Veranda Leisure & Hospitality’s (VLH) four charming hotels trade under the brand name of Veranda Resorts. Besides the high quality accommodation, attractive concepts and the friendly service, the hotels are all situated in picturesque locations, ideal for enjoying the simple pleasures of an authentic Mauritian way of life.
photos : vlh image bank, deeneshen sabapathee
Grand Bay, Grand Gaube, Pointe aux Biches, Palmar…the exotic names of seaside villages perfect for beach holidays, all lying alongside some of Mauritius’ most beautiful lagoons. Each is home to a Veranda Resort, dream places where guests are only a short stroll away from all the attractions of village life.
The upmost Creole style hotel in Mauritian, the Veranda Grand Baie Hotel & Spa has 94 rooms and lies right in the heart of the village. The hotel has been standing there for the last 30 years and people keep coming back to enjoy the typically Mauritian lifestyle. Grand Bay, with its restaurants, bars, nightclubs and shops, is the liveliest of the northern villages – indeed the best known tourist village on the island – and very much a regional centre. Grand Bay is also the departure point for catamaran trips to the northern islets of Gunners’ Quoin (Coin de Mire) Flat Island, Round Island, Snake Island (better known as Ile aux Serpents) and Gabriel Island. Throughout the year, the village is also a centre for sea-based activities such as the famous Undersea Walk and other trips that explore the seabed by submarine or underwater scooter.
Just two minutes on foot from the hotel is a small cove, La Cuvette, where both the swimming and the view are particularly attractive. Pereybere is further along the coast to the north and Mont Choisy in the other direction – both are favourite local beaches. The 81 rooms of the Veranda Paul & Virginie Hotel & Spa are singularly romantic, a hotel much favoured by couples. The hotel is in the Northeast of the island, in the peaceful fishing village of Grand Gaube, famous historically for its boat-building activities. The local fishing boats, known as pirogues, are decked with colourful sails, best admired during the sailing regattas organised in the village from time to time.
It’s a pleasant walk along the beach and amongst the small rocky coves dotted along the coastline. Inland, the village side streets echo with the sing-song sounds of the local Creole language. At the end of a warm day, as night approaches, a simple and warm atmosphere sets in gradually. Children play ball games in the Church square close to the beach and, a little further on, just as in bygone days, people are gathered near a typical Chinese corner shop, unchanged through the passing years. On the eastern side of the island, the 76-room Veranda Palmar Beach Hotel, which was completely renovated in 2013, provides a perfect base for those who enjoy water sports and miles of white, sandy beaches.
It’s a friendly tropical lifestyle there and holiday-makers are invariably struck by the sheer scale of the sea views. The lagoon is magnificent, sparkling with various shades of colour as the sun rises. There’s plenty to enjoy, from snorkelling and diving to kitesurfing, sailing and water-skiing. Or just plain paddling or swimming!
The East Coast is full of ever-changing landscapes and colourful characters. To the north of the hotel, at Roches Noires, the craggy coastline bears witness to the island’s volcanic origins, as waves wash up on to massive dark-black rocks. The area around Palmar itself, however, has some of the region’s most beautiful beaches. From Trou d’Eau Douce, all the way south to Mahebourg, the reefs are a long way off from the coastline, creating an enormous lagoon. Catamaran excursions are very much an attraction in a region dotted with lots of small islands, the most famous being Ile aux Cerfs and, further south, Ile aux Aigrettes, a nature reserve.
To round off the trip around Mauritius, there is the 115-room Veranda Pointe aux Biches Hotel, in an exceptional spot in the Northwest between two delightful fishing villages. Its special feature? It is the only hotel on the island where walking around bare-foot is the norm! There are some great walks along the beach in both directions, with the coastline sometimes flanked by beachside houses (called campements locally) and sometimes by public spaces full of filao trees. A few minutes’ drive away are the villages of Pointe aux Piments and Trou aux Biches, busy in the early morning when fishermen bring their catch ashore. Veranda Resorts’ hotels, each with its own particular charm, are the places to stay for a relaxing holiday – particularly for those who enjoy soaking up the local atmosphere!