A warm and welcoming glow seems to beckon us from across the beach at Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa. With our feet in the sand, my fiancée Laura and I follow the dim light to discover a dazzling scene: a candlelit table adorned with rose petals, surrounded by lanterns and encapsulated within a seamless heart-shaped pattern in the sand. .
With just another couple sitting some distance away along the mostly empty beach and attentive waiters providing excellent service and socializing-worthy snaps, the three-course meal is a brilliant way to make customers feel a little more special. .
Our arrival in Mauritius in mid-May comes at a time when long-distance weddings and honeymoons are becoming more accessible and restrictions on entry into the Indian Ocean are becoming more relaxed. Currently, travelers, regardless of vaccination status, are not required to take a test to enter Mauritius, which helps take some extra worries off the to-do lists of happy couples (and their travel agents).
With our own nuptials scheduled for less tropical climes next summer, sorry readers, unfortunately we didn’t elope on this trip! – is an opportunity to see the benefits of getting married abroad and enjoy the honeymoon lifestyle a little earlier.
Tom and his fiancee Laura enjoy a romantic dinner in Mauritius
EXPERTS ON THE ISLAND
When it comes to Mauritius, Beachcomber has a storied history with the island since opening the country’s first hotel in 1952. Each of its eight resorts offers its own settings and styles to suit different wedding and honeymoon tastes.
Their three wedding packages, starting at Bliss, Barefoot, and their most inclusive option, Bespoke, include all necessary legal fees and a dedicated wedding planner, while also featuring customizable options from photography and videographers to flowers, hairstyling, and live music. live.
Weddings usually take place in the cooler periods of the afternoon, which also allows photographers to capture sumptuous sunsets on the Indian Ocean (as we will discover later).
A major selling point for Beachcomber is the guarantee of only one wedding per day at all of its resorts. “It’s that attention to detail that we pride ourselves on,” says Sarah Archer, national sales manager for Beachcomber Tours UK, explaining how her resort teams are known as “artisans” because of their passion for “crafting” stays. of the guests.
Sunset boat trips are offered to honeymooners and those celebrating their fifth birthday.
Another reason for couples to say ‘I do’ to Beachcomber is their Beachcomber Experiences: an extensive list of free activities (one per couple) available to newlyweds and guests celebrating their fifth anniversary.
From boat rides and hikes to cooking classes and horseback riding, each resort offers its own options, often using natural sites and local attractions. It’s why I find myself standing on one foot and looking, somewhat unsteadily, into Laura’s eyes as we intertwine in a tree pose.
Oddly enough as a workout, even for honeymooners, it’s the culmination of our couples’ Hatha yoga class, one of the Beachcomber Experiences offered at your Dinarobin resort. Hatha, which means “strength” in Sanskrit, focuses on static poses and is great, we’re told, for yoga beginners—luckily for me, given my terrible overall posture.
With a series of stretches and breathing exercises, we’re put to the test during the 30-minute session in the resort’s tranquil Indian-themed meditation room, and then cool off in the spa’s pool, with views of the stunning Le Morne Mountain ( which, even as a 556 m high monolith, seems more flexible than me). Guests staying at Dinarobin, located in the south-west of the Morne Peninsula in Mauritius, have the benefit of water sports and dining at the nearby Beachcomber Paradis Hotel, a short walk or shuttle ride away. buggy.
Keeping with the Indian theme of the day, that evening we sampled an eight-course curry by candlelight at Paradis’ open-air beachfront restaurant, La Ravanne, which seats just 70 diners in intimate thatched-roof booths. . A tradition at Mauritian weddings (around 70% of Mauritians are of Indian descent), curries range from the more conventional chicken to octopus and banana.
It also offers local flavors, and puts honey in the honeymoon, a new Beachcomber initiative that gives guests the opportunity to visit hotel bee hives and aims to raise awareness of the important role that bees play in biodiversity. While in Dinarobin, we visit their 10 hives (among 45 at Beachcomber hotels and head office) with bee watching tours and honey tasting experiences offered to guests and honey served on hotel menus. It will also appear in the sustainability-focused portions of future agent education tours.
Beachcomber offers three different levels of wedding packages
Back at Trou aux Biches, there will soon be more opportunities for guests to enjoy with Beachcomber adding all-inclusive for the first time starting November 1, making it the fifth Beachcomber resort to offer the option.
“We received great feedback from agents after launch and are already seeing strong demand,” says Archer, and the change will no doubt appeal to those customers looking to push the boat out. But, according to Archer, there’s also a place for couples on a budget, with all Beachcomber properties (except Royal Palm) offering complimentary lunches to half-board honeymoon guests, just one of their ways to add value. . “Honeymoons can go a long way in Mauritius,” she says. “That could be the difference between 10 or 14 nights.”
We felt that value on our last night on the island as we enjoyed another Beachcomber experience with an overnight boat trip (which could hold up to six guests) from Trou aux Biches. The northwest coast of the island is known for its unforgettable sunsets, and even with generous refills on sodas and trays of canapés, our jaws still drop as we are greeted by a dazzling violet sky as the sun dips below the horizon. .
After our boat returns to shore, we walk along the beach, our toes in the sand once more. It’s a perfect end to a trip and a destination to fall in love with over and over again.
Seven nights at Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa in a Junior Suite from June 2023 is £1,665pp, with cheap return flights on half board with complimentary lunches.