Mauritius

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GillD46
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Mauritius

Post by GillD46 » 09 Mar 2019, 11:22

Mauritius.

Background

The background to this holiday is that we had booked to do Hong Kong to Southampton this month, 40 nights in QG on QM2, but after our first beach holiday in years, in Cyprus last September, which was truly fabulous and we enjoyed so very much, we realised we were a bit “cruised out” for the time being and decided to take a year off from ships! We really wanted to go to the Seychelles, or possibly Mauritius, but after endless research couldn’t find a hotel in the Seychelles that we liked enough to book for two weeks, that was also within reasonable reach of a hospital. Since having my heart condition diagnosed a little over a year ago, I have sadly lost all confidence in my own health and simply cannot be convinced that I really don’t need a decent medical facility nearby, despite the fact that after various tests my Cardiologist considers me an extremely low cardiovascular risk! I just can’t help it! So we - for we, read I - decided to abandon The Seychelles altogether and settled on Mauritius.

We booked through Emirates Holidays, who at the time, had a short term promotion on, offering full board for the cost of half board, and an amazingly low flight upgrade price if booked together with the hotel as a package, and a real bargain compared to the outrageous cost of booking these particular upgraded flights separately from the hotel. We had a good budget due to the cruise we had cancelled (even though we had lost a hefty deposit) although even with our good budget one or two of the hotel prices were eye-wateringly beyond reach, so we carefully chose our hotel focussing on a quality and location that suited us. We picked one of the suites that suited us from the myriad of room and suite choices the hotel offered, then realised that if we dropped one suite grade, to one that appears virtually the same overall, but with a slightly smaller sitting room, we could fly, not just Business as we normally would, but actually get to fly First Class. This was a no brainer for us: we are unlikely to fly First again, and we knew that First with Emirates on an A380 meant individual suites with doors and best of all, an on board shower - so, with great excitement, and my flexible friend clutched in my very sweaty little hand, I paid the deposit and we were booked! We have been beyond excited ever since, as much for the flight as for the holiday itself.

We always travel to LHR by train, if we possibly can: neither of us can tolerate a long car journey due to us both having back problems, severe, permanent back injury for my husband and at present I have wretched, really painful sciatica! The train service from where we live in South Wales is frequent, comfortable, and actually pretty reasonably priced if booked far enough ahead. Annoyingly, this weekend, Network Rail have chosen to work on the lines around Neath so there are no trains at all between Swansea and Port Talbot, which means either taking the bus that is being provided, or a taxi from our home on Gower to Port Talbot. It’s too far to ask a friend to take us we feel, especially on a Sunday, so given we will have more luggage than we want to manage on the bus, we have booked a car for the 45-50 minute drive to Port Talbot. I just hope he arrives in a timely manner and that there are no delays driving through Swansea.

We have booked the Heathrow Express from Paddington and to stay at the Terminal 5 Sofitel the night before, our Heathrow hotel of choice, fully paid for with my Accor points. Emirates provide a car to take us from the Sofitel to Terminal 3 to get the flight, and back to our daughter’s home in Islington on our return, these are booked as well. So everything is done, bags are packed, the fridge is stocked and house cleaned for our daughter and son-in-law, who are moving in while we’re away, we have one more night and it’ll be time to go!
Gill

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Jan Rosser
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Re: Mauritius

Post by Jan Rosser » 09 Mar 2019, 11:33

Oooh I like the sound of your holiday Gill - looking forward to hearing all about it.

Nice change to hear about land-based holidays - enjoying Carole's time in Cyprus too. Hope you have a wonderful time - once you are on the train I'm sure you will relax and ENJOY :thumbup:
Janis

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Re: Mauritius

Post by Kenmo1 » 09 Mar 2019, 12:43

To say I am jealous is an under statement, Gill. Your trip sounds very exciting and you have obviously given it a lot of thought. I am looking forward to the next instalment.

Maureen

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Stephen
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Re: Mauritius

Post by Stephen » 09 Mar 2019, 12:55

Sounds lovely Gill. I'd go just for the flight.

