A Corner of Paradise: Shanti Maurice – Chemin Grenier, Mauritius
We were cruising through the serene south side of Mauritius, when, a slew of race cars throttled past us. The roar of their revved engines was almost deafening; as the drivers maneuvered their machines through the south corners of the island. We approached a stretch of road that passed through the Black River Gorges National Park and the landscape changed completely, we were in the midst of a thick rain forest with streams, waterfalls, the prettiest flora and fauna. On a different day, we would have loved to visit the park, known for its waterfalls, viewpoints and hikes. We could now see the turquoise coastal waters ahead of us and we knew that we were close. We drove past immaculately manicured lawns and beautiful putting greens nestled in lush green surroundings, we had now reached Shanti Maurice. With 15 acres of lush green gardens, the approach to the resort is extremely impressive, an epitome of a natural hideaway. Notations in Sanskrit of wellbeing fostered the calm and tranquil atmosphere, the kids, however, were busy trying to figure out what to feed the fishes at the Koi pond at the entrance.
As we entered, one look at the view from the lobby and we knew that we were in for something extraordinary in coming days. The check-in experience was very peaceful and the efficient staff got us to our room in no time. We were provided with a luxury pool villa with a direct access to the pristine beach. It had a jacuzzi bed, a temperature controlled swimming pool and a dining pavilion. The room was extremely chic, spacious, embedded with lots of creature comforts and an unobstructed view the Indian ocean. The pleasant sound of the waves hit the beach and then faded; it was mesmerizing. The kids, well that’s a different story, there was a bunk bed in the room! The kids went ballistic. If all this wasn’t enough, the bunk bed also had a couple of T-shirts from the kids club and some goodies. There were no half measures here indeed! The excitement levels of the kids had morphed in a different level. It was prefect for all of us, we were absolutely overwhelmed with setting of our room and the ocean, while the kids, were too happy with what was offered to them.
After an intensely persuasive session, we finally convinced the kids to step out of the room. We went straight to the kids club. It was a well laid out kids club with lots on offer, not to forget, the extremely hospitable staff. There were bikes parked outside the club for people interested in cycling, in and around the resort. With the children at the kids club, we leisurely strolled through the resort and went for a walk on the beach. We passed by the lobby and the view was surreal. We could see a beautiful infinity pool, the sand at the beach and the sun setting over the Indian Ocean; all in one frame, it was a picture perfect postcard in the flesh. Shanti Maurice boasts of the best sun set views in Mauritius and we could not agree more. We got the children from the kids club and went for dinner at the Rum Shed, a tavern-style bar. Live music, barbecue, exquisite cocktails, steak cooked to perfection and a good kids menu, a lovely evening. After congratulating and thanking the chef for a super delicious meal, we returned to our room to call it a day.
The next day…
Breakfast was served in a lovely gallery restaurant overlooking the pool, offering an exceptional view of the ocean. Post breakfast, the kids rushed to the kids club and we went to the spa.
Spread over an area of 75,000 square feet, the Nira spa within the resort is one of the most revered spas in the world. A state of the art spa complex houses yoga rooms, a gym, meditation studio, jacuzzi, etc. Associated with the Ananda Spa in the Himalayas, the Nira Spa offers a plethora of superlative spa experiences, all of which comprise signature treatments and authentic remedies. After the spa, we visited the in-house herb and vegetable garden organic. Over 30 vegetables and herbs used in the kitchens at the resort are all organic, homegrown and sourced from the garden. The bio agriculture at the resort is really diverse; they house lavender, lemongrass, seasonal fruits, etc. Make sure to ask the gardeners to give a brief on the use of bio-products in organic farming. After touring the gardens, we went to the lobby restaurant for lunch and later, we joined the kids, who, after a peacock feeding session, were “fishing for fun” at the Samy Lake, an activity arranged by the kids club.
We then hit the beach and went kayaking, paddle boating, zayaking. We went snorkelling at the Coral Garden, a snorkelling site with many coral species, tropical fish and other marine life, directly accessible from the Shanti Maurice beach.
In the evening, we had a private screening of a movie by the beach. The set up was out of this world; beautiful seating arrangements by the sea, light decorations, comfortable couches, a hammock under a starlit sky. It was an absolutely unforgettable experience. We were served with a culinary extravaganza – an exceptional five-course meal and an exquisite Crème brûlée, as the finale. Kids loved the popcorn served with movie and the ice cream that followed.
the next day…
The day started early for us, with my wife and I having a cuppa sitting on the bean bags, enjoying the beautiful view of the ocean. Soon enough, the kids were up and sitting in the bean bags, staring at the waves in the ocean. I have never seen them sit that still, it was over 57 seconds, a new record. A testimony of the magnificient view, I guess. After a quick breakfast by the infinity pool, we made our way to the seas for the water sports. It was a nice day for water sports, the seas were extremely calm, perfect for snorkelling, offering a crystal clear view of the corals and the colorful fishes.
We then, went to the infinity pool. The infinity pool sits in the middle of the resort and the view from the jacuzzi at the infinity pool is simply breathtaking. Near the pool, there was a kiosk setup serving fresh seafood called the Fish Market where locally sourced fresh seafood is displayed and once you have made a selection, it is immediately grilled and served, Bon Appétit!
Soon, the kids wanted to go swimming in the villa. Jumping in the pool, sleeping on the jacuzzi beds, it was great fun. For us, it was just so heartening to see the kids enjoy themselves to the fullest and yes, this would also mean making them leave was becoming a bigger challenge with every passing minute. We had a late evening flight and now it was time for us to check out. One last cuppa, sitting in the bean bags and it was time to bid adieu.
In the midst of natural waterfalls, beautiful mountains, turquoise seas, and private beaches, Shanti Maurice is a simply gorgeous resort and our experience here was absolutely unforgettable and unparalleled. Going forward, whenever there is a remote reference to Mauritius or its coastal backdrop, we will surely be tempted to go back to Shanti Maurice.