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Lunch at the Kitchen – Lux Le Morne

While we were staying in Mauritius, we took a stroll down the beach from our hotel, the St Regis, and came across the 5 star Lux Le Morne hotel, which also had a dramatic view of the majestic Le Morne.

Le Morne is an UNESCO World Heritage site and the location of the hotel is highly privileged as the beach surrounding it has white, powder soft sand and is spectacular.

We were feeling peckish so we wandered in and asked if we could have lunch there, as there was a beautiful decking area with a gorgeous view of Le Morne. The restaurant was called the Kitchen and is the hotel’s central restaurant.

While we decided what to eat, we nibbled on bread that arrived with a choice of dips.

For drinks I went for a Mojito and Amit tried the local beer, Blue Marlin. The Mojito was not the best I have had and was slightly on the strong bitter side. It was still refreshing on a hot day.

The heat was intense in Mauritius so we opted for lighter dishes for our lunch. The first one was a Papaya Salad and carrot, which was served inside a rice leaf pouch and drizzled with olive oil and with a pink peppercorn crunch. It was lovely and tangy.

Amit opted for a less lighter option and went for a club sandwich with a side of chips and coleslaw. He loved that everything tasted so fresh and the chips (I stole a few) were amazing.

The second of the lighter options was Vietnamese rice spring rolls, which were filled with vegetables and a light soya dressing. It was delish! It was massive too and surprisingly very filling.

The restaurant location was stunning and we found it to be a lovely relaxing spot to have lunch with the sea breeze and the beautiful view.

This was our palm fringed view of the sea on one side which was stunning. It is also a dolphin territory but unfortunately we didn’t spot any that day.

We really enjoyed our lunch and it was nice to try somewhere different so if you are staying around Le Morne during a trip to Mauritius, it is worth checking out the Kitchen at Lux Le Morne.

For more information on Lux Le Morne click here.

 

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Things to do in Mauritius

Mauritius is an island I whole heartedly fell in love with and spent the most incredible 8 days on. It is just so beautiful, has wonderful palm fringed scenery everywhere you look, and absolutely gorgeous beaches.

It is the perfect place for a honeymoon, or simply to escape to paradise, but the best part about Mauritius is there is so much to do and so much to see. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to visit Mauritius, having been born in the Indian Ocean coastal city of Mombasa, Kenya. It is a place I will definitely go back to that is for sure.

An island where the primary language is French, although everyone does speak excellent English, there are hints of the old British rule in aspects such as the side of the road they drive on and the colonial style architecture still present in some parts of the island. The majority of the residents are of ancestral Indian heritage though but they have been in Mauritius for so many generations that they consider it home.

I can totally relate to this being a third generation Kenyan with Indian heritage. For me home is Kenya and always will be.

We did spend some days totally relaxing on the lush beaches with a cocktail and a good book, or cooling off in the pool, but we also spent some very memorable days exploring the island. Here are some of the highlights of our trips, and activities we chose to do.

Casela World of Adventures & a Lion/Tiger experience

At Casela World of Adventures, you can walk around the park as you would in a zoo and see various birds and animals, or you can go quad biking, zip lining, tour in a safari jeep or have different animal encounters (at an extra cost to your main ticket).

They have many species of animals which are lovely to see such as the giant tortoises (pictured below), lions, tigers, monkeys and so much more. There is also a petting zoo where young children can interact with hens, goats and sheep.

We decided to do the tiger cub experience as we had both never seen tigers in person before. I have to be honest and say I was expecting tiny little cute cubs so when I saw the size of these cubs I did freak out a little bit. They were totally fine though and so gentle. It was an exciting and wonderful experience and would really recommend it. An alternative experience is to walk with lions.

Le Morne

Now ahistorical world heritage site, Le Morne mountain, which is 550 metres high is a majestic mountain that stands as a cathedral for freedom, as it was where many runaway slaves sought refuge and hid. As the tale goes, the day that slavery got abolished, some slaves hadn’t heard about it yet and thought that some soldiers they sighted on the mountain, who were actually coming to give good news were actually dangerous and so they jumped to their deaths to avoid being captured.

You can see Le Morne from various points of the island, but you can also go up it! We didn’t but we have friends who did and said the views were spectacular.

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Tea factory tour and tea tasting at Bois Cheri Tea Plantation

Bois Cheri Tea is one of the major tea brands in Mauritius with lots of history and heritage behind it, having been in production since 1892. It was established by Messrs Bour and Le Breton, and the 250 hectares of land now produce up to 700 tonnes of tea every year, 25% of which is reserved for exportation.

