtle Bay. All Villas are sea facing and the views of the mountains across Turtle bay are spectacular. Situated on the Sheltered Northwest Coast in Historic Balaclava region of Mauritius. There are heritage monuments from the French colonial military scattered on the hotel grounds. I particularly enjoyed this aspect of the resort and thought it added some extra character. Popular with celebs and politicians for the privacy it offers.
Port Louis Visit = Port Louis, the capital city is the place that reflects the cosmopolitan life of the country. The best way to explore is on foot and I took a walk around the markets, full of good smells, fruit, Veg, Spices, trinkets etc. It like a Moroccan bazaar and a feast for the senses. Famous “Dholl Purris” & “Chilli cakes” are a must try in the market. The museum Aapravasi Ghat is also an interesting visit while In Port Louis. This is where slaves and then Immigrants first entered Mauritius mostly to work on the Sugar Cain plantations that still cover much of the landscape. The museum gives a fascinating history of the birth of the country and shows the roots of Creole culture and why Mauritius is so Multi cultural as contract workers came in from different parts of the British Empire after the abolition of slavery.
Traditional Mauritian lunch with Marie Michelle = Maurie Michelle’s farmhouse is set in the Midlands of Mauritius in a small village close to the town of Curepipe. It is a beautiful spot. This is a truly authentic Mauritian experience with incredibly tasty food. All fresh from the farm, lovely curries and stews and Mauritian delicacies. The homemade ginger rum was a highlight. Not only did I enjoy the most amazing local food, but I also learnt a little about Mauritian family life and culture. Michelle was a very generous host.
St Regis = In my opinion St Regis is set on the island’s most stunning stretch of beach on Mauritius’ southwest tip. The giant monolith, Le Morne mountain, provides a dramatic backdrop, and a heady climb, and Black River Gorge National Park and a dolphin safari are nearby. Le Morne is also the island’s best kitesurfing spot. The St Regis is designed in the traditional Mauritian colonial style and the rooms are all elegant with light interiors and fantastic views of the sea. Highly recommended for beach and water sports enthusiasts that enjoy a bit of old-world charm.
Aqua Soleil Excursion = Probably the most fun you can have in Mauritius! Starting off on the South East coast of Blue Bay Marine park I enjoyed a sedate glass bottomed boat ride. Things went up a notch when we then swapped over to a high-powered speedboat and the beers came out (phoenix beer is the local Mauritian beer and very tasty), and the Rum (jungle juice). First, we visited an old French shipwreck from 1902 which is still stuck on the Coral Reef. Then we went on to the protected bird island of Ile aux Aigrettes and played on the beach and swam. The views looking back at the mainland were spectacular. (You have to take a guide if you wish to explore the island, but I saw lots of colourful birds just from the beach) Then we visited an isolated sandbank and swam to it from the boat. Then we went to a lighthouse island and took in more amazing views. Then we went up a river and looked at locals daringly jumping from a waterfall before finally going to Ile Aux Cerf for lunch and enjoying fresh lobster. The whole day was fantastic, and our boat captain ensured everyone was partying and having fun.
Shanti Maurice = Rustic 5 star property in a particularly spectacular position along the south coast. The beach is very picturesque in a sheltered cove with a lovely mix of sandy beach and more rocky areas. Ideal for guests looking for a more authentic Mauritian experience with its rum shed and its La Kaze Mama restaurant serving fresh ingredients picked directly from the herb and vegetable garden. Has a character and charm unlike any of the other 5 stars. For me this was the most barefoot luxury property I visited.
Four Seasons = Probably the top hotel in Mauritius. It has an individual villa concept with each villa coming with their own private pool. An ideal retreat for high end guests with an over-water spa and plenty of world-class dining options. The spacious villas are private; all come with their own pools and many have views of the surrounding lagoon. Inland, an 18-hole, Ernie Els-designed golf course provides a buffer from the outside world. It is the comparable to an uber 5 star in the Maldives.