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Mauritius Fam trip. Day 3

by Joanne Musson on 30 March 2012, 16:03PM Mauritius Fam trip. Day 3

Joanne Musson is a Sales Consultant in our Solihull branch

I was very recently lucky enough to be chosen to take part in a Familiarisation Trip to Mauritius. I have put together a short blog on one of the day’s experiences. My blog is based on Day 3 which takes in 5 hotel inspections and a lovely drive from the North East of the Island through to the West Coast.
The morning started with a delicious breakfast at the LUX* Grand Gaube which is situated close to the lovely village of Grand Guabe, a small fishing village with a selection of shops and restaurants on offer. After a cosy nights sleep I was ready for a full day of hotels and sightseeing! We set off north-west bound towards Grand Baie and en-route stopped for a couple of site inspections firstly at the Coin De Mire Hotel Attitude which is situated between the smaller fishing village of Cap Malheureux and the livelier Grand Baie.
Coin De Mire Hotel Attitude 3*
Coin De Mire is a small boutique styled hotel, recently renovated in 2009 the hotel offers contempory decor throughout. There are 3 room types here from Superior, Deluxe and then Family Rooms which sleep 2 adults and 2 children. The hotel has 2 good sized swimming pools with a children’s section. It also offers a mini club for children, spa, tennis court, table tennis, fitness room and watersports including a glass bottom boat trip which is free of charge to all guests. There is one restaurant and bar where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. The beach is across the road here and down some steps which could be off putting to some, its also not the best beach Mauritius has to offer but the hotel makes up for this in other areas.
Who would it suit? Budget conscious couples or families with younger children and for those that prefer the pool to the sea!
Overall Opinion? Great value for money and overall standard of finish for a 3* hotel, let down slightly by the beach.
Travelling on from the Coin De Mire our next stop, just short drive down the road was the LUX* Merville Beach Hotel, this hotel is situated just a few minutes walk away from Grand Baie.
LUX* Merville Beach 3.5*
On arrival here we were welcomed by a traditional Maldivian Dance which was a really nice way to begin our tour. The hotel I would say is a mid sized property with 169 rooms separated into several categories from deluxe rooms, to bungalows and even family bungalow rooms. The experience here is much more traditional and there is a real Creole feel. There are a couple of restaurants to choose from offering a variety of cuisines. The rooms are brightly decorated in a traditional style. There are a choice of pools but the main pool at the Merville Beach is not suitable for children due to the depth but is a great place to do a scuba initiation, there is however a separate children’s pool area! The hotel is located on a long white sand beach and public access is limited which gives the feel of a private beach, here you can enjoy all the usual watersports as well as a game of beach volleyball. You can also enjoy various other activities or retreat to the newly renovated spa which has a gorgeous view across the ocean. A nice touch for all LUX* properties is 'Phone Home' a skype phone which is free to use for anyone to call back home without returning to a huge phone bill!
Who would it suit? Couples, friends and families looking for good value accommodation on a good beach within easy reach of the main town.
Overall Opinion? Friendly and welcoming large hotel still keeping its traditional charm.
Just a few minutes drive was out next hotel, Veranda Grand Baie, this hotel is situated right in the heart of the lively Grand Baie where you will find the best nightlife and restaurants on the Island along with a wide selection of shopping opportunities.
Veranda Grand Baie 3.5*

The Veranda Grand Baie has a very welcoming reception area and right away you feel the Mauritian and Creole influences. The hotel was fully refurbished in 2010 and this shows in all aspects of the hotel. There are 94 rooms here ranging from the standard comfort rooms to the large privilege rooms and suites. All of the rooms are decorated to a high standard, all bright and modern and include the amenities you would expect. There are some really lovely personal touches around the hotel with pathways through the grounds named after repeat guests! There is a small gym, a lovely little spa with a pool and hamman, children’s club and 2 lovely sized pool areas leading down to the beach. The beach is quite small and a little rocky in places but perfectly adequate and you can also access a larger public beach just next door to the hotel. There are 2 restaurants, one buffet and one a la carte along with a bar area. We were lucky enough to stop for lunch here and this definitely didn’t disappoint. We were allocated a lovely table in a gazebo overlooking the beautiful ocean, what better way to enjoy a delicious lunch. The service was friendly and helpful and the food of a standard I have eaten in 4 and 5* hotels. Very Impressive!

Who would it suit? Couples, families and friends who are looking to be within walking distance of Grand Baie’s shopping and nightlife.

Overall Opinion? Fantastic standard of accommodation, lovely rooms and public areas and fantastic food! What more could you want!?

We now took a short 15km drive south from Grand Baie towards the North-West of the Island, the scenery is so beautiful and lush, in one direction there are mountains and greenery and the other direction an amazing turquoise ocean with small fishing villages dotted along the way. After the scenic drive we arrived at Le Meridien Ile Maurice.