It is also one of the few tea plantations where you can visit for a couple of hours, see how tea is processed and packed, as well as spend some time in the museum. You also have the opportunity to go for a tea tasting and try the different variations of Bois Cheri Tea.

The tea tasting experience is made even more special with the view and it is seriously a must do if you are visiting Mauritius.

You can read more here: https://binnyskitchen.com/2016/05/26/tea-tasting-at-bois-cheri-tea-plantation-in-mauritius/

Grand Bassin – Ganga Talao

Another scenic and beautiful place is Grand Bassin (Ganga Talao), where you will find a natural lake within an extinct volcano crater. According to mythology, the water here is linked to the sacred Ganges river in India.

Many Hindus visit here and it is considered that taking a dip in this lake during the Shivratri festival is auspicious. Here you will also find a famous Hindu Temple with beautiful statues standing tall from the lake, and stunning views. You can go inside the temple for blessings and it is really worth visiting to see the architecture and the gorgeous statues.

img_5800At the northern side of the lake stands a 108 feet tall statue of Lord Shiva, which is the second largest statue of Lord Shiva in the world.

You can read more here: https://binnyskitchen.com/2016/05/15/ganga-talao-hindu-temple-in-mauritius/

Chamarel Waterfall

The Chamarel waterfall is just breathtaking. 83 metres tall and formed by the River St. Denis, this is a site not to be missed. Surrounding the waterfall is lush green vegetation of the Black River National Park. You can get two different views of the waterfall and both are amazing. The steps to go up to the second view are a little uneven so make sure you have flat shoes!

Chamarel and the seven coloured sand

Within Chamarel, which is a small village in Mauritius is the unique seven colours sand. These were formed naturally and have hues of colours, ranging from yellow, red, brown, violet, purple, green and even blue. As you walk around the area you can get diverse views of the sand, as well as one from an observation deck.

At Chamarel, they also have giant tortoises and they are just adorable!

A BBQ on a Catamaran

One of the coolest BBQs I have ever attended was right out at sea on board a Catamaran as part of a day trip. Seriously the best BBQ I have ever experienced.

We decided to take the Catamaran cruise to the south west of the island and our first stop  was watching dolphins swimming and jumping out of the water. It was just amazing!

We then went snorkelling, had our BBQ lunch on deck and then went onto a smaller boat around crystal rock and then on to Benitiers Island, which has beautiful white sandy beaches. We spend a bit of time looking at the souvenirs and swimming in the sea.

 

The day trip was so worth it. We had such a brilliant time and you just got such amazing views of the island from the Catamaran, especially of Le Morne.

We booked the triphttp://www.catamarancruisesmauritius.com/en/catamaran-full-day-cruise.php through our hotel

A foodie tour in Port Louis and eating the famous Dholl Puri with Alouda

I was lucky enough to have met my fellow blogger friend and Mauritian Anu from Peachy Tales for a day touring Port Louis and she took me to eat, what can be considered one of the most popular dishes in Mauritius – a dholl puri. This is a cross between a parantha and dal kachori and is a flat bread stuffed with ground yellow split peas.

 

We enjoyed the dholl puri with a very refreshing and delicious alouda from Pillay, which is similar to falooda and oh so delicious!

Located within a food market, it was fascinating to see all the fresh vegetables and fruits, and food for sale within the market. Interesting spots included Nan Khatai, which I grew up with in Kenya, so was good to see it in Mauritius too.

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Guava and green chilli

As we were walking around Port Louis, Anu got us to try the guava which was in season, which are so different to the guava I am familiar with.

These were eaten with dried green chilli, salt and sufar mix which was rather addictive. So if you are walking around Port Louis and spot a vendor selling this on the corner of the street get some!

Sugarcane juice

Mauritius has an abundant supply of sugar cane due to the sugar cane fields visible throughout the island. If you get a chance, definitely drink some sugar cane juice as it is so refreshing and delicious.

Coconuts

If you spot fresh coconuts, eating the flesh and drinking the water is a must too. They hydrate so well and are so lush.

Beaches

Make the most of the picture perfect beaches and temperatures as they are simply stunning. A slice of paradise! The beaches on the south of the island are amazing but all over the island they are really beautiful.

Some tips:

  • The easiest way to get around is taxi, but it can be quite expensive so it is better to hire a taxi for a day and try and get as much sightseeing as possible within the day. For example, in one day we managed to go to the temple, chamarel, Casela and Bois Cheri. We then spent separate days at Port Louis and on our catamaran trip.
  • Always carry a hat, a bottle of water and sunscreen as the sun can get very intense.
  • If you go to your hotel with a taxi when you arrive in Mauritius, you can negotiate a cheaper rate for the return journey with the driver so make sure you take their business card.
  • Do wander around outside your hotel and in to other hotels to eat in order to experience different food.

