Rebecca discovers why beachcomber hotels are so popular
Our Travel expert, Rebecca got a chance to visit the Beachcomber hotels in Mauritius in celebration to mark the golden jubilee of Mauritius’ independence. 50 British travel agents who market Mauritius as a destination were therefore invited by Beachcomber Hotels to participate in ‘The BIG 50’ event. From cocktail making, snorkelling in the Indian Ocean to tasting the delicious local cuisine and visiting iconic tourist sites, read all about Rebecca’s day-by-day diary of her 7 days in Mauritius.
We flew from London Heathrow Airport with Air Mauritius. All Air Mauritius flights from Heathrow are usually overnight flights. It took 11 and half hours to get to Mauritius, so it was good to have a choice of movies to keep us occupied on the long flight. The economy was very spacious, the meals and drinks were impressive and we were well looked after by all the staff cabin crew.
After we landed in Mauritius midday, we were met by company Mautourco, they are ground agents for transferring people from the airport to the hotel. Our private transfer was ready and waiting for us to transport us to our very first hotel, Dinarobin, which took an hour and 20 minutes from the airport.
On arrival, we were welcomed by the Beachcomber staff and film crew and offered welcome drinks and a wet towel. We were told as it was the ‘Big 50 Beachcomber Experience’, we will be followed throughout our whole trip by the film crew, which was a bit nerve-wracking but it soon became the norm and we quite enjoyed it.
After we were taken straight to our accommodation where we will be staying for two nights in the Junior suite. First impressions of the Junior suite on the first floor were great. As the room were very spacious and traditional looking with wooden features including a massive terrace overlooking the pool with lush tropical garden views. The large bedroom opened onto an en-suite bathroom which featured a spacious walk-in shower, bathtub and wardrobe.
We had an hour and a half leisure time, and with the temperature being 27 to 28 degrees, we decided to spend the afternoon by the pool enjoying cocktails and relaxing on the white sandy beach.
Later that day, we had a site inspection where we were shown the alternative room types, there are three luxury 4 bedroom villas at Dinarobin which occupy the most stunning part of the peninsula. Guests who stay at the Club suites, Zen suites or Villas are only offered access to the Club, the only private members club concept in Mauritius or beachcomber hotels.
#TopTip: Always book in the Club room as it works about £27 per person per day. Complimentary snacks and selected alcoholic and soft drinks are provided at a certain time of the day. It is worth it, as it offers better value for money.
In the evening, we were treated to a welcome drinks reception on the beach greeted by sala dancers and a band. Beachcomber personalised everyone’s drinks which was very nice of them to do. We even had a cocktail making class which was judged by the dinarobin staff. I enjoyed this as it was so much fun. After, we made our way to the pan asian restaurant, Umami, for an evening meal, I certainly loved this as it served asian fusion dishes including a mixture of beef and duck and a sushi selection.
#TopTip: If you are planning to visit this restaurant, it is recommended to pre book on arrival.
Dinarobin beachcomber is perfect for couples and families who want more of a peaceful atmosphere and relaxation. You can also get access to Paradis beachcomber resort and use their facilities and four of their combining restaurants.
The following morning, we had breakfast at the Paradis Beachcomber in the Kids club. After breakfast, the day started by making T-shirts, basically it was a morning of experiencing the activities offered for the kids at Paradis such as crazy golf, kids splash pool and of course, t-shirt making.
We also did a site inspection of the rooms at Paradis, the rooms were a lot brighter and modern with colours echoing those of the ocean and sky giving the rooms a warm welcoming feel.
After the site inspection, it was amazing to experience snorkeling in the afternoon. I definitely recommend snorkeling for guests who enjoy water diving activities.
#TopTip: I would recommend to take your water camera like a gopro and water slippers just incase you injure yourself on the coral reef when snorkeling.
Lunch was provided at the Paradis Blue Marlin restaurant, which serves seafood including crab, lobster, prawns, fresh fish and white berry fish fillet with a spectacular view over the sparkling sea.
In the afternoon, we were surprised with a Catamaran sunset cruise which lasted around two hours. The Sunset cruise was amazing as we got to see the stunning sunset whilst enjoying a drink or two on board. The crew on board served light snacks and a variety of drinks including champagne, rum and cocktails. I totally recommend this for families and couples who want to get away from the resort for a bit.
After the wonderful Catamaran sunset cruise, we got ready for an evening of food and entertainment at Paradis. We ate at the La Brabant, buffet restaurant which served international cuisine. Then we headed to the on-site nightclub where we partied and danced all night long. The beachcomber reps on the trip also served us drinks behind the bar, which was great fun.
The feeling I got of the hotel was a luxury 5-star resort that would suit families and children as it is very activity based including the kids club and water sport activities such as snorkelling, waterskiing, paddle boarding and kayaking etc.
