Marvel at Mauritius

by Kerry Turner on 30 March 2012, 12:03PM Marvel at Mauritius

At Travelbag we pride ourselves in having the most knowledgeable consultants on hand to put together your dream tailor-made holiday. Our staff have travelled the world to ensure that they can give you recommendations based on first hand experiences.
We regularly send staff on what are known as ‘Familiarisation trips’, where they will inspect each of the hotels we sell in the area, as well as finding out about the holiday experience our customers can have. It’s a great perk of working for Travelbag but it also means that our sales staff are best placed to advise you on the choices you have for your well earned holiday.

Our latest ‘Fam’ trip was to Mauritius. We will be posting a series of blogs from each of the team that attended the trip.
Here is the first instalment, from Kerry Turner, who is a Team Leader in our Winchester branch.

Day One

LUX Belle Mare

On arrival in Mauritius, the first thing I noticed was how mountainous, green and lush everything was. On the 1 hour 15 minute transfer from the airport to The LUX Belle Mare I found the scenery truly stunning which made the transfer pass in what felt like minutes, even after a 12 hour flight.

We arrived at The LUX Belle Mare and as you enter through the lobby you are greeted with a huge freeform swimming pool and views of one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. Powdery white sand lapped by crystal clear blue waters, the very image of Mauritius that I had always envisioned.

We were escorted to the The Bar, located next to the pool and beach, where we enjoyed a delicious lunch. The Ceaser Salad was one of the best I had ever tasted. I believe this is due to the added ingredient of Palm Heart a local delicacy which was included in lots of the Mauritian food we were lucky enough to sample.

The afternoon was spent at leisure, so sunbathing on the beach followed. Walking out into the warm crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean is something I feel everybody should experience at least once. The hotel is located on a protected lagoon and the water barely rises above your knees as you wonder out. Despite people sunbathing and children playing on the beach it still felt very serene and peaceful.

In my opinion this hotel has a really laid back atmosphere and I found the staff to be incredibly attentive and friendly. The LUX Group have recently been rebranded and as such have created some unique touches in all of their properties. For example Café LUX , where they serve their own Island Blend of organic coffee beans, which I must say really does make a truly fantastic cup of coffee. Each LUX property also features a British red phone box, whereby guests can call home for free.

The hotel is currently being refurbished, with the new design being the vision of British designer Kelly Hoppen. The new rooms are very modern bright and contempory. Lots of white and bold colours are being used and they feel very luxurious and stylish. The older style rooms have a more Mauritian feel using lots of dark wood and neutral colours. The rooms are a very good size starting at 55 square metres, all with balcony or terrace enjoying views of the Indian Ocean.

Dinner was sampled in The Beachfront restaurant, aptly named The Beach, which serves a delightful mixture of local and Mediterranean cuisine. The seafood sampled was truly a taste sensation and there is something very special about eating fresh seafood whilst listening to the waves lapping on the shore.

After a wonderful nights sleep, followed by an early morning run in the hotels well equipped modern gym it was time to leave this delightful property which had left a truly great first impression.

Day Two

Le Touessrok

The next hotel we visited on the East coast was the 5* Le Touessrok, This property is set on the biggest lagoon in Mauritius and is surrounded by 4 stretches of perfect white sandy beaches which means that every room is guaranteed a spectacular sea view.

There is a large central freeform swimming pool, as well as a smaller; more intimate quite adults only pool area. This is located near to the large fully equipped modern Gym, which offers lovely views over the pool and grounds. The hotel also features a Givenchy Spa and Kerastase hair salon for all your relaxation and pampering needs. For the more energetic, the hotel features an island, Ile aux Cerf’s, which has a spectacular 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Bernhard Langer.

The main restaurant 398 is a buffet style restaurant, however with a difference. There is numerous food station offering different styles of cuisine, all of which are cooked fresh in front of you on ordering. There is also an Indian restaurant, Safran which offers modern fine dining. The restaurant features an open kitchen and cooking lessons with the chef can also be arranged. The hotel also offers complimentary fresh fruit mid-morning and ice creams and sorbets mid afternoon.

This hotel has a very large number of repeat customers due to the exceptional level of service offered to each and every customer. Personal touches such as butler service and burning oil menus are offered in the rooms whilst at the beach, loaded I-pods and portable DVD players are available to enhance the sunbathing experience. There are 3 island pontoons, featuring duel sun beds towels and cool boxes, which guests can swim out too and spend time relaxing, whilst floating at sea.

The grounds of this property are truly spectacular and as you turn every corner you are greeted by a different view, each more stunning than the first. The high level of service and attention to can be seen throughout all aspects of the hotel and it is clear to see why this hotel is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. If you are looking for unadulterated luxury this is the hotel for you.

Veranda Paul et Virginie

The Veranda Paul et Virginie is a lovely boutique style, 3 star property located in the fishing village of Grand Guabe on the North of the Island.

The hotel is named after Paul and Virginie a couple immortalised by a French Author Bernadine de St Pierre in his novel Paul & Virginie. This is a novel reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet and the hotel recreates a relaxing and soothing atmosphere.

The main buildings are colonial style and the ground surrounding is pretty and lush, all of the 81 rooms are nicely decorated and feature sea views. This hotel has a much cosier feel than the two previous properties we had visited and the scenery is very different on this side of the island.

The small beach area is very pretty, though not the long stretches of white sand previously seen on the east coast.

Personally I really liked this hotel and feel it would be ideally suited to lay back couples and groups of friends as it has a real intimate feel. My greatest observation is that 3 Star in Mauritius is on par with any 4 stars found in the Caribbean, and certainly some of the highest standard I have seen.

In summary Mauritius has something for everybody with a property to suit all tastes and needs. It is truly one of the loveliest places I have had the good fortune to experience and I am already planning my own return visit.

If you would like to speak to Kerry about a potential holiday to Mauritius, you can contact her on 020 3139 7133

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