Occasionally in my life as a travel writer I come across somewhere so divine that I’m tempted to keep it very quiet and not tell a soul; and the InterContinental Mauritius Resort Balaclava Fort is definitely one of those places. A tropical island hideaway; pristine beaches, lush mountain peaks, a tempting range of facilities and activities and fine dining; this is the ultimate in luxurious-escapism.
I’m not sure it’s possible to find a better location; literal paradise awaits on the pristine beachfront of Balaclava Bay in Mauritius, you are surrounded by idyllic coastlines, with sparkling blue seas, set in stunning tropical gardens with that backdrop of lush mountain peaks. You are 20 minutes from the capital of Port Louis and just 15 minutes’ drive from the main tourist region of Grand Baie. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is less than an hour away from the resort and direct flights from London take under 12 hours.
Style & Character
There’s no forgetting where you are (luckily!), the resort has a beautiful Mauritian feel with a curated selection of Mauritian arts and crafts, hand-woven textiles, crafted furniture and objects d’art that provide unique local charm throughout the resort. A relaxing, island ambiance is created that forces you to slow right down and get straight onto island pace. Those tropical views seem to follow you wherever you go, letting you gaze out onto the turquoise lagoon constantly and wrapping you up in the beautiful island bubble.
Service & Facilities
The island retreat is perfect for a romantic, lazy hideout; book a couples massage in the double treatment rooms at the wonderful YUJ Spa or just relax by one of the infinity pools (there are two) and sip a cocktail or two. But if you fancy a more adventurous and action-packed paradise-island experience, then you can be as active as you like; why not try kayaking, water-skiing or snorkelling, or try your luck at deep-sea fishing, sailing, or take a trip on the resort’s Glass Bottom Boat. There’s also a Dive Centre, a well-equipped Fitness Centre and a tennis court and if you need someone to help you navigate all this, have a chat with the leisure concierge who can organise any offsite activities offsite. If you’re travelling with children, there’s a kids-club leaving Mum and Dad time to indulge in peace! The warm and friendly staff are expert in their disciplines but also in the island itself and are very happy to share their knowledge so ask them for tips.
All the 210 beautiful and indulgent guestrooms and suites face the ocean making the most of those heavenly views. The rooms themselves are chic, contemporary, private spaces and all the luxury amenities that you would expect are included. The bathrooms are notable; you could be forgiven for thinking that you’re still at the spa in the sleek marble rooms with their deep stone bathtubs; the showers are separate too which is a personal must. The family rooms are great if you are travelling with children, but if it’s a couples-only break then I’d definitely recommend the Deluxe Terrace Jacuzzi Ocean View Rooms; there are surely few better places to watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean than your own Jacuzzi on your private terrace.
Food & Drink
Across the five à la carte restaurants you can experience exotic spices, authentic Mauritian treats, freshly caught seafood and gourmet international fare. All-inclusive packages are available too. Keep a look out for events; the Cocktail Beach parties are not to be missed and the sunset sail is as breath-taking as it sounds.
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