Mauritius land based holiday

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Suekersh
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Mauritius land based holiday

Post by Suekersh » 12 May 2019, 14:45

Hi all,

We have just returned from our 1 st land based holiday for many years. Since being a teenager ( too long ago to mention) when I saw a documentary on Mauritius I have always wanted to visit there. We couldn’t afford it when we got married and life takes over. Last year because P & O cancelled 2 of our cruises booked on Oriana for later this year we decided to use the funds to finally fulfil my dream destination.


We travelled down from Preston on Sunday 28 April and had an easy journey down as far as Gerrards Cross. The Bull Inn was adequate for an overnight stay but the Holiday Inn type hotels are much better value for money albeit not in as pretty a setting,
On Monday 29th April we left our car at my Sisters as she lives only 15 minutes from the airport and on Monday evening she dropped us at the airport. We had checked in on line so it was just a matter of dropping off the bags before making our way to the No 1 Priority Lounge.

Our Flight with BA was on time. We had Booked World Traveller plus which gave us double luggage allowance ( which as I don’t travel light was very useful) extra leg room and seat width in a smaller cabin with only 28 passengers. The food was the same as served in business class and the fillet steak was unusually not only edible but enjoyable.
I watched the Bohemian Rhapsody film and managed a few hours sleep probably more dozing than sleeping. BA are certainly not an airline of choice but they were the only ones offering direct flights to Mauritius on the dates we wanted to travel.

We arrived half an hour early and the queue for Immigration was very long even though we were in the first few off the plane. Not quite as bad as the USA but they certainly needed a lot more staff on.

Our taxi was waiting for us and the temperature hit us as we walked towards the car and were grateful for the air con. The journey took around an hour and we saw some of the island as we travelled from the South to the North West.

The staff at the Maritim were fully prepared for us as we had filled in the forms on line before we left. We were shown to the Belle Vue buffet restaurant for lunch. There was so much to choose from, salads, fish, meat, pasta, pizzas, and lots more. All covered from the flies and the food changed regularly so hot and fresh. We are all inclusive and the drinks menu is extensive.

After lunch we were escorted to our room. I had requested a Prestige room in the area of room 228 which someone on trip advisor had recommended. We were allocated next door in room 227 and were very happy with the room. Absolutely huge more like a suite than a room with a large patio leading out into the garden area which in turn leads to the two pools on the right and left is the huge beach and the La Maree beach bar and restaurant where because we booked a Prestige room we are entitled to eat breakfast there every day instead of using the buffet.
The room has a mini bar stocked with alcohol and soft drinks which are replaced daily.

We unpacked and being so used to a cabin on the cruises we were amazed with the amount of storage space.

We could both have gone to sleep there and then but pushed ourselves to walk around and get our bearings. We booked La Maree the beach restaurant for the following evening. Lots of restaurants to choose from but everywhere except the buffet had to be booked.

After resting and showering we headed back to the buffet for the Indian dinner which was excellent. Once again the wine flowed freely and no sooner was the glass almost empty it was refilled.

We headed for the cocktail bar for coffee and liquors and decided to stay there for the evening as it was so comfortable I made it my mission to make my way through the cocktail list during the holiday. The definite plus us that being All Inclusive there is no bill at the end of the night.

We didn’t have a late night as we were both beyond tired by 10 p.m. and headed back to our room and the huge comfy bed.

Wednesday 1 st May

We both had an excellent nights sleep and awoke refreshed. The sun was shining as we headed towards La Maree the beach restaurant for breakfast. What a fantastic spot to start the morning.
Ishwaree runs this place like clockwork and knows all of her guests.
She made us feel very welcome as she explained how breakfast ‘works’ there. There is so much to choose from and while the hot breakfast is being cooked to order we helped our selves to fresh fruit, smoked salmon, various meats and cheeses. Mimosas along with fresh orange, tea, coffee toasts and bread were placed on our table. The view of the sea and beach is just stunning. A grass hopper landed on our table hoping to join us for breakfast but one of the waiters very gently removed it into a nearby tree.

