Mauritius - An Island Paradise
We’ve travelled back in time slightly – the last trip and blog post we shared read a little differently to this one as our most recent holiday was aboard the very big, very bold MSC Seascape from Miami, Florida. It was a family adventure with endless options and a packed itinerary – not the ‘lay back and relax’ we’d previously become accustomed to. If you are intrigued by a cruise, read all about our about our time onboard MSC here.
Rewind a few months, we found ourselves on the beautiful paradise island of Mauritius. It was actually our second time here in four years so there’s a lot we can share and write about. Whilst this destination needs little introduction, here’s a brief overview to begin;
an indian ocean gem
Mauritius is a relatively small island, way down in the Indian Ocean; French and Creole speaking, an alternative (for many reasons) to the Maldives or Seychelles. Direct flights from the UK, along with great connections throughout the Middle East mean that Mauritius can be reached in 12 hours. As the island is almost directly due south, there is very little time difference once you arrive.
Small it may be, but it’s sure packed full of variety – stunning scenery, magical beaches with colourful sunsets, world-class resorts, championship golf courses and dramatic national parks filled with wildlife, jungles and waterfalls – couples, families, friends and solo-travellers alike, it’s the island made for all. It would be easy to return to this heavenly paradise again and again.
Weather & climate
The climate and seasons in this part of the world don’t require much research or consideration, the west coast in particular is certainly an all year round destination. With only two seasons – Summer, November to April and ‘winter’ May to October – the two hottest months in Mauritius are January and February when temperatures reach the 30’s, humidity is apparent and the sea is at its warmest. We loved to catch the sunrise around 6am and would of course be in prime position for sunset between 6-7pm.
The east coast is slightly different and has a smaller ‘better weather window’. It tends to be its own micro-climate and can be sometimes tricky to know what to expect from one month to the next – you might be frequently hopping between parasols and sunscreen – but don’t let that put you off! June, July and August are the main months where you will see temperatures drop to the low 20’s due to the ‘trade winds’. Dramatic downpours don’t last long on this island though, which is why we love tropical climates!
where to stay in mauritius?
The list of where TRAVLUX can recommend to stay in Mauritius is a lengthy one – north, south, east or west – luxury and pristine properties can be found along every coast and corner. We can confidently say (and confirm) that Mauritius is one of the best destinations in the world for a family-friendly adventure. Large but beautiful resorts are home to such a variety of memory-making experiences for all ages. Not forgetting that intimate, boutique and adults only, golf resorts, bubble hotels and lodges hidden in the mountains, all exist too.
Board basis is also broad, as you’ll find bed & breakfast to all-inclusive are possibilities. Mauritius is a great island to enjoy a split stay and something we often recommend; at just 40 miles long and 30 miles wide, experiencing two (or more!) different properties is very easy to do, and even easier for our travel experts to arrange. From our visits to Mauritius, we’ve been lucky enough to experience four different properties, so we can give a first hand review of each.
We set the bar during my first visit in 2018, when we checked into The Oberoi, awarded the best hotel in Mauritius – it took seconds to realise why. Located on the west coast just below Grand Baie, on the pristine white beaches of Turtle Bay, a marine park. Our stay – on a half-board basis – allowed us to enjoy typical Creole dishes, fresh seafood at ‘On The Rocks’ beachside restaurant and long breakfasts with an array of choice, perfect for getting to know the friendly staff.
Our first stay was in their Luxury Pavilion Room. Although entry level, we were blown away. We were given a tour of our room on arrival, had our own floor-to-ceiling patio doors, living space and grand 4-poster bed. We enjoyed early morning yoga each day and paddle boarding out in the beautiful bay. Four years later – with our baby in tow – our stay was elevated (not something we thought was possible!) As we spent four nights in a Luxury Villa with a Private Pool. With a traditional thatched roof, sunken marble bath, thoughtful gifts and special treats on arrival and nothing but the sound of birds in the trees, we were surrounded by lush, tropical gardens and just meters from the ocean and stunning west coast sunsets.
