We stayed at the Shandrani between 22nd January to February 1st. When we arrived the hotel was incredibly quiet, only I believe about 25% occupied. Towards the end of our holiday it began to increase its occupancy, mainly with young families.
Of course I had carefully researched the Shandrani before we booked and there are many excellent features this hotel possesses. It is set amongst lovely tropical gardens, probably the best we have stayed in. The lobby area and infinity pool and view of the lagoon beyond it are truly beautiful. The food was some of the best we have had, and my wife is a vegetarian who delighted in the food available to her. The staff are really so very friendly, including the reception staff, the superb staff in the Blue Bay Bar and the staff in the main buffet area. Our room was not a refurbished one as we requested but it was very comfortable and was kept spotlessly clean by Farooge. The grounds of the hotel are really extensive and I particularly liked finishing my day fishing on the wild beach. The all-inclusive package is a really excellent given the quality of the food, the many opportunities to eat during the day and the premium wines and spirits available. The free Spa treatment was wonderful.
When we arrived at the hotel it was mainly French people there all good mannered and polite, with a sprinkling of Australian, English and German. Later families with young children arrived. This changed the ethos of the place but children were good mannered with parents who involved themselves with them. We had over a week of good weather and then a cyclone many miles to the north of the island created a front, which made it windier, wetter and cloudy. I would have been really disappointed if this weather had been the norm for the whole of our stay. Sadly, it looked likely to continue beyond our departure.
Were there any negatives to Shandrani? Of course, as there is to all hotels. It is in the take off path of the airport and at first this shocks you and spoils the notion of a ‘paradise.’ However, there are not that many flights and as has been said before you do get very used to it. What effect the airport expansion will have I do not know, but they are anticipating many more flights. Compared to a stay in the Maldives we had the snorkeling is not that good. Motor boat traffic and low tides seriously restrict swimming from the shore and the free snorkeling trips from the boat still limit what you can see due to currents and boat traffic. At this time of year the weather in Mauritius, especially the south east, can be unstable and it’s a long way to go on holiday to have this risk, though it is always warm. Also had the number of children when we left been the norm for our full stay it would have changed my perspective of the holiday, but remember the grounds are vast and finding a quiet area round the Sirius bar and pool is no problem. Also specifically for me, south east Mauritius is not a good fishing area, despite two boat trips and many sessions from the shore I had little success. On the question of coral preservation why is it that areas like Cuba and Mauritius allow fish feeding. This is totally banned in Egypt and the Red Sea for if you feed the fish they no longer clean the coral effectively and the coral can die. My advice would be don’t kill the goose that provides the golden egg – look after your fish stocks (keep out foreign long liners and trawlers) - and do what is necessary to preserve the coral!
I would suspect that the provision of a great all-inclusive package is Beachcombers attraction to combat some of the negatives I have mentioned. But I would like to stress we really thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We did not do any trips for once but those who did boat trips and other excursions spoke well of them. There are some sellers on the beach but this is not high-pressure stuff and some sellers were real characters. Unfortunately one party of Russians in the Sirius restaurant one evening were appalling in their attitude to the staff and other guests – utterly rude and selfish but thankfully this was an isolated incident. The staff are wonderful and deserve respect and appreciation. The al la carte restaurants were really nice but we preferred the informality of the main buffet. However, this was closed for several evenings during our stay. The official reason for this was supposedly some refurbishment but it appears the real reason was the low residency for much of our stay made it uneconomic – this was disappointing but believe me you do not go hungry at Shandrani.
To finish I would like to thank all of the staff for their genuine friendliness, efficiency and grace, greatly helping us to have a lovely holiday – we really appreciated it.
Mick and Chris Addison
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- Also Known As:
- Shandrani Hotel Blue Bay
- Shandrani Hotel Mauritius
- Shandrani Blue Bay
- Beachcomber Shandrani Resort & Spa Mauritius/Blue Bay