After breakfast we chose beds by the pool and Garry went off to find the Spa whilst I enjoyed the early morning sun. I had booked a snorkel trip out to the reef at 11 am so I arranged to meet Garry back at the pool before lunch.

I have done better snorkelling in the Caribbean but the fish were plentiful and completely different species to those in the Caribbean. The Coral appears to be mainly dead then suddenly I came across some which was thriving. The snorkel guide explained that the sea over the reef was a bit choppy which is why we snorkelled in the lagoon. I will certainly do the trip again as the hotel runs it twice daily along with the Glass bottom boat trip which we have booked for tomorrow.

We lunched in La Maree where Ishwaree once again looked after us superbly. Everything is cooked fresh to order and the fish of the day was excellent. We tried the Rose wine for a change but both of us decided we prefer the White Sauv Blanc.

I spent the rest of the afternoon by the infinity pool reading, dozing and swimming. I chatted to a couple who were in the seat in front of us on the plane. It’s a small world and it turned out that her parents do a lot of cruising with P & O and were on the world cruise we did and last years South America cruise. The bar service is very attentive but I stuck to soft drinks until I went back to the room to get ready for dinner. The mini bar had been restocked with our preferred tipples.

We had pre dinner dinner drinks at La Maree where I ordered a margarita but the barman persuaded me to try an Oceanarita which has Blue curacao added. It tasted delicious but very strong. Another excellent dinner where we both opted for the fresh fish of the day. I just hope it wasn’t one of those I was swimming with earlier.

We finished the night in the Quarter deck bar for coffee and liquors and where I made headway in my challenge to go through the cocktail list.

Thursday. 12 May

Another great nights sleep which must be down to the cocktails as I had been having problems sleeping at home.

After breakfast of Eggs Benedict in La Maree we headed for the pool and then the Glass Bottom boat trip. We went in the same direction as yesterday’s snorkel trip but the reef was much better and we saw an abundance of fish. Finally Garry understands why I love my snorkelling trips.

I stayed by the pool whilst Garry went to the spa. The weather is very strange here. It can be glorious sunshine then suddenly a cloud breaks over the mountain and we have liquid sunshine for a few minutes then it clears up again just as quickly. The island is so green and water here is not a problem.

There is so much to do at the hotel which stands in 25 hectares. It has its own 9 hole golf course, stables, various water sports, giant tortoises, and some Balaclava ruins to visit, but I am being very lazy and just enjoying the pool and the sun. I did find the gym but I can’t remember where. If we get a bad day I will search it out again.

We tried to book Speciality dining for tonight but they were fully booked. We booked for Friday, Saturday and Monday. Sunday is the fish extravaganza in the buffet.

I was enjoying a sundowner on the patio and managed to phitograph the most beautiful sunset between the trees. As we are on the West coast of the Island we should be able to witness this each evening.

We had a pre dinner cocktail in the Quarter deck bar and dinner in the buffet.
There is a different themed buffet every night but the catch of the day is always available. Tonight was the International buffet. It is very well organised and after being shown to a table a waitress brings drinks, and keeps them topped up, takes crockery away as if by magic. I still prefer to order from a menu and be served but this style of buffet eating is certainly a huge leap up from the P & O buffet bun fight.

We returned to the bar for coffee and more cocktails before heading off to La Maree for a final night cap around the beach bonfire. I had visions of a bonfire like we have on 5 November but this was just a few logs in a grate on the beach.

The atmosphere was jovial with many different nationalities putting our language skills to shame.


Friday

After securing our beds by the pool we had breakfast at La Maree. Instead of a mimosa today I sampled the Rose brut. Delicious and what a way to start the morning with smoked salmon and fresh fruit followed by eggs Benedict and freshly baked croissants.

Before it got too hot we decided to walk breakfast off through the hotels huge grounds. We walked as far as the main gates and saw the sign for the stables and the Giant Tortoises. There are about eight horses which can be rented by the hour. I saw some of them being ridden on the beach early this morning. The tortoises are indeed huge and are bred in the grounds. We saw eight large ones and six young ones. They live to be well over 100 years old.

We set off back on the long walk and by now the sun was baking hot. A member of the sports crew went past in a buggy and very kindly picked us up and took us to the spa area.

