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    We have created this blog to house posts on our knowledge, thoughts and observations of the luxury lifestyles and diverse cultures of Mauritius, Seychelles. Madagascar, Zanzibar, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

    There is so much to experience and so much to share...

    Julie Gauthier

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Restaurant Stars, Shanti Maurice Mauritius (Restaurant Review)

Whilst staying at Shanti Maurice recently, we paid a visit to the Stars restaurant and sat on the deck under the dark velvet sky with twinkling stars.  The culinary influences are South African, but the ingredients are primarily local.

The restaurant uses only the finest and freshest ingredients whether caught from the Ocean or cultivated in their own gardens or sourced from a local farms nearby.

We asked to sit outside where it was easily accessible and upon our arrival the table had already been laid and was ready right next to the pool. The menu was a delight and we had problems deciding….

Early Flavours were the starters and  

From the Water Gods 

Sea Bass Tiradito         sliced raw seabass in a spicy citrus dressing, coriander and avocado guacamole

Stars Tuna Tartare      garlic, ginger, balsamic and miso infused crab and egg fritatta

Marlin Carpaccio        fresh marlin carpaccio with hearts of palm and olive and lemon and basil emulsion

Braised Octopus             salad of braised octopus with lemongrass spiced gazpacho

Wasabi Prawns from Mozambique       wasabi coated prawns with sweet papaya salsa

Seafood Broth with Coconut                  south east asian seafood soup with lemongrass and mushrooms

Salted Chili Squid        squids in a crispy tempura batter sea salt  and garlic  chili sauce

I choose the salted chili Squid whilst Hans chose the Wasabi Prawns from Mozambique

Hans really enjoyed his prawns but I was a bit disappointed with the squid which was a bit bland.

For the second course we had many choices:

From the farm:

Venison “Tataki”    venison loin with rosemary soya glaze

Beet root Carpaccio and Mozzarella Tempura       mustard grains dressing

Bobotie     Cape Malay curried beef casserole with raisins and apple chutney

Mojo Chicken from Souilliac   pan roasted chicken breast  in a citrus marination  with oregano

served with fried banana and sour cream

Five Spiced Pork Belly   crispy tongue and  chorizo braised cabbage

Tandoori Baby Chicken roasted with  tandoori  marination and served  with crispy tapioca

Braised Black Pepper Beef Cheek  sticky yam mash

Simmered Karoo Lamb Shank  in soya and sichuan pepper broth, with barley risotto, christophine

and green peas

From the Water Gods

Seafood Skewer      lime, garlic & chili flavored seafood skewer mixed beans and garden herbs

Grilled Tuna Mi-cuit    confit onion ,bacon and saffron veloute

Oven roasted Seabass   anchovy butter crumbs, olives and roasted mediterranean roots

Ginger Poached Ombrine   slow poached  in a ginger broth, sesame oil , spring onions and steamed rice

Pan Seared ‘Catch of the Day’  seafood laksa , bok choy and mushrooms

Desserts

Baked Vanilla Yoghurt   vanilla infused baked yoghurt with strawberry and balsamic compote 

Sweet Papaya and Passion Fruit Bake    sabayon of sugarcane  and rum

Madagascar Chocolate Snicker Bar    brownie, ganache, caramel ,toffee mousse and roasted

macadamia  nuts

Lemon Tart   tart with rodrigues lemon curd accompanied with lemon thyme sorbet

Coconut Shell      With coconut mousse, sorbet, crunchy flakes and coconut rum

Selection of Homemade Ice Creams & Sorbets

Coffee

Mauritian Coffee     mauritian vanilla rum, hot coffee,  sugar, double cream

Calypso Coffee      kahlua, hot coffee, sugar, double cream

Irish Coffee    irish whiskey, hot coffee, sugar, double cream

Café Coretto     grappa, hot coffee, sugar, double cream

Review

Staff– Friendly, knowledgable and efficient

Food– Delicious, skillfully prepared, innovative and just the right quantity

Atmosphere– The restaurant is trendy and relaxed. We arrived early when just a few tables were occupied but soon we were joined by many others and there was a feeling of mutual appreciation for the culinary delights.

