Elegant Destinations Launches New Website to Showcase The Best Indian Ocean Villa Rentals

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This year Elegant Destinations are celebrating 20 years of Mauritius luxury villa rentals from the start of the internet when Netscape launched its ground-breaking browser in 1993 to today’s quickening pulse of social media activity. To celebrate this milestone Elegant Destinations has launched a brand new website www.elegantdestinations.com showcasing the best luxury villas and hotels in Mauritius, Seychelles, Zanzibar and Mozambique.For two decades the co-founders Hans and Julie Gauthier have hunted for and deliberated over the best villas and hotels across the Indian Ocean region. The seeds of the villa rental idea grew after the development of a family plot among the swaying palms in Trou Aux Biches. Some of their clients have been with them along the whole stretch of the journey and this niche business has grown through their clients’ loyalty and spontaneous recommendations to their friends. .The new website offers a superb selection of quality properties known for their locations, excellent service and culinary delights.

In Mauritius there is a huge choice of hand-picked villas: resort villas from the stunning Four Seasons and Le Touessrok villas to the beach villas of le Paradis and Trou Aux Biches and the golf estates of Anahita and Heritage. Exclusive designer beach villas like Villa One 4-suite pool villa in Pointe Aux Canonniers and Cape Blue exclusive 5-bedroom beachfront villa in Cap Malheureux. In the luxury villa category Villa Athenee voted one of the top 10 best beach villas by Condé Nast Traveller and Island Villa L’Ilot a real private island offering a privileged and unique stay. There is also an array of beach bungalows which offer the more budget conscious an excellent base for that family beach holiday. All around the island there are also contemporary beach apartments from the desirable Cape Point in Cap Malheureux in the north to the recently opened Esplanade in Black River on the west coast. For the Mauritius hotels there is a hand-picked portfolio of the best luxury and boutique hotels whether for a golf trip with friends, a family holiday or a romantic escape.

The Seychelles portfolio includes the best luxury hotels in the archipelago from the gourmet delights of Four Seasons Seychelles to the barefoot luxury of Desroches. Some of the most popular pool villas have also been included like the 4-bedroom Li-Al-Do Maison on Mahe.

Zanzibar is a new destination with a choice of luxury villa resorts like Essque Zalu an all pool villa resort and the romantic spa resorts of The Residence and The Palms. All the private villas offer original experiences from the loft style beach chic of Upendo Retreat to the eco credentials of Milele Villas.

Mozambique, another new destination, offers a delightful Indian Ocean adventure. Hidden gems like Azura at Quilalea with Mozambican butler service and superb spa, Azura at Benguerra designer modern chic with a traditional twist and the exclusive Vamizi Island. From Santorini-in-Africa to Pambele these villas offer all inclusive fully staffed luxury accommodation with stunning beaches.

Hans Gauthier, Managing Director and Co-Founder is delighted with the launch and spends much of his time keeping an eye on the future of travel in the region and looking forward to sharing his excitement of these developments with their clients. The focus of Elegant Destinations has always been a family company with very personal service and all requests always tailor-made as if they were their own holidays.

Elegant Destinations has been an online travel specialist to Mauritius and Seychelles since 1993 and has established a reputation as one of the Indian Ocean luxury villa pioneers. Their hand-picked portfolio of villas and hotels reflects the varied culture and true excitement of this region offering you their expertise and inspiration as well innovative ideas and a high level of personalised service.

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What to see on Mauritius East Coast

The east coast of Mauritius is my favourite coast. From the quiet creeks of Roches Noires in the north, past the wind swept beaches of Poste Lafayette to the mangroves and down to Belle Mare’s soft sandy beaches there is a surprise at every turn of the coastal road. The public beach of Palmar offers a wide expanse of rock and sand, a great place to take the kids for a picnic enroute. Down in the south east is the quiet sleepy village of Trou d’aux Douce with its friendly inhabitants and the wonderful off shore island of Ile Aux Cerfs. Here are highlights of spots to visit on the east coast or within driving distance.

 

Flacq marketFlacq Market
Flacq is one of the most important villages in Mauritius. This meeting point for inhabitants of the East boasts the country’s largest open air market. The extremely colourful market attracts a large number of people.

 

waterparkThe Waterpark Leisure Village
Enjoy unforgettable moments sliding on the giant chutes, with family or friends. Relaxation and pleasure guaranteed.