You do realise you will need a baggage handler/body desposer guard for the whole trip. My rates are very reasonable. :thumbup:

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Re: Mauritius

Post by GillD46 » 09 Mar 2019, 14:14

Now there’s a thought Stephen. Seeing how heavy our cases are, we could do with you. Be ready - just in case!
Gill


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Re: Mauritius

Post by screwy » 09 Mar 2019, 14:26

Sounds great. enjoy.
Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt

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Re: Mauritius

Post by Happydays » 09 Mar 2019, 14:29

Your flight sounds fantastic, lucky you enjoy it. Looking forward to reading all about it!
We have booked Emirates to Australia in October unfortunately only in economy 😂😂

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Re: Mauritius

Post by Gill W » 09 Mar 2019, 15:13

Have a wonderful time
Gill


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Re: Mauritius

Post by Whynd1 » 09 Mar 2019, 15:28

Have a lovely holiday Gill.

Lindsey


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Re: Mauritius

Post by CaroleF » 10 Mar 2019, 08:29

It sound wonderful. I would like, just once to travel 1st class, unfortunately I don't think that's likely to happen, but you never know. Have a great time!

Carole - from a sunny Cyprus.

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Re: Mauritius

Post by GillD46 » 10 Mar 2019, 08:41

Carole I would have said the same, but we just happened - for once - to book at exactly the right time when they had this promotion. March is the cusp of the end of dry season and start of rainy season, so we are expecting some short, but sharp showers, but I think we’ll still get plenty of sun and sea. And if it rains solidly for two weeks, well we’ll have the flight home to look forward to lol
Last edited by GillD46 on 10 Mar 2019, 08:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mauritius

Post by Suekersh » 10 Mar 2019, 12:58

Hi Gill, great start and looking forward to reading more.we were actually told that their summer which is now is also their rainy season and that at the end of April the temperatures cool slightly to about 75 degrees and there is less rain.
Even rain there is liquid sunshine and rarely lasts very long but it is Tropical so rain can only be expected.

Your flight sounds amazing. We have upgraded ours but only to World Traveller plus with BA.

Have a great flight.


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Re: Mauritius

Post by Whynd1 » 10 Mar 2019, 17:02

My husband has upgraded his Zimmer frame to a pair of crutches !!!

Lol


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Re: Mauritius

Post by screwy » 12 Mar 2019, 10:32

Cattle class for me every time.
Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt


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Re: Mauritius

Post by Quizzical Bob » 13 Mar 2019, 10:33

Great choice Gill, I know that you will have a wonderful time.

We spent two weeks on Mauritius a couple of years ago and had a lovely time. I split the visit between two hotels in the same group, one week at Lux Grand Gaube in the nort east because of its facilities and the second at Lux Belle Mare on the east coast on account of its fabulous white beaches.

I know that this may not appeal to you but car hire is very cheap and easy and they drive on the left like us. There are lots of things to see and do. Just make sure that you take some insect repellent with you.

If you have any questions I’d be pleased to help you.

Have fun!

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Re: Mauritius

Post by GillD46 » 13 Mar 2019, 18:06

Apologies for the delay.

Our train journey was ok, comfortable and quiet, with the trolley man trying his hardest to fatten us up with his wares. It was pleasant as was the HEX and we were quickly at the Sofitel where we got upgraded to a Junior Suite. This came with Club Lounge access - our booked room also had this access, but the upgraded one also came with a free mini bar! And a TV in the bathroom! We went along to the Club and had a spot of afternoon tea - dainty sandwiches, fabulous tiny pastries and scones with clotted cream and jam. Although personally, I do not think it was clotted cream, it was far too fluffy, but nice enough anyway. We then had to nip back to the terminal as I discovered I had forgotten to pack my comb! There's always something I manage to forget!