On the next day, before checking out of Dinarobin Beachcomber we had breakfast which was really nice, there was a variety of incredible hot and cold food. After breakfast, we started with a day of activities including sea karting, ziplining, quad biking and a way of life tour. We had to chose one out of the four, so I opted for the Sea Karting as I had never tried it before. For Sea Karting we had to get into teams of 2, the experience was amazing.
#TopTip: I would definitely recommend this for the guests looking for excitement and thrill, it glides across the clear waters and you get to experience the beauty of the island’s lagoon. The speed is around 40 miles an hour, it costs £150 for an hour (which is enough) and you can get three people in a boat. It is perfect day activity for individuals, couples or families.
After the fun activity, we visited the rum factory in Chamarel called Rhumerie de Chamarel. En-route to the rum factory, we stopped off for a while to embrace the gorgeous breath-taking views.
The interesting tour was all about rum tasting and the process of local rum making. We even had lunch at the rum factory restaurant, I opted for the steak and rum which was very delicious.
TopTip: The Rum factory in Chamarel is a great tour to visit if you like rum, it only costs £10 including 10 shots.
An hour and 15 minutes from rum factory, we made our way to the next hotel past the capital of Port Louis, Trou Aux Biches. With the drive only being 1 hour and 15 minutes, it was a great opportunity to sit back and relax whilst taking in the beautiful scenery.
We then arrived at our next stop which was going to be our hotel stay for two nights. The Trou Aux Biches is in a small town located on the West Coast near to lively Grand Baie and Port Louis. It is also set along one of the best stretches of beaches in Mauritius.
First, before we settled in we had to do an on-site inspection of the rooms. I stayed on the first floor in a Junior suite which was very spacious and comfortable including access to a private balcony facing the tropical garden. It looked very intimate and was very modern yet traditional looking with neutral dark wood, very tropical looking. I loved the sumptuous en-suite bathroom with the open plan shower too.
#TopTip: If you are looking for a luxury Mauritius villa for the family the detached 2 and 3 bedroom villas at Trou aux Biches are perfect for families or friends wishing to share.
After a bit of leisure time, we got ready for a drinks reception on the beautiful beach which was very chilled out, we sipped champagne whilst relaxing on the white powdery beach and watched the dramatic sunset in the backdrop.
On the evening, to celebrate ’50 years of Mauritian independence, we had an amazing beach barbecue with a Spanish band playing surprisingly good music. There was a boat in the ocean view with purple neon lights saying ‘BIG 50’. It sure was an awesome night to remember, the food and drinks were delightful, the atmosphere and company was great, it was certainly an honour to be celebrating the 50 years of Mauritius.
After a great night, the next day we had another long day, it started with breakfast and a short site inspection at the Mauricia Beachcomber. It is set in a lively location, a few minutes walk along the beach to the centre of the bustling village of Grand Baie.
If you’re after a hotel in Mauritius with a relaxed, fun atmosphere Mauricia is a great option.
All the rooms face the sea, except the superb Family Apartments which are located in a ‘family village’ area within the gardens. For honeymooners there’s also a choice of three honeymoon suites which come with their own plunge pools. The rooms are very sleek and simple looking with some rooms being very bright and trendy. It also features an inviting lounge where you can unwind, a well-appointed bathroom and a private terrace overlooking the pristine sandy beach.
After the site inspection, we were set a fun challenge named ‘Don’t be a Dodo’, where we had to hitch hike and get from one hotel to another completing tasks along the way in groups of four. Basically, we had to make our own way from Mauricia to Cannonier Beachcomber resort. We were handed a wallet which included a digital camera, 500 rupees, water proof poncho and a sheet with all the tasks. This challenge was set to prove how safe and friendly the locals are in Mauritius.
We walked majority of the way and got a free lift in the car from a friendly local on our way to Cannonier, it took around 10 minutes. Le Mauricia is located in the heart of the Grand Baie and is in a better location, however, Cannonier is more or less around a 10 minute drive of Grand Baie. Our tasks included a photograph of the modes of transport to Cannonier, a round of Archery at Cannonier, a quick putt at Mont Choisy Golf Course and finding ‘The beach house’ and making a drink. The challenges were very fun and the locals were very helpful and friendly.
After the fun challenge, we did a site inspection at Cannonier. Cannonier is a very family friendly 4* hotel, situated on a peninsula overlooking the northern islands and the Indian Ocean and lush tropical gardens dotted with cascading pools. All the rooms are very nice and modern looking with fresh contemporary Mauritian interiors and the gardens and the beach nearby make the most of its peninsula setting. It is in a fantastic location as the white sand beach and a crystal-blue sea is just a footsteps away and it is a short drive away from the entertainment and shops found in Grand Baie.
The most iconic thing about this resort is that the spa is in a 100 year old Banyan tree. It is the perfect way to relax after a day of fun activities including water sports which are offered at the resort such as glass-bottom boat tours, pedal boating, snorkelling and deep-sea fishing.
I would definitely recommend this hotel to families, couples and honeymooners.
After the site inspection, we were treated to lunch at the Italian restaurant, La Serenata, the food was delicious and you can tell the chef take pride in making their food.