Le Meridien Ile Maurice 5*

Immediately when I arrived at Le Meridien I could tell it had a very different feel compared to the previous hotels visited. The hotel is very large and as you enter the grand lobby which houses the guest relations and concierge desks your eyes are drawn to the lovely views across the pool to an amazing beach and ocean. Guests are checked in at the bar area where you are greeted with a drink and cold towels. There are 2 blocks in this hotel, the Main Building where all rooms are sea view and offer 3 room categories, the smallest of which are 50sm and sleep 2 adults and 2 children, up to the Royal Suite which is a massive 150sm. There is also the Nirvana Wing which is separated away from the main wing and offers a variety of rooms from garden view to premium ocean view. All guests staying in the Nirvana wing receive added extras like free internet, free soft and hot drinks daily from 11am – 6pm. This wing also has a separate pool area which is more tranquil and relaxing so possibly more suited to couples. The whole complex has 4 restaurants in total ranging from buffet, fine dining, Indian and seafood along with a choice of bars so there is something to suit every palate. The main pool is large and situated along the resort and beach area. There is also the lovely Taamra Spa which is inspired by many Asian traditions, a 24hr fitness centre, tennis court and children’s club, along with numerous watersports activities on offer you will never get bored!

Who would it suit? Couples and Families looking for a larger hotel that offers a lot of facilities and a lovely beach.

Overall Opinion? Nice hotel on a beautiful beach with a lot to offer, being so large it does loose the more personal touch which I felt in some of the other hotels.

Setting back off just a very short drive away we came to the Maritim Hotel Mauritius

Maritim 5*

On arrival at the Maritim you are again greeted by a wonderful view from the lobby towards the ocean. The Maritim recently went through an impressive renovation programme in 2009 and the resort has been brought to a very high standard. The whole resort is surrounded by 25 hectares of grounds and is truly in a beautiful setting. The hotel itself has 215 rooms all of which have views across the stunning ocean, starting with standard rooms through to Villa style rooms with their own small pools. The hotel has so much to offer, the beautiful beach with all the watersports, 3 tennis courts, 9 hole golf course, fantastic fitness centre and huge pool. The Spa here is situated in a separate part of the hotel, just a short walk from the main wing; this is absolutely beautiful and tranquil. There are a total of 12 treatment rooms, a hairdressing salon, a beautiful turkish bath, sauna, whirlpool, outdoor pool area and a kneipp foot bath, a short walk through here really can help tired feet!! There are 2 restaurants in the main building one being a casual buffet style the other a restaurant on the beach and 2 bar areas. The hotel also has the magnificent ‘Château Mon Désir' which is an a la carte gourmet restaurant housed in an old pirate’s hideaway know as the Balaclava Ruins. This is the perfect setting for a romantic meal for two or a wedding party. It really is something special and a must do during your stay. As well as all of this the hotel has its own equestrian centre and anyone from age 6 are able to take riding lessons, horse drawn carriages or just a leisurely walk along the beach. There are also giant turtles for you to see and interact with. There really is something for everyone here!

Who would it suit? Couples, families, weddings and honeymooners looking for a hotel with literally everything to offer.

Overall Opinion? Beautiful hotel on a stunning beach, amazing grounds and facilities, I would definitely recommend to anyone thinking of getting married in Mauritius!

Once we had completed this visit we were ready to set off for our final hotel of the day and our overnight stay. We headed south down the coast and our drive took us through the busy Capital City Port Louis. Port Louis is the main economic centre and the biggest city in Mauritius therefore its pretty hectic and can get very busy on the roads in and out during peak times. Unfortunately we didn’t get to spend any time exploring the city by foot but for those that do there are a host of sights to visit. There are a collection on Museums, Markets, Colonial Buildings, China Town and plenty of shopping opportunities including the Caudan Waterfront area, all of this sitting beneath the peaks of Le Pouce and Pieter Both make Port Louis a must see during your holiday!

After passing through Port Louis you are greeted with some spectacular mountain views, there really are amazing views everywhere you look here! We were now heading south down the western coast towards Flic en Flac. As we were approaching Flic and Flac the sun began to set and the colours were intense and breathtakingly beautiful. Shortly before sunset we reached the Sugar Beach hotel where we were met and immediately accompanied to our beautiful rooms. I was allocated a room almost directly on the beachfront and watched the sunset before freshening up for our evening meal. We met down on the beach where we were welcomed by the hotels general manager and sales manager. A temporary bar had been set up on the beach and we enjoyed some delicious cocktails and canapés before taking our seats for dinner. We were served a fantastic 3 course a la carte seafood meal and were then able to enjoy the entertainment on offer at the hotel.

That brings my day to a close and all that is left to say is if you are considering Mauritius as a holiday destination then do not think twice. Mauritius is a beautiful and friendly country with a diverse culture and spectacular scenery. Such a small island that’s jam packed with things to do and see, fantastic hotels and restaurants. I would highly recommend hiring a car for a few days and exploring the island for yourself which will enable you to get out and sample the local restaurants and shopping that’s on offer.

One of the biggest mis conceptions I had before visiting was the idea that everyone I send must go on an All Inclusive basis, this really is not the case, of course, you can just stay at one of the self contained hotel complexes and enjoy this arrangement but for those of you who like to venture out and about then there really is a good choice of places to travel to, especially Grand Baie. Overall Mauritius far exceeded my already high expectations and I cannot wait to go back and see more of this truly beautiful country.

If you would like to speak to Joanne about tailor-making your trip to Mauritius, she can be reached on 020 7001 4138.

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