Mauritius Rachael's trip
Saturday 03 August 2019
Mauritius Fam Trip by Rachael - Senior Sales Consultant
What a thrill it was when I was advised of my trip to Mauritius as a guest of our travel partners If Only and Turkish Airlines. I was really looking forward to exploring and discovering this amazing destination.
We flew from Dublin to Istanbul and then onto Mauritius.
On arrival in Mauritius I firstly changed my currency to the Mauritian Rupee at the airport which was very easy and hassle free.
Let me start by saying I have always been aware that Mauritius is best known for its luxurious hotels, dazzling white beaches and water sports. However, there's much more to explore in Mauritius such as the rugged mountains for hiking, colonial towns, quaint fishing villages, abundant water sports, award -winning spas, championship golf courses and gourmet cuisine. Its also a great place to travel with children; the amusement parks, wildlife encounters,Casela Nature Park – World of Adventures and museums are exciting and entertaining.
Mauritius is a small island with an area of 2,040 square km being about 61 km (38 miles) from north to south and about 47 km (29 miles) east to west. They drive on the same side as us so hiring a car is a possability to explore the island.
5* Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa.
We spent our first night here at this delightful hotel and our stay allowed for total relaxation after the long haul flights. It’s spread over 10 hectares and I was very quickly chilled out in our exotic tropical garden room and energised with the fabulous meal. Incidentally you have a great choice of restaurants to choose from Fusion / Kangan / Beach Grill / Seasonal Tastes / Mystique / The Retreat; all with delicious healthy products served in contemporary décor with traditional tropical comfort and vibrant beachfront atmosphere.
We explored the hotel and area the next day and as predicted it had a lovely romantic feel to it which is ideal for honeymooners or couples celebrating their ‘togetherness’.
The Turtle Day Cruise is an amazing trip to do – you can snorkel with the turtles, savour a delicious chef inspired Asian Fusion BBQ lunch amid live music and delight in dolphin sightings. Ah! pure heaven.
I must point out this is also an ideal spot for families with spacious family rooms, Westin Kids Club, childcare and family interests e.g. beach, bicycling, golf museum/cultural and quiet getaway time is not intruded upon. The spa was so inviting but alas! time did not allow for us to indulge on a treatment on this occasion as we had a busy schedule to move onto our next location.
A visit to Grand Baie.
After a healthy breakfast we made our way to Gran Baie, this is a coastal village in the north of Mauritius, popular for its pristine beaches, water activities, and its nightlife. This resort town is also a hub for shopping and dining. From international brands & food chains, to local and authentic boutiques, Grand Baie is a must-visit, when on the island. Some shopping areas were pointed out to us such as Bazaar De Grand Baie and La Croisette which are worth exploring for those that love shopping!!!
4* Veranda Paul & Virginie Hotel & Spa – Northeast side of the island.
At our next stay we had a very warm welcome into the hotel by the staff which was really touching.
A romantic, adult-only hideaway on the north coast on a quiet beach.
This hotel has a romantic story behind it and is the perfect romantic hideaway. It is named after the legendary young couple immortalised by French author Bernardin de St Pierre in his novel Paul & Virginie. Couples will adore the love nests, double sunbeds and hammocks.
Explore the lagoon from beneath the surface thanks to complimentary snorkelling equipment or take a complimentary shuttle to discover the markets and street food of Grand Baie.
4* The Ravenala Attitude North West of the Island
Nestled between the sea and river, in the middle of an exotic garden, lies The Ravenala Attitude - an all-suite hotel on the north west coast of Mauritius. Children are catered for going on treasure hunts, watching films at the outdoor cinema and learning about food in a cooking class at Ayo Le Dodo Kids Club. The special teenager's hideout, Teens Republic, provides, under discreet supervision, entertainment programmes, video games, table tennis, karaoke and an outdoor cinema.
The resort offers a mix of colonial heritage, contemporary design and tropical accents, with exmples of Mauritian arts and crafts throughout..
The Spa Attitude rituals are based on the natural elements of Mauritius: its soil, sea, sun and plants. Couples can enjoy relaxation time with a tranquil couple's massage before unwinding in the private whirlpool bath, hammam or sauna.
Enjoy the beach, swimming or sunbathing, scuba diving or parasailing, windsurfing or water skiing, playing beach volleyball or pétanque. Life by the river will surround you with the sounds of nature during a yoga session or kayak trip.
5* The Residence Hotel East Coast
The Residence Mauritius is situated on the east coast of Mauritius along a mile-long beach of immaculate white sand, fringed by the Indian Ocean and tropical gardens - an idyllic retreat for your total relaxation.The rooms radiate luxurious comfort and charm, with excellent service. The Residence Mauritius will not disappoint you. In the resort, guests can enjoy water skiing, windsurfing, snorkelling, canoeing and Hobie Cat sailing, while the nearby 18-hole Championship golf course is ideal for golf fans. Whether you seek a romantic escape with your loved one or a spectacular beach getaway with your family, the Residence will not disappoint you.
