It’s easy to find a place to stay on Mauritius. The island not only has over one hundred hotels and resorts (the greatest choice of luxury accommodation of any island on the planet), but its budget accommodation scene is burgeoning too: there’s a growing self-catering sector of villas, beach houses and apartments, a scattering of B&Bs and guesthouses, and since 2014, the island’s first campsite. Wherever you stay, Mauritius is renowned for its service, and you’ll find the island’s legendary hospitality even at the simplest guesthouse.
In low season (May to September) expect to pay thirty to fifty percent less than in high season (November to March). Prices peak at Christmas/New Year and Easter week.
Mauritius has hotels and resorts to suit every taste and budget. The top places typically have prime beachside locations, and offer a slew of premium all-inclusive packages and luxury amenities such as spas, championship golf courses and gourmet restaurants, plus private plunge pools, 24-hour butler service and helicopter transfers. Three-star hotels on the island also offer extras that dream holidays are made of – spas, private yachts and kids’ clubs have become as common as swimming pools. Fierce competition between hotels and resorts also means freebies such as room upgrades, bottles of bubbly, spa treatments and activities.
Often run by Franco–Mauritians, chambres d’hôtes (B&Bs) and maisons d’hôtes (guesthouses) give guests a slice of local life, with experiences ranging from home-cooked meals to trips to local markets. The NGO Association of Hoteliers and Restaurants in Mauritius (AHRIM; 637 3782, mauritiustourism.org) publish an Authentic Hotels and Guesthouses of Mauritius leaflet, which is available from the MTPA, and details the best across the island. Some of the top places are found in largely residential areas like Tamarin, Blue Bay and Pointe d’Esny, Mahébourg, La Gaulette, Pereybere, Kalodyne and Poste Lafayette, and are competitively priced. A plan by AHRIM to offer guesthouse packages including airline travel will make stays an even better bargain.
There are no official hostels in Mauritius, but some lower-end chambres d’hôtes and maisons d’hôtes classify themselves as such, and can be booked through hostelling sites. More unusual accommodation options include bungalows in the grounds of colonial plantation houses and a few nature lodges, although these tend to be more expensive.
It’s a Franco-Mauritian tradition to have a compement, or weekend house, and many of these beach bungalows – known as pieds dans l’eau (“feet in the water”) – often in quiet, private, residential locations, are now rentable. New villa and apartment complexes are also springing up, although the greatest concentration are in the most touristed areas such as Flic en Flac and Grand Baie. Options range from apartments attached to hotels with use of the facilities to high-end properties staffed with a maid, butler, and optional chef. At the other end of the scale, bargain-basement concrete blocks come with the bare essentials, which should mean maid service, a kitchenette and air conditioning.
Once primarily used by second-time visitors and those in the know, self-catering accommodation is now easily bookable through villa specialists and online. It’s a good choice for those self-driving, allowing greater independence and financial savings. Serviced villas are safest, and the most popular, often with shopping centres to hand.