First time in Mauritius so took some time to get the hang of it, the Casuarina is a lovely Hotel, well placed, we had a nice view over the ponds, gardens and sea, one night kept awake by the randy frogs croaking for their mates due to heavy rain but all part of the experience. As others have commented, we couldn't get our heads round the all inclusive, the staff are generally very helpful but the is it, isn't it got on our nerves at first and we still aren't sure what was AI, anyway, we booked AI for the first week on the understanding we could book a further week there or go independent.
The food and service is great if not a bit canteenish after a while, the non AI food tasted much better so don't know why this was the case but overall no complaints, some staff very good, a few need a bit more experience, we couldn't find much Indian food so still a bit confused about this. We opted for independent in the second week as the cost was much higher than if we'd booked in advance in the UK and be wary, there is very few restaurants or bars nearby, a stroll down to the town is hot and exhausting and there aren't a lot of choices, go for the Mine Bouille or fried noodles on the beach or wherever, always great value and tasty, as reported, the pineapples on a stick are to die for, they grow just about every tropical fruit you can imagine, some seasonal and they are cheap, £1 or so.
Vijay on the beach is the man for trips and excursions, much cheaper than the rep and the quality we found very high, he will introduce himself anyway, the beach is ok and you can stroll either way as far as you like, left towards Trous Biches or right towards Choisy Beach, the largest public and best kept I have ever seen, they had the Tamil New Year Festival when we stayed and one of the highlights, an advantage of going independent, we hired a car from Marina car rental, a chap called Gerard gave us a nice deal for six days and it was worth not being tied to the Hotel and felt like another holiday, we went South to the mountains, waterfalls, more beaches, Flic en Flac, another resort, not as nice as the North but there are so many beautiful beaches you lose count.
We went to Grand Baie most nights to eat and it is not cheap and there are not as many places as you would think, the best we found was the Beach House, an amazing place, very good food, music and right on another lovely beach, quite a few pizza type places, a high quality sea food restaurant and a place called Chez Ram we found on the last night, very, very good value and some of the best food we found, the roads are good but be careful of the ambush dogs, there are dogs everywhere, normally very friendly until you meet a car hating one, they upset my partner and daughter as you get the impression either the car or the dog has to die.
Breakfast is nice and plentiful in the Hotel, outside, the best places we found were the Coffee Lounge, on the coast road to Grand Baie and Place Muller in the town, otherwise its a struggle to find, the island does seem concentrated into the resort hotels which is a shame as you miss the beachfront atmosphere, inland the villages and towns vary greatly, avoid places like Goodlands (ironically named) and get a good road map, the tourist version is useless, keep exploring and you will keep finding new and deserted tropical beaches, my ten year old on seeing another said, Oh, not another tropical beach, you get the picture.
Rooms vary and are very private, the higher you are the better the view, try and get sea view or pon...
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