HotelWhut

Heaven: Our Review of Sands Resort & Spa, Mauritius

Helluva first impression right here...

Heck of a first impression right here…

If you’re fortunate enough to find yourself at the front entrance of Sands Resort & Spa you’ll be greeted with a fairly spectacular sight: Just beyond the front desk the hallway opens up to a deck, infinity pool, la baie du Tamarin and, in the distance, La Tourevla Mountain. If first impressions count for anything, we were in for a fantastic stay.

Sure enough, we didn’t even have to check in at the front desk, and were instead invited to the bar for complimentary drinks while one of the staff sat with us to take care of the formalities. On the advice of other TripAdvisor members we had requested Room 234 at the end of the Tamarind Wing; this proved to be the only very minor hiccup of our stay. Kevin, a manager at the property, came by the bar to introduce himself and inform us that because some other guests were late checking out our room—indeed the fabled Room 234—was still being prepared for us. For the inconvenience we were offered a complimentary lunch (stays at the Sands usually include breakfast and dinner only), which we eagerly accepted.

The fabled Room 234.

The fabled Room 234.

Within the half-hour our room was ready—a second-floor suite at the south end of the Tamarind Wing, with a shaded balcony overlooking the beach.

View of the beach.

Balcony and beach.

Extra view of the beach (plus bonus guard).

Additional view of the beach (with bonus security guard).

TripAdvisor folks were right about Room 234—it’s literally a few steps to the beach, and there’s also a box window with a view straight out to the bay.

Tamarind Wing, worth it for exactly one night of the week.

The Tamarind Wing—slightly quieter for exactly one evening per week.

Truth is, any room in the Tamarind Wing would make for an excellent stay; same story for the Albion Wing on the other side of the pool. There is one night of the week (Thursday, I think?) where there’s a big show featuring Mauritian music and dancing in the bar, but that ends at 1opm so it’s hardly going to keep you up all night. I suppose that Tamarind Wing is a bit quieter, though, if only on Thursday nights.

Complimentary WiFi blankets the property; it may not be quite as fast as what you’re used to back home, but it’s certainly usable. In-room entertainment is plentiful so long as you speak French but honestly, why stay in your room when the Indian Ocean is right outside your door?

ZOMG infinity pool!!1!

ZOMG, infinity pool!!1!

The restaurant overlooks the pool and beach, and offers guests a buffet breakfast and dinner. We were impressed with the variety of dishes at the buffet—no repeats whatsoever over the seven days of our stay. The restaurant staff seemed especially proud of the Mauritian dishes, and rightly so… the currys and dahl puri were delicious!

No regrets at the breakfast buffet!

My favourite breakfast concoction.

I’m a sucker for hotel breakfasts, though, and breakfast at the Sands did not disappoint, from the fresh passion fruit and papaya to friendly chats with chefs at the omelette station to my favourite self-serve concoction—crepes with toasted coconut and maple syrup. We also took lunch when we weren’t off the property, and it was absolutely worth paying for.

Sadly, we couldn’t secure a late checkout on the day of our departure, but when all was said and done it didn’t really matter. Our bags were stored under lock and key and we spent one final relaxing afternoon on the beach. When we were ready to leave for the airport we made use of the two available departure lounges to freshen up. The Sands took care of our airport transfers and also arranged a rental car for us from the local Enterprise office.

You might consider the Sands’ remote location an issue—it’s about an hour’s drive from the airport, depending on traffic. But being tucked away at the end of the beach in Flic en Flac has some advantages, too; it was so quiet there that the only unwanted noise we ever heard was the very faint sounds of loud music… from the other side of the bay!

Our stay at The Sands was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience; I can only hope that one day we’ll have the opportunity to return. I’d like to thank my fellow TripAdvisors for bringing my attention to this gem of a property and, likewise, to all the staff at The Sands for a fantastic Mauritian holiday!

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