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New Year's Eve 2016 for newcomers from London?

Hello all, nice to meet you!

My husband and I are arriving from the UK (London) at the end of December - he has a permanent job and we are excited to make Mauritius our new home.

We are living in the North of the Island near Perybere/Cap Malhereux and I wondered what to expect for New Year's Eve celebrations?

I know lots of the big hotels tend to put on parties - is it normally limited to guests only? Are we better to head to the local beach?

Any recommendations much appreciated!

Hi

Some hotels (if not, most of them) have end-year packages and buffet-type events which are open to non-guests. Parties would normally be open to those booking at least a dinner table.

Local beach, nothing much except that its sensational with the fireworks.  Pretty crowded around midnight but so much fun !

Hi welcome to Mauritius yes all big and small hotel have big parties and dinners but it is only for the guests staying in the hotels as all hotels are fully booked outsiders hardly get tables  so it is advisable to arrange private parties with groups

We always have a meal at one if the restaurant on the beach in Grand Baie, there are lots of them. You get a fab view of the fireworks whilst having a good meal, last year we went to La Gout du Large & had a superb time, we are booked again for this year. It's the other side of Grand Baie from where you will be though.

Hi New Years Eve is nothing like London or anywhere else in Europe. It's very low profile, most of the festivities are hotel based and are very expensive. If you want to have a great time book a flight to South Africa or Dubai where you are sure to have a great time and value for your money.

Mauritius is not the same as it used to be, driving here is a night mare every day and especially during the end of the year, Mauritians are suicidal drivers , they over take at blind spots, narrow bends without any visibility. Deaths by road accidents are incredibly high. I suggest you get a very good car and avoid driving at night as there is no street lighting except in the motor ways. Crimes and thefts are very common so you need to be very street wise and ensure you live in a secure compound. I am just being honest and paint you a true picture of how things are in this country.

Good luck

Dramkiss, thats a bit negative. Driving at night is not a big problem, many roads are street lit. Im guessing you haven't been to Mauritius for about 30 years ?? There is absolutely no requirement to live in a secure compound, Mauritius ain't Botswana , get real please. Yes there is crime, but as long as one takes common sense precautions, like locking your house up at night and being careful where you walk at night everything will be fine....no different to London.

Hi Helen, I live in the UK but visit Mauritius often as my wife parents are Mauritian, their house is in Vacoas. In fact I will be in Mauritius next week, until mid January so I too will be spending New Years Eve in the country. As has already been mentioned, most of the hotels hold events for guests only but you may strike lucky and find one that allows outside guests to enter for the midnight fireworks. There are always ad hoc displays on the numerous beaches, but also neighbours and relatives often get together and let fireworks off in their garden or even in the street. Sun Lizard made a good suggestion above...book a meal at one of the restaurants in Grand Bay and you'll be guaranteed a good view of the beach fireworks. There is nothing like the London firework display, however I'm told that the NYE firework display in the capital , Port Louis, at Le Caudon are very good, and theres plenty of bars and restaurants there too if you need refreshing ! All in all I love NYE in Mauritius, it is celebrated right across the island by absolutely everyone, when the clock strikes 12 the skies resemble The Blitz !
Good luck and enjoy life in Mauritius, I am very envious of you. Just out of interest, what line of work is your hubby in? Cheers. Matt.

Hi Helen
The Maritim hotel does a variety of packages for people not staying at the hotel for NYE (and I think at least one package also offers a room deal). See the web-site and register for newsletter. Or just go along and ask - they are at Balaclava. If only arriving at end of year I am sure you can book remotely but start early. If not staying at the hotel (not bad actually) you will probably want to book a taxi to get back to Grand Bay.

Thanks everyone for your responses!

Helen

Hi Helen,

Personally I prefer to celebrate New Year's Eve in Mauritius than in london. But it is probably because I have family here.
A typical Mauritian household(or just mine and those in my neighbourhood perhaps) have their own fireworks and wait to lit it at midnight. Leading to midnight, it is about having friends over for a drink and BBQ , including a selection of 'gajak' whilst listening to the countdown of the songs which will make it as 'best song of the year' !

It is also an evening where many replenish things around the house (new year new home decor kind of thing). On the 01st of Jan, most households even dress in brand new clothes from head to toe :)

The fireworks in my area kicks off from 1155 and last for at least 30 mins ...

I find this awesome !

As for crime level and road safety, I would say the same applies wherever you would go in the world.

There are measures in place to ensure road safety is improved.
At the end of the day, each country has their own structure in place,  if it's not like in the U.K., it doesn't mean it is inferior and that people are crazy. It's just different. Besides one shouldn't expect things here to be an extension of the UK....
Take your time to settle, and hope you embrace Mauritius for what it is and contribute to its wellbeing.

Best wishes

Thanks for the insight into Mauritius new year Shalinee! It sounds fantastic.

