Magical Mauritius - A true melting pot of experiences
June saw us head off to the stunning island of Mauritius. With its picture postcard perfect beaches, sea and landscapes. Nearly the whole island is surrounded by beautiful coral and the amazing sea life that thrives there.
But for Dave Page - Head of Luxury, "It is all about its people - Mauritians. A huge collection of cultures, religions, and people all living together in unity. Having such a great positive attitude towards life that really reaches you."
Destination Information - Mauritius
From the moment you land at Mauritius Airport you know you are in a magical place. There seems to be a certain tranquillity about it, a calming spirit that I felt almost straight away from debarking the plane.
November – March average temp = 26/28 degrees
June – September average temperature 20/22 degrees
**temperature in Celsius
Mauritius enjoys a mild tropical maritime climate throughout the whole year, with a warm humid summer from November to April and a relatively cold dry winter from June to September. The months of May and October are commonly known as transitional months.
Language & Culture
With a diversly rich, multi-ethnic society, the people of Mauritius have influences from multiple continents, with a large proportion of Mauritians having either South Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa origin.
Hinduism is the primary religion in Mauritius, with about half of all Mauritians identifying as Hindu. There is also a strong Christian and Catholic following, with a quarter of Mauritians following each religion.
Its very common for Mauritians to speak 2-4 languages, with Creole (a French based language) and English being the most popular.
1 Mauritian rupee is roughly 2p. So divide prices by 50 to get a rough conversion into GBP. A wide range of places also except USD.
How to make a first impression!
We were transferred from the airport initially by a luxury coach to a place to freshen up & change for a speed boat ride up the eastern side of the island, and to our hotel.
What a wonderful way to be introduced to the island!
After leaving the bay, we were taken full speed to a ship wreck to view and then moored at a cove where we were able to paddle and relax with some music. Our on-board entertainment came via the very talented skipper and his trusted guitar and banjo, before a long-boat arrived full of food and drinks for our group to enjoy in the lagoon. Rum punch, lovely fresh food and paddling - idyllic!
A snorkel to view the amazing colours of the fish and the long flight here soon became a distant memory.
As we set off we were escorted by a school of dolphins for some of the way. Our next stop was to an island with an abandoned lighthouse. It had been used historically for military assignments. Ours was the easy climb up to see some stunning views from the top. Then last and certainly not least we travelled up a river to a stunning waterfall. Where we got our Instagram pictures and enjoyed the sights and sounds.
Long Beach - Located in the northeast of Mauritius. The reception area is very spacious with high ceilings and surrounded by water, making for a pleasant first impression. We had a perfect welcome with live music and Shirley, the hotel manager, to greet us.
Very large central pool, and a more relaxing and quieter infinity pool that overlooks the ocean.
Food at the restaurants was superb, with my favourite being the Casual Asian-inspired, Chopstix restaurant. With dining beneath a bamboo-beamed ceiling offering a modern twist on Chinese, Thai and Indian cuisine. A close second was the Italian restaurant, Sapori. The food was just great.
The rooms are amazing. I had a ground floor Junior Suite with beach front access. 20 steps and I was in the sea. The room had a large size bath - always a big plus point for me!
The whole resort felt very spacious and never crammed or over busy with people.
Wow Factor - The bar area view
Ambre - Located east of the island. Making full use of the location, the reception looks out to the pool and the ocean. It's quite some view.
The hotel has 3 restaurants. One main, one on the beach and an Italian restaurant, Dolce Vita, which leads to an open area out the back with sea views.
The beach area was very impressive. Amazing views and with good bars and soft music with many areas to relax along the whole beach.
A spacious resort with options for larger groups to host parties, meetings and celebrations.
La Pirogue - Located on the west side of the island. Most of the accommodation is made up garden bungalows, or huts, which are spaced out in separate huddles around a large green with coconut trees. They are very comfortable to stay in and the lay out creates a real sense of community.
One of the most attractive things to this resort was the beach. It was simply paradise. With the miles of sand the gentle sea water, and the jetty from which you are able to book different activities and excursions. Then at night, the beach can be used as a cocktail reception and then party venue. With bbq food prepared on the beach and live entertainment. It was a great night, with plenty of food, drink and dancing.
The hotel has good event spaces, including rooms for functions and group activities.
Sugar Beach Resort - Located next to Pirogue on the west coast of the island. The designed of the hotel is in the style of an old sugar plantation, which is done really well.
All indoor areas are very spacious, with high ceilings and plenty of seating for guests. The pianist playing the grand piano in the reception area is a lovely touch.
With over 230 rooms, and 6 different categories of room, there is a lot to choose from. The premium sea front rooms were my favourite, mainly due to the large bath and ground floor location.
Of the many areas and options for activities. We had the chance to try croquet. With cocktails served, a picnic blanket laid out and a three piece band playing. It made the moment feel very special. Even providing the typical white bowler hats, presented on a hat stand on the green, for us to wear while we played.
Other features include a beach bubble for weddings/proposals and treatments. The beach has a fire pit area and bars to enjoy the beautiful daytime sun or the majestical sunset.
* All the hotels listed here have a collection of activities, named the ‘Come Alive Collection’, which are activities that are unique to each resort.
Events and activities:
There is a wealth of things you can enjoy while staying in Mauritius, it all depends on how adventurous you want to be?
Ile aux Cerfs - A quick, short boat ride to the private island of Ile aux Cerfs and one of the best championship golf courses I have seen. With the course so well kept and with the most picturesque views imaginable, this is a hard one to beat, and a must on the bucket list for any golfer.
