No matter where you’re coming from, getting to Mauritius requires a long, and probably pricey, flight. In spite of the potentially high airfare, a Mauritian getaway doesn’t have to break the bank. Ahead are seven of our favorite reasonably-priced hotels across the island.
The mid-range Merville Beach Hotel is a beachfront resort within walking of Grand Baie shopping and dining. The hotel's 169 rooms are basic and beachy, and supplied with minibars (free for all-inclusive guests), coffee-making facilities, flat-screen TVs, safes, free Wi-Fi, and balconies or terraces. One main restaurant serves all meals and hosts nightly entertainment. There are three pools (one main, one for kids, and one at the spa, which also has a free steam room and sauna), but these are overshadowed by Merville's narrow but lovely beach area, where guests can order food and drinks from under a palapa umbrella or take advantage of the hotel's free water sports, like kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling, and water-skiing.
The adult-only, all-inclusive Recif Attitude's proximity to the water is truly remarkable. The word "beachfront" doesn't even seem to cut it here. About half of Recif's 70 rooms and nearly all of its facilities -- its infinity pool, two restaurants, and bar -- feel like they are practically hovering over the waves. Live music plays by the bar several nights a week, but the endless lulling rumble of the ocean is soundtrack enough. Recif's boathouse organizes two free glass-bottom boat trips a day, plus snorkeling, kayaking, and pedal boats are all free. The beach is narrow and rocky (Merville's beach is better in this regard), so consider bringing water shoes. Facing the ocean head on is a never-ending tussle with the elements, of course, so weather-induced maintenance issues throughout the hotel are to be expected.
The 88-room Mont Choisy Coral Azur Beach Resort offers a budget version of the Mauritian beach resort experience with sea-facing pools and hot tubs, animation, and a big buffet restaurant. All rooms are air-conditioned and have a balcony or terrace, and upgraded rooms add free minibar items, free coffee and tea, and beach flip-flops. (No in-room Wi-Fi, though.) They also have a brighter, more contemporary look than the Standard Rooms, which feature heavy, dated furnishings. Most of Mont Choisy's guests stay on a half-board basis (room-only and bed-and-breakfast rates are also available; travelers looking for all-inclusive rates could try Recif), spending their days around the pool terrace and lawn, down by the thin strip of beach (where kayaks and pedal boats are free to use), or off on an island excursion.
Clunky furnishings make Silver Beach Hotel feel a little outworn, but the mid-range all-inclusive has a terrific location on Mauritius' east coast. Basic resort features include a lagoon-shaped pool, a bar terrace, and a buffet restaurant serving all three meals and presenting nightly entertainment. The star of the show at Silver Beach is its wide stretch of beautiful lagoon beach. The boathouse offers free non-motorized water sports, like kayaks, pedal boats, and snorkel gear, and the sand is set with loungers and palapa umbrellas. Like Mont Choisy, Silver Beach does not offer Wi-Fi in its 60 rooms, but all do have air-conditioning, mini-fridges, electric kettles with free coffee and tea, and balconies or terraces -- many of which face the ocean. Travelers wanting an on-site spa and closer proximity to Grand Baie might prefer Mont Choisy.
Aanari Hotel & Spa is a mid-range hotel with subtle antique style, warm service, and a killer location across from Flic en Flac's public beach. The 50 rooms only differ when it comes to square footage and views -- decor and amenities are the same throughout: all rooms have an empty mini-fridge, flat-screen LED TV, air-conditioning, and tea- and coffee-making facilities. The buffet restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner outside, and an a la carte Chinese restaurant opens for lunch and dinner. An outdoor bar offers daily happy hours, and nightly entertainment aligns with dinner's buffet theme (for example, the hotel will pair the Mauritian buffet with sega dancing). The hotel's Amrita Spa is its most notable feature: the outdoor rooftop space features two whirlpools, an outdoor sauna, and a steam room. The hotel can arrange private dinners in Amrita's garden. While Silver Beach is set up for all-inclusive eating and drinking by the beach, Aanari is more of a jumping-off point for exploring Mauritius's west coast.
Villas Caroline has been a Flic en Flac mainstay for decades, a fact that's not always apparent as many common areas and rooms have been continuously refurbished. Located at the northern end of the town, Villas Caroline has a big, broad beach with a bar; free kayaks, pedal boats, and snorkel gear; and gorgeous sunsets. All 75 rooms face the sea and feature furnished balconies or terraces, as well as mini-fridges, plasma flat-screen TVs, and air-conditioning. The hotel's ocean-facing pool has a drop edge and an attached kids' area. There is no fitness center, but the entertainment staff hosts aquagym, as well as dance (like salsa and merengue) and fitness classes (like yoga, stretching, and abs) on the beachfront dance floor. There are two bars, one by the lobby and another on the beach, and one main restaurant serving buffet-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as afternoon tea for all-inclusive guests. Travelers wanting to be closer to Flic en Flac nightlife will prefer Aanari's central location.
Though Le Palmiste is across the road from the beach, the mid-range hotel is nonetheless a solid pick for an affordable, beachy getaway. Features-wise, the hotel ticks nearly all of the boxes for a traditional Mauritian resort (pools, spa, restaurant, bar, kids' club, event space), but its two-courtyard layout gives it an intimate feel. The property's room buildings and common areas enclose a hot tub and four pools with different vibes: two peppy with music and kids splashing about, and two quiet and meant for guests wanting to take it easy. The 100 rooms are spread across five sections and vary in style, but all feature flat-screen TVs, free tea and coffee, and terraces or balconies that can be fully shaded by floor-to-ceiling bamboo blinds. Superior Rooms come with iPod docks, bathrobes and slippers, and free Wi-Fi. A buffet restaurant and two bars serve food and drinks all day, and a two-room spa provides mani/pedis and massages. Travelers who want to be right on the ocean could look into Villas Caroline, but the rates there are higher.