 

ile aux cerfsIle aux Cerfs
Ile aux Cerfs is a paradise for water sports and has the most beautiful beach in Mauritius. You cannot afford to miss this tiny island, delicately poised on the ocean, a real pearl in the Mauritian landscape.

 

eureka  mauritiusEureka
Although not technically in the east but the centre of Mauritius in Moka, I have included the drive from the east through to the heart of old colonial Mauritius which can easily be taken in along with a visit to the markets at Quatre Bornes. An old Creole residence built in 1830, Eureka is an essential place to visit during your stay in Mauritius if you wish to immerse yourself in the past.

Situated at Moka, in the fresh and lush climate of central Mauritius, the famous residence “Eureka” was built during the French colonial period and once belonged to a very well known Mauritian family. The main part of the estate has been turned into a museum, and they offer guided tours through this magnificent colonial house, its lush gardens and down to the cascading river.

It is their aim to have their guests experience an extended glimpse of history and they offer three self catering guesthouses on the premises; situated in the vicinity of the main own residence in a quiet corner of the vast gardens and “off the beaten track”.

 

Hope you’ve enjoyed our guide of what to see on the Mauritius East Coast!

Top 10 Mauritius Luxury Villas of 2012

Reflecting on 2012 we have seen some interesting developments. Whilst there are still some firm favourites making the top 10 we have seen a large increase in family groups looking for a traditional yet trendy villa holiday. This year has been hugely successful for several of the villas on this trend in Mauritius. These spacious architect-designed pool villas with often 5+ bedrooms, offer a real home from home with their own local staff to take away those domestic chores.

2012 has also seen the opening of more luxury oceanfront apartments with very positive client feedback. Wedding parties blocking whole complexes were very popular this year, especially for those with guests from the southern and northern hemispheres meeting half way.

Mauritius continues to attract the villa client who can enjoy a tropical home from home, with homemade cooking, hot sandy beaches and the usual warm welcome of the Mauritius people.

Luxury Beach Apartments

 

Cape Point Apartments – Cap Malheureux (North Coast Mauritius)

 

Cape Point is a fantastic seafront property in North Mauritius just 5 minutes from Grand Bay. This year has seen a flurry of wedding groups with guests from all around the globe. Weddings can be held at Cape Point or at other romantic locations nearby. Cape Point has four spacious 3 bedroom apartments and a 4 bedroom penthouse offering a high level of comfort and stunning views over the lagoon and the northern islands. The swimming pool has a large wooden decking area and a pool bar.

 

Leora Beach Apartments – Tamarin, Black River (West Coast Mauritius) 

Leora opened late 2011 and was the first luxury apartments for rental on the west coast. An instant hit with our guests, it will soon be joined in April 2013 by another similar property L’Espanade. Leora Beachfront Apartments are in a stunning location with amazing sea views. There are 12 apartments and 2 penthouses of 3 bedrooms each set in four stylish blocks. Nearby are top-rated golf courses, sports clubs and commercial centres with shops and restaurants. The opening of such apartments are ideal for families, couples and groups of friends.

Traditional & Trendy Luxury Villas

 

Villa Athénée – Poste Lafayette (East Coast Mauritius)

As always, Villa Athénée is a firm favourite every year, this 5 bedroom beachfront thatched villa is traditonal yet stylish. A real home from home, the guests appreciate the ambiance of the villa, deck, pool and lovely soft sand of the beach as well as the delicious cooking provided by Marie-Josee. Excellent choice for a group of friends or large family.

Villa Hermes

 

Villas Hermes – Belle Mare (East Coast Mauritius)

One of our favourites and with fantastic staff, this villa brings family and golfing groups back year after year. Villas Hermes 2 with its 5 bedrooms can be rented along with Villa Hermes 1 with 4 bedrooms. A much sought-after villa which shares the finest beach of Belle Mare with the One&Only St Géran. All bedrooms are en-suite and air-conditioned. The outside covered terrace leads to a spacious lawn overlooking the powder beach and quiet bay. In our opinion you can’t beat both its location and its dedicated staff . A truly authentic Mauritius holiday experience.

