Sunday, May 8, 2011

36 Hours Mauritian Holiday

Mauritius. Moris. Maurice. An island nation located about 2000 km off the southeast coast of Africa and lies east of Madagascar. The only known home of the now extinct dodo bird.

I was psyched to find out that I am going to Mauritius, even better yet, I'll be staying there for 36 hours! To understand my excitement, let me break it down. Normally my layovers only lasts a day thus the need to cram places to see, sites to visit and sacrifice sleep just to be able to go around. More importantly, I am a self confessed/proclaimed beach bum! To be able to visit a place as exotic and enchanting as Mauritius.. WOW! Times like this is when I have to say, I love my job. ♥

After about a 7 hour plane ride and about a twenty minute drive, Shandrani Resort and Spa is finally in sight. I seriously couldn't wait to take off my uniform, wear my bikini, run towards the beach and bask under the sun. After checking in, I was then instructed to follow some instructions to get to my room. I was actually amused. It felt like a scavenger hunt. As I walked out of the reception area, I had to pass a restaurant, gardens and villas! The resort is massive! I was actually getting tired dragging my suitcase and not to mention my uniform is starting to stick to me, thanks to the perfect tropical weather. When I finally found my room, it was on the second level of what seemed like an apartment complex. With no lifts and no guys around to ask for help, I had to lug my suitcase and my cabin bag (which is actually heavier than my suitcase) in my high heels!
When I finally got to see my room, it was worth all that walking and lifting my luggage. Relaxation mode is so ON! I immediately explored my room and I love how it was designed. The bathroom was spacious and pristine. The bed was just the right size, there's a lounge area and the best part of the room is the veranda. I quickly changed and hung in the veranda knowing I have at least half an hour before I meet everyone for lunch. As I sat there, I thought to myself, if I were to stay here at my own expense it would certainly cost me an arm and a leg.

Shandrani Resort and Spa as I soon found out is one of the premiere accommodations in Mauritius. The hotel boasts that it is the first choice of holiday makers when it comes to an all inclusive luxury hotel. Located at the Southern Coast of Mauritius, situated on a private peninsula. Their concept Serenity Plus as they say is devised to give holiday makers the best value for money from the time they checked in til checked out. A major plus for this all inclusive hotel is that there are no more bills to pay. Almost everything is already covered by what you were quoted for. Almost everything, because there are several water activities that you actually pay for like kiteboarding and scuba diving. As for food (room service and restaurant dining), drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), mini bar, activities such as wakeboarding, water skiing, snorkelling, hobbie cat sailing, island hopping and other hotel amenities are already covered. So, how much exactly does the all inclusive Shandrani Hotel and Spa go for? Prices ranges from €224-€364 per person/ per night! It will definitely cost me both my arms and legs!

I consider myself blessed that I am able to go here and enjoy this posh hotel's offerings free of charge. Of course, not being a "regular" hotel guests there is one thing that we don't have free access to. The OPEN BAR. But, the hotel was considerate enough, they gave us complimentary 4 cans of beer, 2 small bottles of red and white wine in our mini bar. Anything more than that, comes out of our pockets.

I met my crew for lunch aka the pig out session. The food is absolutely delectable with numerous dishes to choose from. I am particularly happy that they have a grill station and seafood station. For me, seafood and barbecue is a staple when I'm at the beach.

After my gluttonous way, guilt kicks in and I want to burn some of the calories. In this particular trip, I was with another Filipina, Hannah. We decided to check the entire compound out and see what we want to do from there. We then discovered that are 3 beaches in the hotel. 2 are actually meant for swimming but the other one was highly tracherous because of the rocks and unfriendly waves. The beach actually reminds me of the many beaches in the Philippines particularly the ones in Batangas. White sand but quite pebbly so it's best to walk with your flip flops or Aqua shoes rather than barefoot.

The shore is littered with sun bathers lying on the abundant sunbeds and on sarongs laid on the sand. I chose a sunbed and lay there for a while and when the sun gets too much for me, I ran straight to the water. The staff was so attentive. Knowing that under the blazing sun, guests might get dehydrated or suffer from heat exhaustion, they constantly check and offer water or drinks. They also offer ice cream! I think I had about three and infinite number of mocktails called Cinderella!

I need to get off my butt and burn the calories again. I saw a speed boat whizzing by pulling a water skier. Fun! I must do it! I tried wakeboarding and water skiing with my friends in Lago De Oro, Batangas but I never got the hang of it. I wasn't able to stand. I just got dragged by the cables. I was feeling a little scared because I don't want to embarass myself but then again I just simply have to do it. Well, what do you know, I found myself water skiing and loving every second of it.

After water skiing, Hannah and I tried almost all the water sport available: kayak, pedal boat and snorkelling. Snorkelling was a blast! We rode a glass bottom boat and the water was crystal clear we could see the fish and several corals underneath us. We got our one on one encounter with the fish when we fed them. They're so big and agressive!  I was still enjoying snorkelling when our guide called us back because the current is getting stronger. We head back to the shore and I wanted to try another activity but it's just too bad it got too windy so we never got to try Hobbie cat sailing. Next time then. After all those activites, I was ravenous again! It's still a good 2 hours before dinner time and I won't last that long. I told myself, I'm on holiday, so just enjoy and worry about the weight later. I devoured perhaps one of the most delicious beef burgers in my life. I'm still drooling!

As night time approaches, we gathered for dinner. I looked around the table to see my companions sun kissed as I am. Skin glowing, eyes bright and big smiles all around. We sat enjoying the food, a toast here and there. Here we are a bunch of strangers who met hours earlier tasked to transport passengers to this beautiful island paradise, enjoying a warm and intimate dinner as if we truly knew each other. As much as I have enjoyed Mauritius with my crew, it would have been a bliss if only my friends and loved ones were the ones with me. My strength starts to dwindle, I head back to my room. I lay in bed with a prayer of gratitude on my lips and a wish on my heart. Everything would have been perfect but just like that jaded postcard phrase, I utter, wish you were here!


  1. Wow looks beautiful!

  2. Hi, Grace! It is indeed :)

  3. Lovely beach! I remember finding out about this country when I was a kid because of Ms. Universe. Lol. Hope we get to visit this country in the distant future.