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Shandrani Hotel, Mauritius

Set on the south coast of Mauritius, the elegant Shandrani resort and spa overlooks the waters of Blue Bay - offering fine snorkelling - surrounded by 80 acres of award-winning tropical gardens. The atmosphere is informal and relaxed, but stylish. The emphasis is on comfort while blending into the natural environment through the use of thatch, wood and stone.

Shandrani Resort & Spa, in our opinion, is the best fully all inclusive hotel in Mauritius. You can take advantage of a la carte dining, choose from a huge selection of wines and drinks - including champagne by the glass - enjoy one free massage (for stays 4 nights or longer) and scuba diving (for qualified divers and for stays of 4 nights and longer) and take advantage of numerous free land and watersports.

With three beaches and two pools to choose from, the Shandrani - the name means goddess of the moon in Hindi - is the perfect setting for the sports enthusiast who also enjoys a taste of luxury. The hotel's Sports & Nature programme includes mountain biking, sea kayaking and abseiling. There is also a sailing club, so you can return from your holiday as a qualified sailor!

The mix of excellent accommodation, fine dining and outstanding sports facilities means total fun for families and seclusion, where desired, for couples. There are excursions in the forests and on the nearby islands, night golf, a separate youth club for teenagers and mini club for children.

Unusual for Mauritius, the Shandrani gives access to a romantic "wild beach" where ocean waves reach beach through a break in the protective coral reef surrounding the island. The two other beaches overlook the calm turquoise lagoon.

All the 327 rooms are sea facing with a private balcony or terrace. Air-conditioning and an en-suite bathroom with separate shower as standard and none is far from the sea. 173 Superior rooms are located close to the main facilities and reception, with an open plan and split level room stepping up to the bathroom from the bedroom and sitting area. 108 Deluxe rooms are set apart from the main area, while 36 family apartments are found on the second floor with balconies over looking the lagoon.

There are two Senior Suites with direct access to the beach and views over Blue Bay and two Presidential Suites - two floors of spacious rooms with two king-sized bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms.

There are four highly individual restaurants within the hotel, plus a health club offering a range of treatments.