We then went back to the Club about 6pm for drinks and canapés. After this we didn’t want, or indeed need, dinner, so we watched a little TV and then went to the bar for a cocktail which came with some delicious nibbles. Very nice they were too, and very reasonable for Heathrow. Next morning we had an excellent breakfast in the restaurant, where the egg chef insisted on making me fresh pancakes after I glanced at those on the buffet counter, despite me saying I really didn’t want them! I then felt obliged to eat at least some of them! Our car arrived promptly at 10.10 and we were at check-in a few moments later. The agent was pleasant and efficient, if a little remote. Through security and a quick detour to Boots for a new lipstick and we arrived at the Emirates lounge. This was very nice indeed: long and narrow it spanned two gates so had runway views and had very comfortable seating and a decent buffet, with a good self serve bar, including Laurent Perrier - not my favourite but hey ho! . We had a small plate of flatbread and humous and two glasses of the LP, took seats right at the window, where the sun was streaming in despite it being very cold outside, and spent a very pleasant couple of hours. Our incoming aircraft was late, meaning we were delayed well over an hour, a worry as we only had a 90 minute transit in Dubai.

Eventually we boarded, direct from the lounge, two jet bridges, one for Economy and one for First and Business upstairs, and were escorted to our seats - or suites as they call them. Wow! They were amazing, very blingy as you’d expect from Emirates, with 32” screens, individual mini bars with soft drinks, baskets of snacks including crisps, cracker type snacks, chocolate, sweets, mints and chewy bars. There was an extremely comfortable seat and even when I raised the foot to horizontal, there was about 3’ of space in front if me, which is where all hand luggage is stowed since there are no overhead lockers. We were swiftly offer more LP, given a big bag with PJ, furry slippers, amenity kit full of Bvlgari products, eye mask, Bose noise cancelling headphones. A crew member handed out the extensive menu and another booked us a shower slot. Tgen they cam with Arabic coffee and dates! Very quickly we were away with Business full - all 70 odd seats, First had 3 empty of the 14 and Economy had 100 empty seats.

We opted to have lunch when available, but could choose when we wanted it, and while waiting were served Dom Perignon 2009 together with warmed nuts. I skipped the Canapés and Caviar and went straight for the Meze, which was served with an assorted bread basket with olive oil and balsamic. Altogether there was a choice of I think 7 starters,I didn’t want a main course, but tgere were 6 on offer,including beef tenderloin cooked to order, then 4 desserts and a cheese course with no fewer than 6 cheeses on offer. Then they gave us small boxes of Belgian chocs each. The wine list was not extensive - I think 4 each of red and white, but extremely good wines I believe, though I refused all of them after lunch out came the Hennessy Paradis cognac, which retails at £700 ! Tony had that - not me!

We watched a movie then made our way through Business to the bar, where we chatted with the crew member tending the bar area and also other passengers. Then we had to go back as it was time for our showers! Showers! On an aeroplan!

Oh my, this was totally surreal. The two bathrooms were beautifully appointed, with heated floors, every product one could possibly want, including shower caps, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, lip salve, eye cream, combs, brushes, shaving kit, toothbrushes, loofahs, nail files, even sanitary products, plus there was a hairdryer. We were allowed 30 minutes in the bathroom with 5 minutes of water flow, which could be stopped and started at will. The actual shower cubicle had a fresh orchid in a vase on the wall! I found I didn’t need the full five minutes worth of water, Tony said he didn’t either, but how lovely and refreshing to have a shower before our arrival at Dubai - but totally totally surreal to be stark naked, in a shower ON BOARD AND AIRCRAFT!!! After dressing again, we were given fresh fruit skewers and green tea. Then all too soon we were arriving at Dubai and ready to change aircraft - and do it all again!
Gill

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Re: Mauritius

Post by GillD46 » 13 Mar 2019, 18:10

Quizzical Bob wrote:
13 Mar 2019, 10:33
Great choice Gill, I know that you will have a wonderful time.

We spent two weeks on Mauritius a couple of years ago and had a lovely time. I split the visit between two hotels in the same group, one week at Lux Grand Gaube in the nort east because of its facilities and the second at Lux Belle Mare on the east coast on account of its fabulous white beaches.

I know that this may not appeal to you but car hire is very cheap and easy and they drive on the left like us. There are lots of things to see and do. Just make sure that you take some insect repellent with you.

