I’ve had a few ‘pinch me’ moments over the years, but being invited to Mauritius on a press trip has to be one of the biggest! A couple of months ago I received an email that literally made me scream. Which in turn made Stew jump a mile as it was about 6.30am at the time. I had been invited on a week long trip to the beautiful island of Mauritius with a group of other bloggers from all over Europe.
Having never been on holiday to a destination like this before, I really couldn’t have been more excited. I’d heard and seen so many great things about Mauritius and I was blown away from the moment we landed. It’s literally paradise!
As I’ve mentioned, this trip was on behalf of my blog. I wasn’t paid to go, but all flights and accommodation and excursions were provided by Attitude Hotels and We Like Travel in partnership with Air Mauritius and Mauritius Tourism. You may remember that I’d previously worked with We Like Travel on a similar trip to France a couple of years ago. I had an amazing time on that trip, so I was excited to work with them again.
I’ve toyed around with a few ideas on how to write this post, and I’ve decided to concentrate on the main factors that made my trip the incredible one it was. Hopefully it will give you either travel inspiration, or some helpful information if you’re planning a trip to this beautiful island.
Where to stay?
As I’ve said, this trip was provided by the wonderful team of Attitude Hotels – a brand of luxury 3 and 4 star hotels all over Mauritius. Ideal for a romantic getaway, honeymoon or family holiday, Mauritius has something for everyone. And so do the Attitude Hotels. We stayed in 2 different ones during our week long stay – The Ravenala Attitude and Zilwa Attitude. But we were also able to experience 2 other hotels as part of excursions and activities. So I feel we received a well rounded view of these particular hotels, and I’d love to jump into more detail about the two we stayed in. Hopefully this will help if you’ve booked either of the two, or are planning a trip but can’t decide which hotel, or which area to stay.
- The Ravenala Attitude
The Ravenala Attitude was our first stop. Located just outside Port Louis, the island’s capital, The Ravenala offers guests and incredibly luxurious stay. The bedrooms are large and modern, but in keeping with traditional Mauritian style. There are multiple pools to be enjoyed by all of the family, plus a small beach offering water sport activities.
The Ravenala is also home to multiple restaurants offering a variety of food from around the world. My personal favourites being sushi and traditional Mauritian cuisine. There are also a selection of street food stalls and juice bars on the beach, to help keep you refreshed throughout the day. I would recommend choosing the all inclusive option if booking this hotel, so that you can fully enjoy everything it has to offer.
Location wise, it’s close to the airport and you can spend days out exploring the capital, or having a bet on the horse racing (Mauritius is famous for it’s racing).
Although Port Louis is small, it was enjoyable to see the local way of life, enjoy local cuisines and soak up the hustle and bustle.
This hotel would be perfect for both couples looking for a relaxing break away, and for families with young children. The hotel is set up in such a way, that all ages are catered for, but still feels very private and exclusive.
I absolutely loved this hotel! It was incredible to spend 3 nights here without a care in the world. We were able to fully relax, enjoy all that the hotel had to offer and soak up some Mauritian culture.
- Zilwa Attitude
We spent our final nights at Zilwa Attitude, located further up the coast at the north of the island. Whilst this hotel was equally as beautiful and luxurious, it felt a lot smaller, with less food options and a much smaller pool. The first thing that also struck me, was that the hotel was home to a lot of British and European holidaymakers. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it felt a lot busier than The Ravenala.
That being said, Zilwa still retains elements of Mauritian culture. The staff are equally as welcoming and helpful as The Ravenala, and it’s a great location to enjoy more water based activities. The beach at Zilwa is much bigger than Ravenala, and it has a small island a 10 minute boat away, which you can visit or hire for private parties. It was this island that made the stay for me. We had a bbq there during the day, sunbathed in hammocks in the sea all afternoon, before enjoying a tradition Mauritian banquet of food and drinks in the evening. This was such a special moment, and one that I’ll never forget.
Zilwa also offers many local excursions, including dinner at a local family’s home and bike riding. The Zilwa is also perfectly set up for both families and couples. Basically, neither would be a bad choice! And although they claim to only be a 3 or 4 star hotel, I have to say, they feel more like a 5*!
The Ravenala in particular is a slice of paradise in terms of decor. It’s absolutely beautiful, but it seems Mauritian standards are much higher than ours. Both of these hotels would far exceed any 3 or 4 star you found here in the UK.
