“Welcome to Constance Prince Maurice!”, exclaimed the driver as we turned off the main road. I had just arrived in Mauritius and was met by Kamal. He led me to the resort’s limousine and as I stepped in, I found a set of cold towels, bottled water, juices, reading materials and macarons. Nice! I was really excited to be back in Mauritius, a true island paradise in my book, and thrilled at the prospect of staying at what is touted to be the best five-star resort in Mauritius! The road turned out to be one of the longest hotel driveways I’d ever encountered and took us past sugar cane fields, vegetable and fruit orchards. After about a mile, we finally arrived at the Constance Prince Maurice resort.
A piece of paradise
The first thing that struck me was how beautiful the landscaping was, with pristine lawns, shady trees and elegant palms. We were greeted by the front desk staff with big smiles and a cocktail in the breezy lobby. Just ahead was a gorgeous infinity pool which seemed to spill over into the lagoon.
My Junior Suite at Constance Prince Maurice
Check-in was swift and I was led to my Junior suite, a short walk away. We passed the resort’s putting greens, Spa and the (huge) Kids’ Club before arriving at a cluster of two-storey villas. My suite was on the upper floor and I stepped in to find a spacious 70 sq. m. suite. There was a king-size bed and lounge area, a large bathroom (I love large bathrooms!) with a separate shower, toilet and a bath-tub with a view of the gardens, and a big balcony which offered a stunning view of the gardens, pool and the lagoon.
I stood on the balcony to take in the view. The palm fronds rustled gently in the ocean breeze and the pool looked so inviting. I looked into the distance and saw the shimmering white beach and the emerald waters of the lagoon. “What a stunning piece of paradise! I could get used to this”, I thought and smiled. Hehe!
Check out my video tour of Constance Prince Maurice:
Exploring Constance Prince Maurice
After settling in, I went for a walk to explore the resort. The grounds were massive! There were different types of suites and villas: from beach-front villas to villas on stilts in the lagoon, and suites overlooking a pond. The grounds were exquisitely maintained – the lawns looked manicured, the beach was simply pristine and the trees, palms and shrubs were well taken care of.
Read about things to do in Mauritius.
The main building housed the front desk, two boutiques, and a library, whilst two separate wings, with their thatched roofs – on each side of the main pool – housed the restaurants and bars. The architecture and design were simply stunning! The resort looked sophisticated yet it felt intimate and welcoming at the same time. There was an unmistakable sense of harmony that permeated throughout the resort. Combined with the fabulous staff with their big, bright smiles, it took just an instant for me to feel right at home.
Kamal mentioned to me that the resort, with its 90 suites/villas, was almost full but I couldn’t help but notice how quiet it was. I’m sure the size of the resort and the many activities had something to do with that. Throughout the grounds were little nooks and corners where guests could quietly sit and enjoy a book under a tree, at the beach or above the lagoon. The resort felt intimate despite its expansiveness and the sense of seclusion was obvious – it really felt like I had this paradise all to myself!
Experiencing the Constance Prince Maurice
Over the following days, I got to enjoy the beach as well as experience the resort’s restaurants, bars and facilities. My afternoons were spent at the beach, either being pampered silly by the fantastic beach staff, or wading around in the crystal-clear water of the lagoon.
I opted for a half-board plan which included a sumptuous champagne breakfast each morning at the Archipel restaurant and dinner at a choice of restaurants (Archipel, the floating Le Barachois restaurant and the Asian restaurant). There were three bars: Lotus Lounge (which had live music on certain evenings), Laguna Bar (which overlooks the pool) and the Floating Bar (in the lagoon).
Breakfast with a view
I loved breakfast at Archipel, which came with gorgeous views of the pool and the beach.
On my first evening, I opted for dinner at Archipel. The ‘contemporary cuisine with a Mauritian twist’ featured very fresh ingredients and tasty flavours. The sommelier was also at hand to advise on wine-pairings.
