This is post 2 of 4 that details our holiday in Mauritius, covering our review of Lakaz Chamarel. All posts on our Mauritius holiday are here.
Lakaz Chamarel was our first hotel stop in Mauritius and we stayed for three nights.
Going there straight from the airport was an experience in amping up our excitement to be in Mauritius.
We had had a long flight, and were exhausted, but this didn’t stop us marvelling at how we seemed to be penetrating deeper and deeper into the Mauritian jungle with every twist and turn our taxi made on its path to Lakaz.
Finally arriving was actually a magical moment. I had been looking forward so much to getting there that, as we drove down the sweeping entrance to the hotel, through the greenery and hooting animal sounds, I actually felt a bit emotional!
On getting there, we were welcomed by the person who would check us in. We were offered a deliciously refreshing iced tea, sorted out our paperwork, and then got whisked to our room, in one of the many golf carts the hotel has on hand to transport you around.
We were lucky enough to secure Piton Canot, the exclusive suite that sits at the highest peak of the hotel, and has the most breathtaking views across Mauritius out to sea.
The best bit of this suite was its exclusivity and privacy. To get there, the golf cart takes you on a 10-minute drive past all of the other rooms and suites situated at various points up the mountain.
When you finally arrive at the top, you’re greeted with your own staircase to take you up even further into seclusion (don’t worry, they deposit your suitcases for you so you can just stroll up!)
Because its at the highest peak, nobody can just “walk” past it, so you really did feel like you were in your own little bubble.
So, let’s talk about the suite itself! Piton Canot is not just a normal room – it’s a secluded chalet that boasts a large bedroom, spacious bathroom, ample seating space, storage room, and, my favourite thing, an outdoor shower!
One of my favourite moments on holiday was showering under the canopy of Mauritian trees hearing the birds making all kinds of noises, and feeling really close to nature.
The private outdoor space was the real deal-cincher though. The suite comes with its own private pool (unfortunately unheated), sun loungers and two different outdoor seating areas.
It was a pleasure to be able to sunbathe all day in complete tranquility and peace, knowing you couldn’t be disturbed, and looking out at the most beautiful views 🥰.
We also utilised the outdoor areas for relaxation. In the evenings after dinner, we would play cards or read outside in the balmy temperatures.
Another great memory was that one night, we watched Game of Thrones outside – as it was in its very last season and we wanted to avoid spoilers 🤪. That is a night of TV-watching I will never forget!
The final thing to say about this suite, was that included in the room rate were evening snacks (like mini pre-dinner canapes), and fresh fruit delivered to the room.
The hotel grounds were absolutely beautiful and very calming. You really feel like you’re in the middle of some forest retreat.
There was a very relaxed and quiet ambience everywhere, almost as though the entire hotel was a big spa. This was fantastic if, like us, you are looking for some rest and relaxation. But it probably is not your vibe if you’re looking for a hotel that has more of a lively atmosphere.
The hotel amenities were spread out across the grounds, and were all fashioned in much the same way – wooden structures with traditional Mauritian craftsmanship.
Everything felt like it had been there for a long time, but not too say that it was shabby, more that the structures felt blended into the natural environment really well, and well-weathered.
Some specific things to call out on hotel amenities:
So the facilities were small but had the basics inside. The killer thing about the gym was the view that you had as you were working out… absolutely incredible:
I love a spa and was looking forward to getting a massage at Lakaz, especially because the whole vibe is so spa-like.
The one thing I will say is that the spa was so well hidden, we almost missed our massage appointments 😅 The trees and foliage mask the buildings so well, and the spa is in its own little enclave inside the ground, so our top tip is get somebody to walk you to it the first time!
The communal pool
If a pool is super important to you, I would suggest trying to get a room with a pool. The communal pool felt a bit on the small side to me (but we didn’t try it), and I think it was also unheated.
FWIW, this pool was empty every time we saw it despite the hotel being full.
