The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Best hotels in Mauritius 2023: Where to stay for wildlife, relaxation and romance

This Indian Ocean island isn’t just about the beach, with draws for foodies, families and explorers, too

Nicki Grihault
Thursday 25 May 2023 17:49 BST
Settle up for a relaxing stay in Mauritius
Settle up for a relaxing stay in Mauritius (Otentic River)

With beautiful beaches and calm waters cradled by coral reef against a backdrop of wind-sculpted forested mini-mountains, Mauritius is a bucket-list destination, complete with a fusion cuisine.

Part of the African continent and one of the Indian Ocean’s most beautiful islands, Mauritius’s main appeal lies in its 177km of coastline, the majority of which is a dazzling palette of peacock hues. The outlying coral reef means that much of the shoreline is protected by translucent lagoons, with the opportunity for snorkelling, diving and water sports out by the reef.

And if you’re after city life, the thriving capital, Port Louis, is where you’ll find the most compact mix of Mauritian culture, with Hindu temples, mosques, Chinese pagodas and Catholic churches.

There’s life to be found in the wild, too – try fruit bats, monkeys, pink pigeons, Mauritius kestrels, Echo parakeets and native songbirds for a start.

A romantic favourite, the island has a reputation for “affordable luxury”. Around 160 hotels sit in an area the size of Surrey, and range from pampering palaces – complete with spa, golf and helicopter transfers – to boutique hideaways and even a riverside glampsite.

The best hotels in Mauritius are:

Best hotel for foodies: Constance Prince Maurice

Neighbourhood: Poste du Flacq

Celebrities have stayed here, which is always a good sign (Constancehotels)

It’s no surprise that the MasterChef judges chose to stay at this seductive, spacious and secluded “six star” boutique haven on the northeast coast. Foodies flock to its Michelin star-studded food festival each spring, and it offers private food pairing dinners among 25,000 world wines in its cellar. Lantern-lit seafood suppers are at the island’s only floating restaurant, tucked in the mangrove.

Its 89 suites have polished teak floors and plantation-style furniture, and the most coveted are the overwater suites on stilts, with a view of the mountains.

Best hotel for romance: Paradise Cove Boutique Hotel

Neighbourhood: Anse la Raie

This boutique is a little slice of paradise (Paradise Cove Boutique Hotel)

This plantation-style, adults-only hotel around a man-made sandy cove is made for lovebirds. Think candlelit suppers in thatched overwater kiosks, muslin-draped four-poster beds scattered with rose petals, and tandem massages on the clifftop.

A Small Luxury Hotel of the World, the 75 rooms and suites have homely leather armchairs, double rainforest shower heads and sea-facing balconies. A clifftop infinity pool offers a view of the Northern Islands, while swing beds and thatched love nests are scattered in the gardens.

“You&Me Moments” range from free stargazing with cocktails on the peninsula to an island-hop by traditional pirogue for snorkelling and a picnic.

Best hotel for a nature retreat: Lakaz Chamarel Exclusive Lodge

Neighbourhood: Chamarel

Discover fantastic walking spots at this exclusive lodge (Lakaz Chamarel Exclusive Lodge)

This boutique retreat in the highlands has just 20 TV-free, wooden eco-lodges and suites – most with private pools and four-poster beds – in peaceful, flower-filled tropical gardens. For sea views, opt for a suite on the hilltop.

Enjoy a Chamarel rum sundowner at the View Bar, before heading to the open-sided garden restaurant for a Mauritian dinner.

Complimentary yoga is offered in the gardens, and there are free bicycles to visit natural attractions, such as the 7 Coloured Earths geopark, Chamarel Waterfalls, Ebony Forest (where you’ll find rare birds and plants), or take a zipline across the forest canopy at Lavilleon.

Best hotel for a boutique experience: 20 Degres Sud

Neighbourhood: Pointe aux Cannoniers

Watch the most beautiful sunsets at this boutique hotel (20 Degres Sud)

The island’s first boutique hotel is cosy and charming, with ivory-painted clapboard buildings under thatch in a coconut grove beside the sea. Squishy sofas, antique furniture and hundreds of books give the feeling of being a houseguest in an elegant home.

A Relais & Chateâux hotel, a highlight is an intimate five-course seafood gastronomic cruise on Lady Lisbeth, the hotel’s restored vintage 1920s motorboat.

Each of the 36 rooms and suites has a four-poster bed, while the vast Austral suites have an outdoor plunge pool or jacuzzi. Restorative comfort zone treatments are offered at the Secret Spa, and there’s a small private beach, with free water sports.

It’s a short bike ride or a 10-minute shuttle to bustling Grand Baie, or hire a mini moke from the hotel to pootle along the north coast.