 

 

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Ganga Talao Hindu Temple in Mauritius

Mauritius has a large population of Hindus and beautiful temples can be seen all over the island. The main one, however, and considered to be incredibly sacred, is Ganga Talao in Grand Bassin.

Almost all the staff we spoke to at our hotel told us this was a must visit, so on a Monday, considered an auspicious day, we made a trip to the famous temple.

It was magnificent, beautiful and just so peaceful. It is open to everyone, and there were lots of fellow tourists taking in the idols, the views and just the beauty of it all.

During Maha Shivaratri which is an annual festival celebrated in reverence of Lord Shiva, a vast number of pilgrims come from all corners of the island, mostly on foot, to pray in the temple and cleanse themselves with the lake’s holy water.

The lake is a crater lake, 550m above sea level. The water is considered to be formed from a drop from the Ganges, according to a story that Lord Shiva accidentally dropped a few drops of the Ganges when he was carrying it on his head, forming the lake, whilst he was showing his wife the most beautiful places on earth.

There are other stories but this one is my favourite.

The connection with the holy ganges is what makes this temple so special to so many Hindus, who come here to worship during key festivals as well as whenever they want some peace and prayer time.

The inside of the temple is tranquil, peaceful and a fantastic place to just take a moment and pray.

If you wish, you can also have a little prayer session with the priest, which I did and he was really good in terms of explaining what to do and the significance of it.


Much to my delight, there were lots of cats wandering around outside the temple but they were sadly very shy cats, and rather lazy and sleepy.

Just outside the temple, there is a massive 33m statue of Lord Shiva. It is so grand and impressive, and I have never ever seen anything quite like it.

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On the opposite side of the road is work on an equally massive statue of Durga Maa, which already looks stunning but is not completed yet.

Even if you are not Hindu, or particularly religious, the temple is a must visit to see the grandeur and the beauty of it. It is just stunning!

 

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Hotel review: The St Regis Mauritius 

Being a massive fan of the Starwood hotels range, staying at a St Regis has been on my bucket list. When I saw there was a St Regis in Mauritius and after much research, I knew that I absolutely had to stay there and tick it off my list. There is also a Westin and a Le Meridien in Mauritius, both from the Starwood group.

Located on the south-western side of the island, the St Regis has seriously got the best address, with a backdrop of the historical world heritage site, Le Morne mountain, which is 550 metres high. The story behind this majestic mountain, is that it stands as a cathedral for freedom, as it was where many runaway slaves sought refuge and hid.


As the tale goes, the day that slavery got abolished, some slaves hadn’t heard about it yet and thought that some soldiers they sighted on the mountain, who were actually coming to give good news were actually dangerous and so they jumped to their deaths to avoid being captured.

The St Regis is a 5 star luxury hotel, with a colonial theme running throughout the resort and has a lovely home away from home feel to it. The resort used to be a former sugar baron’s plantation house, and is a fairly new resort, having been opened in 2013.

It is just over an hour’s drive from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport. The drive from the airport was beautiful, with dramatic scenery of  mountains, forests and sugar cane fields. What struck me was the natural beauty of the island everywhere and how unspoilt the majority of it was. We took a taxi from the airport and it cost us 2000 MUR.

When we arrived at the hotel, it was so relaxed. We were given a lovely welcome drink and the check in was so quick and easy. It was amazing to find we had been given an upgrade (Thank you Starwood) to an ocean front suite with a butler service. We were on a bed and breakfast rate and stayed for 7 nights.

The rooms at the St Regis range from garden facing rooms, ocean facing rooms and suites and an absolutely amazing villa which opens out right on to the beach and has its own pool.

We took a buggy ride to our room and OMG it was such an amazing room. The buggy service is available throughout the hotel.

It was dark when we arrived but I immediately snapped a photo of the bathroom because LOOK AT THAT BATHTUB! I was so pleased I had packed a Lush bath bomb with me and I did enjoy a nice soak in the tub during the week.

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We had a fabulous sink each, with plenty of room around it and below it for all our toiletries and my make up and there was really good lighting which was a major plus point.

There is a spacious shower with a rain shower fitting too and it was amazing! The toilet has its own private door.

