Mauritian jewel

It had been more than a decade since my last assignment to Mauritius. On that occasion, I stayed in a city hotel and did island activities, mostly chasing weird and wonderful creatures on the brink of extinction. But I always wanted to return and do the kind of trip most people associate with the island: the hedonistic kind that features beaches and palm trees and tall cocktails.Beach suite luxury_DSC3337

So I jumped at the chance to visit Angsana Balaclava, one of the new kids on the block of Mauritian resort hotels. It’s a sister brand to the famous Banyan Tree group of top-rated Asian hotels and certainly lives up their high standard.

It’s a small, boutique-style resort, prefect for couples and honeymooners, set in a horseshoe of tall thatched structures around a pretty beach. There are wooden prows and pagodas, dark woods and punkah-punkah fans. The beach seems manicured with hardly a grain of sand out of place; the perfect palms look as though they have their own coiffure.

Accommodation comes in three tiers: garden, spa and beachfront suites. The latter are gorgeous affairs with their own private swimming pool and spa bath wrapped around an elegant, open-air deck.

There’s a beautifully designed spa with some very special treatments. Whiling away an afternoon being massaged by petite Mauritian hands and wafted by any number of fragrances is not all bad.

The water sports are all you’d expect from a resort such as this. I spent my days scuba diving the pretty local reefs and alternating between windsurfing and sailing in dinghies. Gentle breezes, nodding palms, idyllic sailing conditions.

The food at Angsana Balaclava is a mix of Asian-Fusion and Mauritian Creole, although there’s a good deal of French fare. The highlight of your stay may well be one of the regular beach barbecues where tables groan with grilled seafood and women in long dresses dance the sega by the light of a bonfire while the moon dances alluringly in the shore break.


Fact file

Angsana Balaclava Mauritius, Air Mauritius and Holiday Tours are offering Getaway readers a seven-night package from R21 356 a person sharing. This offer is valid from 15 January to 12 March 2013 and includes flights, transfers, accommodation, breakfast and dinner daily as well as all non-motorised water sports. Terms and conditions apply. Contact Holiday Tours on 0861-10-2137 or 011-289-8000 or www.holidaytours.co.za.

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