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Top 5 Seychelles Gourmet Hotels

Gourmet Experiences

Echoing the grand assortment of people who populate Seychelles, Creole cuisine features the subtleties and nuances of French cooking, the exoticism of Indian dishes and the piquant flavours of the Orient. Here are the top 5 Seychelles Luxury hotels offering the best gourmet experiences: 

Le Domaine de l’Orangeraie in La Digue

Enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of La Digue Le Domaine de l’Orangerie offers all day dining.

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Le Combava Restaurant
Le Combava, which means kaffir lime, is an exquisitely designed roof terrace lounge serving à la carte food only. This epicurean delight serves up the finest meals using the freshest ingredients only, for an upbeat and sophisticated culinary experience.

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Santosha Restaurant
Serves popular international fare and local Creole specialties in eclectic mix live cooking style and buffet with the “Catch of the day”. The outside deck graciously overlooks the Indian Ocean and the crystal clear waters for alfresco dining. The breathtaking view of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean will whet your appetite, marking an exquisite and memorable dinner.

Raffles in Praslin

Combining the best of the local culture and cuisine with dishes from around the world.

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Losean Restaurant
Virtual Tour

Meaning ‘ocean’ in Creole, Losean is open for breakfast and dinner. It features regular themed buffets including colourful Mediterranean, Creole, seafood, and barbecue evenings with live entertainment. There is outdoor and indoor seating, and a garden view. Specialties include roast lamb on the spit, wood-burning pizza oven, whole fish, paella, and cookery classes for resident guests.

Curieuse Seafood Restaurant
Virtual Tour

Named after the nearby island, Curieuse this seafood restaurant offers a breezy, island-chic atmosphere in a relaxed and casual venue. It has outdoor and covered seating areas to keep you close to the beautiful environment and private pavilions available for romantic dinners. Indian Ocean seafood and grill, with meat specialties also available, and an international wine list; vegetarian diets and special requests always accommodated.

Denis Island

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Whether it is breakfast in bed or romantic candle-lit dinner on the beach – the night sky your only roof, an intimate table for two on the deck of your own villa, or dinner in the terrace dining room, the refined cuisine of Denis Private Island is nothing short of tantalizing.
The chef prepares daily the most succulent dishes, creative and extensive buffets with live cooking stations fresh from the island’s estate and fished from the surrounding seas for breakfast and lunch. And in the evenings, Creole speciality night, barbecues on the beach, sushi and sashimi prepared from the day’s catch. Another highlight is the elegantly- presented five-course table d’hôte dinners in the dining room or around the pool deck. Before and after dinner, staying open well into the night, the well-stocked bar provides the meeting point for a tête-à-tête or to get to know your fellow guests.

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Constance Ephelia

Constance Ephelia Resort of Seychelles has five restaurants and bars. Each outlet has its own individual concept, design and décor, thereby maximizing  the possibilities in terms of culinary and bar experiences. Our little gourmets are also well catered for with different menus to appeal to different ages – including gourmet baby food.

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Corossol “Live”
Corossol “Live” is the main half board buffet restaurant on South Beach. The main focus is the live cuisine creating interaction between the chefs and the guests. The buffet offers different sections – an Asian station with wok and Tandoori station, as well as Asian noodles, central station featuring a beautiful pizza oven, pasta station, grill and plancha, to name just a few.

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Helios “Mediterranean” Buffet restaurant 

A casual chic restaurant on the South beach with its main feature being a large wood-burning oven. Open for lunch and based on a buffet service with influences from the South of France, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Lebanon, etc… Tapas, mezze, antipasti, are followed by thin and crispy pizzas, whole fishes and dishes baked in the oven in cast iron dishes. A wide range of creative pasta is also on offer. For desserts, “Helios” boasts a selection of creative ice creams and sundaes. Tea/pancake and ice-cream service from 15h00 to 17h00. Open for dinner for special evenings only.