A short buggy ride and you are at one of the bays and beach areas, which is also available for private events and parties. Dining on the beach is also recommended, with some amazing dishes including one of my favourites - white tuna.
Wow Factor - How about a romantic stay on the island in the Beach Bubble? With a private beach to wake up to, this really is a very special stay.
La Vallée Des Couleurs Nature Park - If you are looking for a thrill adventure or enjoy nature walks, then this is the place. Situated in the south of the island, this park is surrounded by luscious green mountain scenery looking down to the sea on the horizon.
They cater for all types of activities - hiking, zip-lining, quad biking, luge-karting, bicycle zipline and crossing the Nepalese bridge.
The range of natural landscapes in the park is amazing, with its plateaus, mountains, valleys, waterfalls, pools and ponds and the wonderful colours of the rock that was created by a volcano many millennia ago.
Perfect for groups of all sizes too.
Early-bird Sea kayaking and dolphin encounter - One for early risers, we headed to Black River on the mid west side of the island. The water wasn’t as cold as I’d have expected, but it certainly woke me up.
Kayaking out from the beach, and getting over the break in the water was great. We paddled out quite a way, but unfortunately, no dolphins on this occasion. The activity lasted about 2 hours in total. You have the opportunity to shower after before heading back to the hotel.
Lunch, rum tasting and tour at Rhumerie De Chamarel - Located in the south west of the island. With superb green surroundings, this is a great place to visit for any rum drinker.
A fantastic restaurant, excellent guided tours of the distillery, and of course some rum tasting, it’s a great day out. Ideal for couples and small groups and caters for larger corporate groups as well with activities prepared, such as the cocktail making using their 50% proof rum and locally grown sugar.
There are some lovely rums here and I even took some home with me from the onsite shop. (As gifts of course 😊 )
Traditional Indian night at a Mauritian private residence in Vacoas - Now this was a very special occasion. I was very privileged to have this as a memory and be invited into Sanjay’s house and welcomed by his family.
We were treated to a blessing as a welcome at the entrance. He had prepared traditional wear with a Kurta top for each of us, and the ladies looked stunning in the more elaborate traditional Indian dress wear.
With cocktails served from his own bar (built in Covid lockdown) and the live music playing in the background and the most aromatic smells surrounding the house and garden, I knew I was in for a real treat.
Guests were shown how to cook the Bhakri bread on an open stove that would be served with dinner, and we all made some ourselves. The dinner was served on a Banana leaf as a plate. This way they are able to wrap all leftovers up and use in the compost, making it environmentally friendly and no washing up to do afterwards.
The food was just divine. So full of flavours and all went so well together. We used our left hand to eat with, and also scooped the food using the bread we had made earlier. It was a great experience and one of my highlights of the trip.
Coral Farming - I wasn’t sure what this would entail. Essentially, coral farming is looking after the environment in which they are trying to encourage the coral to form on. They have laid metal frames in the ocean for the coral to attach itself and to bloom, but it gets covered in algae, which disrupts the coral growth.
The process is to use snorkel equipment and to use a toothbrush to gently clean the frames from algae. It felt great in assisting to preserve something as important as the coral reef and learn more about the project to help the future of the delicate Mauritius marine environment.
Sunset Boat Tour - Those that know us here at We Are MEaT, know we all love a good sunset and enjoy boats too. So this activity is a perfect combination. The speed boat and crew met us at the jetty on the beach of our hotel.
On the way out of the bay, right at the beginning of the trip, we were treated to a huge school of dolphins swimming next to us, which wasn’t expected by anyone. They were playing and jumping with a twist next to us. We travelled to an exposed old piece of coral that protruded out of the ocean, where we stopped and was able to go into the sea and swim around in the warm clear Indian Ocean.
With drinks flowing and music playing, we enjoyed the beautiful afternoon sky while on the boat. The crew prepared sea food for us that was only caught an hour before. It was so fresh and delicious.
A real must for anyone travelling here.
Food Market and street food at Flacq - East of the island is a traditional, old market town called Flacq. It is host to the largest food market in Mauritius. The market stalls trade on Wednesdays and Sundays. Its worth a visit to see and the street foods available at the various locations around the town. I tried some fried balls of rice and chicken and I also had curry served in a wrap, which was so good.
I enjoyed every single meal and food I had on the island. From the 5-star dining, the homemade Indian food, the buffet food presented to us at sea, to the street food in Flacq …. EVERYTHING! I loved the variety of food on the island due to the people having multiple origins from around the world that now reside there and the culinary influences from these countries.
Mauritius has experienced different waves of immigration, between colonisation, slavery and forced labour. But, today, in this multicultural melting pot of religious beliefs, traditions, origins and languages everybody mingles in harmony. The people of Mauritius really did open my eyes to the fact that everyone can get along. This, for me, was deeply humbling and a sense of real peacefulness. Humanity could learn a lot from Mauritius.
As a destination, Mauritius is everything I thought it would be and more. Everyone has heard about the sun, beaches, sea and the fact that it’s a paradise island, which it truly is, but there is so much more to the island than just the aesthetics.
There is a real warm sense of a place that is special because its natural, built by nature, and respected for this by its inhabitants, with activities available that work with nature, not against it.
With the help of experts on the area, the island becomes an open door to a world of possibilities and adventures. It’s a place where you can become closer to nature and its beauty like nowhere else on the planet, thanks to its stunning natural habitat. Hiking in the luscious green mountains inland, to snorkelling on the coral reef that surrounds the island in the clear, warm blue ocean.
That's where we come in....let's discuss your options and experience for both corporate and luxury leisure groups. Contact the team - firstname.lastname@example.org