You know you’ve had a good week when your daily exercise consists of walking the whole 10 metres from the pool to the beach and you have breakfast every morning practically sitting on the sand. That was pretty much our week at Shanti Maurice in Mauritius.
I stayed at Shanti Maurice with my family last October. It’s situated in Chemin Grenier, on the South of the island. Being a proper beach baby, I was excited to find our rooms backed right onto the beach. I was not so excited to find myself locked out of the room for three hours in a bikini from 5am the next morning after eagerly rushing out of bed to watch the first sunrise, forgetting my key and having to wait for my sister to wake up. After that minor mishap (obviously entirely my fault), our stay in Shanti Maurice was just perfect.
There are a number of things to do and places to visit on the island, but we were so content staying in the resort, I’m slightly abashed to admit that we only went out and about exploring for one day. The resort had everything we could have wanted. We did yoga every day before breakfast (the relaxing kind rather than the sweat-inducing kind, which was very welcome at 8am). You could stand-up paddle board, kayak and snorkel straight from the beach. The resort had multiple swimming pools and a spa. There was also an onsite gym. I won’t pretend I used it, but it looked nice from a distance. Shanti Maurice really is the kind of place where you can make it into whatever kind of holiday that you want: relaxing, active, adventure, etc.
The food was incredible. Breakfast is served right on the beach front, although it was the dinners that really got me. As a self-confessed sugar fiend, I usually go to bed excited about my glucose-filled breakfast the next day and could happily have maple syrup pancake stacks instead of a “real” evening meal every night of the week. The dinners at Shanti Maurice though made me reconsider my whole sweet vs savoury food ethos. There are a few different restaurants. Our favourite was La Kaze Mama, which serves traditional Mauritian dishes (a combination of native African, French, Chinese and Indian food, with the latter having the strongest influence on the dishes that I ate). Many Mauritian dishes contain fish, but as a non-fish eater, there was more than enough choice.
On the one day that we did manage to drag ourselves away from Shanti Maurice, we rented a car and drove to see the Chamarel waterfall and the Seven Coloured Earths. The Seven Coloured Earths are, as you might expect, many different coloured soils and are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Apparently, due to the tropical weather conditions, all water-soluble elements have been washed out and what remains are the reddish-black iron and aluminium oxides which create shades in blue, cyan and purple. If you mix the coloured soils together, they’ll eventually settle into separate layers again.
The Mauritian locals were some of the friendliest people I have ever met. Everyone we talked to (inside and outside of the resort) was eager to tell us more about their country or to offer help with directions. Mauritius was much more culturally diverse than I was expecting. Much of the population have blended African, European, Indian, or Chinese heritage and follow faiths such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. We were on the island during the Hindu festival of Diwali (the festival of lights), which meant that many of the houses were covered in ornate light displays.
Mauritius had some of the best sunsets that I’ve ever seen (I’ll let the photos below do the talking for that one) and I am already dreaming about my return.