La Boiserie – Trou Aux Biches/Mont Choisy (North Coast Mauritius)

On a gorgeous sandy beach, this well positioned  4-bedroom villa with a guest cottage sleeps up to 8 adults and 2 children. Days are spent sunbathing in the beautifully maintained front garden, laid out lawn and sand or dining under the covered wooden gazebo overlooking the stunning bay. Its location is great for sea sports enthusiasts with the  Blue Water Diving Centre and the Big Game Fishing Centre just 75 metres away. This villa has been very popular for large family groups with small children.

Villa K

 

Villa K – Pointe Aux Canonniers   (North Coast Mauritius)

This brand new exclusive villa lies on the beach overlooking the islands off the North coast. It is designed in tropical contemporary style and consists of 4 air-conditioned and ventilated en suite bedrooms sleeping up to 8 guests.

Villa Thalie

 

Villa Thalie – Domaine de Belle Riviere (South Coast Mauritius)

Located in the south west of Mauritius at Bel Ombre is Domaine de Belle Riviere, one of the most exclusive estates in Mauritius comprising some exclusive luxury private villas and the Sofitel So Mauritius five star luxurious hotel and spa. Villa Thalie has 7 bedrooms (4 suites and 3 doubles) and can sleep up to 18. Excellently managed and with complimentary access to the neighbouring Sofitel So Mauritius beach, kids club, restaurants and spa this has been a big hit with our discerning family groups. Ideal location for a very private and sophisticated wedding.

Villa d'Eden

 

Villa d’Eden – Poste Lafayette (East Coast Mauritius)

A traditional thatched and stone villa with pool and a very attentive housekeeper and cook. With 4 bedrooms Villa d’Eden offers a comfortable relaxing stay whether as a couple or with the family.

Tropical Cove

 

Tropical Cove (East Coast Mauritius)

A popular favourite this beautiful 4-bedroom villa is situated in a tropical garden overlooking the tranquil beach of Roches Noires, in a cove well protected from the wind. It is the ideal location for sports lovers who want to kite surf, use championship golf courses and jog along the coast. Ideal for families sleeping 6 adults and 2 children.

Lunea Villas

 

Lunea Villas – Anahita (East Coast Mauritius)

Ideal for golfing groups and family get togethers, Lunea Villas are nestled in the heart of a 213 acre estate of Anahita with views across to the famous Ile aux Cerfs. The estate also includes the Four Seasons Resort Mauritius and the 18 hole Championship golf course designed by Ernie Els.

Hope you’ve had a wonderful year in 2012, we know we have with the Olympics and Paralympics in the United Kingdom to be excited about amongst all the rest that is happening in Mauritius.

We look forward to welcoming you to some of these beautiful locations in 2013 which is already just round the corner!

C Beach Club, Heritage Resorts

Overview
Whilst staying at the Heritage Villas, you are welcome at the trendy C Beach Club where you can have a social dip in the pool, do water sports at the Boathouse and be served food and drink whilst you relax on the beach. It also houses the V.I. Teens Club, which organises events throughout the day, every day, tailor-made to the teenagers attending.

Food & Drink on the beach
On the beach we were offered a menu from the restaurant which was filled with various cocktails, pizzas and paninis. We tried four different pizzas; Seafood, Mediterranean, Four Cheeses and Rocket & Parma Ham. Out of all four, the seafood pizza was the best, full of flavour. To drink we ordered all four of the Mocktails (Non-alcoholic Cocktails), these went really well with our pizzas.

The Boathouse
We couldn’t resist hiring equipment from the Boathouse after seeing others enjoying the water sports. There are Laser boats, Kayaks and Pedalos, as well as Wind surfing, Water Skiing and other sports. With Pedalos and Kayaks you are able to explore right up the beach to Awali within designated zones.

V.I. Teens Club
Some of our party were very interested in the teens club, immediately they were encouraged by the ‘V.I. Teens Animator’ to get involved with a beach volleyball match during which several other teenagers from other parts of the resort joined. The atmosphere made it easy for everyone to make friends which were especially interesting as they came from all over the world. The ‘Animator’ took suggestions for activities for the following day and followed up with the teenagers schedule at the next breakfast.


http://www.cbeachclub.mu

Heritage Villas Stay

On arriving at Heritage Villas you are welcomed at the Chateau, where you are asked whether you want to have the formalities conducted inside the chateau or in the villa. We were led to our villa and given a complimentary cocktail and cold towel, shown around and were asked when and where we wanted dinner as we were with the Dining Around Package where you are expected to try the different restaurants on the resort.

