Glass enjoys pure bliss in Mauritius with Beachcomber Hotels

AS THE plane flew over Mauritius preparing to land, sharp peaked mountains loomed into view jutting out of a seemingly unending carpet of velvety green. It was a clue that there was a lot more to this Indian Ocean island than the beachside honeymoon destination of popular imagination. 

My first port of call, the Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa on the island’s southwestern tip, lay against the backdrop of Le Morne, a spectacularly rocky mount that was once a hideout for fugitive African slaves and is now a Unesco World Heritage site.

A reminder that Mauritius was once a thriving slave colony, it was visible almost everywhere you looked, serving as an enduring symbol of the quest for freedom. 

Royal Palm Resort

You can climb it, if you’re fit, but I preferred to remain at sea level and sample the delights of the dazzling white sands and turquoise waters 550m below, not to mention the surrounding coral reef. I was not disappointed.

As the hotel group to kickstart Mauritius’ tourism industry more than six decades ago, and home-grown to boot, Beachcomber has snapped up some of the best spots on the island and knows what it’s doing in terms of delivering to all-comers in a pristine environment, and keeping it that way. 

Le Morne, Dinarobin 

With around 2km of beach, an 18-hole golf course and extensive landscaped gardens dotted with 172 colonial-style rooms and suites plus five pools (in addition to the main one), crowds are never a problem and the resort has that pleasing I’ve-got-the-place-to-myself feel, ensuring a relaxed and tranquil stay. As for food, you’re spoilt for choice with four restaurants offering both gourmet and casual dining.  

Fine dining at Royal Palm

However, with the Indian Ocean at your feet there’s a lot more to do than lounge about. Early one morning, in my swimsuit and armed with mask and snorkel, I clambered on to a boat with other guests in search of dolphin pods. 

As soon as their fins were spotted slicing through the water, the boat sped ahead and we jumped in to view them underwater, doing so several times over. This is what is termed “swimming with dolphins” though in my case it was dolphins swimming away from me as I was too slow to keep up. Still, it was one of those exhilarating once-in-a-lifetime experiences that could only be rounded off with a trip to Donarobin’s excellent spa.

The car journey to the north of island passed by ubiquitous sugar cane fields and sleepy villages, interrupted by a visit to the Beautiful Hands project, part of Beachcomber’s corporate social responsibility arm in which artisans, mostly local women, make products for the tourist market.

We were en route to the Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury, the group’s jewel in the crown, located in the crescent moon-shaped and fashionable Grand Baie area, not far from the bustling capital Port Louis.  

Ocean suite

Opened in 1985 and nicknamed La Vielle Dame, the hotel has had a face lift along the way and continues to press all the right buttons for sheer style and superlative service. From the sumptuous lobby to the elegant suites and their designer accessories, the place simply oozes luxury and comfort.

And what better way to enjoy breakfast than to have it served on your balcony as you survey the gently lapping sea directly below? Needless to say, gastronomic delights await at the three restaurants compliments of executive chef William Girard, while you can wind down at night to the mellow sound of live soul jazz in the circular lounge bar.

The day I arrived, the warm and sunny weather was suddenly swept aside by a tropical downpour. That didn’t deter me from trying my hand at canoeing – the waters here are sheltered and I guessed the rain would stop as quickly as it had begun. Sure enough, by the time I was done, the sun was its usual blazing self and I just had to have my dose of vitamin sea to cool off. There was no other word for it than blissful.

by Angela Cobbinah 

Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury

Seven nights half board in a Junior Suite at Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury, for two adults starts from £2,750 per person sharing. Price includes return economy flights with Emirates, various complimentary land and water sports, and private transfers in Mauritius. Departs  September 5 2023, price subject to availability. Call Beachcomber Tours on 01483 445 610 or visit beachcombertours.uk

Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa

Seven nights half board in a Junior Suite at Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa, for two adults starts from £2,430 per person sharing. Price includes return economy flights with Emirates, various complimentary land and water sports, and private transfers in Mauritius. Departs December 4 2023, price subject to availability. Call Beachcomber Tours on 01483 445 610 or visit beachcombertours.uk