We were away from the 24th December for 11 nights, myself, my wife and 12 year old son. Let me first of all clear something up. The airport is very close, there are approximately 15 departing flights a day, this will increase in future years, and the flight path for departing aircraft is directly over the hotel. Good fun if you like planes, a little off putting if you don't BUT once you accept all that, it does not affect your stay, it is something you just accept and get used to. Flights take off from about 7.30 am, and there is a lull for a few hours in the afternoon.There is also an added advantage, the transfer from the airport is just 10 minutes, very useful after a long flight.
This was our second year to Mauritius having previously stayed at another Beachcomer property, Le Victoria which is in the far north west of the island. The south is undoubtedly cooler, there was a breeze on most days but it is also cloudier, a little frustrating if you just love lying in the sun to cloudless blue skies. We stayed on the Serenity package which is exactly as it says, totally all inclusive, my extra's bill was zero and that was a first!! If you are a big drinker you will save money, if you are not, like us, it's expensive BUT very convenient with nothing to sign for. Every drink is included from champagne, to wine, to bottled water + all your food, ice creams and even your mini bar. My wife and I even had a massage as part of the package. There are 4 restaurants on the complex with an emphasis on sea food. We ate most night's in the buffet although broke this up (you do appreciate waiter service after a while) with 3 visits to the Italian restaurant, although we were a little disappointed that the menu did not alter at all during our stay. The buffet is on the whole quite good, with plenty of choice although it was a little frustrating to find every now again that a dish you saw on your first visit had run out by the time you were ready for the main course. Service also varied considerably although special mention must be made of Ved who manages the buffet restaurant, and a very useful person to get to know. He was magnificent, always willing to assist us in getting a table at a preferred spot and it was noticeable that the days he was off, the service was not as good. New Years Eve was wonderful, a band, followed by a disco playing outside actually on a stage set up on the pool and there were fireworks on the beach.
Our son made friends after a couple of days and it is no exageration to say we hardly saw him after that. He was either kayaking, sailing, playing golf or swimming and he had a great time. For younger children, there appeared to be a good kids club but the older one's amused themselves. The resort is very safe and although huge, 3 beaches in total, you never feel that anything can happen and it is very safe, with noticeable security and people always keeping a look out. Another nice touch is the men who go round all day in buggies with plenty of cold drinks and food available from the buggy.
A must do is a boat trip with Wesley. I think he has been mentioned in a previous review but if you want an unforgettable day out, then Wesley is your man although if for any reason he is not available, Jay would be a more than a suitable replacement. We spent 4.5 hours on Wesley's speedboat, snorkeled at 2 different places, visited and jumped off the waterfalls and had the most wonderful Bar B Q on paradise Island. No better name for what truly is a paradise island. Wesley literally set up a table on the beach, under a palm tree and lunch was served to us with the view being the Indian Ocean. Truly magical.
The guys on the beach are great fun and go by such names as John Wayne, Del Boy and Ronaldinho, you couldn't make it up!! They were all charming and once they knew you weren't interested, on the whole they left you alone.
So far so good, but here comes the negative. For what we paid, the least we expected was a good size room (we were spoilt at the Le Victoria) and were very disappointed with our standard room. Decor wise it was ok, but it was small and with an open bathroom there was no getting away from the constant noise a 12 year old makes, being singing or just the TV. If you take a child with you, ask for one of the 6 family rooms which are on the ground floor and provided considerably more space than we had. The main family rooms are quite some way away from the main building but apparently quite nice but very, very pricey. The grounds are somewhat unkept and generally quite untidy although admittedly it is a huge resort to take care of. Although on the whole the service was ok, for a so called 5 star resort (in my opinion it is at best a good 4 star), it should be better with Ved and Vishal being notable exceptions.
Would I return, unlikely. Did we enjoy it, yes and we ceratinly relaxed. Mauritius is getting ever more expensive especially if you have to travel as I do over the Xmas and New Year period and as I said earlier although the "All inclusive" concept is a good one, staying half board and then you pay for your drinks can be better value option.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- LUXURY HOLIDAYS IN MAURITIUS FOR BEACH AND NATURE LOVERS Located in the unspoilt south region of Mauritius, Shandrani is a welcoming five-star resort with a lively vibe. Set on a private peninsula lapped by the Blue Bay Marine Park rich in sea life, Shandrani has three different beaches to discover. A short boat ride inshore takes you to the famous Ile aux Aigrettes nature reserve. When it comes to sports and leisure, the resort has something for everyone. A range of land and water sports is at hand including water-skiing and golf (the hotel features a 9-hole Par 29, "pitch & putt" golf course). A sailing school and a diving centre affiliated to PADI will delight all sports enthusiasts. Other facilities include a spa and a wellness centre, both associated to the world-renowned Clarins brand. Four restaurants invite you to sample sumptuous dishes served with a choice of fine wines. At Shandrani Resort & Spa, enjoy relaxing holidays in peaceful surroundings. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shandrani Hotel Blue Bay
- Shandrani Hotel Mauritius
- Shandrani Blue Bay
- Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa Mauritius/Blue Bay