Having spent the majority of our time on the south and west coasts of Mauritius, change was in the air as we headed to the northernmost region of the Indian Ocean island and the Angsana Balaclava Resort. Promises of less tourism, quieter beaches and easier accessibility to civilisation in Port Louis and Grand Baie increased the sense of anticipation as we made the hour-long drive via the only “highway” on the island.
The final hotel of our trip, the Angsana Balaclava Resort could be found down a quiet single track road leading down to Turtle Bay. Unlike the bigger resorts in the south, there was a real sense of privacy here. Rather than sweeping beaches as far as the eye could see, each resort on this part of the coast had a private cove that faced out to a vast ocean. Think tranquility rather than tourist trap.
Checking it to our room, the feeling of zen continued. The whole of our Garden Suite was open plan, with the moveable bathroom doors creating a space that stretched across right from the balcony to the his-and-her sinks. It made the suite feel huge and it was nice not to feel too claustrophobic in a room. As per usual, the bed was incredibly comfortable and the balcony was huge. Perfect for getting that postcard shot of the sunset on the horizon.
Food was served in a single restaurant, which actually made eating a lot simpler. Breakfast each morning consisted of a buffet serving a good variety of food and eggs made to order, which is always a bonus in my opinion. I highly recommend checking out the pastry section though, as there are some delicious, if questionable inclusions, in there. Chocolate-filled doughnuts for breakfast? Why not.
On our first night the dinner service was a little slower than anticipated but, to be fair to the staff, they were very quick in offering an apology and a well-received discount. On our second night we decided to venture into the lively town of Grand Baie (always an experience) but, on our final night on the resort, we had a much better experience with dinner. A candlelit meal consisting of a perfectly cooked sirloin steak served with a couple of cocktails was a great way to toast goodbye to our honeymoon on Mauritius.
Elsewhere, the Angsana had plenty to offer guests. The beach definitely felt like it was part of the wilderness and wasn’t as curated as those found elsewhere on the island, which is no bad thing. On the first day we did take a short stroll down the coast, clambering over rocks and branches, and the feeling of peace and quiet was refreshing. For those who prefer to be a little less active, the large pool has a man-made beach which was a really nice touch. Throw in a poolside bar and there is little reason to leave.
Unsurprisingly, our sense of adventure did get the better of us and so we chose to make our way to Port Louis for a day trip. Frustratingly, all of the taxi services outside the hotel were operating at extortionate tourist rates, so we decided to make the 13km round trip to the nearest bus stop in nearby Arsenal. Being a single track road, the hour-long trek was a little treacherous at times, but it was great to ride with the locals on the bus and experience the chaos of Port Louis without the restrictions a chauffeur would have put on us. A comfort zone is there to be tested, after all.
Overall, the Angsana Resort tops the list of my recommended places to stay in Mauritius. While, as a resort, it was still not entirely my cup of tea, the professionalism of the staff, inclusion of free fruit-infused drinking water (actually a factor in Mauritius), and a sense of privacy and seclusion made for a fantastic final stay. Some meals and cocktails were very overpriced, yes, but the rest of the resort was almost faultless and definitely lived up to the hype. After nine days on the island, we were known to the staff by name rather than room number. The small things in life, eh?