The Beachcomber “Big 50” educational visit to Mauritius
We were somewhat ecstatic to be invited to Mauritius with Beachcomber Tours to celebrate Mauritius’ 50th year of independence. It was an honour to be a part of something so special and to say we had an incredible time is very much an understatement.
Here is what we got up too …
Arriving at London Heathrow for an overnight flight, flying direct with Air Mauritius. Having yet to experience the airline, we were incredibly surprised with what we were about to indulge in.
Air Mauritius depart three/four times per week on a direct service from London Heathrow whilst British Airways also operate a direct service from London Gatwick and Emirates offering regional departures on a daily basis.
Whilst Air Mauritius don’t operate a premium economy class, we were extremely grateful to receive a Business Class upgrade – Thanks again Air Mauritius!
I am sure we would all love to fly in this way on every given opportunity but of course that isn’t always possible. Having said that, experiencing Business Class at least once is a must, especially if you are travelling for a special occasion.
Impeccable food, copious amounts of room, beverages included, a lovely wash bag full of useful bits and pieces and of course fantastic service from the crew.
We landed in Mauritius to lovely hot weather and was excited to see just what this island has to offer. From leaving the airport, the immediately noticeable fact about Mauritius, is its rich vegetation. It is incredibly green and boasts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The journey to our first hotel was fantastic – jaw dropping scenery and passing through the local villages was wonderful.
Our first stop was the Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf & Spa Resort.
Whilst Mauritius doesn’t officially star rate their hotels, this hotel would very much be a 5 star resort with lots of amenities and features available to it’s guests.
If you are after a luxurious Mauritius hotel, then the Dinarobin has a lot to offer.
From a choice of eight superb restaurants, a magnificent Spa, a whole host of free land and water sports to an 18-hole golf course. There’s also the Club at Dinarobin – the only private members club concept on the island.
There are also three luxury 4 bedroom villas at Dinarobin which occupy the most stunning part of the peninsula.
Upon our arrival we were greeted on the beach by traditional dancers who serenaded the group until it was time to make cocktails on the beach whilst the sun set.
It was a dreamy first day and our hosted evening meal took place at Umami which is a superb Asian Fusian cuisine restaurant.
Day one – Discovery day
With Mauritius being only 3 hours different in time to the UK, it is the perfect place to visit for us Brits as you will have no issues with jet lag – we were ready to start an exciting day!
We visited the kids club for breakfast at the neighbouring property; Paradis Beachcomber Golf & Spa Resort.
The Paradis Kids Club was simply fantastic. Catering for children aged 3 – 12 years in a great location which is central to all amenities the hotel has to offer.
Children aged under the age of 3 years are still able to visit the Paradis Kids Club however they must either be accompanied by a parent or babysitter.
This resort is widely regarded as one of the premier resorts on the island and has an enviable position at the tip of the stunning Le Morne peninsula surrounded by 5kms of beautiful beach.
Luxurious and spacious accommodation is spread out along these inviting sands, there’s a choice of eight restaurants (four of which are located along the beach at Dinarobin), a free children’s club, a Spa By Clarins, a whole host of free land and water sports including the superb 18-hole Paradis Golf Course.
After sampling the Kids Club and viewing the suites at this resort, we were then off for an authentic Mauritian cookery lesson in a stunning beachfront villa at this resort.
What an incredible experience. Not only from an accommodation point of view – these villas are beachfront with stunning views and offer copious amounts of room for families travelling with children, but also the experience as a whole.
The smells coming from the chef cooking for us was superb. Spending time relaxing in a hammock, listening to the sea whilst a chef prepares lunch … Does life get much better than this?
Other agents on the trip sampled things such as paddle boarding, golf, snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking to name just a few – ALL of the excursions are available to guests in resort. Some denote a small charge but land and water sports are complimentary throughout a Beachcomber stay.
Early evening our group of 50 plus travel agents met on the beach where we waited for our speedboat transfer to take us to individual Catamarans out in the ocean for our evening sunset cruise.
This experience is an absolute must for clients travelling to Mauritius. We cannot recommend it highly enough!
The crew were fantastic hosts and provided us with a light BBQ which was cooked off the back of the Catamaran, along with a beverage or two to enjoy the sunset with.
An incredible way to end the day.
Day two – Excursions
This morning we checked out of the Dinarobin and went straight to our chosen excursion … We had opted to experience “Sea Karting” which is similar to jet skiing but in our opinion, slightly more enjoyable – and faster!
We were in teams of 2 and 3 and spent an hour doing rather fast speeds over the Indian Ocean. An incredibly memorable experience and again, one we would highly recommend to our clients during their stay in Mauritius.
Other excursions agents enjoyed were zip wiring through the jungle, visiting a national park and quad biking. There is much more to Mauritius than it’s beaches and suggest clients staying try as much as they possibly can!
From this excursion we visited a rum distillery for a wonderful hosted lunch and some rum tasting which was a great experience and thoroughly enjoyed.