Hi Helen
Welcome to Mauritius. Exciting times for you and yours and what a great time to arrive, when festivities are at their peak.
If you want a hotel experience for new year, you would be expected to dine there as well and, as mentioned, prices are generally quite high at this time of year. I guess it just depends what type of experience you want to have. If you go to a hotel, you're probably going to get dressed up a bit for the occasion. You'll probably have some amazing food which you wouldn't ordinarily prepare for yourself at home, albeit quite often europeanised versions of authentic Mauritian food. The Mauritian hospitality industry has an excellent reputation so you'll be well looked after without the stress of doing any preparation yourself. If you celebrate on the beach, it's more likely to be a more casual and authentic experience and it will be a blast with families and groups of friends BBQing, picnicking, drinking and dancing on the beach. Fireworks of course play a large part, even though they're likely to be less spectacular than at a hotel and dancing is very much in the blood of Mauritian people, so be prepared to lose any inhibitions, and join the party if that's how you choose to celebrate.

I wouldn't really want to advise you which to go for because I don't know you. If you like a bit of formality, glam and the comfort of things being as you're perhaps used to, then spend a bit more and celebrate at a hotel, where the clientele is likely to be a fairly balanced mix of tourists and affluent locals, but don't leave it too much longer to book. If on the other hand you really want to immerse yourself in authentic Mauritian style partying, then go to the beach.

Now on to Dramkiss's comments. I have to say I don't entirely agree. Every country has a different way to celebrate. We don't have Trafalgar Square here (I too lived in London for 40 years), so you won't catch anyone jumping inebriated into fountains etc. Mauritius is culturally very family orientated so celebrations tend to be among families and close friends. I wouldn't necessarily agree that they are low key, not in my 18 months experience of being here, anyway.

With regard to safety and security, Dramkiss has painted a picture of a crime riddled nation. I would disagree. Of course, as already mentioned, common sense rules apply, which I'm sure you're familiar with if you've travelled to any foreign country for that matter. And yes, of course crime does exist, as it does in every country. Yes, there are plenty of "compounds" here, otherwise known as "morcellements", but their primary purpose is not to keep criminals out, rather there's a growing trend towards gated developments, just as there are in many parts of the world. These promote a sense of community and make sense from an economic and urban planning perspective. I very much doubt that you would go out for an evening in London and leave your house unlocked. Same applies here.

Yes, I would agree somewhat with Dramkiss that driving here is not for the faint hearted, but suicidal drivers?... Every country has bad and even reckless drivers. Mauritius is geographically a tiny country with a rapidly increasing affluent population and there are significantly more cars on the roads today than even 5 years ago, so driving should be undertaken with extra care, especially given that there are so many motorcyclists who weave their way in and out of traffic. If you yourself are not a crazy driver, then there is no reason why you should not drive at night. Just look out for the deep galleys that tend to run alongside most roads and you'll have to get used to the narrowness of roads here. Street lighting could also be better, but all said, in my experience it really is not that bad.

Good luck with the move and enjoy Christmas and New Year however you choose to spend it.

dramkiss :

Hi New Years Eve is nothing like London or anywhere else in Europe. It's very low profile, most of the festivities are hotel based and are very expensive. If you want to have a great time book a flight to South Africa or Dubai where you are sure to have a great time and value for your money.

Mauritius is not the same as it used to be, driving here is a night mare every day and especially during the end of the year, Mauritians are suicidal drivers , they over take at blind spots, narrow bends without any visibility. Deaths by road accidents are incredibly high. I suggest you get a very good car and avoid driving at night as there is no street lighting except in the motor ways. Crimes and thefts are very common so you need to be very street wise and ensure you live in a secure compound. I am just being honest and paint you a true picture of how things are in this country.

Good luck

This is absolute drivel. You seriously don't know what you are talking about.

NYE festivities in Mauritius are anything but low profile. It's simply different. You are probably thinking about the mostly centralized festivities that take place in European capitals on NYE.

It all depends on what you want, they way you want to celebrate and the amount you are ready to cash in.
Mauritius has more firecrackers and fireworks per capita than anywhere else in Europe.
Besides hotels, there are open air festivities, street festivals and concerts,
Clubs and restaurants always throw NYE parties. Like someone above said, there are beach themed events that you can join. Again, it depends on what you are looking for.
If you have families here, then probably it will be more family oriented. Else, you can spend the night at a hotel which offer special packages to outsiders or with an expat group so you wish.

Regarding driving, yes it requires more precautions and concentration but it's certainly not suicidal driving. If you have been driving in China or in South east Asia, you will be just fine here.
Street lighting is absent only from some small secondary roads where you won't be going anyway.

Crimes and thefts are everywhere and you will experience them if you go looking for them. Just follow some basic safety tips like you would have done anywhere in the world together with an iota of common sense and you will be OK.

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