Zoe Experiences The Wonders Of Mauritius… And Rum.

August 7, 2012

Day 1:

At 6pm I arrived at London Heathrow to meet the Beachcomber representatives and the rest of the lucky group who had been chosen to represent their companies on this once in a life time trip to Mauritius. We all checked in, introduced ourselves and headed to the bar before boarding the 12 hour flight with Air Mauritius. We flew economy; it was a roomy flight with great service for food, drink and entertainment.

After arriving into Mauritius airport at 12pm local time (which is 3 hours in front of our local time) we collected our luggage and strolled outside the airport to be serenaded by amazing Mauritian singers and dancers, a fantastic tin band, coconut milk in real coconuts, flower garlands and canapés, I looked around at everybody and the group’s faces just lit up with smiles, I took a step back and thought, this is the real Mauritius and a fantastic welcome by Beachcomber.

After about half an hour we continued to our mini bus which took us to our first hotel The Shandrani Resort and Spa, it literally took 5-10 minutes to get to the hotel, as soon as I got off the mini bus my breath was taken away by the stunning views from the reception with their infinity pool and the views of the crystal clear waters.

After lunch we were given the chance to have a 45 minute massage in the spa, it was the best massage I have ever experienced! Following the massage we used the steam room, the private pool and the Turkish bath which were all included with the massage treatment. I emerged feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to start the Beachcomber Academy; I retired to my room to prepare for the evening.We ate at the buffet style Le Grand Port; the food choice was amazing with all dietary requirements catered for. This great service is included in the all inclusive package along with the 4 other la carte dining restaurants, all premium branded drinks including champagne, a complimentary massage and the numerous free land and water sports.

We met at the reception before making our way over to the Thai restaurants called the Le Boucanier which was outstanding, the restaurant was set just by the pool side. The food was cooked to perfection and the choice was superb. After dinner we headed to the bar to try out the premium branded spirits, while listening to the waves from the beach, a brilliant ending to a brilliant first day in Mauritius.

Day 2

We all met for breakfast bright and early excited to see what was in store for the day at the Le Grand Port restaurant. Unsurprisingly, yet again the brilliant food choice catered for everybody’s needs, the breakfast was a buffet restaurant which overlooked the ocean.

After a few cups of coffee to recover from the night before, they announced  we were taking a trip to the Casela Nature and Leisure Park. We were getting the chance to go quad biking, zip wiring, walking with lions and visiting the different animals that were living there, such as lovebirds, parrots, tigers, tortoises (enormous tortoises!), tropical fish and lots more! It was fabulous; we had chance to look around the leisure park before heading up to the zip wiring where my nerves started to show, the higher up the mountain we were getting the whiter my face was getting, eventually I closed my eyes and let myself slide down the 400 meters of zip wiring and believe me I was scared, but it was a once in a lifetime experience and the views you get from doing so are amazing. I just wanted to keep going and going but we had to explore on the quad bikes. With me as the driver we headed off into the park where we saw zebras, deer, chickens, pigs and ostriches. What an experience, my heart was pounding, my adrenalin was rushing, it was the most adventurous experience (highly recommended). After the quad biking we headed to the Casela Nature park restaurant where they prepared food and drinks for us.

We headed back to the Shandrani where we hit the beach, for snorkeling, wind surfing and water skiing. Before having our India themed evening, we got to our rooms where there was a sari waiting for the ladies and long trousers and tunics for the men, we then got professionally dressed by the Shandrani team before meeting for our hosted meal. At the meal there was Indian food, dancers and a brilliant band playing whilst we had pre dinner drinks which consisted of champagne, cocktails and all premium branded drinks served again with canapés. After our 3 course Indian dinner the Shandrani announced that they have put on an 80s disco and an extended bar for our last night, I took a step back and looked at everybody dancing away with smiles on there faces, it was amazing, I was having the time of my life!

Day 3

The day came to leave the Shandrani and move onto the Trou Aux Biches, before leaving the Shandrani we had our last buffet breakfast there whilst looking out over the sea, before leaving in groups to go to what we thought was the standard transfer the the Trou Aux Biches, but when we arrived at the airport we thought this isn’t right (I thought they were sending us home) but we then had the announcement from our leader to explain that we were going to experience the Helicopter transfer over to the Royal Palm Hotel! Wow, my heart missed a beat, I couldn’t believe it! As we got into the helicopter the views of the island were amazing, it took my breath away as its such a beautiful island. The helicopter transfer can be booked return or one way to the Royal Palm hotel, I would highly recommend this as it’s the best way to see Mauritius, we did a short inspection of the Royal Palm, which is a lovely hotel set on a beautiful beach with a very laid back and peaceful feel.

