Mauritius Honeymoon – Tim & Nicola’s Trip To Paradise
By Tim McKinstry
There is a lot I can say about our honeymoon but I have to begin by saying that Mauritius was perfect. It is truly a paradise. Nicola and I wouldn’t have changed a thing, thanks to Chaka Travel.
After all the adrenaline, stress and excitement of our wedding, the day of our honeymoon arrived and we boarded the plane with the typical honeymooner’s buzz and asked about any chance of an upgrade, always worth a try. We didn’t get business class but they had already given us exit aisle seats with the extra leg room. We were impressed with Emirates, as the entertainment system had a fabulous selection of movies and series plus the flight staff even gave us glasses of free champagne and dessert. They then took an instant Polaroid that they all signed. After a stop off in Dubai airport and a few souvenirs, we got on for the next flight which was longer than we expected, another 6.5 hours to Mauritius. A long journey but worth it.
Emotions were our ground handlers and greeted us at the airport with some gifts and made us feel very welcome. The driver was a fountain of knowledge about the sights as we drove to stay at the first of our two resorts, Heritage Awali.
We were ushered into Awali’s traditional playing of drums for new guests, a lovely touch that made it feel slightly surreal as we sat with our welcome cocktails and the biggest smiles on our faces. We had finally arrived, the pool was so peaceful and everything looked gorgeous with the wooden decor. We knew we were in for a special stay. After some lunch we had our meals booked for the week then finally got to see our room, and what a room! We had the ocean view beachfront, with a balcony right above the beach looking out to the ocean horizon. We definitely want the same room when we go back again.
The view from our room at sunset
Our Beach Front room
Our gifts from Emotions and welcome cocktail at Heritage Awali
The long stretch of beach is amazing, you can walk right along and up to Awali’s sister resort, Le Telfair. I would recommend bringing some wetsuit shoes, however, as the coral tends to end up on the beach in pieces and is difficult to walk on in certain areas. The resort threw in so many extras for us as honeymooners. The candlelit dinner outside Infinity Blue, the breakfast on the beach (with a large windbreaker in case it was windy), the champagne bubble bath and the two free back massages. They made our stay feel that bit more special. The Coco shack is such a quirky touch, they cut open coconuts and serve you cocktails or fruit drinks inside them. We were constantly in the mood for another coconut fruit drink on the beach.
Enjoying fresh coconut drinks on the beach
The Coco Shack at Heritage Awali, Mauritius
Evening on the beach at Heritage Awali
Being an active couple, we had plenty to try with the All Inclusive package. At no point did we feel stuck for something to do. We loved the kayaks and the glass bottom boat. The view of the shore from out on the sea is incredible! We enjoyed some competitive games of table tennis, plus there are tennis courts as well. We absolutely loved the spa area and before we knew it, we had a morning routine of visiting the plunge pool, steam room, sauna then jacuzzi. Not a bad start to the day. Having been a while since we on an all inclusive holiday before, it took us a couple days to get used to just ordering food and drinks without paying, but get used to it we did! The resort has a great mix of restaurants and you can even dine at two of Le Telfair’s restaurants on Awali’s All Inclusive package. The evening entertainment was great, though we were surprised there was no dancing from the guests. This isn’t really a complaint as the resort had a lovely relaxed atmosphere.
It was a few days in that we had our first excursion with Emotions. A full day tour of the island with David as our guide. He was a gentleman and arranged for us to see all the best sights. The Hindu Temple and statues, the views from the hills overlooking the city, the Black River Mountain waterfall and crater. Seven Colour Sands and some rum tasting at the rum factory. Afterwards, we really felt like we had gotten a real feel for the island and took some of our best photos during this tour. Most of the sights you want to see are in the south.
Nicki with David from Emotions
After 5 nights came the sad day of leaving. we were so comfortable I wondered should I have booked my whole stay in Awali. But there was more to see and today was our Adrien’s Dream dolphin swim. This is perhaps the main highlight of our whole honeymoon. We took off in the speedboat and within 5 minutes we had come across a pod of wild dolphins. You jump in with your flippers and snorkel and I thought we would be swimming with them way off in the distance. How wrong I was, or perhaps we were very fortunate, for I was blown away when the dolphins swam up from underneath as silhouettes to emerge either side of me, within touching distance. It got even better when we were back in the boat and spotted a sperm whale up close watching it’s massive tail fin raise in the air to dive multiple times. Two things struck off my bucket list. With the excursion finished we headed on to our second resort of the honeymoon.
Spotting a sperm whale on the Adrien’s Dream Trip
We noticed the island becoming more built up and developed the further north we drove and after an amazing day, we arrived at Zilwa for the last 7 nights of our honeymoon. Strange at first because we had been so comfortable at Awali but the staff were so pleasant right from the beginning. The view as you walk into the lobby is incredible with the sea and mountain perfectly framed from the entranceway. Plus the resort layout feels unique with the main infinity pool tiered down to the beach area.
The rooms are designed in a traditional Mauritian style and look lovely. We were soon right at home, especially since Babita kept our room spotless and always made sure to check we had everything when she saw us. The gift bag, hats and rum were lovely welcome gifts on our arrival.
We barely had time to see the resort on the first day as we had our Casella Safari Park Zipline booked for today. After breakfast, we met our driver from Emotions, Amith. Who surprised us with a London Accent and many funny stories. Though we were slightly late he got us there just on time with some shortcuts as our zip line was booked early. This was another highlight of the trip, zip lining over the incredible views of Casella. Nicola really panicked beforehand. So I went across the first line and waited for her to come next. However, another of our group came across next, then another and another, with one telling me how afraid my wife was. I really thought Nicki had bottled it and went back down in the jeep. Finally, she had built up her courage and came across dead last, much to my relief! We then spent the rest of the day enjoying the park, despite this being a very hot day. The giant turtles are very cute!
With all our booked excursions finished, we finally got to see the resort properly and Zilwa has so many things to do on the all-inclusive package. It was just a pity the spa jacuzzi and sauna weren’t included. However, The staff go at lengths to organise activities and it was during the boules tournament (thanks to Alan from the staff and Thomas the French man) that we met a few other honeymooners and enjoyed their company for the rest of the stay. We also had a cracking game of volleyball. Another thing Zilwa had over Awali was the vibrant nightlife. There was usually dancing and the entertainment really got things going. By the end of it, Nicola was even teaching dances like the Cha Cha Slide so I had plenty of dancing whether I wanted to or not. The resort also threw in some extra’s for us like the candlelit dinner on the beach. A bit of a wind had blown up though so our tablecloth was in danger of flying away since we had no windbreaker.
Towards the end of our stay, we took a bus to Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius. Taking the bus rather than the taxi will save you about 40 pounds as well. This is where we found our only good deals as generally everything is expensive enough at the resorts and tourist hotspots. We stocked up on the souvenirs and basically spent the full day browsing the markets and exploring the town before getting off at the wrong bus stop on the way back and having to use a taxi. The sunrise fisherman’s trip was said to be excellent though we didn’t try it and the Otenik experiences are a great addition. The beach here, though it had no broken coral, had plenty of bits of seaweed in the sand making it feel a bit slimy. It was broken up into about four small beaches by rocks and piers so we ended up trying the pools a bit more during our stay. That said, we would definitely want to come back to Zilwa, it was the perfect end to our honeymoon.
Enjoying our last few days at Zilwa
So Mauritius lived up to and was even better than our expectations, we will treasure the memories from it and we can’t wait to get back for an anniversary.
One last thing, if you go to Mauritius, be sure to look up at the night sky and enjoy the stars.