What to do?
- Port Louis
As I’ve mentioned, The Ravenala is perfectly located for a trip into the island’s capital, Port Louis. Here, you can explore more of the local culture and cuisines, the local architecture and the buzz of this bustling city. It’s fairly small in comparison to many of our cities, so I would suggest only spending a couple of hours here. Perhaps a trip for lunch at one of the food markets or street food vendors?
- Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden
Also from The Ravenala, we were able to take a trip to the local botanical gardens. These gardens are extensive, with many tropical plants and flowers, and you could easily spend an afternoon here strolling around, or taking shelter from the heat in a shady spot. It’s a very relaxing place to visit. You can also spend a couple of rupees more and have a guided tour, where you’re able to learn more about the plants they have here.
- Catamaran trip
On our way from The Ravenala to Zilwa hotels, we stopped off at another hotel of the Attitude chain, called Coin de Mire Attitude. Although we didn’t explore the hotel itself, we were able to spend the day on a catamaran in the middle of the Indian Ocean!
The hotel is called Coin de Mire, because of a smaller island with the same name just off its coast. The catamaran took us out to this island to gain a closer look, and here we were able to jump off the boat and enjoy some snorkelling.
We hopped back on the boat for a bbq lunch, before enjoying some more downtime for sun bathing and further snorkelling fun.
This day was the highlight of the trip for me, and I couldn’t recommend a similar trip more! It was amazing to swim in the Indian Ocean and spend a day relaxing in this way. The staff on board were also super helpful, welcoming and really fun to be around – they played guitar and sung Mauritian songs for us. Plus they take requests!
- Local Mauritian hospitality
If you stay at the Zilwa Attitude you must must must spend an evening having dinner with a local family. This is an incredible trip that the hotel offers, whereby staff from the hotel open up their homes for the evening for guests of the hotel, and put on an absolutely feast of their traditional cuisine. It’s definitely something that shouldn’t be passed up.
We spent an evening in the home of a wonderful Mauritian family who taught us how to cook with them, and prepared a beautiful assortment of curries, rice, breads and dips for us on a lovely palm leaf. We were also able to wear beautiful sarees, learn local dances and listen to the father and son play a selection of songs for us on guitar. It was a really wonderful night, and a fantastic way to learn more about the local way of life.
- Rent a bike
Also from Zilwa Attitude we were able to rent electric bikes to explore the local area in more detail. From the hotel we went in a group on a trip visiting many local villages and temples, and were again able to see much more of the local culture. The bikes were fitted up for us, with helmets provided, and although we rode a lot of main roads, the roads in Mauritius are a lot quieter, so we felt very safe at all times.
I really loved this morning out and about. It was fun to get to know some of the staff from the hotel more on this trip, and see more of the local area, that you probably wouldn’t otherwise get chance too.
Although the hotels are perfectly set up for an all inclusive holiday, it’s fantastic that they offer all of these trips to experience the Mauritian way of life. Personally I’ve always been put off all inclusive holidays, because staying inside the compounds of a hotel has never appealed to me. I’ve always been one to explore a destination and eat locally. But Attitude Hotels offer a bit of both which is fantastic! You get to have a very relaxing, luxurious holiday, but still experience new things and feel like you actually saw Mauritius.
- Island hopping
On our final day on the island we travelled to Tropical Attitude Hotel on the east coast of the island. Here we were able to spend the afternoon island hopping by boat, between beautiful desert islands just off the coast of Mauritius. During our trip we spotted plenty of wildlife, including starfish and sea urchins. And in true Mauritian culture, we ate another delicious bbq on the beach.
If you stay at Tropical Attitude, you must take advantage of their boat excursions and neighbouring islands. They’re truly stunning, and offer lots of water sports for all the family, or a simply relaxing day on the beach!
How long to stay?
We had a week long stay on this beautiful island, but I would say anywhere from one week to two would be perfect. There’s plenty to see and do in Mauritius, and Attitude Hotels have plenty of activities on offer to keep you entertained. Equally. if a relaxing break is more your vibe, you can easily sit back and relax and not have to worry about a thing!
Have you been to Mauritius? Are you planning a trip?
If you have any questions regarding the hotels we stayed at, or the trips we took, please let me know. I’ll do my best to help, otherwise I can reach out to the hotel for further info.