After the excitement of the helicopter transfer over to the Royal Palm provided by Air Mauritius, we actually did transfer over to the Trou Aux Biches where the manager joined us for a lovely 3 course dinner, the food was mouthwatering and the service was excellent, they couldn’t do enough for you, the treatment we received during our stay at this hotel was 5 star!

We then explored the hotel with a site inspection, seeing the different categories of rooms, villas, the spa, the kids club, the restaurants and more importantly the bars, this hotel was not all inclusive, but they do options of half board, full board and full board plus. The complex was large, very relaxed, laid back and very clean, the rooms were very modern as the hotel had recently had a $60 million refurbishment, there wasn’t a thing out of place, it was stunning!

The rooms were so big that we decided to have pre pre dinner drinks at each others rooms and villas, which continued to happen for the duration of our stay in Mauritius some how!

We met in reception to be transported to the hotel Le Victoria where we had a sight inspection of the property with the rooms to start, which were very much styled and designed for families, very spacious with separate bedrooms in some! We then met the manager of the property who had organised pre dinner cocktails, canapés and a 3 course a la carte meal which again was scrumptious, with relaxing after dinner drinks back at the Trou Aux Biches, before retiring to my room excited to see what was in store for the following day!

Day 4

Awoken by my alarm, I went down for breakfast at the La Caravelle which again was a super breakfast with choices again for all dietary requirements, we ate overlooking the pool and one of the best beaches in Mauritius, it was a fantastic location to have your breakfast with the sun shining.

We were then taken over to the Le Mauricia for a site inspection and a few cocktails before being announced that the task of today was a treasure hunt and that we needed to find our own way to the Le Canonnier, the sister hotel to the Le Mauricia. We had a list of instructions of what we couldn’t use for transportation such as no hire cars, no motor bikes and we only had 500 Mauritian rupees, we had a list of tasks that we had to complete such as making cocktails at the beach bar, buy a box of matches with a Dodo on the box, a local newspaper, a cigarette from a local Mauritian; the list went on. It was really enjoyable and gave us chance to explore Grand Baie, which was beautiful, the beaches were outstanding, the Mauritian people were so helpful and friendly, nothing was too much for them to do, they were so lovely I felt so safe walking the streets in Grand Baie.

Through the laughing and the exhaustion we eventually arrived at the Le Canonnier, where we took part in a team building exercise which was archery, because of laughing I didn’t manage to hit the board but its the taking part that counts I suppose! We were wined and dined in the buffet restaurant of the Le Canonnier which was lovely, a very wide variety of food choice brilliant for all appetites, but after the relaxing and cooling down we then had to make our way back to the Trou Aux Biches hotel. Luckily we did pinch one of the camera man’s cars, we did just start off by moving it from where it was parked to the car park, as he was daft enough to leave the keys in his car, so me and my team thought well, its too hot to carry on walking and I really want to be in that sea cooling down, so we let the other member of the camera crew in on the deal and he took us and drove the car back and parked the car in the original parking space, still to this day he didn’t realise it was me or my team, but we were the first back to get in the beautiful sea!

At 7pm we were told to meet on the beach at the Trou Aux Biches which was set out like a wedding reception on the beach, it was breathtaking, again the champagne and cocktails were the pre dinner drinks before our BBQ on the beach which was yet again mouth watering.  The service was brilliant (they refilled my wine with every sip I took), to end our last night at the Trou Aux Biches they put on a professional fire show for us, which again was brilliant and something I never thought I would be seeing in Mauritius, it was majorly exciting for me as it was the first fire show I had ever seen and to be honest it would take a lot to top that fire show on the beach, it was a lovely end to a lovely stay at the Trou Biches!

Day 5

Waking up to the sound of the calm sea in the peaceful resort I sat on my balcony sad to leave before heading to breakfast. At breakfast we were put into teams to compete in a 007 treasure hunt, we were asked to provide our driving licenses, before they announced each team had a hire car. I was excited to drive in another country!

