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Tailor-made Holidays

Travel Butlers will ensure you have a fantastic holiday that is tailored to your individual interests and budget.

Safari and Beach

Combine Africa's amazing wildlife with the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean for the perfect holiday

Holidays in South Africa

Cosmopolitan cities, stunning wildlife and deserted beaches - South Africa has it all.

Tanzania Safari And Beach

Migrating wildebeest, idyllic palm-fringed beaches, and snow-capped mountains ... these could be YOUR Tanzania holiday memories!

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The Travel Butlers Blog

Laguna Beach – The Perfect Spot

TraceyCampbell - February 3, 2015

Laguna Hotel is the backdrop for a brilliant stopover in Mauritius. Perched on the East Coast of the island just over half an hour from the airport, it’s very easy to reach but far harder to tear yourself away. If you’ve got just a few days to spare post-safari, it really is the perfect spot.

One huge charm of Laguna Beach is the totally tucked-away location. To reach the hotel, you’ll pass through the tiny fishing village of Camp des Pêcheurs, a heart-warming place packed with smiling, waving local people. It’s a glimpse of the real Mauritius, beyond the confines of the classy resorts and tourist-heavy towns. From the hotel beach area, you’ll see fisherman at work and local life unfolding throughout the day. This helps to break down the barriers between visitors and residents, bringing you a taste of behind-the-scenes Mauritius.

The hotel itself offers everything you could possibly need in Mauritius and a good deal more. There are 2 excellent swimming pools surrounded by rustling coconut palms, thatched parasols and comfy loungers. There’s a private beach with clear blue waters and a volleyball net to get you on your feet. The circular outdoor bar sits in the middle of this, providing an endless stream of refreshing cocktails, fresh fruit juices and ice cold beers.

At one edge of the beach, you’ll find a small jetty, which has more treats in store. Everyday at 1 pm, a free shuttle-boat takes hotel guests over to the Île aux Cerfs, a tiny castaway island with a seriously lovely lagoon. Mauritians will tell you that you haven’t seen Mauritius unless you’ve visited the Île aux Cerfs, making it a real must-do. Tourists staying all over the island travel up to 3 hours to reach the Île aux Cerfs, but from Laguna Beach the journey takes just 15 minutes. The return shuttle leaves between 4 pm and 5 pm, giving you a whole afternoon to stretch out on the bright white sand. It’s like having tropical heaven on your doorstep.

Île aux Cerfs aside, Laguna Beach also offers a wealth of ocean-based activities from its private jetty. You can hop into a pedalo, kayak or glass bottom boat and explore the lagoon totally free of charge. Snorkelling and windsurfing are also complimentary perks that are definitely worth a go. Back on solid land, there’s a pool and table tennis to keep you occupied, as well as free wifi with a reliable signal throughout.

If you fancy taking things one step further, there’s a huge menu of activities to keep you on your toes. Try parasailing, water-skiing or banana boating, take a multi-island boat trip via forested waterfalls, sail into the sunset on a pirate ship or even a fishing trip aboard a traditional Mauritian pirogue with locals from the village. If you’re a deep sea devotee, you can opt for scuba diving, deep sea fishing or the famous undersea walk, which gives you the chance to take a stroll on the seabed wearing a giant helmet. It’s simply impossible to get bored.

Inside the hotel, the restaurant lays on a brilliant evening buffet, with Mauritian specialities, griddled fish and an ‘Indian corner’ bubbling with pungent curries, dahls and stews. Breakfast is no less impressive, with favourites from all over the world to kickstart your day, as well as delicious local coffee. Tea and coffee is available free of charge at all hours, along with a variety snacks and sandwiches at the bar to keep you going. Outdoors, the seafood and meat grill is fired up for dinner on the beach twice weekly. Where dining is concerned, let’s just say that Laguna Beach Hotel has it covered.

Evenings tend to be fairly low-key, but the atmosphere is welcoming, the bar is popular and there’s nightly entertainment ranging from DJs to traditional Sega dancing up for grabs. It’s the kind of place to slowly sip on a signature cocktail, shoot the breeze and listen to waves lapping the shore. Quite often, a small local craft market sets up near reception, giving you a chance to pick up gifts for loved ones back home. Alternatively, round off an already relaxed day with a stint in the spa, which offers a long list of pampering options at surprisingly reasonably prices. If you’re looking for complete abandonment, drift away during a hammam or a honey bath. You’ll feel like a different person. Trust me.

The rooms themselves are spacious, calm and exceptionally clean with large beds and tea making facilities. The decor is chic but cosy, with clean lines, soft pillows and local touches. Each one has a private terrace with a pool or sea view for an intimate afternoon with a good book and a sneaky cocktail. The bathrooms are state-of-the-art, with powerful showers and double sink units, so they’re certain not to disappoint.