It was my first time there though Garry had visited each day. It was awesome just such an idyllic peaceful setting. We had the area to ourselves. Just like having a private pool.

The rest of the day was spent by the pool soaking up the rays, even lunch of fresh fish was brought to my sun bed. I think it must have been a changeover day as it was much quieter by the pool.
The swim up bar was offering a range of cocktails but I stuck to the plan of fresh fruit mocktails only as I didn’t want to spoil the evening.

We had booked in La Maree for dinnerl. Once again more excellent fresh fish on offer as well as steak, chicken, pork and vegetarian options. The house wine is perfectly acceptable and somehow the first bottle was empty before we had finished the meal. It was immediately replaced by another. It is such a relaxing restaurant right by the beach with subdued lighting and the beach lit by the moonlight. A local singer/guitarist calls at every table to ask for requests.

We finished the night as usual in the Quarterdeck bar for coffee, liquors and cocktails. There was a local group of singers and dancers keeping us entertained. A group of 4 Germans joined us. We can’t speak any German and they spoke very little English but miraculously as soon as Football was mentioned it was like we had a common language or at least Garry had.

At the end of the night the waitress had mixed the bills up but as both bills were zero it didn’t matter at all. It just looked as though we had been drinking heavily.

More later.

Sue

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Kenmo1
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Re: Mauritius land based holiday

Post by Kenmo1 » 12 May 2019, 15:00

Wow, Sue. I am soooo jealous. You sure know how to holiday. P&O cruises will never be the same :lol:

Looking forward to the next instalment.

Maureen :wave:

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GillD46
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Re: Mauritius land based holiday

Post by GillD46 » 12 May 2019, 16:12

What a great read. It is bring back so many memories...
Gill

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barney
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Re: Mauritius land based holiday

Post by barney » 12 May 2019, 16:24

Cheers Sue
Keep it coming
A lovely read :thumbup:

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Re: Mauritius land based holiday

Post by Suekersh » 12 May 2019, 17:34

To continue

Saturday 4 th May

We are now in a routine and feel completely relaxed. The long flight is a distant memory and I don’t want to think about the journey home.

After another excellent breakfast by the beach we got beds by the pool and Garry went off to the Spa. I decided not to join him as I had booked another snorkel trip.

This time we snorkelled right over the reef. It was amazing and 100 % better than last time when we snorkelled in the lagoon. The Coral was alive and thriving and the fish were so colourful and many different species. Some were very big and ugly and although I took a photograph I left them alone and went off in search of some smaller colourful, prettier fish.

We decided to lunch in the buffet to have a break from the searing heat of the sun. Lots of lovely fresh salads and of course my favourite catch of the day.

Garry went back to the room after lunch in search of some shade and air con. I stayed by the pool and topped up my tan whilst using the pool to cool off.

We ate dinner in the Banyan which is an Asian fusion restaurant. I was more impressed with my choice of seared Tuna than Garry was with his chicken. We both decided we preferred the La Maree beach restaurant for both the food and the ambience.

We finished the night in the Quarter deck bar and more cocktails. It is such a hard life.

Sunday 5 th May

The sun was shining as we made our way to breakfast at La Maree. It was Ishwarees day off and breakfast was nowhere near as organised as when she is there ruling her roost. I couldn’t believe there was no bubbles opened and ready but it did arrive swiftly after the maitre D noticed my disappointed look at the dish of ice but no bottles cooling in it.

The day worsened as the clouds came over and it started raining. It rained on and off for most of the morning and I took up residence in the Quarterdeck bar whilst Garry went to the spa. I had booked the snorkelling trip again but decided against going out because of the rain.

It took a long time and a lot of research choosing where in Mauritius I wanted to be and the hotel to stay at. We have friends who holidayed in Mauritius at the same time last year and have family living there. It is a tropical island which is obvious from the agriculture and greenery everywhere. They advised that the West coast was the driest and least windy. Summer runs from around November to April and is usually very hot but rains a lot. May is the start of the Winter season and is cooler at around 24 - 28 degrees and much less rain.

