Mauritius is for the well-heeled and, of-course, those on a budget. One does not have to pay a fortune to get sand in ones toes, writes Aladin Pen
Budget-beating on the idyllic paradise Mauritius does not mean one has to compromise on style or a room with a view. While one would pay top dollar to stay in a five-star resort with the bells and whistles, it will not hurt the pocket to consider dropping a few stars and still be able to get the sand in your twinkle-toes.
Ocean Beach hotel and spa in Grand Baie is a cosy hideaway, recently spruced up on a lovely sandy beach, away from the bustling city centre. Depending on the room you book, you can almost poke your toe in the water from your room. Okay it is an exaggeration but the sea-sand is just a few metres away in this haven – if you have the beach room. Honeymooners may enjoy the extra mile they go in ensuring that the room is giving the red-bed rose treatment ringa-ring-a rosy replete with petals and adornments around the room to match.
You can’t be on such a location and not have access to a range of activities although in such a cosy spot water sport may be a bridge too far from the minds of amorous couples. Personalised service is a given and somehow seems so much more real in a resort comprised of 45 rooms and staff seemingly at your beck and call.
On a recent rendezvous, I was superbly impressed by the super-friendly Clifford Ng, who delights in offering a five star experience even though his establishment is a three-star delight. A night here costs around R600 a night per person for a basic room to about R1500 for a sumptuous dwelling offering a view of the beach. Rates are on a bed and breakfast basis and vary according to the season. To get the best out of such reasonably priced accommodation, it is a treat eating out at one of the many restaurants in Grand Baie.
Remember five-star establishments feel compelled to charge exorbitant five-star rates. Ocean Beach is proof that the water is just as warm and enticing regardless of the resort. Be sure to try out the hot dossa (pancake) sold by vendors around Grand Baie near the Ocean Beach resort. (www.oceanbeach.mu)