Checking in to the Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf & Spa Resort that afternoon which was personally one of our favourites during the stay.
It enjoys a prime position on the west coast near to lively Grand Baie and Port Louis and is set along one of the best stretches of beaches in Mauritius.
Trou Aux Biches is an all suite property offering an impressive choice of accommodation from Beachfront Suites with their own plunge pools to two and three-bedroom family villas. For family holidays there’s even a complimentary children’s and teenagers club.
This evenings hosted dinner was an incredibly special beach BBQ. The chefs at the hotel pulled out all the stops with an overwhelming choice of food from fresh sea food through to chargrilled meats. Complimenting this were traditional dancers and musicians.
… Yet another incredible day in Mauritius.
Day three – Local area
This morning we set off for breakfast at the Beachcomber Mauricia Hotel & Spa.
A really beautiful hotel which is situated right in Grand-Baie and perfect for those wishing to explore. We would also recommend this resort if you are slightly budget conscious during your stay as this is a fantastic entry level resort for couples and families.
We were then told we would embark on the “Don’t be a Dodo” treasure hunt!
We were divided into teams and given a “pack” with a camera, a list of things to collect, items to get and pictures to take. Google Maps was forbidden and we had to find our way from different points of interest with ZERO money(!)
This was a great couple of hours exploring Grand-Baie, mixing with the locals who are some of the friendliest and loveliest people I have ever come across.
The idea of this task apart from as mentioned above, was to understand how safe Mauritius is as an island … we had to flag locals down and they helped us hitch hike from place to place before we arrived at the final destination which was the Mont Choisy Golf Course.
The rest of the day was then spent inspecting the Beachcomber Canonnier Golf & Spa Resort where we had a hosted lunch and were able to see the recent refurbishments made to this resort.
A really beautiful resort with an intimate feel, again strongly recommend to couples and families travelling.
From here we then went onto the Beachcomber Victoria Resort & Spa where another site inspection took place and the resort is truly stunning.
The new addition in December 2016 to this resort was the “Victoria for 2” section.
Simply put, this is an addition to the main hotel but adults only and boasts stunning ocean view suites and of course, those all important swim-up suites which are an absolute delight – highly recommend to honeymoon clients and those looking for more luxurious stay in Mauritius.
There is also use of an adult only bar and restaurant for those staying in this section.
Our evening meal was at the Victoria Hotel and a hosted Mauritian street food style dinner took place which again, was fantastic.
… By this point we were struggling to come to terms with having to come back to the UK(!)
Day four – Travel Crusade
This morning we checked out of the Trou aux Biches resort (huge sad face from me personally!) and then embarking on a Travel Crusade across the island.
Again we were divided into teams and given a map (yes, no sat nav!) a hire car and a dash camera.
Similar to yesterdays treasure hunt we were given things to check off of a list and places to visit and things to collect – such an amazing way to see the island and as they drive on the same side of the road as us in the UK there really is no reason not to hire a car and explore.
I somehow took the role of navigator which was slightly hairy at times as I am not really a map savvy person (!) but we explored chateau’s, lakes, mountains and finally arrived at our end point which was none other than the Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa.
We had really been looking forward to this resort and it did not disappoint!
Set in an unspoilt southern location surrounded by 70 acres of gardens and the Blue Bay Marine Park the Shandrani Hotel offers amazing choice all wrapped up in one holiday price.
Shandrani offers guests three beaches to enjoy, a fantastic spa, loads of free land and water sports, there’s some great snorkelling just of the beach in the surrounding Blue Bay Marine Park, a pitch & Putt Golf course and a choice of spacious accommodation.
One thing to mention, and it really is just a mention, is that the planes take off and fly over the resort. Personally, we actually enjoyed watching them and within an hour or so I had forgotten it was even happening.
The children staying in resort with families loved seeing them go over and took great enjoyment in watching.
Our evening meal was superb, which is a recurrent theme since arrival, and was hosted at the resort which meant just short a short walk (stumble) back to the room!
This morning after breakfast we spent time with wedding coordinators and discussed all things Beachcomber Weddings! Beachcomber guarantee only ONE wedding per day and you can find out more with regards to the packages we can offer here.
Early afternoon was spent inspecting the resort with a lovely few hours free time to enjoy all that the Shandrani resort has to offer – including the all inclusive drinks(!)
This evening was our goodbye gala dinner with various special guests attending. Set on the beach (where else!) and again with dancers, welcome drinks and a fabulous evening meal, as always, with great company … it was the only way to end our stay in Mauritius!
I think it’s fair to say our time here was somewhat incredible and having experienced so much this island has to offer as well as the whole Beachcomber experience, it will remain top of our list on our recommendations for clients looking for an extra special stay in the Indian Ocean.
Thank you to Beachcomber for well and truly giving us the #BeachcomberExperience … We can’t wait to come back!
Travel Buddy UK