It was a very muggy and felt like it needed a good thunderstorm to clear the air. By 12 noon it was glorious again and the pool very inviting.
The sun stayed out all afternoon which made up for the disappointing morning. We could see the rain clouds over the mountains all day but I was sat enjoying the glorious sunshine.

It was the Seafood Extravaganza in the buffet. I thought I was in heaven. Oysters galore as many as you could eat and I made the most of it. I also tried Sea Urchin for the first time. I never even knew they were edible. Absolutely delicious. There were Prawn dishes, Octopus curry, Paella, mussels, Garry found some steak so he was happy too. I didn’t bother with desert but had more Oysters with some cheese.

We had the usual coffee and liquor followed by cocktails in the Quarter deck bar before walking dinner off along the beach to La Maree. It was such a lovely night and the beach bar was extremely busy.

Monday 6 May

All of the days are rolling into one now. The weather appears very settled with some breaks from the intense heat when a cloud breaks from over the mountains.

It was breezy today which was very pleasant but the water over the reef looked too rough for snorkelling. After breakfast at La Maree I walked down the beach as far as the end of the hotel. I have seen people snorkelling here but the beach shelves very steeply. I prefer the snorkelling over the reef and as Garry doesn’t like beaches I am quite happy by the pool. The snorkel trips run twice daily to the reef as does the Glass Bottom boat trip. I utilised both regularly to get my ‘fish fix ‘

We lunched by the pool as they do the most amazing fish & chips.

Neither of us felt like much dinner so we gave our la Maree beach restaurant reservation to some friends we have met by the pool who couldn’t get in at the beach restaurant and it was their last night. They travelled out on the same plane as us and had just booked for a week.

The heat, too much eating and drinking has finally got to us so we had an alcohol free night to give our livers a rest.

More to follow

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Re: Mauritius land based holiday

Post by Suekersh » 13 May 2019, 16:55

Tues 7 May

I would have been happy lazing at the pool but decided that as we had come all this way we should see something of the ‘real Mauritius’. We booked a taxi to take us to see some of Island and the Capital Port Louis. Inland the Island is lush and the mountains were very clear today. Often they are shrouded in mist and somewhere on the island would be getting a downpour which is why there are so many rivers and no shortage of water.

It was a glorious day but very hot and busy in Port Louis. The Waterfront where the cruise ships dock was very clean and modern with a shopping centre and craft market. Lots of Indian influence here with colourful sarongs and Pashminas.
The other side of the road is completely opposite and a lot of poverty and beggars. After a look at the central market we headed back to the safety of waterfront area. The Phoenix local beer went down very well but it seemed odd to have to actually pay for it.

It was a relief to get back to the hotel and straight under the shower and into the pool. I think this was the hottest day so far. The Phoenix beer went down well again especially as there was no charge.

Our friends who leave tonight tried to persuade me to do the last snorkel trip with them but I declined in favour of my sun bed. As it happened the sea conditions had changed and the snorkelling was in the lagoon which isn’t as good. I am hoping to get at least one more snorkel over the reef in before we leave but will pick my day according to the waves.

I met them in the cocktail bar for their final drink and to watch the perfect sun setting into the sea. We said our goodbyes and I was so pleased it wasn’t me leaving.

We ate at the beach restaurant which again was up to its usual standards and the musician sang Rod Stewart’s We are Sailing to us.

It had been an African theme in the buffet and when we returned to the cocktail bar for a nightcap the bongo drums and music were deafening but some guests were enjoying it and joining in with the dancers.

Wednesday 8 May

Another glorious day but unfortunately the sea over the reef was more suitable for surfing rather than snorkelling. All snorkelling trips today were cancelled. I booked on for tomorrow but there is no guarantee that the surf will subside by then.

The pool was glorious and for the first time I joined in the Aqua gym which was good fun. Only 3 of us participating. The hotel seems very quiet compared to when we arrived. So peaceful.

I stayed by the pool all day whilst Garry visited the Spa then after lunch he went back to the room to sit in the shade on the patio.

I went back down to the Quarterdeck bar to witness the sunset but it wasn’t as intense as last nights and some cloud spoilt the finale.

