When one thinks about Mauritius, one doesn't necessarily think about chocolate mousse. One might rather think of this:
|The beach at Le Touessrok, Mauritius|
|Towels and cooled water are waiting for you when you swim to one of these|
Except when you've been at Le Touessrok Hotel once before (we have, last December; this was our second trip). Then you will forever think back to the beautiful restaurant and the even more beautiful dessert table, and especially the corner with chocolate mousse in such abundance your eyes will water from joy. And trust me, I'm a chocolate mousse connoisseur, making a pretty good batch myself. Le Touessrok's is the absolute best, and you can go back again and again for yet another one, which is exactly what we all did every night of our stay there.
|All the food at Le Touessrok is divine, but the dessert table tops it all|
|What I wouldn't give for one of those right now!|
|Beautiful setting for dinner|
There are tons of other things Le Touessrok has going for it, and if you want more details, check out my review on Tripadvisor. It is by far the best hotel we've ever stayed at, with the possible exception of the Four Seasons on Maui. In fact, Mauritius is very much like Africa's Hawaii. It has the perfect climate and simply does tourism very well. You will arrive at a modern, air-conditioned airport, breeze through immigration without the long wait and exorbitant visa fees you have come to expect from other African destinations, you will be whisked to your hotel in a luxury van, and the service and food will be outstanding. No malaria pills to worry about, great weather year-round, and not all that far (5 hour flight) from Johannesburg. With all these things going for it, you really will wonder why you'd ever want to go anywhere else again for a beach vacation.
|View from our rooms at Le Touessrok|
Of course it'ts not cheap. But then again, all travel in Africa seems to be much more expensive than we ever imagined, so Mauritius doesn't particularly stand out (as long as you don't go there over Christmas). What we loved at Le Touessrok in particular was the excellent service - your wishes were practically read from your lips before you even uttered them, forming a striking contrast to our stay at Pemba Beach in Mozambique, where almost none of our wishes were fulfilled, even when spoken out loud several times in a row - and the fact that you're left to do whatever you want. If you want to do nothing and just read your book sitting at the pool, there will be no annoying water gym people trying to round you up. If you want to do watersports all day long, from waterskiing to parasailing and more, simply take the free hotel shuttle to Isle aux Cerfs and play there to your heart's content.
|Waterskiing at Isle aux Cerfs is free for guests at Le Touessrok|
|Parasailing comes at an extra charge but is worth it for the view |
(so I'm told - I don't do heights, remember?)
My favorite place to hang out was on a lounge chair right at the pool, even though you could argue I wouldn't have to fly all the way to Mauritius for that. Still, it's a very nice pool, and heated, so my kids didn't even have to prod too much to drag me in there.
|Heated to a perfect 28 degrees Celcius|
|My favorite job: judging handstand competitions right from my chair|
But just so you won't think I didn't move all weekend, we did have our daily afternoon tennis match (which, in an alarming new trend, Jabulani and I lost), and I was drafted successively by all four kids to play paddle ball, or whatever you call that game with the two wooden paddles that must be very annoying for everyone else not playing but forced to listen to the clack-clack until they're counting along with you.
|Zax and I on our way to the new family record of 212!|
Oh, and I should also mention the diving. Noisette, Zax, and Jabulani all have their open water qualification. Noisette talked Impatience into giving it a try this time around, so she got to practice in the hotel pool, which made Sunshine beg to be allowed to do it as well, even though she is only nine. In the end, you guessed it, I was also made to don the diving gear, but I can assure you, I'm even less fond of depths than heights. Though I have to admit, when I saw the first pictures made with Noisette's new underwater camera, I was a bit tempted. I'll share them with you in an upcoming post.
All in all, Mauritius was as glorious the second time around as the first, and we are pretty certain that this visit won't have been our last.