Having last visited the beautiful island of Mauritius in 2007, I jumped at the opportunity to return last summer as part of a Covid-delayed reward trip, kindly hosted by specialist tour operator, Beachcomber.
Following a couple of nights in Dubai, I joined my colleagues at the Shandrani Beachcomber Resort - just a short journey from the airport.
After a smooth check-in, I was shown to my home for the next four nights, a deluxe family room with views of the beautiful Indian Ocean.
Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa is set on a private peninsula with THREE different sandy beaches, two pools, and an array of complimentary water-based activities, including a water-skiing school, windsurfing, kayaks, pedal boats and glass bottom boat tours.
On land, tennis courts, a nine-hole pitch and putt, a gym and a spa offer plenty of choice, and with six restaurants and bars to choose from, you won’t go hungry or thirsty.
Our first evening included dinner on the beach, a fantastic choice of both international and local cuisine complemented by a selection of drinks and an opportunity to spend quality time with some old friends. I slept well!
After a special start to the next morning with a delightful breakfast buffet with views over the beach and accompanied by the sounds of the ocean, it was off for the first of my three hotel inspections.
Beachcomber has eight fantastic resorts on the island, all of which cater for families and couples alike. and I began with a visit to the iconic Royal Palm, the company’s flagship property and the first Indian Ocean hotel to become a member of “The Leading Hotels of the World.”
With just 69 intimate suites, it's set on an idyllic stretch of beach and is just a short walk to Grand Baie.
Oozing elegance, the property is acclaimed for its laid-back ambience, award-winning à la carte dining, flawless service and outstanding hospitality. Alas, I only had time for lunch, but it was divine and it certainly whetted my appetite for a return visit.
It was a day of foodie heaven when back at Shandrani that evening, I was one of the lucky ones to sample the dinner menu at Le Boucanier.
With just 40 covers, the freshness and delectability of the seafood confirmed why this was the Shandrani’s signature restaurant.
Our first excursion the following day was a speedboat ride where my group were fortunate to spot a dolphin pod en route to visiting one of the many waterfalls in the area.
Lunch was a casual BBQ on the beach, with live music. The memories of dancing at Île aux Cerfs, a stunning, privately owned island on the East Coast, will stay with me for a long time.
The evening’s delicious feast was courtesy of the Teak Elephant, the Shandrani’s Thai restaurant, serving authentic dishes in a relaxed ambience, which included live cooking stations.
The other two Beachcomber resorts I was able to site visit were Trou Aux Biches and Victoria, both on the island’s gorgeous west coast.
Trou Aux Biches is extremely popular with my clients due to its prime position set along one of the island’s best stretches of beaches near to lively Grand Baie and capital Port Louis. Families and couples love its rustic luxury, discreet service and spectacular sunsets.
This is an all-suite property offering an impressive choice of accommodations, from beachfront suites with their plunge pools to two and three-bedroom family villas.
The Victoria is set amidst lush tropical gardens beside a gorgeous white sandy beach and has some of the largest rooms in Mauritius.
Providing spacious accommodations, Victoria ensures families can comfortably stay in one room, while couples can opt for the adult-only section, Victoria for 2, which offers 23 ocean view rooms and 17 superb swim-up rooms, a swim-up bar and an exclusive restaurant, also making it a great choice for honeymooners who can enjoy the excellent facilities of the main hotel too.
Guests can also dine at the nearby sister Beachcomber hotels of Mauricia and Canonnier.
Our final night was a celebratory gala night, an opportunity to don our glad rags, enjoy some fire-eating beach antics and a magnificent meal, followed by a post-dinner party.
As our incredible Mauritius journey came to an end, it was a fitting way to conclude 17 fabulous years with Holidaysplease, along with meeting some of the leadership team at Travel Counsellors.
Mauritius is an increasingly popular destination in our summer months for families as it provides fantastic value compared to Europe.
The weather isn’t unbearably hot - around 28 degrees - and there are significant savings to be had in May and June as well as year-round honeymoon discounts.
Beachcomber’s hospitality and service is outstanding. The staff cannot do enough to ensure you leave Mauritius with memories of a lifetime.
Get in touch for more information about which is the right Beachcomber resort for you.