Lynda's Mauritius

by Lynda Brindle on 30 March 2012, 16:03PM Lynda's Mauritius

Lynda Brindle is a Sales Consultant based in our Chester office and attended a recent Fam trip to Mauritius. Here she reports on one of the days activities and hotel visits.

 

The Black Gorges National Park & Movenpick Hotel

The South of Mauritius is by far the most lush, mountainous and scenic, with some incredible beaches. We were privileged to explore not only the scenery but the rich culture of the Black Gorges National Park and The Grand Bassin Lake.

It is refreshing to find the Hindu Temples at The Grand Bassin lake. In a destination where tourism is focused on beaches and 5* Hotels, this reminds you of the rich culture that Mauritius was built on. The statue of Shiva stands 108 feet above the banks of the lake and at the temple you are met with a Hindu priest who offers you a personal blessing and marks your forehead with cochineal. The fish literally jump out of the lake to be fed and there are many other Hindu statues dotted about the lake area.

The Black Gorges and waterfalls are simply just stunning views from a vantage point high up in the mountains, yet so easy to reach by road.

Movenpick Resort & Spa

We were met at this hotel with an impressive cocktail of pina colada served in a coconut garnished with wild flowers, gorgeous!

The Movenpick is a relatively modern hotel built around the Spa which looks like remains of an old castle. A beautiful structure surrounded by lush tropical gardens and the many pool areas with fountains.

For me the big selling point of Movenpick is that the rooms are all enormous! Starting at 63 sq feet with round sunken bath tubs and some also have outdoor shower areas, it seems no two  rooms are the same! They have massive windows and patio doors revealing stunning views of either the surrounding gardens or the ocean.

This beach follows on from Domain de Bel Ombre, so again is beautiful, with every different shade of blue green in the lagoon, it’s also great for snorkelling.

The Hotel offers free watersports and a variety of other sporting facilities such as tennis courts, aqua gym and a fitness centre and free glass bottom boat tours which most hotels would charge for.          

There are four restaurants including ‘Le Grand Caze’, which means ‘Plantation owners house’ in Creole. This is a colonial style house with its own pool area situated within the Hotel grounds and offers a quiet retreat for those who want to relax in complete silence.

We enjoyed an a la carte lunch at Le Camaron on the beach and met the French chef who served us three courses of delicious fine dining. Fresh fish is very popular on the menu over there as well as Palm heart salads and green chilli.

For the price of it, this is Travelbag’s lead in 5 star property in Mauritius and we were all extremely impressed at the size of room and grounds this hotel offers.

Domain De Bel Ombre

This is the name of the Estate which comprises The Heritage Awali, Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa and The Villas Valriche. In Addition, guests can also enjoy the The C Beach Club, and  Le Chateau de Bel Ombre and Golf Course.

Of all the hotels we had viewed during our trip, this for me is the most versatile holiday option in Mauritius, as you can book to stay in any of the three properties and enjoy the benefits of the whole Domain.

We began our tour by being issued with our own golf cart (yes!). This is a standard inclusion for all guests who book to stay at The Villas Valriche and allows easy access to the villas which are dotted around the beautiful hillside of the Domain. It struck me how well spaced the villas are, each one has privacy and boasts stunning views over the ocean and the mountains behind. It instantly feels like a millionaire’s paradise and yet with prices starting from £100 per person per night the option of staying here is not beyond reason for most budgets!

There are two, three and four bedroom villas, all of which are pristine and beautifully designed with a private infinity pool, which is installed with the latest in safety technology for young families. All the benefits of staying in a hotel – such as breakfast served in your villa, laundry service and babysitting. You can also use the facilities at The Awali or Telfair hotels and can even add a dining package at the villa so you can benefit from half board or all inclusive.

This was the only place in Mauritius that felt like we were in the countryside and it’s all such a short distance from the black river gorges national park. Scenery like nothing I’ve ever seen before, breathtaking!

We then made our way to The Heritage Awali. This is an authentic African themed hotel with really competitive all inclusive rates. All the rooms, suites and villas face the sea or the pool and sleep a minimum of a family of four. Animal prints and tribal designs give it a Zanzibar feel. Families seem to be a large market at this property and it has a great holiday atmosphere with music playing by the pool, a varied programme of activities and events. There are three restaurants on site and the two bars are lively in the evenings, one is amongst the pools and one is on the beach. Guests at the Awali can also take advantage of the Gin ja Asian fusion restaurant at Le Telfair. Also there is the C beach bar with a host of watersports.

The Telfair is a far contrast from the Awali with its light and airy Colonial design and floral patterns. It feels like a lush Sugar Plantation. This is at the centre of the domain and houses a fabulous gym, spa and kids club area. The well air conditioned recreation area is a refreshing alternative to the pool or beach and I could imagine spending a lot of time there, it was one of the most inviting gyms we saw. All look out over views of the river which runs through the Domain.

The beach here is truly the most beautiful beach I have seen and could rival the Maldives. We had lunch at Le Palmier right on the shore where we able to enjoy the laid back atmosphere and stunning landscape. I had a wonderful massage at The Seven Colours spa and  enjoyed a restful hour using the Spa’s outdoor hydrotherapy pool and luxurious steam rooms. I did not want to leave this hotel!!!

The C Beach Club is there for all guests to enjoy and is again a massive contrast to what we had already seen. Modern, cool and fresh, with large day beds and sun loungers available for use, and drinks can be charged to your room. There is a free selection of pedaloes, hoby cats and many other watersport options plus glass bottom boat tours and dolphin trips.

In the evening they set up a large cinema screen on the beach and show films for adults and kids alike. They provide popcorn and families or couples can get comfortable on one of the daybeds and enjoy a film against the backdrop of the night sky.

The jewel in this Domains crown is the Chateau and Golf Club. It has won awards recently for The best golf club in Mauritius. Guests at any of the properties within the domain get FREE green fees to use the course!!! And they can get credit to dine at The Chateau which is a historical and charming building set amoungst the countryside.

In summary this whole complex can appeal to any taste, any client, any requirement. Whilst maintaining high standards of service, cleanliness and atmosphere. It would be so easy to recommend if someone simply doesn’t know what they want or where they want to stay because it offers everything.

 

If you want to speak to Lynda about potentially tailor-making your holiday to Mauritius, you can call her on 0203 139 7062


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