Perhaps the greatest thing about the Laguna is its wide appeal. It’s the kind of place that every kind of traveller can enjoy – honeymooners, families, couples young and old, businessmen, friends and bloggers… like me. The price is by no means prohibitive and it really is worth every Mauritian rupee. It’s a great base for a sunny sojourn on the island. More than great, in fact. I would go back in the blink of an eye.

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Aanari – A Calm Hideaway

TraceyCampbell - December 17, 2014

Aanari Hotel sits in the heart of Flic en Flac, a holidaymaker hotspot in Mauritius. Hugging the West Coast of the island, the beach is bright, white and wide, with plenty of space to stretch out in the tropical sunshine and watch the local kids playing football on the sand. The whole town breathes a lighthearted holiday feeling, with small live music bars, coffee shops, rum shacks and restaurants lining the street opposite the beach. It’s an ideal base on the island for anyone after a more lively experience in Mauritius.

Flic en Flac isn’t for everyone, and if you’re in the market for a quiet castaway break in Mauritius, this isn’t the beach for you. However, it has a charm all of its own with plenty of local flair. The crowd here is slightly younger than you’ll find in most Mauritian resorts, so there’s a unique energy to the place that isn’t so easy to find elsewhere on the island. You’ll find a vast range of restaurants, a casino, a supermarket and a shopping complex right on your doorstep. For fun as well as sun, it’s a real winner.

The hotel itself is a calm little oasis amidst the hub of Flic en Flac activity. It has a laid back and welcoming aura, with design influenced heavily by Mauritian tradition and its Hindu heritage. There’s almost something Balinese about the place. Natural materials have been used wherever possible, giving the hotel an earthy, organic atmosphere. The outdoor bar and dining area are filled with tropical plants, coconut trees and tiny ponds, making it brilliant for long, lazy breakfasts and indulgent afternoon cocktails.

The swimming pool is small and surrounded with a smattering of comfy loungers. It can get a little crowded as the day goes on, so it’s best to get there early. However, while the pool may be on the small side, it’s perfect for a refreshing plunge. And if you can’t nab a spot by the pool, do not despair. There are plenty of other chilled out pockets across the hotel, with a couple of sun beds scattered here and there amongst the shady rooftop gardens. The beach is merely footsteps away, so you can spend your days happily hopping between the two.

Flic en Flac is awash with local companies offering island-hopping trips and sightseeing tours, making the Aanari Hotel an excellent strategic base for exploring Mauritius. The tours are affordable as well as exciting, giving you the chance to visit rum distilleries and sugar factories, see the stunning Seven Coloured Earths, take a walk around the Sacred Lake and drop in on some unbelievable islands, such as the Île aux Cerfs and Îlot Gabriel. Sundowner cruises leave every evening while dolphin-spotting trips leave each morning. Suffice to say, you won’t be short on options.

The rooms themselves range from basic to brilliant, and it’s definitely worth paying for the upgrade. While the Superior and Deluxe are kitted out with everything you’ll need to make your stay comfortable, the 15 Clubrooms come complete with balconies and a more generous sense of space. If you’re planning on spending some real time in your room, opt for a Club and you won’t be sorry. They’re far more inviting places to while away some sun-drenched time. Clubrooms also include free entrance to the spa area of the hotel. This is a major perk.

The spa area is a dreamy patch of the Aanari Hotel. Up on the rooftop, far from the bustle of the street below with views across to the mist-swirled hills, there’s no better place to relax. As well as a full-range of massages and body treatments, the spa areas boasts 2 jacuzzi baths with panoramic backdrops. Grab something bubbly to sip on, head for the spa and spend a few hours in jacuzzi-soaked bliss. While Clubroom guests can use the jacuzzis free of charge, other room types will need to book a treatment or pay an entrance fee to the area. It’s worth it either way. Trust me.

Evenings are an upbeat affair at Aanari, with live music playing almost every night and a really varied buffet to boot. The theme of the buffet changes on a weekly basis, so if you stay for seven nights you’re guaranteed a surprise every day. Breakfast is beautifully laid-back, with a wide range of choices and local coffee that will certainly set you up for the day. The quality of cuisine across both dinner and breakfast is unwaveringly tasty, so you’re sure to eat well. Don’t forget to try the local favourites – the coconut tapioca is to die for.

So, while you might not get postcard-perfect peace here, the beach is inviting, the water is warm and the hotel is brilliantly affordable. If you’re after serenity, you’ll need a different stretch of sand, but fun-loving couples, groups of friends and good-time travellers will have a blast staying here. While Flic and Flac might be a love or hate destination, Aanari is a great choice for all. It’s a calm hideaway in a otherwise hedonistic setting, and a lovely place to rest your head.