Inside the bathroom area there is a desk with drawers, a tall chest of drawers and a dressing room area with more drawers and hanging space so I unpacked all our stuff neatly and stored our luggage away. The butler did offer to unpack but I thought it would be easier to put stuff away in my own way. Great option though!

We were provided with an ironing board, iron, hair dryer and safe, as well as a handy stool to prop our luggage on if we needed to. There is lots of storage in the room!

The bedroom itself is large with a massive bed, a comfortable sofa on the side and the TV, nestled inside a cabinet on the opposite side. There is a blind that separates the view into the bathroom so you can have it open during the day time for more natural light.

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A fully stocked mini bar and a drawer full of snacks is provided in the room, which are chargeable. Water bottles are complimentary and are replaced daily.


The butler provided a free turndown service every day and if you wished, he/she could make your tea or coffee in the morning for you. If you wanted to make it yourself, there was a coffee machine, as well as tea bags, and cups and saucers available in the room.

A complimentary St Regis bag was gifted in the room which was really handy as a beach bag. An umbrella was provided in case of any rain.

There is a patio outside which has a sofa on one side and a table with chairs on the other. There are steps which lead down to the resort’s second pool, and there is an amazing view of the beach from here, which is just a short walk away.

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We were so incredibly lucky with the location of the room and the view. The pool area has sun beds around it with towels available nearby. In the afternoon, there is even a pop up bar next to the pool so you can enjoy some cocktails in the sunshine.

Every evening we would find a different treat left for us to indulge on, and on two of the days our butler left us champagne as a surprise treat. One evening, they even scattered rose petals all over the bed and had the bath tub filled ready to soak in and decorated with rose petals which was absolutely adorable. They really made the trip feel so special and we felt so pampered. Thank you goes to Rishi and Kannan.

The resort is absolutely stunning and there is an amazing view from everywhere. There is also free wifi available throughout the resort which is really fast and convenient.

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The main pool, is HUGE. It has cabanas and sun beds located all around it and has the Boathouse bar & grill on one side of it and Le Manoir and the 1904 bar on the other side of it.

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Our breakfast view was of the beautiful pool and was the best way to start the day everyday. The breakfast spread was amazing! There was a whole room with a long table with a selection of tropical fruits available for a healthy choice.

If you wanted bread and pastries, there was a massive variety, including gluten free choices.

In the cooked food section, you could have waffles, crepes, pancakes, hash browns, eggs, beans, bacon, sausages and so much more.

There was also a selection of cheeses, cold meats, salads and fresh juices available.

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The lady who made us our omelettes every day was the happiest and most uplifting person ever! Such a lovely soul.

In terms of food and drink, there are 5 main restaurants and the 1904 bar. There is a Japanese restaurant called Atsuko, an Indian restaurant called Simply India, a pan-asian restaurant called Floating Market, a beachside restaurant called Boathouse Bar & Grill and Le Manoir, which is Mauritian inspired food. You can also order bar food at the 1904 bar, and room service options are also available.

My favourites were The Boathouse Bar & Grill and Simply India. However, they all had superb and flavoursome food.

At the St Regis, you can also try the legendary Bloody Mary cocktails, with each resort having its own take on the classic. You can also try all the other variants on the menu from the different St Regis resorts around the world and I tried the Mauritian version, as well as the Bora Mary.

There is a private cinema, library room, games room, fitness centre, tennis court, kids room and a Spa within the resort. So many rooms to escape in and for a book worm like me it was perfect. I also felt like I could totally relax which is just what I absolutely needed.

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Iridium Spa

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Iridium Spa

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Library room

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Library room

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Library room
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Library room

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Games room

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Tennis court
Amit used the fitness centre every day and he said that they had state of the art gym equipment as well as a personal trainer on site.

As the resort faces west, there were the most incredible sunsets that you could see from the beach and we managed to capture a few on camera.


The beach itself was stunning and would make the perfect location for a destination wedding.


Watersports are available from the resort with lots of fantastic free options. You can even take a free glass boat ride to go see fishes. We booked a day trip on a Catamaran from here which I highly recommend. You get taken to see dolphins swimming, snorkelling, have a bbq lunch on board and then go to another island.

The interiors throughout the hotel are stunning and tasteful. Pictured below is the classy bar area at the 1904 bar, and the outside seating area where we spent lots of time enjoying a cocktail. A special thanks to Selvin and Savina for being amazing.

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The rest of the hotel was just as beautiful with lovely spots all around where you could unwind and read a book or just people watch.

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I loved my stay at the St Regis and it was an amazing week and we felt very spoilt. The staff on site made you feel at home and were all so lovely and always had a smile on their faces.

The location was just superb! It really did have the best address.

