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Questions about Mauritius and the Shandrani hotel

North of England
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Questions about Mauritius and the Shandrani hotel

We are travelling to Mauritius next week for a two-week stay at the Shandrani hotel and I wondered if anyone could answer a few questions for me please.

1. We like to take a couple of bottles of alcohol to have in the room and wondered about the best place to purchase it. We are flying from Manchester with Emirates via Dubai. Will we be able to take the bottles through if we buy in Manchester or do we have to go through security again in Dubai where it might get confiscated?

2. Would it be better to buy in Dubai anyway (price)?

3. What about purchasing perfume / aftershave? Is there the same problem?

4. Would we be better to buy Mauritian currency when we arrive at the airport in Mauritius and, if so, should we use sterling cash rather than travellers cheques?

5. Does anyone have advice with regard to tipping staff at the hotel? Are tips expected by all (as in some destinations) or is it more appropriate to simply tip when we feel that the service was exceptional? What about bedroom staff?

6. Does anyone know if there is WiFi in the rooms? I would like to take my laptop just to keep in touch with family whilst away but don't want to bother carrying it out there if I won't be able to use it in the room!

7. I have the potential for severe medical problems if bitten on my legs by mossies (or any other biting bugs!) I'm quite happy to cover up with trousers in the evenings as a precaution but wondered if any of the restaurants or bars were fully inside with air-con so I could perhaps wear a dress or crops occasionally without worrying!! Or is it necessary to walk very far outside to reach the restaurants anyway?

So sorry - this is quite a list!

Thank you in anticipation.

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Mauritius, Grand Baie
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20,986 posts
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1. Re: Questions about Mauritius and the Shandrani hotel

When you are at Dubai airport you will go through security and they have now restricted liquids. Strictly speaking most airlines now put liquids in special bags but I have heard that some UK airports will confiscate liquids purchased from duty free airports abroad.

I would purchase liqour from duty free in Mauritius when you arrive. Its also cheaper at supermarkets in Mauritius such as SuperU, Spar, Jumbo etc.

Perfumes etc, we usually buy on the return leg. Normally from Dubai duty free.

Tips: We usually leave tips for the maid at the end of our trip. Most hotels go on ratings, so fill any guest feedback form and name any staff that gave good service.

Currency: Take sterling and exchange at the airport in Mauritius.

Restaurants do have air conditioning. You also find that a great many have an open area so you see birds flying in etc.

Lancashire, UK
Destination Expert
for Flic En Flac, Mauritius
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18,874 posts
221 reviews
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2. Re: Questions about Mauritius and the Shandrani hotel

Hi

As Preston has said buy alcohol at Mauritius duty free on arrival or at a local shop, Dubai will confiscate bottles of booze at security because of the liquid restrictions. You can of course purchase in the duty free at Dubai if you wish, prices are displayed in local currency ie. Dirhams and US$ so difficult to see if getting a good deal.

Change sterling (we take cash) in the arrivals hall at Mauritius airport. There are several booths all offering the same rate of exchange, check out www.shibanifinance.com for the latest rates, much better than here. The banks there also offer the same exchange rate.

Mozzies love me too, so I plaster myself with deet based repellent. I take what I can buy here to use when I first arrive and then purchase the local stuff wherever we go as I think it works better. Moustidouse is an excellent brand in Mauritius, a cream and a lot more pleasant than some of the sprays we can get here.

Have a great holiday

Best wishes

Mazza :-)

Cannock, United...
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3. Re: Questions about Mauritius and the Shandrani hotel

As above, best not to buy the alcohol in Manchester as there's a possibility of it being confiscated at security in Dubai. Although if they put it in a sealed bag and you have the receipt strictly speaking it should be ok. But doing this runs the risk of somoene not seeing it that way and confiscating it.

Personally I would either buy it in Dubai or in Mauritius. As Mazza50 says prices are in Dirhams and US$. Have a look at http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/ for rates.

Alcohol prices are generally cheaper in Dubai than UK but as with anywhere these days there's not much in it. You might get a better deal in a supermarket in Mauritius but then if there's a particular brand or liqueor you like it's a risk of where stocks it etc. We had trouble finding things like Baileys or Ammereto in the supermarkets in Flic en Flac where we stayed for example.

As you say, you have the same problem with Perfumes. Get them at Dubai on the way back and you should be fine. I didn't particularly notice anything cheap about the perfume my wife brought when we were there though.

