Where to Stay
The Maradiva Resort is The Rake’s home-from-home in Mauritius—and we’re in good company. It is a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World, and is the only five-star luxury resort on the dreamy West Coast of Mauritius. This means that you will have access to exquisite haute-cuisine and a tranquil holistic spa, as well as a private stretch of beach. The Maradiva also offers a plethora of fun activities to keep you occupied, including their popular cooking class—so you can at least return home with a few new Mauritian recipes. Otherwise, suit up and take part in a scuba diving session, or join their deep-sea fishing excursions; all thrilling ways to make the most from your time in Mauritius.
What to Do
As tempting as it is to remain within the luxury compounds of your resort, it’s worth getting out there to
discover what the island has to offer. The nature in Mauritius is jaw-dropping, and you are spoiled for choice when
it comes to national parks and marine-life. You can organise to swim with dolphins via the Maradiva; an experience
heightened by the visibility in the surrounding waters. A highlight of any trip is to go to the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic
Garden—considered one of the world’s most beautiful, and populated by rare tropical plants, many
that are still used to make medicines. For a more expansive way to reconnect with nature, the top national parks to
visit are Casela (for adventure activities), Black River Gorges (for an abundance of wildlife) and Heritage Nature
Reserve, where you can hire a quad-bike to traverse the ever-changing landscapes, that switch from sugar-cane fields
to sweeping waterfalls.
Being an island, there are plenty of options when it comes to watersports or water-activities. Mauritius
is a haven for scuba diving, thanks to the preservation of certain species of fish, including angelfish and
stingrays, and—as is always the case—you can book professional sessions through your hotel. If you’d rather remain
surface level, we suggest visiting Le Morne Brabant Mountain, which is full of hidden caves just off of the coast
where adventurous travellers attempt to traverse with the assistance of a guide. It’s a UNESCO heritage site, with
important history attached to the slave-trade, and is key in understanding the island’s past and the story of the
Where to Eat
Mauritius is a melting pot of cultures from around the world—primarily Indian and African—so the cuisine
reflects these mix of peoples and their traditions. La Pescatore in the north of the island embodies Mauritian fine-dining
courtesy of a local chef, and has one of the best wine selections around. Otherwise, in the charming village of
Balaclava, there is a little-known treasure called Chateau Mon Desir which looks at the cuisine’s French influence—the
menu includes minestrone with shaved truffles and wild rice and Indian ocean rock lobster curry. It is certainly
worth both the higher price and a drive out to the north coast, as you choose from the restaurant’s own wine
cellar.Tapasake is the only restaurant on the island with a Michelin-star
chef, serving pan-Asian flavours influenced by his Spanish roots. The seating area is the most romantic of them all,
as you enjoy evening meals in a thatched-roof shelter that sits on stilts over a moonlit lagoon.
It’s a reminder of just how breathtaking Mauritius is. An island that makes a strong first-impression, and
whose coves and forests will linger long in your mind once you’ve returned home.
For more dispatches from the most rakish destinations around the
globe, stay on TheRake.com.