These next few weeks we have an exotic island theme going on, we want to tickle your travel ideas and develop your thoughts into going a little further a field.
So I sent one of our intrepid reports Adam off to Mauritius. Adam Jacot de Boinod worked on the first series of QI the BBC programme and is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from around the World, published by Penguin Books.
So rather than me blether on here is Adams report:
Mauritius is really a very unspoilt island and I highly recommend it whether for a honeymoon, a young family or in retirement. The hotels are excellent. The service is wonderful, the rooms thoroughly thought through and the food local, fresh and delicious.
My first resting spot, the glamorous Four Seasons Resort , lies on the east coast at Anahita. It opened in 2008 and comprises purely of different grades of villa, and it’s all been thoroughly thought through. It’s classy. It’s all bridges, bicycles and buggies along fresh concrete alleyways. Perfect for kids as well as perfunctory for the demands on the staff. It attracts chiefly a British clientele though Dutch, French, Chinese and Koreans make up most of the rest.
The hotel’s own golf course, it’s original raison d’être, was designed by Ernie Els while the one opposite on the Île aux Cerfs was by Bernhard Langer.
The lack of a remarkable beach, given that the water is too shallow to swim with any degree of confidence, is more than compensated for by the hourly option of a boat shuttle to the Île aux Cerfs. Here I stepped off the quay into a secluded cove only minutes away. A truly idyllic paradise. The whole stretch of beach to myself. Bliss!
Recently the hotel introduced a new, signature eight-handed massage at its overwater Spa. Aptly named “Let it Go,” this marks the first eight-handed massage to be offered in Mauritius, and sees the Spa at Four Seasons Resort Mauritius becoming one of only a very few Spas in the world to offer such a synchronised, sensory treatment.
Available as both a 60 minute and a 90 minute option, Let it Go comprises the fluid and harmonious motions of four therapists to stimulate energy across the body to help achieve a total sense of rejuvenation.
“To be able to provide our guests with this new treatment is really a special accomplishment,” comments Spa Director Constance Chapalain. “It is something much more than a massage; it is an experience that promotes overall wellbeing and has been especially created for those who need to ‘let it go,’ but who struggle to find relaxation. The perfect synergies of this eight-handed massage are comparable to a dancer’s choreography; fluid, soothing and emotionally releasing.”
Originating from the ancient Ayurvedic philosophy, the eight-handed massage has been derived from the techniques of the four-handed massage and balances the body’s energies, while relaxing the mind. The 60 minute treatment is available for MUR 26,000 and the 90 minute treatment is available for MUR 36,000.
At my next hotel, Lux Le Morne , the rooms have a neutral décor. Lots of decking, wood and white with no need mercifully for any embellishment. The foyer is
cool and clean. Outside my rooms the gardeners play ‘hook and catch’ with coconuts using an averruncator (a long stick with shears for cutting high branches). Next to them there’s even a “Tree of Wishes” on which guests tag notes containing their personal dreams. And for parents there is the relief of islands in the middle of creatively shaped swimming pools from which to watch over their kids’ safety from all angles. Perfect for a young family.
I then was to experience my next hotel The Residence
The rooms have beautiful white shutters and outside there are gazebos for quiet contemplation. The few lights on the trees at night make the leaves flow like an orchestra as the palm trees flutter. A perfect environment for dining in the choice of two restaurants: The Plantation, the lovely airy outdoor hall of an original planter’s house by the beach which has a menu befitting a gourmet. And The Verandah which offers the right variety as a high-class buffet for those who typically stay more than a week.
All felt invigorating and new though actually The Residence Mauritius has been open now for eighteen years, it’s the English who are the main punters. 50% of them come back time and again. Two weeks is their typical stay. And now increasingly come the Chinese, typically for only five days and only ever the once. They prefer not to sunbathe or use the hotel’s activities. Instead they go shopping and pose furiously with their parasols and couture frocks to be photographed by their patient and adoring boyfriends. I wish I had had two weeks here.
So on to my final place to stay the Hideaways – Stargazer .
Membership of The Hideaways Club Classic Collection portfolio gives one access to properties all over the world. It’s perfect for someone who doesn’t want to be restricted to one location or have the hazzle of maintenance. As tennis player Tim Henman says, “With the Hideaways Club I have a wide variety of beautiful properties in stunning locations that I can use year round, plus the potential growth of my investment.”
The master bedroom is the only upstairs room (lording it over the other three more perfunctory bedrooms) and being the only distinguishing feature from the other Mauritian Hideaways property called Hibiscus. From the deep bath of its en suite bathroom, I saw the whole length of the southern coast with the waves crashing in from a distance. Stargazer was built in 2011 as part of Heritage Villas it gave me free access to the Golf Course, Hotels Awani and Telfair and to the C Beach Club (C for Coast and the “Place to C, the place to B” being the chant)!
All very spoiling on a very unspoilt island!
Adam had support from Priority Pass and Gatwick Express
Discover: Mauritius – The Holiday Place has a wide range of holidays to Mauritius from just £1299 per person. Immerse yourself in boutique luxury right next to the amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site of Morne Braban Peak, staying 7 nights at Lux Le Morne and sharing a Superior room. Includes flights, accommodation and breakfast.
To book call 020 7644 1770 or visit holidayplace.co.uk
Next week we are heading to the beautiful Island of Tobago (thats if our reporter comes home)