If you have any questions I’d be pleased to help you.

Have fun!
Thanks for the offer, we are at Belle Mare but the the Residence, which is fabulous. If there’s anything I’ll come back to you if I may.
Gill


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Re: Mauritius

Post by cruisin_duo » 14 Mar 2019, 14:58

What a lovely way to travel. Have a great time.


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Re: Mauritius

Post by CaroleF » 14 Mar 2019, 17:14

Wow! I am speechless!

Maybe, one day, in my dreams!

Carole

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Re: Mauritius

Post by Kenmo1 » 14 Mar 2019, 17:26

CaroleF wrote:
14 Mar 2019, 17:14
Wow! I am speechless!
Same here !! What a great start to a holiday.

Maureen

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Re: Mauritius

Post by GillD46 » 14 Mar 2019, 19:07

We made up time during the flight due to a strong tail wind so actually arrived at Dubai on time. We were very speedily through Security, which was actually hugely chaotic but something of a farce, and made our way to the First lounge. This was massive and had various rest rooms, a prayer room, a buffet as well as a sit down restaurant. I wasn’t especially hungry but it was our intention to bed down as soon as we boarded and not eat until breakfast, so I ordered some Granola and a bottle of water, while Tony, always one to take advantage of food, ordered a Wagu burger and fries! While waiting for our food to arrive, a shoe shine man came along and stole his shoes to polish them. As they were brand new I wasn’t sure they needed polishing at all, but back they came far shinier than when they left the shop! We only had about 45 minutes in the lounge before boarding the second flight, so it was all a bit of a rush. Again we were offered champagne on boarding but refused, having OJ instead. Again we got the bag with amenity kit, PJs, slippers etc which we changed into before departing - having the doors was great as we didn’t need to go to the bathroom to change! Anyway, as soon as the seatbelt sign went off, we had the stewardess make up the beds, closed the dorrs to our private suites and slept for about 4 hours, before being woken for our shower slots again. This time we knew what to expect, but it was still a wonderful novelty. We were able to change into more suitable clothing for the 30° temperature in Mauritius. After the shower we were served breakfast, which I must admit was slightly disappointing. I had a fruit platter, which was ok, but Tony had scrambled eggs which he said were truly awful, though he said the toast was fine! Toast - on a plane!

Anyway, very quickly we were at the island, deplaned within a minute or two, were VERY quickly through immigration, then health control and our three bags were 3rd, 4th and 5th on the carousel, so we were out of the airport and into our waiting car exactly 20 minutes after the wheels touched down on the runway. If only Heathrow was the same!
Gill

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Re: Mauritius

Post by GillD46 » 14 Mar 2019, 19:28

So onto the holiday itself.

We had a journey of a little over an hour to our hotel, which mostly involved good, quiet roads flanked by fields of sugar cane. It was incredibly green everywhere - this must mean we will see rain - but it was rather tedious, just field after field of sugar cane, with some interesting mountains in the distance. Our driver was very pleasant and informative and the journey passed reasonably quickly. On arrival at the hotel, which is colonial style, we were given iced tea - shame I hate tea - and checked in at some comfortable chairs overlooking the beautiful pool area with the bluest sea beyond. After information overload, we were escorted to our room, which was - is - lovely. A very large sitting room, semi open plan to a large bedroom, a walk through wardrobe with dressing area and an ENORMOUS bathroom. Honestly, the largest bathroom I have ever seen - it must be 20’ x 15’. Our terrace overlooks the pretty gardens with the sea beyond. And we have two massive TVs ! Our day Butler came and introduced herself - all rooms here have a Butler - and explained everything that needed explaining, and there was a considerable amount to take in, then we unpacked, which took quite a while and at last made our way to the beautiful beach for a much needed swim!
Gill

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Re: Mauritius

Post by Suekersh » 14 Mar 2019, 20:43

Sounds absolutely fabulous Gill. I am waiting in anticipation for your next instalment.


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Re: Mauritius

Post by CaroleF » 15 Mar 2019, 07:20

Sounds like a dream holiday!