Pre dinner cocktails were in the Beach bar where I sampled a coconut margarita. Very nice but the plain salted margarita is still my favourite.
We ate in the beach restaurant but there wasn’t a breath of wind and as it is all open there is no air conditioning only ceiling fans which just were not coping. The food once again was excellent.

Creatures of habit we headed back to the Quarter deck bar for ice cold G & Ts. No bongo drums tonight just relaxing back ground music.

Thursday 9 May

This was our last full day on this beautiful island. The weather once again was perfect with temperatures of around 24 degrees and some light cloud to give a break from the hot sun.
Unfortunately the sea conditions were still not suitable for snorkelling over the reef although the snorkelling from the beach was safe the surf coming in had churned up the sand making it cloudy.

I stayed by the pool reading and soaking up the sun, whilst trying not to think about the long flight home tomorrow.

Shivan who is our favourite pool waiter didn’t appear until lunch time. It had been his day off yesterday and this morning he had been assigned the beach bar. I missed him so much as he always seems to know exactly when I need my drink refilling. He comes from near Chennai in India and is doing a Hotel management degree. He completes his 6 months working in the hotel later this month then returns to India for his final year at university. He is certainly a bright star and stands out from the rest of the bar staff who are attentive but don’t seem to go the extra mile that Shivan does.

I eeked out the day as long as I could before a quick shower and change and back to the bar for a G & T whilst watching the final sun set. We leave the hotel st 5pm tomorrow so the sun set will be whilst we are en route to the airport.

Our last dinner was at the beach bar and we said our goodbyes to the staff there. Unfortunately the man who had made my cocktails there every night had the evening off.

We finished as usual at the Quarter deck bar and having worked through the cocktail list I went back to the all time favourites of Mojitos.

Friday

We woke early as usual and as my butler had packed almost everything yesterday there was only the final bits to sort.
I went to get beds by the pool as we will be here all day.

After breakfast and a couple of hours in the sun I went back to the room to collect hand luggage, called the porter to collect the luggage and went to reception to check out.
They have an excellent system where in exchange for your key card they give you a key card for the departure lounge. In the lounge we found huge lockers big enough to hang up our change of clothes and take both pieces of hand luggage and my bag. There are plenty of towels, showers gel, shampoo etc. Comfy chairs and charging area for phones etc.

I went back to my bed in the sun where I remained for the rest of the day. Shivan our fabulous drinks waiter kept the drinks flowing but all too soon it was time to shower and change.
We had our final goodbye drink in the Quarterdeck bar before the taxi arrived to take us back to the airport.

It was rush hour and seemed to take ages to get there. There were long queues for baggage drop, passport control and security.

The BA flight back to Gatwick was on time but full of screaming babies and young children. At least they weren’t in our area of the plane but as the economy section is only split off from the premium and business class seats by a curtain the screaming and crying could be heard throughout the plane. It was virtually continuous all night and I had sympathy for the mother who had not only the screaming baby to soothe but 2 other children under 5 years old.

The plane landed at Gatwick at 6 a.m. on Saturday by which time we had been up for over 24 hours.
We got a taxi to my sisters where we had left our car and went straight to bed for a couple of hours.

We had a lovely day with them and left early this morning (Sunday) to beat the football traffic and got home for around 11 a.m.

I had a fabulous holiday and it made a complete change to be land based in a 5 star hotel. The weather was perfect and Mauritius lived up to my expectations. I very much doubt we will ever fly long haul again as the experience was actually worse than I remembered. The flight out was better but that was probably because of the excitement of going on holiday. The return flight was absolutely horrific and if ever we do fly again it definitely won’t be with British Airways.

My next holiday is at the family villa with my father in Spain early in June so I have another airport experience to endure but only a 3 hour flight. Garry is staying home alone this time.

Sue

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GillD46
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Re: Mauritius land based holiday

Post by GillD46 » 13 May 2019, 17:52

Oh my the flight sounds horrific. Thankfully ours were superb, even better than the outward. Long haul is fine but for us, a bed is essential. Enjoy your next trip x
Gill

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barney
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Re: Mauritius land based holiday

Post by barney » 13 May 2019, 17:55

Welcome back Sue. Having also been victim of screaming kids on flights, you have my fullest sympathy.

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