Any stay at The Oberoi is special, intimate and extremely memorable. The attention to detail and feeling like you’re the only guests in the resort is a stand out. There’s not many places I feel the need to visit twice, The Oberoi might just need a third…
one&only le saint géran
Following on, the second part of our (adult-only) split stay was across on the east coast, at One&Only Le Saint Géran, oozing luxury and elegance. Newly renovated meant fresh and contemporary was the immediate feel, tucked away on its own exclusive peninsula at the tip of the Belle Mare coastline. Our room was inviting with tones of blues and neutrals, with a large free standing bath and views out over the bay. Cuisine is of the highest standard here with plenty of offering across six different restaurants. Adventures on the water are ready and waiting, but for something different we enjoyed a wonderful day exploring the island by bike from the property. A highlight was certainly the magical purple skies that appeared each evening from our spacious and relaxing balcony.
Last year, the second half of our (family) split stay on the island was the gorgeous Sugar Beach. Pre-booked private transfers between the resorts made it an easy, scenic, one hour drive. Sugar Beach is set on a kilometre of picturesque white sandy beach in the middle of the the west coast, called Flic-en-Flac. Our Deluxe Beach front room on the first floor was the perfect size and location for us and a baby; we loved the large balcony, double vanity bathroom and a with separate toilet and shower, it made for a villa-esque feel.
The postcard-perfect palm tree backdrop that surrounded the quiet pool was perfection and where we found ourselves most days. We made sure to try both a la carte restaurants – Buddha Bar and Citronella – during our stay. We also love an a la carte lunch too, as it’s often quieter and much more enjoyable; Citronella was perfect for this. Sugar Beach is an ideal family-friendly resort, and one that’s hard to look past if you’re looking for something to suit everyone.
Seeing as I’m a bit of a ‘beach bum’, I wasn’t sure about not staying on the beach, but Lakaz Chamarel was something a little different and it turned out to be one of my favourite and most memorable stays in Mauritius. Nestled southwest in the Black Gorges National Park and fairly high up in the mountains, lie the exclusive boutique lodges of family-run, Lakaz Chamarel. Dramatic panoramic views over Le Morne and colourful local villages leading to the rum distillery made for epic bike rides and early mornings exploring the national park. From here we covered the Chamarel waterfall, the famous Seven Coloured Earth as well as countless of wildlife that visit day and night. Open-air bathrooms, local cuisine, infinity pools with endless views and hilltop yoga huts all meant we were very happy Mauritius first timers!
A part of Mauritius that deserves more attention than it gets is the breathtaking island of La Reunion. 140 miles southwest of Mauritius, the small but beautiful volcanic and mountainous island should be added to any itinerary if you have the extra time. We can highly recommend an epic helicopter transfer over to the island to enjoy a 3-5 night stay at the LUX* St Gilles as a finale to your holiday. It’s certainly on our list for next time!
why you need to visit mauritius
We’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg with the amount of luxury resorts that can be found across Mauritius. If any of the above sound perfect to you, our travel experts will be more than happy to tell you more. Often one of the reasons Mauritius is chosen as a destination over the Maldives is because of how much there is to explore on the island; all the highlights are accessible from all four corners. I’ve briefly touched on the Black River Gorges National Park which is full of picturesque scenery, hiking trails, bird spotting opportunities and dense forest to experience nature at its best. The ocean is of course where you will want to be too – an adventure I will never forget during our first visit to the island was a wild dolphins encounter. Early morning boat trips take you to the best spots to watch and swim with these beautiful animals in their natural environment.
Il aux Cerf shouldn’t be missed off an itinerary to Mauritius, too – a day here will make you feel secluded, relaxed and truly like you’re on a deserted island. A lot of iconic images of Mauritius will often feature the aerial pictures of the underwater waterfall. It’s one of the worlds most extraordinary and breathtaking sights – best captured from a small aircraft or helicopter – it shouldn’t be missed if you’re after thrill-seeking adventure.
Other island adventures include;
• Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens
• Explore the Capital of Port St Louis
• Whale watching tours
• Quad biking
This gem in the Indian Ocean is small but mighty and packs a lot in! Both my experiences on this vibrant and blissful island brought everlasting and unforgettable memories. The pristine shores, mountain-backed beaches, marine adventures and jungle-like centre sparks an instant love for this tropical island hideaway. Get in touch if you’d like more insider stories from our time in Mauritius!
Book with us today
Now is always the best time to book your next holiday and we’re here to take all of your stress away. Simply get in touch with our travel experts for an initial consultation and whether you need a little inspiration or know exactly what you want – with a little help from us – you’ll soon be jetting off to your next destination.