Magnificent Mauritius

No clue where Mauritius is? You’re not alone.

This beauty is an island off the coast of Africa in the Indian ocean, about a 5-hour nonstop flight from Cape Town.  It is known for its gorgeous beaches and as a true island paradise.

Pro-tip: I always try to plan my trips with a mix of adventure and relaxation.  I find that I come back feeling refreshed, yet able to explore and feed my travel curiosity.  Since our honeymoon was part Safari and part Cape Town, it needed part relaxation and Mauritius was a perfect, nearby option for us.

Where to Stay

We had a few hotel options to choose from, but I picked the St. Regis Mauritius because it was our honeymoon!  While that may sound expensive, I took advantage of one of my favorite travel hacks and got the entire stay for FREE!

Pro-tip: Marriott’s rewards program offers an amazing redemption offer – you can redeem points for 4 nights of hotel and getting 1 additional free night.  Crazy, right?!  It gets even better.  I am eligible for upgrades on every stay, including redemption stays. So, I redeem the fewest possible points and cross my fingers for a beautiful view.  As long as the hotel has a higher room category available, it is mine!  Plus, I get free breakfast as a part of my status, even on redemption stays so those points are SUPER valuable.  If you’re curious about more of my honeymoon travel hacks, check out this post.

It paid off because we were upgraded to a beautiful suite with an ocean view! They definitely spoiled us.

Quite honestly, we came to paradise to relax so most of our time was spent enjoying the gorgeous beach and pools at the hotel.  It’s an amazing spot on the Le Morne peninsula with crystal clear water and white sand beaches. 

The hotel has a ton of water activities included in the room rate, like snorkeling, kayaking, etc. It also has 5 restaurants, so you really never do have to leave if you don’t want to. We LOVED the daily free breakfast feast at the Boathouse restaurant, the local Indian food at Simply India and the super fresh sushi at Atsuko.

But, the absolute standout was our romantic beach dinner! I am not normally one for these kinds of things (Adam is totally the romantic in our relationship haha), but it was such a magical night together, listening to the sounds of the waves with a gorgeous meal and bottle of wine from the hotel.

One of my very favorite parts about Mauritius though had to be the sunsets…so magical!

What to Do

We did want to go out and see the island a bit so we hired a driver to take us around to some nearby sights, starting with the a viewpoint before the Chamarel Waterfall and Ebony Forest.

The forest was definitely the highlight – it’s a conservation park trying to restore the island’s native Mauritian forest, which includes beautiful Ebony trees. Your visit is a donation and there are many different kinds of activities – touring the forest by jeep, birdwatching and hiking galore! Plus, there are absolutely killer views and adorable old tortoises.

We then continued onto the Chamarel Rum Distillery for a tour and tasting! I have actually never been to a rum distillery, so it was fascinating to learn about the whole process from start to finish. And we had sooooo much rum (photo evidence below)!

We also stopped for lunch at a restaurant called Varangue Sur Morne to try some local Mauritian food.  It was perched high up in the trees with views for days…and it was SO good.

We ended our time with a quick stop at Black River Gorge. It was POURING rain while we were there, but still quite beautiful.

Mauritius is also known for its small isles off the coast, so we decided to a boat cruise to check out some of the nearby water sights, like Crystal Rock and Île aux Benitiers.  We boarded the “Schwinger” (insert joke here) and got to do some snorkeling and also catch a sunset out on the water!

I have to say, I was totally torn the whole time we were there between exploring more of the island and plopping my butt down on a beach chair and relaxing.  We just scratched the surface of the things to see and do on this island, but for our honeymoon, it was perfect.

Although if I am being honest, anywhere I go with this handsome, kind, goofy and loving man is perfect.

Until next time, Mauritius.

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