Review: Three magnificent Beachcomber resorts in Mauritius

Ruth Emery explores the Indian Ocean island from Beachcomber resorts Shandrani, Trou aux Biches and Paradis

Aerial view of Beachcomber Paradis with Le Morne behind
Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa is next to the breathtaking Le Morne Brabant mountain
(Image credit: Beachcomber)

“We commemorate the triumph of our nation. Long live the Republic of Mauritius!” As the speech draws to a close, cheers break out among hotel guests and staff, the vivid multi-coloured flag is raised, and the sega music starts up. Welcome to Mauritius, the so-called paradise island and one of the most successful economies in Africa.

This is my first visit to the country, coinciding with National Day, when Mauritius celebrates gaining independence from the British on 12 March 1968. I’m at Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa, watching a pool-side ceremony with dancers decked out in the flag’s colours – red, blue, yellow and green – swirling around me. 

There’s a party atmosphere, coconut-milk cocktails are passed around, and the energetic beat from the sega band fills the air. Sylvain Petite, commercial executive at the hotel, tells me that the flag is symbolic for two reasons. 

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The colours represent the physical attributes of the country – yellow for the sun, green for the sugar cane, blue for the sky and sea, and red for the earth. But they also represent the cultural diversity of the 1.3 million-strong population. The yellow symbolises the Hindus, red for the Chinese, green for Muslims, and blue for the Catholic and Creole citizens. The mix of cultures makes for a unique, beautiful island. 

And while Mauritius is arguably most famous for its palm-fringed white sand beaches, it also boasts spectacular mountains, lush sugar-cane fields and calm lagoons. Tourism, finance and textiles are the biggest industries here, as the sugar export market has waned (although sugar cane is now driving the local rum distilleries). 

Beach at Beachcomber Trou aux Biches

The white-sand beach at the Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa

(Image credit: Beachcomber)

On my week-long trip, I take part in a rum tasting, and declare the Amélia rum – aged in port barrels – to be my favourite, especially in an Old-Fashioned cocktail, with its delicious, deep orange notes. 

Mauritius is sometimes known as “Little India”, and there are certainly scenes evocative of the Asian country. I spot brightly coloured buses, tea plantations, where the leaves are hand-picked by women with baskets on their backs, and Hindu temples decked out with pretty garlands.

Like in India, you drive on the left in Mauritius, making it easy for British tourists to explore the island. 

But there is also so much more to see and experience than the Indian parallels suggest, such as visiting the atmospheric capital city Port Louis with its colourful Chinese temples and bustling market, and taking a boat to Île aux Aigrettes, which offers a glimpse into what the landscape could have looked like in the time of the dodo. The extinct flightless bird was endemic to Mauritius, and is now the country’s national emblem.

Hiking, snorkelling, and simply relaxing are also worthy activities, and I spend a lot of time doing the second two.

Kayaking at Beachcomber Shandrani

Kayaking is one of the highlights of a stay at the Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa

(Image credit: Beachcomber)

Three sustainable resorts

I visited a trio of Beachcomber hotels during my holiday. The first, Shandrani, is a ten-minute drive from the international airport, so it’s ideal if you’re tired after the 12-hour flight from London. I flew with Air Mauritius, which operated a smooth check-in at Gatwick, and a comfortable flight with attentive service. 

The four-star Shandrani resort has three beaches, water sports (pictured right), such as kayaking and windsurfing, plus a spa. My highlights included snorkelling with tropical fish in the exquisitely clear waters, and the most heavenly all-over-body massage just hours after I’d landed on the island. Suddenly, the long flight and rainy England were a distant memory.

Pool at Beachcomber Trou aux Biches

The pool at the Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa

(Image credit: Beachcomber)

Trou aux Biches, a five-star resort on the northwest of the island, was my next stop. Set along a strip of white sandy beach, within the shade of a 35-hectare tropical garden, this was the perfect place for dramatic sunsets. There’s a Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) diving centre, another gorgeous spa, a modern gym, and a children’s club.

Besides the National Day ceremony, another high point was the cookery class with chef Satish at Indian restaurant Mahiya, where we learnt how to make Mauritian chicken curry with cheesy naans.

Beach at Beachcomber Paradis

Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa mixes beach-casual with elegance

(Image credit: Beachcomber)

Paradis, in the southwest corner of the island, completed my trip. This five-star hotel, next to the breathtaking Le Morne Brabant mountain, re-opened its doors last October after a €12m renovation. I loved newly refurbished restaurants Blue Marlin and Zest, which mixed beach-casual with a touch of elegance. Don’t miss the fabulous club sandwich at the former, and the sumptuous tiramisu at the latter. 

The hotel is also able to arrange early morning dolphin-watching excursions. We spotted multiple pods, with one spinner dolphin putting on a magical show of jumping and twirling. 

Finally, it’s worth highlighting Beachcomber’s sustainable credentials. It was the first hotel group in Mauritius, and is the biggest, with eight luxury hotels. It takes its environmental responsibility seriously, with an impressive 52 sustainable commitments. 

These range from using recycled wastewater for irrigation and getting 10% of energy from solar, to recycling nearly 40% of waste, including Nespresso coffee capsules and cooking oil. 

From the incredible scenery to the diverse history, I fell in love with the Republic of Mauritius – and I can’t wait to go back.

Shandrani: seven nights all-inclusive from £2,085 per person. Trou aux Biches: seven nights half board in a junior suite from £2,105pp. Paradis: seven nights half board from £2,190pp. All deals include return economy flights with Air Mauritius. Call Beachcomber Tours on 01483 445 610, or visit

Ruth Emery
Contributing editor

Ruth is passionate about helping people feel more confident about their finances. She was previously editor of Times Money Mentor, and prior to that was deputy Money editor at The Sunday Times. 

A multi-award winning journalist, Ruth started her career on a pensions magazine at the FT Group, and has also worked at Money Observer and Money Advice Service. 

Outside of work, she is a mum to two young children, a magistrate and an NHS volunteer.