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Adam & Eve…“Ethnic Grill” A la carte grill on South Beach
The à la carte restaurant on the South Beach. Its open kitchen offers a selection of creative salads, a large selection of skewers and quality meats and fish dishes grilled or cooked “à la plancha” in front of the guests. Another speciality of this restaurant is the “native” breads that are prepared and cooked on site and served with their local signature “chutney”. Beach Menu available between 12h00 to 17h00. Open for dinner for special themed evenings.

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Cyann

Cyann “Signature cuisine” is a speciality à la carte restaurant with on North Beach
Cyann is the “haute cuisine” restaurant of the resort, unique in its concept and design. Located at the bottom of the Hillside villas, this restaurant offers a beautiful view over Port Launay marine park. Casual chic for lunch, the restaurant turns into an elegant and refined venue in the evening. Cyann proposes a selection of signature dishes combining French culinary techniques with the lightness and flavours of local and Asian influences. A sushi bar, situated near the pool, offers the best quality fish for lunch and dinner. The Chef’s table experience, allows guests to enjoy the action of the kitchen, as well as a specially created menu. Open for lunch from 12h00 to 15h00. Beach Menu available between 12h00 to 17h00. Open for dinner from 19h30 to 22h30.

Seselwa “Cuisine des Iles”

Casual all day à la carte restaurant  on North Beach. Seselwa is a casual and popular outlet, with a lively ambiance and facing the gorgeous North Beach. Designed with white furniture and brightly coloured cushions, it evokes freshness and the festive spirit of Seychelles. Breakfast is served buffet style. At lunch and dinner, Creole specialities are proposed and the freshest seafood is grilled in front of the guests on the central grill. Flavours of the Islands and the very best ingredients are the words that best describe the Seselwa culinary style. Open for breakfast on a buffet style with à la carte options. Open for lunch from 12h00 to 15h00. Beach Menu available between 12h00 to 17h00. Open for dinner from 19h30 to 22h30.

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Four Seasons Seychelles on Mahe

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RESTAURANT ZEZ

Zez boasts spectacular ocean and sunset views from the top of the hillside.

The breakfast buffet takes you on a journey around the world. Our favourite was the three-egg omelette with crab meat, accompanied with potatoes and tomatoes. Waffles, whipped cream, maple syrup, green banana sauce and french toast, caramelised pineapple, cinnamon, maple syrup

Dinner is a contemporary interpretation of intercontinental cuisine, as well as delicate preparations of local fish.  Specialities to be found are Fines de Claires Oysters, Sautéed Foie Gras, Vanilla Glazed Lobster Tail and Premium beef.

APPETISERS

Fines de Claires Oysters – Half Dozen, Shallots Vinegar, Cocktail Sauce
Yellow Fin Tuna Tartare with Avocado, Mango Coulis
Slow-Roasted Pork Belly with Red Wine Braised Cabbage, White Bean Cassoulet
Sautéed Foie Gras with Takamaka Rum and Banana Flambé, Cinnamon Croûtons
Prawns Al Ajillo with Tomato, Garlic, Potatoes Sautéed
Veal Sweetbread with Eggplant and Tomato Ragout, Crispy Potato
Beef Carpaccio – US Beef Tenderloin, Truffle-Lemon Dressing, Seasonal Greens
Rocket Salad with Fresh Figs, Prosciutto, Pomegranate Vinaigrette Lobster Carpaccio with Baby Greens, Champagne Dressing Caprese Salad – Tomato, Buffalo Mozzarella, Balsamic Reduction
Mixed Vegetable Salad – Bell Peppers, Cucumbers, Mango, Radicchio, Endive, Violet Mustard Vinaigrette

SOUP

Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho with Garlic Croûton, Zucchini Wrap
Creamy Seafood Chowder – Bacon, Shrimp, Scallops, Mussels, Red Snapper
Mushroom Soup with Quail Ravioli, Truffle Foam

MAINS

FISH AND SEAFOOD
Red Snapper with Potatoes, Green Beans, Black Olive Tapenade
Job Fish – Pan-seared, Fava Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, Lemon Preserve Sauce
Mahi Mahi with Lentil Salad, Red Wine Tomato Dressing
Vanilla-Glazed Lobster Tail with Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus, Lobster Emulsion
Seafood Cioppino – Prawns, Octopus, Lobster, Grouper, Garlic Bread