We found it easy to go around the island and the concierge desk was super helpful with organising excursions or dinner reservations. We decided to do all our sightseeing within the first couple of days and relax for the rest.

The food was delicious, the cocktails were lush and the resort itself is beautiful and spacious. You can always find a spare sun bed and it never felt crowded as everything is spaced out.

I wish I had had longer than 8 days at the resort as it went by so fast and I really did not want to leave. If you are planning a trip to Mauritius I really recommend this hotel as it is pure luxury, has lots of facilities, restaurants and an amazing beach. The rooms are spacious, plush and the beds are dreamy.

For more information about the resort, go to: http://www.stregismauritius.com

Disclaimer: I received an upgrade and a complimentary meal. However, all opinions and photos are my own.

 

 

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Simply India – St Regis Mauritius

Indian food which was seriously amazing from Chef Rahul Kulkarni. The menu had classics for mains, starters with some fusion and delightful twists, and the best part was dessert!

While at Simply India, I decided to try the signature Bloody Mary of the St Regis Mauritius which was the La Belle Creole Mary.

This is how it is described on the menu:

Inspired by the warm currents of the Indian Ocean, La Belle Creole Mary is an interpretation of the traditions of this tropical paradise. Signature touches such as plantation rum
tomato juice and aloe vera juice evoke inspired memories of this extraordinary destination.

Trust me it was so delicious and invoked happy tropical dreams.

 

We had pappadums to start with which came with a choice of interesting, but tasty chutneys.

Amit went for the Shammi Shikampuri for his starters, which was lamb cutlets with a savoury chutney.

I went for the paneer, kalamata olives and bell paper chutney. This was presented in a quirky way and was well seasoned and marinated.

For mains we had a butter chicken curry, which is one of my absolute favourite mains to order in an Indian restaurant. Either it can be really lovely and indulgent or oily and distasteful, and in this case it was delectable.

We also tried the Chettinad chicken curry, which was full flavoured and I could taste curry leaves, which is one of my favourite ingredients.

We had some buttered naan to accompany the curries and these were lovely and thin. Just how I like them!

Then the dessert trolley came round and the waiter explained each dish available. It was presented so beautifully I really wish I had thought to take a picture!

I went for the Gulab Jamun cheesecake which was so good, just the right amount of sweetness and the perfectly sized portion.

Amit went for the saffron rasmalai which was also very lush!

If you are visiting Mauritius, or staying at the St Regis, I really recommend dinner at Simply India. The food is exquisite, the choice is fantastic and the service is fabulous. It was seriously good Indian food.

The nicest touch is that Chef Rahul personally comes out and talks to each table, which I thought was superb.

For more information, go to: http://www.simplyindiarestaurant.com

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The Boathouse Bar & Grill – St Regis Mauritius

Can’t think of anything better than having lunch right by the beach, with palm trees and the ocean as your view!

 It is made even more perfect with the right company and a delicious cocktail, which is what I was lucky to have in Mauritius at the St Regis.

On our first full day in Mauritius I just wanted a relaxing day spent sunbathing and reading a book. After a lovely start to the day, a couple of hours on a sun bed I got ravenous.

For lunch, we decided to try the Boathouse Bar & Grill, which is a beautiful beachside restaurant with a fantastic menu. It is bright, spacious and airy and the exact place you want to have refreshing food and drinks and just enjoy the moments.

This is also the first time we tried out our new Canon camera so I apologise for the multiple photos the bread!

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When you are on holiday it is perfectly acceptable to have multiple a cocktail with a gorgeous view! This was a fruity number and so delicious.

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Bread selections are my weakness and this was absolutely scrumptious and a large portion. Freshly baked, warm and with a range of dips to accompany it. My favourite of the two was the spicy salad.

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It was a really hot day and I fancied something cool to eat and so went for a fresh, refreshing Fattoush salad which came with creamy hummus, a pomegranate dressing and crispy pita bread artfully placed in the middle. This was so yummy!

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Amit went for the deep fried wrap chicken chunks, palm heart salad and herbal cream cheese. He polished these really fast while I stole some of his chips. He really enjoyed it.

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On a separate day, we ordered a “Peri Peri” spring chicken, green papaya and pink peppercorn coleslaw to share and they kindly plated up our own portions which were still generous!

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The food is incredible and the venue is the perfect spot for some beach gazing and chilled drinks and delicious food. A bottle of chilled white wine would be perfect shared in this atmospheric spot.

It is also very kid friendly and family friendly and has a relaxing vibe to it.

http://www.stregismauritius.com