Hi guys. My name is Trish, and this March I was fortunate enough to be whisked away to Mauritius by my son, Pete, who works in the marketing team at Kenwood Travel. See how we got on in my ‘Mauritius with Mum’ island diary.
The adventure began with the luxury of Gatwick Airport’s Emirates Lounge. We drank Champagne (Pete lots) and Martinis and enjoyed a wonderful selection of food while we waited for our flight to be called. We boarded our Business Class flight (my first experience of this cabin class) to Dubai at 8.30pm. Business Class was wonderful; we had our own private booths complete with a drinks cabinet and beds that could accommodate a flat position. There was a bar serving throughout the flight too. Standing at a bar, 40k feet in the air, is quite an experience.
We arrived in Dubai in the early hours of the morning to meet our connecting flight onwards to Mauritius. We were in Business Class again, and even though I didn’t feel like eating a full meal and opted instead for a sandwich, they still laid out a small white tablecloth! This attention to detail made it a genuinely luxurious experience.
We touched down in Mauritius the following afternoon where we were met by our private chauffeur for the hour’s transfer to Heritage Le Telfair Hotel. It was Mauritian Independence Day and there were red, blue, yellow and green flags everywhere. Our hotel was amazing. It was an old colonial style building set in lush grounds, full of tropical trees and coconut palms.
We were shown to our twin room which had a sea view and nice patio overlooking the swimming pool. The room was decorated with frangipani flowers in the bathroom and on our beds were a complimentary polo shirt and rather fetching straw hat. We dined in the buffet restaurant which was very nice, and enjoyed some entertainment in the form of the traditional Sega dance.
The next day after breakfast (which is served with Champagne everyday) I explored our surroundings while Pete went on a hosted run organised by the hotel. There was a significant list of activities to do each day; something for all the family (ideal in this scenario). We were happy to just relax and enjoy the sun and the beautiful clear blue sea, but for anything else we wished to do, we had the attention of Savalan (a nice chap from the hotel) who was happy to book anything we required.
Even when it clouded over slightly the air was still so warm. We explored the area beyond the boundaries of the hotel and sampled local Mauritian food at a roadside cafe. We had a glass of Phoenix beer with an ‘upside down bowl’, an authentic Mauritian dish.
That evening we dined at Le Chateau. This is a restaurant in a grand house once owned by a local sugar plantation magnate. Our table for two was in a prime position overlooking an enormous Chinese boabab tree which is lit up at night. We enjoyed a bottle of Ernie Els wine, which comes inclusive with the Gourmet Bliss package – Heritage Le Telfair’s take on All Inclusive – very worthwhile. We saw several fruit bats flying around as this is their waking hour! It was an amazing experience and we even met the chef, plus we travelled back to the hotel in style, hitching a ride on a golf buggy.
On our second day we checked out the beach club, then I went for a spa treatment while Pete did a site inspection of our hotel, and neighbouring Heitage Awali Golf & Spa Resort, with his colleagues who had arrived at Heritage Le Telfair as part of a familiarisation trip. That evening we dined at an Asian fusion restaurant called Ginja. Pete loved the sushi, but all the food was fantastic to be fair. We both enjoyed our meal with an expensive bottle of South African wine that I chose by accident, not understanding the rupees! We then met Pete’s colleagues, Scott and Nelash, and had a nightcap in one of the hotel’s very plush lounges.
On our last morning at Le Telfair we joined Scott & Nelash, who are Indian Ocean holiday experts, on a tour of Heritage’s very own nature reserve in an open-sided 4×4, accompanied by a lovely Mauritian guide. He really cared about the environment and the loss of so many native trees. We drove through sugar cane fields and pineapple groves. We saw wild boar and deer in the distance. My son and one of his colleagues swam in the waterfall. It was an amazing experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
When we checked out of Heritage Le Telfair, Savalan was there to say farewell, adding that personal touch. It was such a beautiful place. We were able to call in on a shell museum just outside the hotel gates, where we could shop for presents.
It took about an hour to reach the next hotel of our Mauritius holiday: Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa. First impressions were of a formidable front entrance in lovely grounds and a palatial reception area. We were shown to our twin room with sea view over a small beach and nice spacious balcony, which, not being overlooked, felt private and secluded. It was very different to our first hotel, but my son was pleased to be able to drink more thanks to the all-inclusive plan! The service is was also top notch.
That evening we accepted an invitation to a welcome cocktail party, and were introduced to several of the hotel managers who were all very attentive and friendly. We enjoyed some delicious cocktails and canapés before dining at Le Sirius (a very good poolside restaurant). The seafood was delicious; one of our favourite meals of the trip.
The next day we booked an outing on a glass-bottomed boat. It was so nice to get out on the water and witness the beautiful Indian Ocean first hand. On our last full day in Mauritius we booked a tour to the Black River Gorge and the Seven Coloured Earth; must-see stuff for any holiday to Mauritius. The natural phenomenon of the coloured sands is an amazing sight to behold, and we even saw a Giant Aldabra tortoise. We enjoyed a tasty lunch with our driver and guide, before exploring more of the lovely, lush countryside including tea and coffee plantations. Mauritius is known for its culture and heritage, and it was nice to see this up close with a visit to one of the island’s temples. We got to feed the resident monkeys outside the temple which was very entertaining.
Our guide was kind enough to take me to a supermarket to buy some tea and coffee to bring home. It was a good day out and we saw a bit more of the interior of the island. We had Italian for dinner. All of the restaurants were superb at the Shandrani – we enjoyed some really lovely food there.
After getting chatting to a lovely couple (Brian and Corrine) the day before, we discovered they had been visiting the Shandrani for 17 years! That speaks volumes for the hotel, and you can see why people come back so often. It was their second visit that year. They were very nice, and invited us to join them for a drink after our meal. On our last day, we made the most of the sunshine, beautiful clear waters, and inclusive cocktails, before heading to the airport.
It was such a lovely experience. A beautiful destination and two lovely hotels, each amazing for their own different reasons. I’m a very lucky mum!