MEAT AND POULTRY
Herb-Crusted Lamb Chops with Potato Croquette, Caramelised Fennel, Mint-Rosemary Reduction
Boneless Beef Short Ribs with Potato Gratin, Haricot Verts, Braising Jus
Angus Beef Tenderloin – Grilled, with Truffle Mashed Potato, Sautéed Spinach, Thyme Jus
Stuffed Chicken Breast with Spinach, Pine Nuts, Tomato, Creamy Mascarpone Polenta
Duck Confit Risotto with Morel Mushrooms, Crispy Parmesan Cheese

VEGETARIAN
Vegetable and Potato Mille-Feuille with Caramelised Onions, Sautéed Spinach, Tomato, White Bean Ragout
Saffron Risotto with Seasonal Mushroom Ragout

DESSERT
Roasted Pineapple with Coconut-Vanilla Ice Cream
Tiramisu
Strawberry Macaroon with Yogurt-Ginger Sorbet
Churros with a Duo of Toffee and Vanilla Sauce
Citrus Salad with Orange Short Bread and Calamansi Sorbet
Trio of Gelato – Berries, Pistachio, Orange, Hazelnut, Mocha, Lemon, Stracciatella

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Restaurant Kannel

Stylish yet informal, Kannel serves Creole and international fare, featuring a variety of fresh fish and seafood. Enjoy its beach-side location, stunning open-air setting and spectacular views of the water.

APPETISERS

Mediterranean Salad – Tomato, Bell Pepper, Avocado, Cucumber, Onion, Feta Cheese, Coriander, Crispy Bread, Olive Oil and White Vinegar Dressing

Grilled Asparagus with Mixed Bean Salad, Egg and White Balsamic Dressing

Scallop Fritters with Salsa Verde and Avocado Dip

Niçoise Salad with Soft Poached Egg

Caesar Salad – Romaine Lettuce, Crispy Bacon, Toast, Egg and Caesar Dressing

With Grilled Chicken

With Grilled Prawns

Grilled Octopus Skewer with Sweet Chili Glaze

Tuna Tartare with Spicy Okra Salad

Sliced Raw Fish Marinated in Coconut Dressing with Crab and Spring Onion Cakes

Thai-Style Beef Salad with Tomato, Spring Onion, Cucumber, Coriander, Fresh Chili and Garlic

SOUPS

Spicy Lentil Soup

Ginger Fish Soup with Coconut Milk

Wild Mushroom Soup

MAIN COURSES

Penne Pasta with Tomato Tuna Bolognese

Linguine Al Olio with Green Vegetables and Parmesan

Reef Fish Slow-Cooked Creole-Style with Palm Heart Pickle

Mixed Seafood Grill with Arugula and Baby Spinach Salad

Whole Grilled Catch of the Day with Green Papaya Salad and Creole Rice

Steamed Red Grouper in Light Soy Broth with Wok-Fried Bok Choy

Grilled Beef Sirloin with French Fries and Béarnaise Sauce

Lamb Cutlets with Biryani Rice, Masala Potatoes and Onion Raitta

Oven-Roast Pork Loin with Spicy Honey and Stir-Fried Noodles with Pineapple

Creole – Curry Served with Local Chutney and White Rice

With Prawns

With Chicken

With Fish

Creole Dishes

DESSERTS

Vanilla Pannacotta with Exotic Fruit and Mango Sorbet

Pineapple Crumble and Lime-Piña Colada Sorbet

Passion Fruit Crème Brûlée

Warm Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream

Tapioca with Coconut Milk and Banana Marinated in Rum

Creamy Chocolate with Raspberries and Lychee Sorbet

Homemade Ice Creams and Sorbets

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

Websitefrontpage

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.

Butler Service at Heritage Villas

Always arriving exhausted at the villa and with a family stay to organise I am always to pleased to meet the smiling butler who can make sure I, the hostess, has a stressfree and relaxing stay. I have enjoyed the service of the Heritage butlers during both of my stays and admire their enthusiasm and hard work. Their presence is a major part of the villa holiday and they represent to me the genuine  Mauritius hospitality – always friendly but not over familiar, willing to adapt to any situation and the natural desire to be of help and to please their guests.

