Veranda Grand Baie, Mauritius: An Oasis of Creole Charm
Reward yourself with an unforgettable experience at Veranda Grand Baie Hotel & Spa, Mauritius
For me, travelling is not just an exploration of new landscapes, it is a journey that brings people together, one that helps us creates memories that we will treasure for life. And just like Benjamin Disraeli said, “Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember and remember more than I have seen.” My recent trip to Mauritius was a soulful exploration of adventure, beauty, life at a new pace and a deepening of relationships.
My husband Vikram and I were invited to spend a delightfully long weekend at the Veranda Grand Baie Hotel & Spa in Mauritius. Strategically located at the heart of the exuberant costal village of Grand Baie, the property proudly basks in the glory of a private beach area – the spectacular beach of La Cuvette. The beauty of the place is augmented with its charmingly beautiful gardens along with a lovely outdoor pool with a heated Jacuzzi. Sitting in the comforting shade of a coconut tree, you can enjoy a breath taking view of the kaleidoscopic lagoon dotted with lively sailing boats, yachts and catamarans from the private beach, while sipping on cocktails to keep you in high spirits. Welcome to the spectacular island nation of Mauritius!
I enjoy exploring the cultures of the places I visit, so you would understand my joy at being welcomed to the splendid Veranda Grand Baie Resort in traditional Mauritian style with the Maravane, a traditional drum, being played by a local musician clothed in the national attire of Mauritius. Thus marking the commencement of a remarkable staycation which gave us the opportunity to unwind, reconnect, and gently transcend into the peacefulness of a laidback Mauritian lifestyle.
Most of our morning was spent soaking at the pool while we explored the spectacular accommodation, its amenities and activities for the rest of the weekend.
The Resort has 94 villas and suites exquisitely designed in true Creole style. Leaving no stone unturned when it comes to luxurious living, the spaciousness of the rooms, and an unexpected gamut of enhancements augment guest satisfaction to a whole new level. Our check in was quick and we were ushered into a room that had a special wine selection and freshly baked cookies waiting for us. I was pleased to find that the room had a beautiful walk-in wardrobe, and to my wonderful surprise the impressive bath tub had been prepared for a pampering soak with rose petals. Our room was a perfect intermingling of traditional Creole design and a lively touch of contemporary décor beautifully complementing the colours of the room which in every way earned the title of “Privilege Room”.
Veranda offers a range of cuisine which gives you the chance to enjoy a spectrum of dining experiences that are both visually appealing and a delight for your taste buds. The buffets are sumptuous and the À la carte menus are extravagant. Wake up to a comforting breakfast of hot coffee, eggs, fruits and croissants served with delicious jams and honey at the Mon Plaisir Restaurant which is surrounded by lush foliage serving as a wonderful backdrop to the traditional Creole style décor. The rattan blinds and the Creole furniture giving the restaurant a rather tasteful look.
The delightful breakfast beckoned us to unfold a fantastic new day. The blue lagoon turns into an industrious water space with colourful sailing boats speckled as far as the eyes can see giving you the chance to enjoy a view that you may have never seen before. Delightful views and a weather that seems to playfully cheer up every soul in the neighbourhood, gave us enough reason to enjoy every bit of our trip including the colours and flavours of the delicious food that left us craving for more.
With our toes in the pearly white sands and our hands yearning to touch the twinkling stars, we enjoyed the delicious Mauritian cuisine on offer at the Belle Vue restaurant that night. Boasting spectacular views of the lagoon and the beach, Belle Vue invites its guests to enjoy the evenings around a campfire with a band or a resident DJ adding vibrancy to the evening, ensuring that you can hardly stop yourself from lighting up the dance floor!
Not only does the resort go the extra mile with the buffets and the evening arrangements, it also ensures that tea-time is made special. You can choose from a variety of teas and coffees which are served alongside a lovely selection of locally made delicacies. Among the many indulgent desserts that were served with tea and coffee were sticky banana tarts and flan topped with a molasses caramel which had a delightful tropical aroma of coconuts. An epicurean journey which helped me explore new flavours and delve in amazing new aromas. Hats off to the chefs!
When we were not gorging on decadent delicacies, we were spending our time exploring the island and seeking adventure in the seas. Grand Baie is brimming with energy at any point of the day with catamarans leaving for the islands to the north of Mauritius. On our way to these islands, we got the chance to enjoy exciting views of the marine life in the region; from pods of dolphins to shoals of flying fish beckoning us to join them on a marvellous aquatic journey. Beyond the coral reef, the main island looks magnificent with its towering mountain peaks and beautiful beaches, while the string of islands in front of you add new fervour to your trip. I loved the way the names personified the look or location of these islands – Corner of the Sea, Flat Island, Round Island, Serpent Island, and Gabriel Island. Mauritius is known for its flora and fauna. Some of them are unique to the island and these islands that we visited gave us the chance to get first-hand experience of its natural resources, enveloped in the beautiful blue waters.
If this immaculate vision of paradise leaves you wanting more, then there is nothing better than an outing in a sailboat or a kayak. You could gently drift along the coast in your sailboat, drinking deep from the mesmerizing views of the famous beach bungalows of Grand Baie. Or you can enjoy a spectacular view of the magnanimous ocean at La Cuvette, where a superb swim awaits you unless you would like to simply stroll along the beach enjoying the gentle kiss of the waves as they crawl up to your feet and quickly retrieve into the sea. Lie on the sandy beach and enjoy the view of a sky speckled with white seabirds – the paille-en-queue – which add resplendence to the skies locked in their infinitival routine of circles and dives.
Grand Baie is a vibrant town with tourists flocking its streets and beaches. For those who would want to take some time to explore the island, you will find that the town has a lot to offer. To enjoy the ethereal beauty of the island, take the beach route from Veranda which leads to the main market. Shopaholics will find reprieve in the stores that sell designer labels and souvenirs, while food enthusiasts can try out new dishes in the restaurants that serve varied cuisines and cater to all budgets. Enjoy a laidback evening sipping cocktails in a bar under the palm trees or party till the break of dawn in one of the many night clubs along the coast.
Amidst all the excitement of the trip, I think I almost forgot to mention Veranda’s Seven Colours Spa which gives you the chance to bring balance to your life and helps you open up your senses. In accordance with the rest of the resort, the spa is housed in a lovely Creole villa bringing together the knowledge of the Mauritian know-how and oriental philosophy together with the natural world of essential oils to give you a spa experience that will be etched in your memories forever!
* Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the property. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review.