Best hotel for local buzz: Veranda Tamarin

Neighbourhood: Tamarin

Stay here and you might even spot dolphins (Veranda Tamarin)

This chilled, community-spirited, three-star-plus hotel with 116 boho chic rooms is one of the few budget hotels on the west coast. It’s on a quiet road, opposite Tamarin Bay, a legendary surf spot in the 1970s, but where dolphins now play in the early morning. It has a surf school (cue surf boards mounted on the walls) and live local bands at the Crazy Fish bar, which is also open to locals.

Guests can exchange credits earned per night’s stay for a street-food tour, a hike up Le Morne mountain or sports fishing with the “Fish Whisperer”. For a local experience, grab a cold Phoenix beer and some gajaks (snacks) from the hotel’s roadside kiosk, and head for sundown on the beach overlooking Mount Rempart.

Best hotel for an eco stay: SALT of Palmar

Neighbourhood: Palmar

The perfect spot for eco-friendly travellers (SALT of Palmar)

This insta-worthy, adult-only boutique hotel has bold geometric designs in eye-catching pop colours by Camille Walala. It’s also a zero-waste hotel that takes its eco-footprint seriously, with no buffets, TVs or single-use plastics.

Guests can visit food producers, such as Mr Cangy’s cacao farm on “The Route to Chocolate”, and indulge in salt-based treatments at the spa. Food is farm-to-table – with homemade artisanal breads, yoghurt and wild game sausages.

The 59 rooms have organic linen, recycled plastic beach baskets and homemade taro crisps. “Bang on the Beach” rooms lie paces from powder white sand, while “Best on the Beach” rooms are the biggest, and come with a sundeck.

Best hotel for fashionistas: LUX Grand Baie Resort & Residences

Neighbourhood: Grand Baie

This grand hotel is fit for royalty (Tom Fallon)

Cool concepts at the island’s first boutique-style urban retreat, designed by Kelly Hoppen CBE, include Olympic-standard running tracks on the roof, a monastic-like spa delivering hydrothermal bath journeys, and an eye-popping Miami-style beach club.

A rooftop bar has cosy cabanas for sunset cocktails and tapas, plus an insta-ready swing over the infinity pool. Sushi at the sceney signature restaurant Ai Kisu, decked in black and gold, comes with a soy sommelier and someone to grate your wasabi.

Of the 116 “smart” suites, villas and residences in calming neutrals, junior suites have chromotherapy showers, while opulent two-storey villas have “whipped cream” staircases.

Neighbourhood: Bel Ombre

Find true retreat at this 19th-century estate (Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness Resort)

This elegant hideaway on a white-sand beach in the green southwest has 158 lofty, contemporary suites with ceiling fans housed in white-clapboard buildings (children under 12 stay for free in their parents’ room), and junior suites feature muslin-draped four-poster beds. All come with a butler… on a bicycle.

A highlight is gastronomic dinners in a restored 19th-century château, using produce grown on the estate. Guests can laze in a hammock, play traditional games and lunch in a new family-friendly picnic pod by Frédérica Falls in the Heritage Nature Reserve.

Best hotel for glamping: Otentic

Neighbourhood: Deux Freres village

This glamping spot is complete with 12 safari-style tents (Otentic River)

With 12 safari-style tents on wooden platforms overlooking the river, the island’s only glampsite is a comfortable, affordable and convivial place to stay.

Each solar-powered tent sleeps up to five, on beds made from wooden pallets, with recycled potato-crate shelving and a bathroom open to the skies. The communal area has a rainwater pool, honesty bar and Timoune, the camp dog.

An authentic Mauritian lunch buffet is cooked up in an old shipping container, using local produce and garden herbs. In the evening, a lantern-lit buffet is followed by stories and homemade rum around the firepit, and occasional live music.

Guests can kayak to the waterfall at twilight, when Mauritian fruit bats feast on the giant mango trees, and monkeys play in the mangrove.

Best hotel for families: Shangri La Le Touessrok

Neighbourhood: Trou D’Eau Douce

Shangri has six immaculate beaches nearby to explore (Otentic River)

A Crusoe-style adventure is the draw for families at this iconic hotel on an east coast promontory. Families can spend the day in a private beach cabana with a butler on Ilot Mangénie. With six beaches in total, one is never far away from the 203 rooms and suites in Mediterranean-style villas along the beachfront.

The Coral Wing suits those on a budget, while Hibiscus suites have direct beach access and are close to the kids club and family pool. The kids club has a treehouse, decent-sized pool and giant tortoises in the garden. The teens club has complimentary diving initiation, paddle boarding and wakeboarding, plus a regular shuttle boat to Ile aux Cerfs.

Read more of our hotel reviews:

Read more about Mauritius travel:

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in