Having stayed already at Heritage villas previously, our party were interested in the differences and similarities between the villas. The previous villa had been all on the ground floor but this villa had a stunning upstairs Master Bedroom with a view of the sea. Each villa has a different personality due to having different owners, so it’s very unique and intimate in comparison to a hotel experience.

Despite it being winter in Mauritius, some of our party tried out the pool and there was plenty of seating outside around the pool for others to join in whilst staying dry. The art and décor of the villa was tasteful in using delicate neutral colours, perfect for everyone.

From the villa we were able to explore all that Heritage had to offer at Awali, Le Tel Fair, C Beach Club and the Golf Club as the villa comes with a golf buggy which offers you that freedom.

http://www.villasdemaitre.com/hotelinfo.asp?SupplierID=1689 

Design background of St Regis Mauritius Resort Mauritius

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Opening on 15 Sept 2012 the first St Regis Resort in the Indian Ocean – The St Regis Mauritius Resort

The tradition of the St Regis brand and design will merge with the local heritage and regional aesthetics of Mauritius.

Stauch Vorster, an internationally renowned architect and  Trevor Julius interior designer of dsgn were inspired but the  romance of Mauritius colonial past and the location in the shadow of the World Heritage site of Le Morne Mountain on the Southwest tip of the island.

The architects and interior designers have recreated the grandeur, structure and ambience of a 19th century sugar baron’s manor house and historical estate. The legacy of colonial romance, refinement and education of this era matches  perfectly with the St. Regis’ history and vision of the art of living.

The design is the colonial style of grandeur and authenticity with rooms with airy high volumes, huge verandas and colonnades especially in the manor house. No impersonal reception but the feeling that the guests are arriving at a private residence.

Matching the St. Regis values of personalised experiences and discretion, the guest is greeted on arrival by a spectacular view along a colonnade and a personal welcome by a signature St Regis butler.

The remainder of the resort is designed around the manor house, where the restaurants, bars, ballroom and other facilities such as a library and conservatory can be found. Its tropical gardens house within the vast estate the spa, pool, additional restaurants, guest suites and a villa.

The architecture of the manor house and other buildings, such as the boathouse, have been conceived as altered originals, deliberately conjuring the passage of time. History has been preserved in the details, the furnishings have all been carefully collected and selected – no two pieces are the same. It mirrors the habits of the colonial owners who cherished and collected heirlooms associated with their Mauritius ancestors’ rich colonial past, taking in French, Eastern, British and Indian influences.

Delightful to see are the bespoke designs specifically created for particular rooms in the manor house. Toiles and wallpapers reference historical events and central moments in Mauritian history, or aspects of the regional flora, or even details from historical sketchbooks.

The St. Regis Mauritius will host six premier restaurants, each with its own definitive style drawn from a particular aspect of Mauritian heritage and all led by the Hotels’ highly acclaimed French Executive Chef Dominique Blais.

The bar is adorned with a signature mural, a St. Regis trademark. Wood, fabric, rattan and bamboo are the dominant materials used creating the warm atmosphere which takes one back in time.

The guest suites are generous in size and well positioned in order that guests can enjoy the proximity of the beach and spectacular ocean views. The suites flow easily from inside to outside.

The interiors reflect colonial romance with natural materials and a neutral tone-on-tone palette.

The overwhelming impression the resort design and feel is a home away from home, with a perfect romantic touch that perfectly embodies the St. Regis experience.

More details http://www.villasdemaitre.com/hotelinfo.asp?SupplierID=1799

A Journey Somewhere in Time… (Colonial Dream Beach House)

Colonial Dream is not just a wonderful beach house; it is a journey somewhere in time.

This villa is the very last colonial home on the Northern coast of Mauritius. It is also the very first beach home that was built in Pointe aux Canonniers by a prominent figure of the island back then as his “campement” seaside home. The campement at that time was used only one to two months a year, during what was called “la saison”, i.e. when wealthy families gathered to spend the winter months on the coast.

The villa is built in stone with numerous thatched roofs that keep the house cool at all times. The rooms display the white and fresh tones of authentic colonial homes. The furniture is mainly “Compagnie des Indes”, carved in purple palissandre 200 years ago in India, or authentic Mauritian creole furniture made with the sought after local mahogany called “macaque”, now almost extinct in the wild. In the entrance, an XVIIth century baroque altar greets the guests. A bunch of flowers stands on an early XIXth century centre table leading to the endless view towards the reef. A 2000sqft outdoor living area with broad verandahs and a huge deck overlooks the Indian Ocean. The main façade is North oriented, therefore the sun pours in all day long towards the pool whose colours match those of the sea.