Villa Welcome by Rischi in Sept 2011

WHEN YOU ARRIVE, THE BUTLER WILL ….
_ Ensure accommodation is ready
_ Assist you during check in and accompany you in your villa
_ Offer to unpack luggage
_ Offer beverage service
_ Take note of any requirements you may have on arrival

DURING YOUR STAY,THE BUTLER WILL …
_ Take bookings for breakfast, lunch and dinner
_ Handle your laundry, dry cleaning or pressing requests
_ Liaise with housekeeping for the cleaning and servicing of the villa
_ Offer to draw a scented bubble bath
_ Offer general assistance related to bookings and stay’s organization
_ Tidy your wardrobe
_ Ensure that your villa is maintained in perfect condition
_ Check and restock villa bar if applicable
_ Offer food and beverage service
_ Drive you to hotels or beach
_ From time to time adjust cleaning in your villa
_ Fill your dish washer or washing machine if necessary
_ Follow up on any specific requirements with the concierge team

UPON DEPARTURE, THE BUTLER WILL ….
_ Offer to pack your luggage
_ Present your account in advance of check out
_ Arrange transport requirements
_ Coordinate luggage pick up
_ Tidy your wardrobe
_ Escort you to the Welcome Centre lobby
_ Check your villa for any item you may have forgotten

Butler Service
Butler Service Rs 2520 per villa per day
A butler will be available for a maximum of 8 persons in the villa

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

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

Life is Magnifique – Sofitel So Mauritius Spa

During my recent stay at Sofitel So Mauritius I had the delight to visit and enjoy the spa acclaimed to be the best in the Indian Ocean. I simply had to try it for myself.

Lush vegetation, a turquoise lagoon, quietly flowing stream…Sofitel So Mauritius stands on the south coast of the island in one of nature’s most glorious settings.

I had a guided tour around the spa facilities and was seduced by the idea of a spa in luxuriant tropical vegetation; where they use ancient traditions from around the world mixed with the refinement and skill of the latest French cosmetology. I felt a window in my busy agenda was calling me to rid myself of the stresses and strains of daily life and I could awaken my senses. I modestly booked a long overdue facial and found myself in for 90 minutes of pure pampering. I must say at this point I did consider the Claret Coquet Method … An acupuncture natural lifting therapy with hundreds of gold needles but felt I would just go for the “nourish my body, nourish my soul”.

I loved the idea of the seasons, organic ingredients and the Chinese therapies; I was not disappointed.

The treatments were presented in a typically French manner as a gastronomic menu and I want to share them with you.

Specialite du chef 

Hisbiscus therapy. 90 mins

Body scrub & wrap, full massage

STARTERS 30 mins

Aromatic bath

Relaxing or energising with Bel Ombré aromas

Natural scrub

Rice powder, coconut, papaya, Hisbiscus powder

Natural wrap

Coconut milk, papaya, pineapple

Main dishes

Follow the season beauty biorhythm.

Interesting they call Mauritian Summer Season from Oct to March and Tropical Summer from April to September.

Personalised consultation based on Chinese Medicine

MAURITIAN SUMMER

drain, refresh, sooth with Green tomato and geranium essences

Choice of

Tonic one soothing Summer experiences

season’s body scrub followed by an energetic massage

Sensory Summer journey

gentle facial scrub,organic mask followed by a face massage

TROPICAL WINTER

Nourish the body, stimulate your cells with vanilla, pumpkin, borage essences

Choice of

Invigorating or relaxing Tropical Winter Experience Season’s Body Scrub followed by energetic massage

Tropical Escape

Gentle facial scrub and organic mask, followed by a face massage

I was recommended the latter and followed Premila to a very private treatment room with its very own changing room with shower, basin and toiler. No need for lockers and robes. The decor was bright and fresh, lots of white with a bit of wood and lots of daylight and tropical foliage. As I was lying down with my eyes closed most of the time, this is all I can recall. Premila examined in French every step of the treatment… From the various processes involved in the facial to the Chinese massage of my arms and the massage of my feet. During the 90 minutes I was fascinated and entranced by the whole process. I wondered how I would feel and look afterwards.

