My wife and I returned recently from our 6th stay at Sands Resort & Spa on the west coast of Mauritius and it was as usual a wonderful stay. Last year we wrote a review (A Mauritian Perl) which focused mainly on the beautiful setting of the Sands with the view across Tamarine Bay and over the Ocean, the coral beach and the excellent snorkeling options. Here we tell more about this lovely place. We can really not think of anything negative to say; services and the friendliness and attentiveness of the staffs are in top.
During the day we enjoy reading in the shade under a tree at the beach and we have lunch there served on a little portable table while our feet touch the edge of the water. It is of course also possible to get lunch served on solid ground at the nearby restaurant Pink Peppercorn. During the day guests at the beach and the pool are offered small free snags and glasses of frozen juice by a smiling beach attendant. Snorkeling equipment, pedal driven boats, canoes, windsurfing boards and small sail ships are at free disposal for use in the lagoon. Some jog along the beach others go to the little fitness center or have a game of tennis (free of course).
Dinner-time is in our view the prime time of the day. It starts after sunset while there is still a faint glow on the sky over the Ocean. If the weather permits (and it usually does) tables are placed on the big terrace in the open near the pool, all with Ocean view. One is welcomed by smiling sari clad hostesses who guide you to your table. The buffet is based on different themes each day (international, Mediterranean, creole, Indian Ocean, chefs, etc.), but there are always choices for everyone. The atmosphere is fabulous and a little band is playing on the nearby stage; after dinner one can have a little dance under the stars and/or a drink at the bar. Also, it is nice to retreat to one’s private balcony or terrace with a drink and enjoy the view over the bay. Don’t forget to spot the iconic Southern Cross (Crux) which rises on the sky over Tamarin. In January-February you can see it after dinner.
We recommend a walk on the beach up the coast to the little town Flic en Flac (4 km) or down the coast through the adjacent little forest to Tamarina Beach (1 km). The walk through the forest is nice and shadowy and most of the time one gets a glimpse of the Ocean through the trees. We will also recommend the hilly Black River Gorge National Park where the Visitor Center at the low-end entrance can be reached in about 25 min by taxi. There are many excellent walks (short and long) in the park (about 80 km of well-marked trails). Or one can spend hours in Casela Bird and Deer Park (15 min from the Sands by taxi). There are lots of exotic birds and animals to see. One can for example take the safari buss through the hilly landscape past typical African savanna species such as ostriches, zebras, impalas etc., or one can pat a lion or a cheetah (under strict surveillance by staffs), or one can simply walk around and enjoy the beautiful area.
We have previously told that fares requested by taxies waiting outside in the street have become very high (for shorter trips they are now similar to levels found in North European cities). For longer trips it is a good idea to call one of the bigger Mauritian taxi companies. For example we made a 5½ hours excursion along the south coast to Vanilla Crocodile Farm and back via the central plateau with several stops en route, and we paid the taxi from “Taxis Mauritius” 2,200 rupees for this trip; the local taxi outside the hotel requested 3,000 rupees for the same trip. Local taxis request 250 rupees for the short trip from the hotel to Flic en Flac (3-4 km), while we paid a taxi based in Flic en Flac 200 rupees for the return trip.
All rooms are fine and have either a balcony or a terrace with ocean-view
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.