I didn’t know what to expect. It was my first visit to Mauritius and my second to an Outrigger resort. The bar had been set very high!
The welcome by immigration officials at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport was warm and friendly. This seasoned traveller braces herself for such encounters. There were smiles, jokes and wishes for a wonderful stay. I think the US should send their staff to Mauritius for training in courtesy and charm. Well, this was an unexpectedly good start.
The 43km drive from the airport to the resort took us through small townships and fields of sugarcane. Rhum is the beverage of choice here and made from cane juice rather than molasses as is the case for Jamaican rum, with which I was more familiar. There were glimpses of dazzling blue sea and snowy white breakers, visible between the trees.
The welcome at Outrigger was just as warm as that which we had recently enjoyed at the airport. Conviviality was evidently the national pastime. The lobby area was designed on the lines of the historic sugar factories, minus the machinery but with the same high vaulted ceilings in hollow terracotta brick. A striking and attractive architectural structure giving a nod to the island’s heritage.
Lush tropical gardens
Outrigger Mauritius has a considerable and impressive beachfront. One has uninterrupted views across a shallow lagoon which is ideal for snorkelling. The resort covers a sizeable plot of well-spaced buildings separated by lush tropical gardens. None of those buildings rose more than 3 storeys – but note that there are no elevators. The main building, restaurant and spa are made from stone, once again respecting local history.
Paths are sandy, bringing a little of the beach ambiance right to one’s hotel door, at least if you are on the ground floor. That sand is brushed and combed every day but might be a consideration for any guest with mobility issues or high heels.
Our room had a sea view, a terrace, king-sized bed, mini bar, fridge and all the usual in-room amenities. The shower was large, as was the bathtub. Yes, luxury, but the accessible variety garnished with comfort. One could be tempted to linger, relax and doze to the sound of waves crashing on the reef at the far side of the lagoon – but there were activities to enjoy.
Complimentary: glass-bottom boat rides, snorkelling, sailing, kayaks, paddle boats, windsurfing, stand-up paddle, tennis, beach volleyball, table tennis, bocce ball.
Paid recreation: sailing lessons, kitesurfing, deep-sea fishing, catamaran excursions, speedboat tours, dolphin tours, scuba diving, quad and biking tours in the Nature Reserve, 18-hole golf.
There are four swimming pools and one of those is designed with children in mind. It’s just next door to the kids’ play club and the bar, which I guess is the parents’ play club. The resort naturally divides into family friendly and quieter zones.
One can eat on the beach at Edgewater, there are snacks at Bar Bleu. Gastronauts will be enthralled by the offerings at The Plantation Club, and the huge and tempting buffet at Mercado has something mouth-watering for every member of the family …and three times each day. OK, it’s a buffet but let us not, dear reader, be food snobs. I discovered the best pasta dish ever at Mercado and the Indian food selection was first class. The bread and patisserie are all made onsite and it’s as good as one could find in a bakery in La Belle France. Many of the guests are French, so it would be impossible to skimp on quality.
It’s a long way to Mauritius from anywhere so it would be a shame to stay within Outrigger for the whole vacation. The resort can advise and arrange numerous tours. There are bike rides, excursions to visit local areas of interest, trips for lovers of food, and others for visitors who want to learn more about rhum.
Outrigger Mauritius offers something for every age and interest. There is evening entertainment, spa relaxation, sporting pursuits, a waterslide and new little friends, cocktails and new big friends. One can quietly sit and enjoy a book in the shade and just surface for meals or one can play tennis or take a swim in the gloriously warm water. The choice is yours, and my next visit may find me scuba-diving and shopping in Port Louis.
Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort is located approximately 43 kilometres (27 miles) southwest from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU), a 45-minute drive, in the district of Bel Ombre.
Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort and Spa
Phone: +230 623 5000
Fax: +230 623 5001