Once lunch and our bit of free leisure time was over we went back to Trou Aux Biches and got ready for our evening meal and site inspection at Victoria and Victoria for two which are right next door to each other. We took a 15 minute shuttle bus to get to our next stop.
Victoria Beachcomber Resort & Spa is conveniently situated between the tourist hub of Grand Baie and Port Louis, the capital city. It is ideal for couples or families as it brings together lovely surroundings, spacious rooms and excellent facilities. Victoria is very popular with return guests, I spoke to a couple who said it was their 12th visit so far and they find it perfect. It has an extensive list of complimentary land and water sports and faces the spectacular sunsets.
Victoria for 2 is more for couples as it is adult only, it features Swim-Up rooms, a new al la carte restaurant and the largest pool in Mauritius. The feel you get is that it is very high end and luxurious with modern and chic looking rooms facing a private beach on the ocean. It is perfect for honeymooners and couples who want to chill out and relax. It is very unique to Victoria, as it has a travel buddy device, a phone to make international calls to landline and mobiles plus a complimentary phone and unlimited internet which you can take outside of complex.
After our site inspection, we had a tasty meal at the ‘Le Superbe’ the hotel’s main restaurant where we enjoyed a comprehensive buffet featuring international cuisine and then an award ceremony in the evening for the hitchhiking challenge ‘Don’t be a Dodo’ that we completed in the morning. The eventful night ended with a night stay back at Trou Aux Biches.
The following day, after we had breakfast at Trou Aux Biches, we were set for another challenge where we were put into teams of 3 and given a nice Suzuki swift car to travel from Trou Aux Biches to Shandrani Beachcomber with three or four tasks to complete along the way. We had to find our own way to Shandrani beachcomber which would take an hour and a half. We were provided with a map, 16 chocolate brownies and a music cd named ‘In car choones’. We were being filmed while we completed this challenge, it was an amazing experience as we got to see the beautiful Mauritius scenery along the way and highest view points. One task included getting close as possible to Le Pouce and featuring our team in a photo with the chocolate brownies. We were very lucky to have a won an award for this task. The Le Pouce is the third highest mountain in Mauritius, which is at 812 meters and offers stunning panoramic views of this beautiful tropical island.
After a long and fun journey, we finally arrived at Shandrani Beachcomber were we had a bit of free leisure time. We decided to head to the beach then take a dip in the pool and then to the bar for cocktails.
Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa is a welcoming fully-inclusive five-star resort with a lively vibe. It is set on a private peninsula lapped by the Blue Bay Marine Park rich in sea life, Shandrani Beachcomber has three different beaches to explore.
We stayed two nights at Shandrani and it certainly felt mostly like a holiday with plenty of people in the bar. I got to stay in a Superior room overlooking the lush gardens and ocean. It is very modern, airy looking and spacious with a simple soft neutral vibe. Would not recommend if want privacy as it has a open plan bathroom where you can see the other person. This room is next to the Teak Elephant, Thai restaurant.
After our free leisure time, we had a drinks reception with champagne led by a meal at the Italian and Mediterranean-style restaurant, Ponte Vecchio, which has just undergone a makeover. We were very lucky to go into the kitchen and choose our own starter, then beef or carbonara for the main. The night ended at the bar with an after party were I drank ‘TI Punch’, a local drink which is like a rum drink.
The next morning after a great night of partying, we had breakfast at the Le Grand-Port which is Shandrani’s main restaurant, it overlooks one of the resort’s three beaches as well as the main pool.
Site inspection was followed straight after breakfast, where we visited the other rooms, spa, kids club and tennis court and other facilities within the hotel. We met back up at the Teak Elephant (Thai restaurant), the hotel manager did a presentation on weddings and it included a buffet lunch at the restaurant which was really tasty.
Then after free leisure time, the evening ended with a gala night to celebrate the end of the ‘Big 50 Beachcomber Experience’. It was a beach party which included drinks, fire pits, sala dancers, a photobooth and presentations with the 5 minute video made professionally throughout the trip. It was an amazing night, one to remember but it was very sad as it was our last night in Mauritius.
Unfortunately, it was time to head back to the UK, so after breakfast we headed to the airport in the early morning which took 10 minutes. The airport had a good choice of shops so I did a little shopping.
Lucky, I was upgraded to business class on the way back, it was perfect as I needed the rest after a fun week in Mauritius. It is definitely worth upgrading to business class on Air Mauritius.
#TopTip: Overall, I would recommend in doing a twin centre in Mauritius so you can get a feel of Mauritius as a whole. So, if you are thinking of booking, combine a holiday in the South like Paradis with Cannonier in the North. As Paradis is good for location and water sports plus closer to Le Morne beach whereas Cannonier is affordable luxury and you can get out and about easily (much closer to Grand Baie).
Inspired by Rebecca’s trip to the beachcomber hotels in Mauritius? Why not contact us today and start planning your amazing holiday!