Buy currency in the arrivals hall at Mauritius airport. Take sterling, there's several exchange booths, you can't miss them as you have to walk right past them to get out of the building.

Tips are at your discression, it's not like Cuba or the States where you are deemed a social outcast if you don't give them.

I feel for you with the mossie issues. If you are looking for a repellant the one I swear by is Mosquito Milk chemistdirect.co.uk/mosquito-milk_1_6505.html this stuff is great. Easy to apply, smells nice, lasts 8 hours and most importantly works.

Lancashire, UK
Destination Expert
for Flic En Flac, Mauritius
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221 reviews
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4. Re: Questions about Mauritius and the Shandrani hotel

Thanks for the tip on Mosquito Milk Rob, I will certainly check that one out. Some of the strong deet ones seem to stain clothes too, so a good option.

Best wishes

Mazza :-)

Cannock, United...
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1,309 posts
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5. Re: Questions about Mauritius and the Shandrani hotel

Thanks Mazza,

It really is good. I got worried last year as BioConcepts the company that used to market it disappeared sadly. However, it's back on the market with Chemist Direct and I can vouch for their service too as i've already ordered several bottles from them a while back.

It's so good I actually researched into the possibility of getting some direct from the manufacturers who are based in Belgium until I found Chemist Direct.

Edited: 26 April 2010, 14:51
North of England
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145 posts
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6. Re: Questions about Mauritius and the Shandrani hotel

Thank you everyone for all the useful information.

Have decided to buy the booze from Dubai or Mauritius airport - depends on the length of layover and how near our gate is to the shops in Dubai!

Thanks as well for the suggestion for mossie repellent - it's always good to get recommendations from other people who have discovered effective brands. I am about to order some after I have posted this reply!

It seems as if the tipping is at our own discretion. We have been to resorts where the concept seemed to be the wrong way round - you only got good service if you tipped and ignored if you didn't!!

If we change our sterling on arrival in Mauritius airport will we be able to convert it back before our departure? (If we have any left that is!!)

Does anyone know about the availability of WiFi at the hotel?

I am also posting another question about Emirates and their rules about carrying medicines and would really appreciate your comments on that if you possibly could.

Thank you once again for all the advice - it really is appreciated.

Cannock, United...
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1,309 posts
22 reviews
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7. Re: Questions about Mauritius and the Shandrani hotel

Definitely best places to buy the booze. That way there's no chance of confiscation as I say, it may be OK in Manchester if the bag is sealed but why give yourselves the complication when on holiday :-)

I really hope the mossie repellant works for you. All I can say is we swear by the stuff and it's pleasant and easy to use unlike some products.

Tipping is definitely up to you. I've never been comfortable with places where it doesn't work like that either.

Yes, you should be able to convert any cash back as far as I am aware. However when we go on holiday we find it best to change a little cash for tips and the odd trip here and there and then pay for everything else on a credit card. Make sure you have a 0% foreign transactions one (Post Office or Santander are the most popular these days I think) and it can save you a fair chunk of money.

Looking at the Shandrani website it seems they have WiFi beachcombertours.co.uk/mauritius-hotels/…

Regards

Rob

london
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119 posts
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8. Re: Questions about Mauritius and the Shandrani hotel

Hi - my recollection last year is that we only managed to pick up wifi in the lobby area of the hotel. I don't notice everyone tipping but you certainly get a bit more attention when you do. We tip the housekeeping staff every few days - including the ones who come with fresh towels in the evening.

The only enclosed restaurant is the Thai and one side is only screened off from the Sirius which like all of the others is open air.

Depending on where you are located it will be a bit of a walk to at least one of them as Sirius is located at the far end of the hotel.

North of England
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145 posts
105 reviews
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9. Re: Questions about Mauritius and the Shandrani hotel

Thank you to everyone for all the helpful replies.

Have ordered the mossie milk - it sounds very good!

Has anyone got any thoughts about the numbers of mossies anyway? Are they much of a nuisance there at this time of year? We were in Bali a couple of years ago at the end of February and were covered in bites on our legs - and I have always been a lucky person who never suffered any at all - they always liked to snack on my husband but left me alone!! After the Bali experience I have become a lot more cautious (and interested!)!! Are they always mossie bites as well or could they be sand flies? How can you tell the difference if you don't see them biting? Are there sand flies on the beaches at the Shandrani? So many questions - sorry!

Thanks again.

10. Re: Questions about Mauritius and the Shandrani hotel

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