Continuing with the menus there are additional well-being main courses:

Indoors meets outdoors hand and with body scrub

Bel Ombre Aroma massage

Verviers, citrus fruit, sandalwood essential oils

herbal poultice massage with spices and flower seeds

Abhyanga massage ( Ayurvedic massage to sooth and balance the body)

Anti jet lag massage

Yoga Tai Chi Qi Gong

Sessions on the beach, in your private garden or in the yoga pavilion

Finally…. the Desserts

Head massage – Simply divine! you need it

Express Body massage – Well being secret for those who are always on the go

Tasty manicure and gourmandises

30 or 60 mins for perfect hands

Happy pedicure and tropical cocktails

30 or 60 mins For perfect feet

Foot reflexology

60 mins

SENSORY SPA JOURNEYS

4 days

Shh…total detox

Day 1 indoors meets outdoors hammam with body scrub, body wrap and body care day 2 Seasons beauty Mauritius summer or tropical winter experience face and body Day 3 Body massage, head massage happy pedicure day 4 Abhyanga massage and private yoga session

Hi! get Deep Energy

day 1 Shiatsu massage and reflexology

Day 2 Natural scrub and herbal poultice massage Day 3 Seasons Beauty MAuritius Summer or tropical winter experience face and body day 4 enviro rating walk by the beach & yoga session & scalp massage

Ahhh….Be relaxed

day 1 Private Qi Quong session and outdoor feet reflexology
Day 2 aromatic bath & Abhyanga massage & scalp massage Day 3 Seasons beauty day 4 Tasty manicure and happy pedicure

WOW… Anti ageing

Day 1 Hisciscus therapy full body scub wrap and massage
Day 2 body massage with be, ombré aromas and reflexology
Day 3 season beauty aroma massage and season beauty facial
Day 4 Natiral lifting acupuncture session “the golden needles of Celine” and tasty manicure

HUMM… Just the two of us

day 1 )hammam with body scrub and anti stress massage
Day 2 aromatic bath and aromatic massage and head massage

Breakfast at Anahita, Mauritius

One of my favourite  interests when staying in resorts like Anahita is witnessing the imagination chefs put into their breakfast menu. Some really understand the joy of starting the day with a culinary adventure which is both exciting and healthy. During my past trip to Mauritius I was wowed by the breakfast bar at Anahita and just wanted to share it with you.

The spread was varied and catered for all tastes including the traditional English buffet breakfast spread, delicious pastries and beautiful fruits & cereals. There was a chef on one area of the bar who would whip up fresh pancakes right in front of you with a wide selection of jams, syrups and toppings; an exciting and special experience especially for any guests with young children.

The selection from the juice bar is impressive with local specialities such as Frangourin (Juice of Sugar Cane) and Tamarin Juice. Well worth a try! The Eggs from the farm are local from the estate and you are given the choice of every type of egg done to perfection, we tried out the boiled egg with farmhouse bread for a difference and the taste was sublime.

As you can see from the A La Carte menu below, there is a huge range of choice and if you’re anything like me, you’ll relish trying out all the different options over the course of your stay. You are also given the choice to eat inside or outside looking over the lagoon. The beach and kids club are just next door so there’s no need to go back to your room, the day is yours!

Bravo Anahita! I look forward to my next visit.

 

Juice Bar

Fresh juice
Orange, grapefruit, pineapple, apple, melon,citrus

Mauritian savours
Citronella (lemon grass), frangourin (juice of sugar cane), coconut water, tamarin juice

Fruits and vegetables

Red alert: beetroot, carrot, orange, spinach

Clean sweep: carrot,celeriac, apples, ginger

Zen attitude: ginseng. ginger, passion fruit, cucumber

Traditional

Alluda, lassi, cold milk 0%, gombova ice tea, soya milk

The ‘Must’

