As the sun dipped into the sea and the sky turned a fiery red I was both in awe and sad to think that this would be the last sunset I would watch from the beach of the all-inclusive Tamassa resort in Bel Ombre on Mauritius. It had become a ritual every evening to stroll along the beach to watch the sun go down before joining my companions in the Pool Bar for pre-dinner drinks.
I was on a trip to Mauritius with Solos Holidays and we were staying at the Tamassa which is probably the best hotel I have ever stayed in. It was not difficult to find ten good reasons to make this statement. The first must be the warm welcome we received on arrival. We were offered a small towel to refresh our travel grimy hands and faces and a cold drink before making out way to a cool room where we were given our key cards and information about the hotel. By the time we had finished our luggage had been loaded on buggies and was on its way to our rooms as we followed a member of staff who showed us how to get to our rooms. I was soon to discover that there was always a manager available to deal with any issues that might arise – however trivial these may be they were resolved with courtesy and kindness.
Walking into the hotel on arrival I was immediately captivated by the ambience of the hotel as I could see through the large open windows of reception and infinity pool that led my eye over the main pool and beyond – out to the sea in the distance. I walked to my room along paths that criss-crossed beautiful gardens populated by exquisite flowers and cheeky birds.
Large, airy rooms are situated in small separate blocks all with balconies or terraces overlooking the two circular pools in the gardens or the beach (for which a supplement is payable).
The rooms are all well-equipped with both a good-sized shower and a bath with lovely toiletries – a citronella body wash and ylang ylang shampoo – as well as a large screen television and a mini bar with is part of the all-inclusive package and re-filled every day. There is a turn down service when the electric insect repellant is plugged in and turned on. Occasionally I would return to my room and find I had acquired a pet – one day it was a dog and another an elephant – made of towels. But above all I was pleased to find a very effective ceiling fan which lulled me to sleep every night.
I do like my food but generally I am not very keen on buffets. However the large buffet restaurant, Show, at the Tamassa had a good range of delicious food every night and the clever design of small open-sided dining areas ensures a pleasant dining experience. The choice always includes freshly cooked dishes and there is an egg station at breakfast which is the venue for breakfast.
Lunch is served in three different venues, a small buffet behind the Pool Bar which fronts the main swimming pool, the Burger Van (beside the ice cream parlour) at the side of the Pool Bar and the a la carte Playa restaurant on the beach. The latter was my favourite venue for lunch as the food was excellent and the view amazing. There is a small bar at this restaurant as well overlooking the beach and the ideal place to watch the sun go down while sipping a gin and tonic made to my personal specification – a large glass of gin-flavoured tonic.
Our well-being was catered for by a well-equipped gym (free) and a re-juvenating spa where the facilities such as the sauna and Jacuzzi are free but massages and treatments have to be paid for.
A good variety of water sports are available at the hotel’s own water sports centre and as well as snorkelling and glass bottom boat trips, hiring out small sailing boats and pedaloes they can also organise deep sea fishing trips and early morning trips to go swimming with dolphins on a small chartered boats.
Activities are organised every day and include water aerobics in the main pool, sunset walks, beach volley ball and organised bike rides. A list of the activities for each day is posted outside Show, the buffet restaurant. Evening entertainment takes place on the stage by the main pool and features something different every night
But what really makes this hotel so special is the staff who are, without exception, friendly, courteous and anxious to please. Nothing was too much trouble from changing the plug for the extension cable I borrowed from reception to cooking special meals for a vegetarian in our group and putting platters and cheese and biscuits on our table when cheese was not featured on the buffet. A big thank you to them all for a wonderful stay.