My second dinner at the resort turned out to be a truly magical experience. It was a long walk along a boardwalk across the lagoon and several small islands but what awaited me at the end was just breathtaking! The Le Barachois restaurant is comprised of five pontoons which fan out into the lagoon. The subdued lighting on the pontoons and the underwater lights combined to create an ethereal ambiance.
I was led to my table and I immediately felt the floating sensation of the pontoon. I was presented the menu but it took me ages to select something as I was continuously distracted by the schools of colourful tropical fish swimming right under the pontoons!
I finally ordered my meal and a glass of wine. The sight of the pontoons with guests quietly tucking into their dinners whilst floating above the emerald water and schools of fish was absolutely enchanting. The waiter dropped by my table to ask if I’d spotted Johnny yet. “Who?”, I asked. He chuckled and told me the story of Johnny, a two-meter-long reef shark which is a resident in the lagoon. In the evenings, as the lights attract schools of fish, Johnny would often make an appearance. Literally a few minutes later, as though it had been planned, Johnny appeared right under my table! I gasped with disbelief! The shark slowly circled under the pontoon I was on, allowing me to capture the moment:
The food was delicious and perfectly complemented the whole experience. It was arguably one of the most extraordinary meals I’ve ever had!
I also discovered the Boat House where guests could sign up for glass-bottomed boat or snorkelling tours in the lagoon, or watersports equipment like canoes.
A fun wine-tasting with Nadia
One other experience I definitely enjoyed was wine-tasting with Nadia, the sommelier. Little did I know but Constance Prince Maurice is home to the largest wine cellar in the Indian Ocean! And it certainly was impressive!
Nadia taught us a thing or two about wines and entertained us with a string of anecdotes. It was easily one of the most memorable wine-tastings I’ve ever had!
On my last day, I booked a spa treatment – perfect before the long flight home! – at the U Spa. The U Spa is housed in a separate building along with the well-equipped gym. I was welcomed by my therapist, Vanilla, who showed me around the spa (there was a plunge pool, a steam room and hammam) before leading me to the treatment room.
The room featured beautiful views of the gardens and the lagoon, and had its own outdoor rainshower. Vanilla was a true expert: she very quickly found the problem areas and skillfully worked on them. I slept very well on the 11-hour flight home that evening!
The little touches that make a difference
It’s always the little touches that can make a hotel or resort stand out from the rest, and the Constance Prince Maurice staff excelled in these little details. The staff were absolutely fantastic: from the restaurant, housekeeping and spa staff to the gardeners and beach boys, I was always greeted with a smile, a slight nod and a hand on their heart.
The restaurant and beach staff truly stood out, always anticipating but never intrusive. They sensed when a guest was in for a chat or just wanted a quiet moment. Whenever I left my beach chair to swim in the lagoon, the beach boy would lay out my towel neatly for when I returned. He noticed my salt-stained sunglasses and polished them, brought water and ice-cold towels in the afternoon, and a simple glance was sufficient to grab his attention for drinks and snacks. Those little touches made me feel pampered and oh so relaxed!
In addition, each morning, one of the managers would stop by at breakfast for a chat with the guests to see how they were doing and if anything was needed. It truly made guests feel well looked after.
The best five-star luxury hotel in Mauritius?
Alas, after several days in paradise, it was time to leave. I was offered a glass of champagne at check-out, another lovely touch. As I sipped on the champagne, I thought of my stay and all the points that made it so amazing. The Constance Prince Maurice is truly special: from its harmonious architecture and design, to its stunning location, exquisite grounds and the terrific staff. I’ve stayed at numerous five-star hotels in Mauritius and I can only conclude that the Constance Prince Maurice is simply exceptional! If getting away from it all in a stunning location, being pampered with excellent service and great food, and leaving totally rejuvenated and relaxed are the measures, then yes, Constance Prince Maurice is perhaps the best five-star hotel in Mauritius that I’ve experienced so far.
Note: a big thank you to Constance Prince Maurice for your warm welcome and fabulous hospitality. All views above are, as always, mine, and mine only.