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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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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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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!

Subscootering, Mauritius

Many of our party thought we would never do any Scuba diving, let alone something called Subscootering. From afar it seems like an odd choice for an underwater experience with so many other things on offer on the island. With Blue Safari, we were welcomed and briefed on our morning schedule.

From a jetty we were taken by boat out to a Subscootering Platform beyond the lagoon. Wet suits were given out and there were changing rooms, toilets and showers on board. All dressed and ready to go, you put on some of their plastic shoes to protect our feet. There are two people per scooter, one driving the scooter and another having more of an observational experience. The word scooter suggests a high speed experience, whereas it is a fairly slow moving vehicle and there is plenty of time to observe your surroundings.

You climb aboard the vehicle, are shown how to drive and practice the hand signals for different communications for when underwater, as the diver guiding you can obviously not hear. However, you can communicate with ease with your partner in the scooter, from your anxieties to your observations which our party found a valuable part of the experience. If you would like to record your experiences underwater you must ensure you have an underwater camera as on the vehicle you are not able to photograph with a regular camera.

At first it was a shock, but as none of our party had ever done any diving before, this could possibly account for it. Not long after popping our ears and getting deeper into the water, we encountered shoals of different fish; below us we could see coral as we floated past.

Our guide left to return to the surface for a second and returned with bread, all the fish around us ran towards him. He gestured for us to give him our hand and he passed us a lump of bread so we could feed the fish ourselves. Muchlike any animal feeding experience, it was strange, it tickled and yet we all enjoyed it.

On coming to the surface, we felt very heavy as the wetsuits were filled with water and we’d been used to the lightness in the water but we all had smiles on our faces. Once you’d peeled off the wet suits, you were welcomed with a drink of your choice once you were dry. Definitely a great experience for anyone who is interested in scuba diving but either doesn’t have the confidence or has problems with swimming. You will definitely always remember this experience!

Casela Nature & Leisure Park

The Casela Nature & Leisure Park was stunning in the blazing heat and, as most Mauritians know, it has expanded to much more than an aviary. The birds take up the majority of what can now be called a Zoo but the newest features such as the fishing and petting zoo are the most enchanting due to their interaction with the park visitors; especially children.

The birds are in multitude of several species of varying endangerment from many tropical climates around the world. The descriptions are in both English and French which was very helpful and there is plenty of useful information, infographics and maps. The birds are accompanied by the solemn tortoises that roam around an open area where you can walk right up to them and take pictures.

The petting zoo is one of the most wonderful places where you can feed the animals with the available feed or baby milk bottles. The animals here are not just the typical farmyard animals but feature (at the time of our visit) a very tame zebra, several deer, a few ostrich and a few animals more commonly seen worldwide such as farmbirds and goats. Having a young deer eat or drink from directly out of your hands is captivating for anyone, child or adult.

The Tilapia fishing was another great experience to share with a group. You’re equipped with equipment similar to the average fisherman of this island paradise and have a small, safe body of water to catch fish in. Most of it is luck and patience but two of us managed to catch fish and, despite having to return it to the water, we felt very accomplished.

The hilltop restaurant that looks over most of the park and Mauritian country-side features a vast, mouth-watering selection of food, including some of the best of Mauritian and Indian-Ocean cuisine.  There are plenty more activities such as the safari (via Bus, Jeep, Quad-bike or Segway) for the more adventurous but we found there was plenty of fascinating animals and experiences to be had otherwise.

http://www.caselayemen.mu/

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 In-villa Dining BBQ

One of the best experiences for everyone at Heritage was the In-Villa Dining BBQ. Chefs and waiters come to your villa and prepare the food. Whilst you start your dinner you can see the chef barbequing the meat infront of you; the smells are just as much part of the taste of the meal.

First crudités and salad with freshly prepared dressings decorated the table. First coming of the main course the beef steaks which melted in your mouth like butter. Then, accompanied by a special Barbeque sauce, came the Lamb Shanks which were equally tender and delicious. After this was the culinary pinacle and final main dish, the giant Indian Ocean Prawns were fluffy and generously flavoursome.

The dessert was a beautiful trio of Chocolate Mousse with Citrus Curd, Tiramisu and Tropical Fruit Kebab. Once we had had our coffees to finish, we met the chefs and applauded them enthusiastically as we had a fantastic meal.

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 

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


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

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