A French-based Creole is the everyday
language in Mauritius. Yet almost everyone speaks French and English,
especially in the tourist sector and in business. The official language
Driving around in Mauritius is the best way to know the island instead
of being driven around. It gives you the opportunity to be free
and flexible to appreciate / visit the many places in Mauritius,
unlike in an organised excursion where the itinerary should be completed
within the day.
Ocean Villas has dealt directly with the car
rental companies and negotiated the best rates and conditions for
you. Each rental car comes with a map of Mauritius. Click here for
more details & rates.
Generally, car hire companies will accept your local license issued
for at least 2 years. For short stays, international licenses are
Taxis in Mauritius are plenty. They however do not turn on the meter
and the fares should be discussed prior. For example, the fare from
Ocean Villas to Grand Bay city centre is Rs. 50 day time and night
time Rs. 150. (according to them, turning the meter on usually costs
more expensive !!).
The bus stop is only 40 metres from our entrance. Buses are cheap
and effective. Buses pass every 10 minutes in front of Ocean Villas
and it costs you Rs. 5 to reach town (5 minute ride).
For long journeys, although the networks in
Mauritius are good, you will be disappointed to learn either the
frequency is fairly long or you might need to interchange too often.
Coming soon on this page: the bus itineraries.
Shopping with taxi drivers (episode
1 - season 1)
Hello Hello. With the legendary
smile of Mauritian people including taxi drivers, we do not wish
that your negotiation for a lower fare with taxi drivers will lead
to unsollicited stops at preferred shops, their owners who are sometimes
referred to as the taxi driver's cousins or nephews giving you good
prices! At the end of the day, we bet you will end up paying more
for your shopping. Our philosophy is that you should not pay more
than the usual price - no matter whether you find it too cheap for
you :). If we start closing an eye on these unscrupulous practices,
we are consciously dragging down the image of our island.
An unnecessary stop will include
one of the illegal Ralph Lauren shops. To be on the safe side, book
a taxi directly from the hotel. The fare cannot be fairer.
Retail trading hours
While many shops do trade 7 days a week,
the general opening hours of most shops in Grand Bay tend to be
Monday - Saturday: 9:30am - 6:00pm. Sunday is usually closed but
if they may open from 9:30am - 12:30pm. Convenience stores along
Grand Bay are open later. The hypermarket Super-U is open till 8:30pm
everyday except Fridays till 9:30pm.
Mauritius has duty free stores around the island and you can purchase
duty free items on arrival and departure at the airport. You need
to present your passport and a valid ticket.
Many guests ask
us about tipping which is still regarded as a taboo in Mauritius.
We will say that tipping in Mauritius is not compulsory but should
service has been to your satisfaction, you may leave anything ranging
from EUR 1 to EUR 5. Unlike other countries, we do not have a fixed
percentage tipping policy. As taxi drivers are owners of their vehicles,
they include the tip in the fare which obviously you have discussed
prior to hiring the cab. Waiters however would expect you to leave
a small change after your check. Not leaving a tip in a restaurant
does not show that service has been poor. It is not uncommon to
leave a small tip to your room valet or maid at the end of your
stay. Please comply with the hotel policy regarding tipping, especially
when some encourage using the common tip box.
cheques, Credit Cards and foreign exchange
Banking hours are 9:00am till 3:30pm Monday to Thursday and 9:00am
till 5:00pm Friday. All banks have electronic banking machines (ATMs)
where you can withdraw money 24 hours a day. Tip: remember to withdraw
a fairly big amount to avoid the heavy one-transaction commission
In Mauritius, travellers cheques and foreign
currencies can be cashed at our hotel counter, all banks and authorised
money changers. Major credit cards are accepted in most establishments.
In many cases, you will need to produce current, suitable identification
to conduct financial transactions. The currency denominations in
Mauritius are: Rs. 25, Rs. 50, Rs. 100, Rs. 200, Rs. 500, Rs. 1000,
Rs. 2000 notes and 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, Rs.1, Rs. 5, Rs. 10 coins.
To avoid being pick pocketed or robbed, be careful not to bring
and flash your money in public areas: e.g. markets, beaches, tourist
To know about currency exchange with the rates
of your country, go to the Mauritius Commercial Bank website.
Post offices are open 08:00am until 3:30pm Monday to Friday and
08:00am to 11:30am Saturday mornings. Stamps may be obtained from
our shop at no extra charge as a guest service. A mailing box is
also available in the reception foyer.
Most religious denominations are represented in Mauritius and services
are frequent and accessible. Further details are easily available
from our reception counter.
A few in-hotel general practionners are available for visits by
a local phone call, however it is recommended you consider purchasing
travellers insurance for your vacation.
Remember to minimise your sun exposure and
bring a good sunscreen or buy one locally. Pack loose, comfortable
clothing, walking shoes, one or two hats, swimwear and sunglasses.
The domestic electricity supply is 240 volts,
50 cycles, so keep this in mind when bringing your personal appliances.
Don't forget your camera / video camera. If you are bringing your
video camera, you might as well want to watch your shoots during
the day on the TVs featured in each of our accommodations. Bring
along the cable from the camcorder to the TV.
Mauritius is an easy-going island with the emphasis on the informal.
Nevertheless, it is expected men to wear long trousers for dinner
and for women to be suitably attired. In winter, visitors may require
a sweater for evening wear.