We booked our holiday with Mercury Direct, who we found previously had offered good value and service. Flights were direct from Heathrow by Air Mauritius Airbus A.340. Only grumble was in front of my seat was an electrical box, which restricted the width of the legroom. This was obviously unavoidable, but its plastic cover had either fallen off, or not been refitted properly by maintenance staff. I drew this to the attention of the cabin staff who said they would have it fixed, but actually just took the cover away, leaving assorted wires and electrical equipment in direct contact with my feet! The flight however was as comfortable as economy long hauls can be...
Once at Mauritius we were met by a Mercury rep, who guided us to a waiting taxi, via the money exchange, of which there is a vast choice to change your cash into Rupees. The transfer from the airport took about an hour, travelling along the eastern coast road, which winds though village after village, before reaching the hotel, which would easily be missed, blending in with the residential properties on the road. Opposite are cultivated fields and countryside.
We were warmly welcomed and taken to our 2nd floor room overlooking the sea. Well, mainly a palm tree, with sea beyond. The room was of average size, with wardrobes and safe. The en suite only lacked a bath, but the shower was efficient. The hotel only provide soaps, so all other toiletries need to be brought with you.
We booked on the basis of fully inclusive for the 1st week and room only for the 2nd, but having not found any restaurants in the vicinity, and being very impressed by the food served by the hotel anyway, we opted to pay extra to upgrade to fully inclusive for the 2nd week.
The hotel has it's own white sandy beach. Kayaks, snorkels and other water sports are free from the hotel "boat house", as are beach towels. There were no beach hawkers to hassle you, just one lady offering light shawls. You could walk along the beach in either direction, eventually reaching public beaches. These are dotted along the coast and have wooded areas at the back, allowing places to relax out of the sun. The locals come to these areas for picnics, or just to relax. They were virtually empty whenever we visited them. Contrary to at least one report I had read, the beaches aren't strewn with hyperdermic needles or dog mess. OK there is the usual bits of rubbish you find on any tidal beach, but certainly nothing to complain about.
We hired a car over the internet and found it was better value than renting once in Mauritius. The roads aren't great, with deep drainage ditches beside the road, ready to consume the unwary! Other interesting obstacles are vintage Bedford trucks hauling loads of sugar cane, which is the main crop of the island. These are interspersed with mopeds, taxis, stray dogs and colourful buses, and not forgetting the humped pedestrian crossings and police speed traps! The general speed limit on most roads is 60 kph, so it takes much longer than expected to get anywhere.
Returning to the hotel, most nights there is entertainment of some sort, ranging from discos, to folk nights, to the hotel singer Julex, doing his tribute (?) to Elvis, Tina Turner and Ray Charles! Not to be missed! As I hinted before the service and food were both top class at all times, though the fully inclusive drinks were rather limited in variety. Strangely the house wines were surprisingly good and part of the package.
As it was the Mauritian winter, temperatures were the low to mid 70's, which suited us, but you do get a constant easterly breeze off the sea, which often leads to the red flag being flown to warn of dangers in swimming in these conditions. Most days there is a shower, mainly during our dinner.
I was also rather concerned by kite surfers travelling at some speed off the beach. I'm sure they would cause considerable injury if not death to unsuspecting swimmers or snorkellers.
To summarise. Ideal place in the sun to relax and unwind, with many excursions available, if you are prepared to make an early start. Clothing we didn't find to be particularly cheap. Lots of colourful birds and plants.
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Silver Beach
- Silver Beach Mauritius
- Silver Beach Hotel Mauritius
- Silver Beach
- Silver Beach Hotel Mauritius/Trou D'eau Douce
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