Buck’s fizz , Bloody Mary, fresh fruits and sherbet, macaroon and boudoirs

A LA CARTE

Eggs from the farm

Scramble: truffle caviar or smoked marlin
Benedict: on muffins with hollandaise sauce
Over easy: roasted tomato, grilled musroom and backed beans
Boiled: at your choice with farmhouse bread
Omelette of your choice: Plain, Chives, onion, tomato, ham, coriander, mushroom, cheese, chili or smoked marlin

Coldcuts
Coppa, mortadella, ham and chorizo

Delicatessen
Chicken salami, chicken sausages, beef sausages, Turkey bacon

Cheese
Brie, cheddar, emmental, goat cheese, Roquefort

Mauritian speciality
Chilli bites, eggplant fritters, vegetable samoussa

or

Stuffed roti with peas stew and coconut chutney

Breakfast at Chateau de Bel Ombre

I am definitely a morning person who really appreciates a thoughtful and exciting breakfast menu which was what we were treated to in Chateau de Bel Ombre whilst staying at Heritage Villas. One either sits inside the chateau itself or on its exquisite terrace looking over the fountains and golf course.

The tables were beautifully laid with lovely white porcelaine. We were seated on the terrace and began our breakfast taking in the vista. All started well with coffee for me and a pot of hot chocolate for Jasmine.

Especially for guests on a week’s stay the menu had plenty of choice:

Baker basket
Cereal
Yoghurt
Fruit platter
Eggs- fried eggs, scrambled burrito, eggs benedict,
Mama Creole omlette (fluffy omlette with green chili, scallions, pomme d’amour, peppers)
Eggs, hash brown and bacon
Onions served with grilled lamb kofkas
Steak N Egg burger

Kids choice
Buttermik pancakes with chocolate sauce, local honey, red fruit coulis or nutella
scrambled egg on toast with boerwoerst

 

I am however always disappointed when breakfast is served in the wrong order; such as when the yogurt or cereal arrive after the cooked breakfast or the pastry basket is taken away when the cooked breakfast arrives! Everyone enjoys this meal in their own way and I wished the staff would have simply asked, if that is not the case if you are staying I would urge you to make it clear in which order you would like it in before it begins.

Otherwise our experience at Chateau Bel Ombre was excellent. I chose the Mama Creole omelette and savored the spicy delights of Mauritius a highlight of my day and Jasmine chose her favorite eggs, hash brown and bacon.

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

Restaurant Gin’ja, Heritage Le Telfair Mauritius (Restaurant review)

Whilst staying recently at Heritage Villas, we paid a visit to Heritage Le Telfair Mauritius where we had dinner at the famous restaurant Gin’ja. The restaurant which serves innovative Pan-Asian fusion cuisine gave us an elegant fine dining experience with a range of exotic flavours and creative combinations.

We were welcomed enthusiastically and shown our table near the teppanyaki corner. We were left constantly pleasantly surprised as we were not choosing from the menu but given a selection of their best dishes which I have listed below in the menu.

Every dish brought us excitement which only increased as we tasted our way through the surprise menu. There were touches of genius all evening such as the delicious steamed buns before and during our meal with exotic dips, as well as the innovative vanilla tempura icecream which melted in our mouths.

We loved how you could also watch the chef prepare the dishes through a glass window near our table; it let us join in with the creation of the food as well as the tasting. You effectively sit outside looking out onto the water under a roof with dimmed lights which really adds to the atmosphere of the restaurant.

We cannot wait to return and taste more of their impressive inspired cusine!

Review

Staff– Friendly, knowledgable and efficient

Food– Delicious, skillfully prepared, innovative and just the right quantity

Atmosphere– The restaurant is trendy and relaxed. We arrived early when just a few tables were occupied but soon we were joined by many others and there was a feeling of mutual appreciation for the culinary delights.

– Menu –

Starter

Gin’ja delicate platter
Assorted sushi maki, Peking duck with tangy hoisin sauce, jumbo tiger prawn tempura

Main course

Duo platter delicious teryaki beef tenderloin, miso glazed ombrine fish with sauteed baby bok choy and green tea sweet potato

Dessert

Vanilla tempura ice cream with warm cardamon chocolate sauce


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

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