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Re: Mauritius

Post by Midlandslass » 15 Mar 2019, 11:41

What an incredible flight, an insight into how 'the other half ' live.
Thank you for taking us with you on your holiday, Gill.
I'm looking forward to reading about the rest of it and please feel free to post any piccies you have.
:)

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Re: Mauritius

Post by GillD46 » 15 Mar 2019, 12:32

I am writing these little pieces when I get into bed, so there should be more later. Until then, the weather!

It is fabulous in the mornings, we are always on the beach and snorkeling by about 8.30 am. Afternoons quite a lot of cloud builds and it can sometimes rain, although we haven’t had any - yet! During the sunny hours it is very hot, we HAVE to sit under a parasol. The sea is lovely and warm. Being on the east, we have quite a bit of wind in the afternoons! Which can make it feel cooler than it is - and we can burn! Evenings are warm and humid, not only do we not need any sort of wrap or cardigan, it would be unbearably sticky to wear anything. I tried loose linen trousers and a loose linen top a couple of nights ago - far too hot. All I can bear is a linen shift.

It’s a long time since I posted pics, but I’ll try and remind myself what to do, and will post some later.
Gill

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Re: Mauritius

Post by GillD46 » 15 Mar 2019, 17:28

Image
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Re: Mauritius

Post by GillD46 » 15 Mar 2019, 17:29

Great snorkeling around these rocks.
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Re: Mauritius

Post by Suekersh » 15 Mar 2019, 17:55

Oh Gill you are whetting my appetite and I still have 6 weeks and 2 days to wait. Looks fantastic.

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Re: Mauritius

Post by GillD46 » 15 Mar 2019, 18:04

ImageThis is from the alternative, more fine dining restaurant terrace...
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Re: Mauritius

Post by Midlandslass » 15 Mar 2019, 18:12

Thank you, that beach looks wonderful, almost like talcum powder.

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Re: Mauritius

Post by GillD46 » 15 Mar 2019, 18:22

Since we arrived on Tuesday we really haven’t done too much as yet. I arrived with sciatica and all the snorkeling hasn’t helped it. What really made things worse was that yesterday, while Tony had gone on a snorkeling trip out to the edge of the reef - too deep for me, as I am a very poor swimmer - I slipped and fell getting into the pool, landing on my poorly hip. Needless to say, the pain is now considerably worse, so we are staying put for the time being. The hotel has sent a sun lounger to our room as I am finding sitting at the table and chairs on the terrace too uncomfortable.

The hotel has two main restaurants: the buffet restaurant that serves a hugely extensive, very good quality breakfast. What I hadn’t considered until getting here, is the strong French influence, so at breakfast they prepare crepes - and they are finding their way onto my plate daily - along side beautiful tropical fruits! This restaurant is also open for lunch, on a small scale, and eachevening there is a themed buffet of superb quality. Tonight for example was Asian/Oriental. Oh my, it was fabulous, and even for me, a strict veggie, there were at least 7 or 8 choices.

Then there is the Plantation, a beach front more fine dining experience, open at lunch time for meals or snacks and then for dinner with linen tablecloths and a fabulous a la carte menu. We ate there on Wednesday and it was absolutely exceptional. They also offer snacks around the pool and on the beach, which are also very good quality.

Entertainment is very low key: a regular pianist and singer, with the occasional local dance troupe. I would say this is perhaps the weak spot, although it suits us just fine. There are a few families but most people seem happy to retire early.
Last edited by GillD46 on 15 Mar 2019, 18:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mauritius

Post by Jan Rosser » 15 Mar 2019, 18:52

Your flights sounded amazing - so glad you've shared your experience with us - can't see me ever experiencing 1st class - I'll have to start buying a lottery ticket ;)

The hotel sounds fab too - looking forward to hearing more about your holiday - take care :thumbup:
Janis


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Re: Mauritius

Post by Midlandslass » 16 Mar 2019, 10:49

So sorry to hear about your tumble, hopefully you have some medication with you to ease the pain.
It all sounds wonderful, enjoy your luxurious surroundings and the magnificent cuisine.
Take care.

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