There are a million and five gorgeous hotels in Mauritius, but here is a little about what it was like staying at Tamarina Golf Resort and Spa.
LOCATION: TAMARINA RESORT IN TAMARIN, MAURITIUS
OUTFIT 1: Sundress dress | Spurr heels | Bag from Cabodia (shop similar woven bags) | Vintage earrings
OUFIT 2: Sportscraft scarf | MNG cami | Sabo Skirt shorts | Betts shoes | Doodad and Fandango earrings
OUTFIT 3: Totem dress | Spurr heels (shop gold heels) | Bag from Cambodia | Tory Birch earrings | Bulgari sunglasses
OUTFIT 4: Shakuhachi dress | Vintage earrings
When it comes time to search for hotels in Mauritius, there are plenty to choose from. Mostly, they are grandiose, sprawling resorts of the 5-star nature. I do love me a little bit (or a lot) of luxury, but in all honesty, I much prefer staying somewhere with character and a more ’boutique vibe’. There were plenty of those grandiose luxury hotels in Mauritius that I could have spent my last few days at, but I wound up at the character filled Tamarina Golf Resort and Spa instead.
It’s all about the character and soul
Like I said, I love me some luxury, but I tend to find a lot of big luxury resorts lack character and soul. I don’t like feeling like just another number amongst the hundreds of other rooms, staying in a clinical space that I am too scared to touch anything in.
There needs to be more to my stay than just white linens, marble bench tops and neat minimalism. I feel like I need to stay in places that feel warm and inviting, or have some sort of fun quirk to them. In the case of Tamarina, there were plenty of all those extras that I search for; but, it isn’t the newest and most modern of hotels in Mauritius.
What Tamarina lacked in traditional markers of luxury and modernity (my bathroom definitely could have used with an update) it well and truly made up for in that all-important warmth. Like most of the more traditional hotels about the place, there was a lot of wood used in the build. Thatched roofs seem fairly standard at resorts too, but the overgrown garden and more ‘rustic rainforest’ vibe of Tamarina set it apart from a lot of the other resorts.
Despite the bathroom being little more than functional, I really did love my room. I loved the fact that it had a distinct African-Mauritian style to it and that they utilised colour, texture and pattern to brighten it up. It didn’t feel clinical or at all business like. Outside of the bathroom and dressing area, the room was pleasant. There was plenty of room for activity, and a lot of the furnishings wouldn’t have been out of place in my own home. Plus, that balcony was just to die for!
The great outdoors
While the rooms might not be the most modern of rooms, it really didn’t matter. Tamarina isn’t about the hotel room; Tamarina is about a lifestyle.
Everything about the hotel makes the most of the outdoors and that drop dead gorgeous view that you would have seen so much of on my Instagram. The main restaurant, bar and pool look out over Tamarin bay, and it quickly became my favourite spot in the whole hotel. You just can’t beat views of pool, ocean and mountain all in one (wait, you can… have a cocktail in hand while taking it all in)! I even had a view from my room down onto the crashing waves – visible not just from my private balcony, but from my bed too! Going to sleep with the balcony door ajar just to hear the ocean was absolute bliss.
Realistically, you only needed to move from you room to the main bar/pool area and then back to your room again again to sleep. Being an all-inclusive hotel, you don’t even need to leave the grounds for your meals (which are damn delicious by the way!). But, if laying by the pool or on the beach all day is a little too slow for you, the hotel also has a golf course, stand up paddle boards and surfboards available for use. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try any of them myself, but it was for the greater good. Nobody needs a golf ball inadvertently whacked at their head.
Some last little thoughts
Look, I have stayed in more swish, upmarket and new hotels before, but that was not what I was at Tamarina for. Don’t get me wrong – the hotel is beautiful – it just isn’t as polished as your Club Med or Hilton. When I am in a big, grey city I like something a bit more modern to make up for the fact there isn’t that much to do outdoors, but being in Tamarin Bay, the last thing I wanted to do was spend all of my time in my room.
I also stayed on a half-board package which meant I had breakfast and dinner included in the stay. You can also opt for full board (all meals) or just breakfasts, but I liked having half-board – you have the option to go out and find food yourself, as well as the convenience of not having to go anywhere if you don’t want to. But be warned, the food and drinks are actually really quite pricy, so if you don’t go for full board, you are better off eating somewhere in Tamarin.
The hotel is quite a drive to get to as well as there is only one way in and out, down past the golf course. Once you are there, you almost don’t want to leave to save the hassle. But that didn’t bother me too much as I was more than happy laying there with that incredible view and sunshine!