As big foodies, the dining options are super important to us. And first off, I definitely have to stress that everything we ate at Lakaz Chamarel was delicious! There is one restaurant area which covers where you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, although they do open up/shut off various bits of it depending on the meal to try to provide a different ambience.
There is also a bar area where you can relax for a drink pre or post dinner, however, it was very empty everytime we went past and I don’t think we ever used it.
A note on the food package options:
Booking through Trailfinders, we had paid extra to upgrade from half-board to full board. We were under the impression that this meant we would have a good selection of food at every meal.
However, we were disappointed to find out that full-board at Lakaz Chamarel wasn’t exactly what we were expecting. For lunch, there would be two main meal choices (one vegetarian and one meat/fish), and at dinner there was a couple of meat/fish choices and one vegetarian.
This wasn’t ideal, as it meant for example, one day for lunch, the main options were Spaghetti Bolognaise or a vegetarian salad.
What made this worse is that there was a plentiful menu available, just at an extra charge. And considering we’d already paid extra to upgrade to fullboard, we weren’t particularly happy at this unplanned-for cost.
So, biggest tip is, if you’re looking to book, to confirm exactly what the full board offer is providing you to make sure its what you’re expecting.
🗣 Thinking of booking? Here’s what you need to know
We had a great three nights stay at Lakaz Chamarel. It was a great first, shorter stay before we moved to our longer hotel at the beach.
In case you’re thinking of booking, I wanted to round up the main plus points and areas for improvement that I felt after my stay:
🐝 Be prepared for animals and insects!
Being more in the jungle environment, Lakaz Chamarel does get more than its fair share of living things hanging around.
Whether its the constant presence of lizard type things on the ceilings or floors, wasps flying around, or the perennial presence of mosquitos – you’re pretty much guaranteed to be coming into daily contact with other living things.
Make sure you get your shots, take insect spray and if you’re really squeamish, stick to resorts by the beach where I felt there were less animals or insects.
As a plus point, you do get to feel like you’re really surrounded by nature. It was adorable to have, at every meal, various beautiful birds flying onto your table and gathering up your crumbs. We did a ton of birdwatching as we ate.
🏊🏼♀️ Pools are unheated, and actually pretty cold!
I might just be allergic to the cold, but I found the pool water to be way too cold, even after waiting till the sun had been heating the water up for a while.
As a result, I didn’t actually utilise the pool at all really, and just sunbathed instead.
So, if like me, you hate being in cold water, be mindful that the pools at Lakaz are unheated.
💃🏽 The atmosphere is on the… quiet side
Maybe it was just when we were there, but we did find the calm atmostphere at times, a little too calm. It was actually really great during the day, when you felt like you were in a spa, but at night, we were definitely on the look-out for something to amp up the liveliness.
We ended up retreating to our suite to be a bit louder in the evenings, as the bar area or even the restaurants just ended up being a bit too quiet and staid for our liking.
🍗 Food packages are kind of odd
As already noted above, I found the conception of full-board at Lakaz Chamarel confusing, and would definitely recommend you looking into that properly if you choose that option.
🏜 Stunning, private views from the top, not sure about elsewhere
Whilst our suite, being at the top, had fantastic views and real privacy, I can’t talk to the vista or privacy that other suites or rooms had.
If you’re looking for unparalleled views towards the sea as well as exclusivity and privacy, Piton Canot is the one for you!
🚗 Great base for exploring – very near lots of things!
Lakaz Chamarel was well situated to explore a number of attractions that were close by. So, if you’re looking for a good base inland to explore the non-coastal areas of Mauritius, I highly recommend Lakaz!
If you’d like to find out more about the excursions we took, read this post!
Finally, if you have any questions at all about Lakaz Chamarel, feel free to comment below and I’ll do my best to answer any questions you may have!
The next post in the Mauritius series takes you out to the coast of Mauritius, onto our next hotel stay at the gorgeous Hotel Le Telfair – a completely different vibe! Read on!