With a fabulous coastline and lush, tropical climate, a Mauritius honeymoon offers both the luxury and the adventure moments that make for a blissful holiday or destination wedding
Words by Catherine Hales
For many, Mauritius represents the epitome of beach holiday relaxation. Miles of white coastline, crystal waters and romantic sunsets make it a magnet for honeymooners, as well as couples choosing a destination wedding.
Our choice hotel through Beachcomber Tours, the Royal Palm Mauritius, is located in the northwestern tip of the main island, near the small town of Grand Baie. And the hotel lives up to its name, with scores of swaying palm trees in a charming and tranquil setting. It features a series of stunning suites overlooking the picture postcard-perfect white sand beach or the lush tropical gardens. With all home comforts, they also include generous terraces that are just the thing for enormous room-service breakfasts or snoozing in the shade for the afternoon.
A lazy afternoon can be spent in the hotel’s Clarins spa, an oasis nestled behind the beach in the secluded gardens. There are pampering post-wedding treats to indulge in, including reflexology, reiki and ayurverdic treatments – even meditation if the magic of the resort hasn’t quite unknotted your wedding nerves. More active couples can take advantage of watersports, including sailing, private boat tours, snorkeling and waterskiing. It’s a great place to learn to waterski – the water is so warm here that falling in is all part of the fun.
Balmy evenings start at the open-air bar on the main terrace, listening to the live band, before heading down to La Brezza, the hotel’s superb Italian restaurant, led by chef Alessandro Morino. You may want to forgo the large lunch to do justice to the dishes he serves.
If you have had your fill of lazy days of pampering and beach lounging, there is plenty of island to explore. Hanging hundreds of metres up, suspended from a zipline wire in Casela Park, you can see the beautiful scenery stretch out below. The volcanic terrain and tropical climate mean that the mountains are covered in lush greenery, so perfect for trekking expeditions. Those with a penchant for bathing in waterfalls can visit the Tamarind or Black River Falls or brilliantly named Pamplemousses Botanical Garden. If you fancy a day trip, catamarans go from Grand Baie to the small islands located north of the mainland.
Mauritius has a rich and fascinating cultural heritage. Long a trading post, it was colonised by the Dutch, then the French (who renamed it Isle de France), before coming under British governance. While Mauritius regained independence in 1968, all these influences – especially the French – remain. People speak both French and English, but you will also hear Mauritian Creole. The bustling market in the capital Port Louis is a good location to soak up the atmosphere. Though less fraught than, say, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, it’s a lively place and home to a wide variety of curiosities that, with closer investigation, could easily yield interior-design gold.
Smaller Grand Baie is also worth some shopping time, offering bargain cashmere, as well as garments and textiles (the island is a textile manufacturing centre for many big brands). For a casual lunch in Grand Baie, try the Beach House for a breezy ocean location, live music and excellent shrimp.
Whether ziplining, trawling through the markets in Port Louis or soaking up the sun and sea vibe from your well-appointed suite at the Royal Palm, Mauritius will tick every box for a romantic getaway – a magical setting, fine food and just the right blend of tranquility and adventure.