Service is yet again excellent and one can be pampered here
We put on our walking shoes and met with our friendly English speaking guide Dozia,from Mautourco who brought us to Port Louis. This is the capital city of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean. It's known for its French colonial architecture and the 19th-century Champ de Mars horse-racing track.
The Caudan Waterfront is a lively dining and shopping area. Nearby, vendors sell local produce and handicrafts at the huge Central Market. We sampled some of their street food in Chinatown, haggled with the locals in Port Louis Central Market and watched the world go by at Caudan Waterfront. I particularly loved Walking down Umbrellas street near the Marin - perfect for Photos!!!
Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Ganesha.
It falls in the months of August or September of the Gregorian calendar. The festival is marked with the installation of Ganesha clay idols privately in homes, or publicly on elaborate pandals. On our return from the east of the island we were lucky to have stumbled across a procession and witness the array of colourful outfits and listen to some lovely percussion instruments being played.
Flic en Flac
Flic-en-Flac is a seaside village on the west coast Mauritius in the district of Black River.
The name most likely comes from an Old Dutch phrase, "Fried Landt Flaak", meaning free, flat land. Its public white sandy beach is one of the longest on the island.
On the west side of the Island – I personally loved this side of the island as it exuded a great atmosphere with extremely friendly locals, fabulous beach areas, opportunities to swim with the Dolphins and an array of boat trips to choose from.
4* La Pirogue Resort & Spa West coast
This was my favourite… I loved everything about it, especially the atmosphere. Designed in the style of a traditional fishing village, bungalows are made of volcanic rock, fringed with thatched roofs and the newly refurbished Garden Bungalows face the lagoon.
The beach Pavilions are closer to the beach. Interconnecting Garden Bungalows and Beach Pavilions are available for families.
There are plenty of activities to choose from:-
6 Tennis Courts, Mini football, Mini golf, Go mountain biking, Enjoy a glass-bottomed boat trip* • Unwind with a yoga session in the gardens* • Try windsurfing or snorkelling • Sample a wide variety of wines by the glass at Van Der Stel Wine Bar* or enjoy a Spa and Beauty treatment.
5* Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort South Coast
This is yet another fabulous hotel set on the stunning south coast this resort is part of the historic Bel Ombre estate.
This has an incredible setting between the Indian Ocean and the lush mountainous interior of southern Mauritius. This former sugar estate covers over 2500 beautiful acres, all centred on the 19th-Century Le Chateau de Bel Ombre, now one of the finest gourmet restaurants on the island.
The estate is home to the two separate resorts of Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness Resort and Heritage Awali Golf & Spa Resort, alongside a vast nature reserve and a host of facilities which include a lively beach club and the prestigious Heritage Golf Club.
Summary of what to do in Mauritius
I was really surprised at the variety of activities/tours that you can avail of here. You will not b e bored as there are lots of things to do in Mauritius if you don’t fancy lying by a pool or on the beach all day.
Golf, Sailing, Water- Sports, Trekking, Hiking, Canyoning, Kayaking, Zip lines, Quad bike, Sea Excursions – Deep sea fishing / Dolswim.
Visit of the Casela Nature Park – World of Adventures
About the Casela Safari and Bird Park: The Mauritius Casela Park is a real nature and adventure park. It is located besides the Rempart Mountain on the South-West of Mauritius offering magnificent views of the countryside rolling down the west coast of Mauritius.
The park includes four thematic worlds: Safari, Nature, Mountain and Water, as well as a hub for discovery and learning.
This nature park is home to birds, lions, zebras, giant tortoises, monkeys, and many other animals. Casela Nature Park proposes a myriad of adventures in the form of quad, buggy, Segway, or one of the longest zip line in the Indian Ocean region.
The array of activities to discover here range from the petting farm to the fishing ponds, hiking tour to zip line, hidden hanging bridges to a walk with the lions…
Now more adventurous people might like the Walking with Lions Adventure in Mauritius however we did not do this adventure and I’m not so sure I would be comfortable with it!.
Mahebourg, situated in the south of the island is one of the oldest towns in Mauritius dating back to the Dutch period and named after the French Governor Bertrand Francoise Mahe de La Bourdonnais. This town offer a mix of nature and tradition with a number of historic sights of interest, typical Mauritian cuisine, exotic colours and aromas, the turquoise sea and beautiful scenery. Founded in 1870, the Rault biscuit factory is worth a visit for the history and deliciously unique cassava biscuits fresh out of the oven.
Every hotel had a beautiful romantic atmosphere and there are so many hotels to choose from to suit everyone’s budget
I personally preferred the Westside of the Ireland, having said that one is definately spoilt for choice.
You can get your currency local or before you go… we just got it locally when we arrived at the airport, there are also ATM machines available to get local currency.
Mauritius is ideal for a 2 centre holiday and combine it with a few days in Dubai or South Africa
If you are planning a trip to Mauritius please do not hesitate to contact me and I will only be too happy to chat with you and give you further insights and tips on this wonderful destination.
GRENHAM TRAVEL Ph 090 649 2028