Checking out the scenery was amazing, we set out and at first followed all the other cars before they gradually disappeared, at this point laughing a lot and needing a beer, I didn’t have a clue where I was and my passenger was reading the map which we were given upside down. Half an hour or so later we found the first part of the treasure hunt, I thought it would be a breeze from here on until we realised we had been travelling in the wrong direction for the past hour! Phoning for help the camera crew had to come and get us and take us to the botanical gardens where everybody else had been waiting there for the past half an hour as they were delayed getting their clues.

We didn’t manage to get the treasure or the clues and when we met for lunch at a traditional Mauritian restaurant I let out a sigh of relief thinking that the treasure hunt was over, but I wasn’t to know we are yet to find our way to the Paradis Hotel and Golf Club which should have taken 20 minutes. Yet again an hour later I am at the top of the mountain, thinking surely the hotel can’t be up here, but I didn’t say anything and let my passenger lead the way, however 1 hour later we are still stuck in the mountains, so the mobile came out and we called for help, I was glad to arrive at the Paradis hotel, when they greeted me with a nice cold cocktail followed by an ice cold beer and cheered on by the rest of the teams, this was it, now the sighs of relief and relaxation.

We had an hour to check into our rooms and meet on the promenade, as we arrived there were 4 speed boats awaiting us, so we were the first to get on the speed boat, and first people to arrive on 1 of the 2 catamarans, as we were doing a sunset catamaran cruise! Well, the one thing I have always wanted to do but never had the chance to! So again all faces were smiling, we all sat back and relaxed with a rum and juice or 2 or 3 while the sun set, as soon as the sun set the party started, the music was on, the BBQ was on and the rum was flowing, there was just one problem, we ran out of rum, one of the staff members of the catamaran cruise had to get off the catamaran to go over to the second catamaran where the other half of the team were to get more rum, as he went over the other half of the team said as soon as he pulled up on the speed boat “these people are not normal, they have drunk 9 bottles of rum” which we didn’t realise we had until the boat stopped and we thought it was still moving dancing still! We went back to our rooms where we changed for the evening and were transported to the Dinarobin Hotel and Golf Spa Resort for an amazing 4 course a la carte dinner; amazing food and more alcohol, we sat back and thought life can’t get much better than this, today was my favorite day, the fun, the laughter, the experience I had today was unforgettable!

Day 6

We woke up to breakfast which again was a brilliant selection. I truly thought the hotel was amazing it was definitely my favourite, the staff, the beach, the rooms everything was top notch!

After breakfast we did a site inspection of the Dinarobin Hotel Golf and Spa Resort and the Paradis hotel and golf resort, which blew me away, the facilities, the rooms, the service, the hotels were spotless and by far the best hotels I have ever visited.

We met in reception and were told that we were going to be having professional golf lessons for 2 hours, “wow”! We were then told to go back to our rooms and dress in the polo shirts which had been provided for us in all of our rooms and meet in reception, with no clue to what was planned for today; I did as I was told still smiling from the amazing time I’d had so far.

At first I did take some of the green with me but as the hour passed I did actually hit a ball, throughout this exercise I was again full of laughter and amazed to discover how to play golf! We did pitch and putt and I wasn’t too bad towards the end, but it was all about taking part, having a laugh and learning about the course and been taught how to play golf, they must be good because I did really get stuck into it and really enjoyed the lessons.

We then sat in the restaurant outside on the golf course watching guest play, eating the lovely food that had been provided for us. We went off to relax and test the beach and sea water out before returning to the room to dress up for the gala dinner.

The food choice was amazing; lobster, steak, curries, prawns, crab… with a beautiful white and milk chocolate mousse to finish off a perfect meal, the tables were laid out like a wedding reception with diamonds on them, it was the best meal to end the trip.The men met us ladies in the reception suited and booted and us ladies in our dresses, we were then transported by boat to the Dinarobin Hotel where we arrived to see each of our names in lights, with the cocktails flowing and us sitting reminiscing about our fabulous week we had together, it brought tears to my eyes because I didn’t want to leave!

After the meal the DJ started and the champagne and cocktails were out again, we all had professional photographs printed and literally danced our last night away, we were all still up and talking on the beach at 5 am about our experiences in Mauritius!

This trip for me was a once in a life time opportunity, the trip ticked all my boxes, I was lucky enough to experience and take part in activities which I never thought I would have the courage to take part in. We had a lovely group, we visited the most amazing hotels in Mauritius, the beaches were the best I have ever seen and the service was amazing. Overall I had the time of my life and I would go back tomorrow!

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