By Josie Munt, Meon Valley Travel Consultant
I was very fortunate to be invited to spend a week on the Paradise Island of Mauritius, courtesy of Beachcomber Tours to celebrate 50 years of Mauritian independence. This wasn’t any ordinary Educational though, as Beachcomber had invited 50 agents to get a taste of “the only 8 hotels on the island”.
My week started off at Heathrow about to the board the 12-hour direct flight with Air Mauritius, otherwise known as Air Delicious. Air Mauritius along with BA offer a direct service to Paradise island from both Gatwick and Heathrow.
For our first two nights on the Island we stayed at the Dinarobin. This hotel is located on the famous peninsular – Le Morne which gives the hotel the most breath taking setting. Dinarobin has the perfect balance of activities such as the 18-hole golf course, but also has that calm serene atmosphere for those looking to relax.
Dinarobin sits next to her sister hotel, The Paradis, meaning you can used the facilities in both hotels. The Paradis has a fantastic selection of Watersports and on day two we got to experience these on our very own snorkeling trip. The Marine life in Mauritius is simply incredible, the corals are thriving, so this is a must do. One of the best things about travelling with Beachcomber is most of the water sports are included in your package! What’s not to love?
Day 3 was all about experiencing Mauritius as a tourist and this can mean only one thing, Island tour! Mauritius isn’t a very big island and it takes about 1 hour 45 minutes to get from the top to the bottom. Driving is the same as the uk which makes hiring a car very convenient. We started off our island tour with a trip to a local giant tortoise sanctuary where we met Domino, the resident and largest tortoise they have. They have many animals at the sanctuary and it’s a great morning out. After this we visited a tea factory and had a tasting session and then it was off to Grand Bassin to visit the Indian Temple and the sacred lake.
After a jam packed day, it was off to the next hotel, the Trou Aux Biches. This hotel lays on the Northern end of the island near Grand Baie and the atmosphere is a little livelier. This hotel is set along one of the best stretches of beach on the island. It’s an all-suite property and has a range of beachfront suites with plunge pools and two or three bedroom private villas with pools, perfect for large families.
The next day we embarked on a don’t be a dodo challenge, where we had to get from the Muricia hotel to the Cannonier hotel with as little as 500 rupees (£10) and strict instructions not to get in a taxi. Along the way we had certain challenges to complete such as take a picture of the famous Buddhas, and to get on a boat at the local Marina. The idea of the challenge was to show us how welcoming the Mauritian people are, and how safe the country is. There aren’t many places you can hitchhike in the back of some guys gardening truck to get to a golf course. Yet the Mauritian people welcomed us with open arms, and we had a laugh along the way!
A couple of hours and some random lifts later, we’d managed to get to the Cannonier and were greeted with the most amazing welcoming cocktail and a quick round of Archery.
The Cannonier is a beautiful resort and has some great quirky features making this resort very special. The hotel’s name originates from being on an historic peninsular and there are many original cannons dotted around on the property. It’s also home to an ancient lighthouse, an old fortress and possibly the most incredible spa that’s built around the branches of an ancient banyan tree.
Rooms here have all been renovated recently and have fresh contemporary Mauritian interiors and style. Located only a short drive from Grand Baie, it’s a great hotel for those who like to explore the surrounding area.
This evening we went to see the Victoria Beachcomber, and the new Victoria for 2 (the adults only section) The rooms at this hotel are fantastic for families as they are some of the largest on the island.
Victoria Beachcomber has a new adult only concept called Victoria for 2. This new section of the hotel will be exclusive to adults only and will consist of 23 Ocean View Rooms and 17 Swim-Up Rooms. The complex has a new restaurant and swim-up bar and Victoria for 2 guests can also enjoy all the facilities of Victoria Beachcomber Resort & Spa.
The next day involved a Mini Travel Trade Crusade Mauritian a la carte version. The travel trade crusade is a big event in the Travel industry in which teams must drive for three days across Europe completing challenges along the way with only a road map. We were split up into teams, given the keys to our very own plucky rental Suzuki Swift and off we went. We had to set our own personal challenge and complete a few along the way. One of our attempts was to ask the local police if they could assist and they did just that! Blue’s and two’s and a police escort to a volcano for lunch.
The day was a fantastic way to see the island, get used to driving abroad (which proved adventurous at times) and to have a blast. We made it safely to Shandrani, the last Beachcomber hotel that we were seeing, and explained to the judges what we had done on our day for the final judging.
The award ceremony that evening was hilarious, listening to everyone’s stories of the day, but for us we were victorious, and I shall now treasure my Trophy forever.
Days 6+7 were spent at the Shandrani, which is Beachcombers biggest selling property. Shandrani has a great vibe for families as many activities are included in your hotel rate. Shandrani is also very popular for weddings on the pristine Wild Beach with nothing but the clear blue waters in the background. Shandrani is one of the only Beachcomber properties to offer All Inclusive.
The thing that sets Beachcomber apart from other hotels on the island is the locations. Being the first hotels on the island, they really do have the best spots. The food is incredible at the hotels, and you can tell so much care and detail has gone into the menu’s and this reflects in the experience.
Every staff member at Beachcomber hotels are devoted to giving you the best experience which is essential when you’re looking for a holiday to remember. The Hotel managers are always happy to help and advise the guests, along with every other member of staff. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Mauritius and made the best memories. I’m already planning a trip back to Paradise Island.
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