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Picking The Perfect Safari And Beach Holiday

PaulCampbell - August 20, 2014

Mixing a Big Five safari with a stint in the tropical sunshine is a hard-to-beat holiday cocktail. Bush and beach holidays really do offer the best of both worlds, whisking you off into a world of wildlife and then delivering you straight into a comfy sun lounger. It’s a perfect balance, giving you both a safari adventure and a blissful chance to recharge your batteries before returning to reality. They’re twin-centre trips with a toe-tingling, tropical twist and we can’t get enough of them ourselves.

While you’re on safari, you’ll set off at sunrise each morning, racing across the savanna in search of the Big Five. If the crisp morning air doesn’t ping your eyes wide open, a herd of elephant gathered around a waterhole will do the trick! You’ll get closer to the wildlife that you would ever imagine possible, sending your adrenaline soaring and your camera working overtime.

You’ll head out again at sunset, stopping for an atmospheric sundowner in the bush and looking out lion in the long grass. At night, you can stand around a traditional blazing boma – bonfire – and gaze up at a blanket of stars. Whether you opt for a thatched chalet perched on a riverbank, a tented lodge in the heart of the wilderness or a treehouse up high in the forest canopy, you’ll feel millions away from the working world.

Whilst unbelievably exhilarating, this rhythm of safari life can be a little exhausting. After a a string of dawn game drives, you’ll be hankering after some heavy-duty relaxation. This is the perfect time to escape to a barefoot retreat where your to-do-list will consist of no more than an afternoon massage and a Mai Tai at sunset. Here, you can bury your alarm clock at the bottom of your baggage and abandon yourself to unlimited beach laziness. No more 4am wake-up calls for you – just lazy days and lapping shores.

So, where are the best places for a bush and beach holiday? While Kenya has traditionally taken the top spot when it comes to safari and sun adventures, there’s a jeep-load of other options available. All of them will give you a breathtaking safari and a brilliant bronzing on the shores of the Indian Ocean. To help you set you off in the right direction, we’ve compiled our current tropical twin-centre top three:

South Africa & Mauritius1. South Africa and Mauritius

This is a killer combination, kicking off with a Big Five safari in Kruger National Park and ending up on the sun-kissed sands of Mauritius. What’s more, you can easily turn it into the ultimate triple-centre holiday by adding a few nights in Cape Town into the mix. By doing this, you’ll get wonderful wildlife, world-class culture and wow-factor beaches, all wrapped up in one unforgettable trip.

Mauritius is a beach paradise worthy of any postcard, with endless stretches of pure white sands fringed by swaying palms. It’s the perfect place for lazy breakfasts, barefoot strolls, sunset cocktails and romantic seafood meals overlooking the Indian Ocean. As safari and sunshine holidays go, you can’t get better than this…

Tempted? Take a closer look at our South Africa and Mauritius holidays.

South Africa & Mozambique2. South Africa and Mozambique

Mozambique is THE place to live out all of your Robinson Crusoe fantasies. Its quiet, castaway beaches are the sands-less-travelled, so you’ll feel deliciously marooned in a peaceful paradise. Getting away from it all doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Mozambique is a brilliant place to unwind after the excitement and early mornings of a Big Five safari. Here, you can sink your toes in the sand and lie back in your little nook of beach nirvana. The snorkelling is wonderful, the seafood is impossibly fresh and the sand is silky soft. Think secret coves, crystal waters, fiery sunsets and strictly no stress allowed.

Itching to go? Find out more about our South Africa and Mozambique escapes.

Tanzania Safari & Beach3. Tanzania and Zanzibar

If you’ve been dreaming of endless African plains packed with wandering herds, Tanzania will tick every box. Tanzania is Africa at its most epic and one of the top wildlife-viewing spots on the planet. From the sun-baked savanna of the Serengeti to the giant caldera of the Ngorongoro Crater, it’s an eye-popping, jaw-dropping choice for a safari.

A safari in Tanzania is a hard act to follow, but topping off your trip with a few days on Zanzibar will definitely do the trick. It may be pocket-sized, but Zanzibar packs a real tropical punch. It’s a sultry, romantic chunk of paradise, where traditional dhow boats sail across the horizon at sunset and warm breezes rustle through the coconut palms. Here, the only pressing decisions are sunbathe or snorkel, Margarita or Mojito, and massage or manicure. It’s a hard life eh…

Ready to pack your bags? Here’s the full rundown of our Tanzania sunshine and safari holidays.

If you’re looking to put your escape plans in motion, feel free to give us a call with any questions at all. We’ll be delighted to help send you off on your bush and beach adventure!