Mauritius holidays are what many people imagine when they picture a classic Indian Ocean island with white sand beaches, set to a backdrop of sugar cane fields and lush green mountains. It has a fabulous range of top-end luxury hotels, from chic and elegant to full-on bling with the whole gamut of facilities and amenities, to suit almost every traveller. This is a country of spas and sommeliers, where the art of hospitality is highly valued and where multi-starred hotels vie to out-do each other.
Our top 5 reasons to visit Mauritius
1. The top reason to visit Mauritius has to be its spectacular sweeping white sand beaches, lapped by azure waters. Beach lovers need look no further for their next destination.
2. For families with children, Mauritius is fantastic. Kids’ Clubs are a staple of most resorts in Mauritius, and the standard is high. From little ones to teenagers, Mauritius has it sorted, making sure kids are active, entertained and making friends.
3. Mauritius tends towards sophisticated, glamorous five star hotels, rather than Robinson-Crusoe-style 'barefoot luxury'; however, it is surprisingly adept at producing accommodation to suit a wide range of budgets. In particular, it offers much better value than much of mainland Africa. Don’t assume it’s out of your league! With a wide range of styles of accommodation, however, it's important to choose your accommodation carefully.
4. Activities are definitely one of Mauritius’ strengths. Skydiving, glass-bottomed boat trips, windsurfing, kitesurfing, scuba diving, nature trails plus much, much more – there is no excuse for getting bored on a Mauritius beach holiday!
5. Mauritius is a French-speaking country (although it has no official language) which we feel adds to its exotic flavour, however they speak English everywhere too so you don’t need to bring along your phrasebook.
Mauritius: when to visit
The best time to visit Mauritius is undoubtedly in their winter, from May to December when the weather is pleasantly warm, dry and sunny.
As the island has a tropical climate, the weather is warm all year round. However, the issue is not so much sunshine and warmth as the wind – we recommend avoiding Mauritius during the wet cyclone season from January to March, when it can be unpleasantly hot and wet, and the east coast during July and August, when it can be incredibly windy.
Mauritius: where to stay
East Coast:The glorious beaches on the east coast of Mauritius have attracted some of the island's best hotels and this is the most popular place to stay in Mauritius. The best beaches on the island are found in the north-eastern corner, where long stretches of powder-soft sand extend to cool pine groves and woodlands. There are several fine, stylish hotels here which make the most of their stunning natural setting. This area is perfect for an African honeymoon, although you do need to consider the wind during July and August.
West Coast:Very hot and dry, the western beaches have great sites for windsurfing, water skiing, diving and snorkelling. There are a couple of excellent hotels in this area.
North Coast:The northern beaches are centred around the popular Grand Baie area, the first part of Mauritius to be developed and the hub of Mauritius nightlife and shopping. There is a large port here and the atmosphere is buzzy. The best hotel in this region is the Royal Palm, the grand old dame of style and panache.
Mauritius: our favourite hotels
The Prince Maurice’s Senior Villas are right up there in our favourite villas, each with a heated private pool and direct beach access.
If you’re looking for the best beach, look no further than the One and Only St Geran, with 60 acres of beautifully-landscaped grounds incorporating tropical gardens, pools and sweeping beaches.
For exclusivity and opulence, it’s the Oberoi; the sunken marble bath and four-poster bed are incredibly romantic.
Shangri La’s Le Touessrok is a fabulous choice for your Mauritius honeymoon, particularly if you opt to stay on their private island.
Dinarobin on the west coast gives you the best of two worlds: peace and tranquility but access to the neighbouring hotel’s golf course and restaurants.
Indian Ocean Beaches
There are plenty of options within the Indian Ocean that are also great to combine with a safari holiday; have a look at the Seychelles, Maldives or Zanzibar for some more inspiration.