The Villa size is 5000sqft (3000 inside + 2000 verandahs and deck) and comprises four bedrooms, four bathrooms (3 en-suite, one adjacent, all with double basins). All the bedrooms display priceless antique furniture including: XIXth century colonial mahogany basin stands, old carved tables and stately four poster beds. The interior is bright and airy, with white linen curtains blowing in the sea breeze, immaculate handmade bed covers and superb Egyptian cotton bed sheets. An authentic modern colonial atmosphere.

Outside, the 10 meters long thatched dining room overlooks the pool and sea and has its own small kitchen area with a sink and a fridge. It faces a huge thatched day bed in white with soft pillows to relax and enjoy the view.

Or maybe you will choose a sun lounger on the deck.

Another favourite spot is in the shade under the veranda in one of the old planters’ armchairs. Colonial bliss.

The white sand beach is exceptionally quiet: you are usually all alone all day long.

The extensive living and dining room houses the authentic Compagnie des Indes furniture sideboard, centre table and pair of Indo-Portuguese influenced liquor chests on pedestal, French dessert sideboard, Mahogany creole table with twisted legs, old Chinese portraits, beautiful caned colonial settee and modern white couch.

Heirlooms included: Compagnie des Indes table, caned XIXth century armchair, antique inlaid European desk, XIXth cent ivory and ebony  inlaid dressing table, British colonial chair coming from the Colonial Assembly, antique chinese chest, early 18th cent local Armoire Normande (one of 3 in Mauritius, one being in the Mahebourg museum) as well as  old style “larder” in beautiful oak with hand painted glass and mirrors.

http://www.villasdemaitre.com/hotelinfo.asp?SupplierID=1786


Rare Indian Ocean Pearl – Exclusive Villas Lencia, Mauritius

Villa Lencia, Mauritius

http://www.villasdemaitre.com/hotelinfo.asp?SupplierID=829

Villas Lencia’s concept is the ultra designer home from home. It’s made up of 4 beautiful villas – Villa #1 being beachfront with a pool and 4 suites and then there are 3 guest villas with 3 suites each as well as their own pool.
The property is the home of an international businessman and art collector where this villa is an expression of his love of Mauritian culture and his taste for art and design.

In a nutshell they are 4 stunning villas with hotel service, concierge, gym and spa right on a private beach.

Ultra Design
Villa #1 is a stunning home in a 1600m2 garden and with a living space of 490m2. Just a few of our favourite features of the property are the 300m2 terrace with two huge Fabio November masks at each end of the heated 75m2 pool as well as the linear frames that house the day beds. Then there is the stunning living area of 120m2 with an open plan kitchen. Additionally the suites with a patio of 60-70m2 are beautiful, as well as the lobby with its library area, the master bedroom with its huge dressing room and bathroom with designer tub. There is also a fully equipped gym and private massage salon.

The interior design includes Henri Pedersen Imola chairs, carpets from Toulemonde Bochat, JLB Litezone and Blacheree Illumination for the lights and Elitis for the walls. The villa also houses a private collection of photographic works by Jean-Daniel Lorieux and Slim Aarons (american photographer of the stars in 70s) and works by artist Pierre Letellier and of other artists; some up and coming such as Christiaan Conradie, Daniel Orme, Paul Senyol, Rezo, Kilmani-Jo, Bagus Rai, Costache, and Allan Tuttle.

Villas 2, 3 and 4 are guest villas of 3 bedrooms en suite in a 600m2 garden and living area of 285m2 with a 85m2 living room and open plan kitchen. The ground floor master suite is 45m2 with a pool patio. The villa terrace is 100m2 with a heated swimming pool of 50m2 and a gazebo of 6m2.
Rental is with breakfast, fully staffed with butler, cook and security 24/7.

I am blown away by the freshness and originality of these new villas. It raises the bar in Mauritius luxury villa rentals. The owner has put his heart into every detail of design and delights us with his personal collections.

http://www.villasdemaitre.com/hotelinfo.asp?SupplierID=829

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