This little piece of paradise is located in the Indian Ocean, 2,000 miles off the southeast coast of Africa. A nation of immigrants, many of which are from India. The official language of the island is English, however, more people speak French and Mauritian Creole. A good portion of the island is surrounded by an outer reef, which creates deeply calm and piercingly-blue lagoons for swimming and water sports. This also creates a safety net for water sport enthusiasts who have a fear of sharks. With amazing white sand beaches, stunning blue water, mountains, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and so much more packed in one country, you won’t run out of things to see in Mauritius.
Now I couldn't imagine going to Mauritius and not staying at one of those world-famous luxury resorts, So I scanned the internet a little and in no time this breathtaking resort caught my eye.
The Residence, Mauritius- is a luxury hotel situated on a beautiful white sand beach on the east coast of the island. The decor of this property is chic and colonial, perfect for a celebratory getaway, a destination wedding, a romantic retreat or a family holiday. Set on the beachfront of Belle Mare, it nestles amongst hundreds of palm trees within luscious tropical gardens.
Spread over 25 acres of lush tropical gardens in full bloom is a fittingly grandiose facade of the lobby with colonnades, under a high, arched ceiling that overlooks a lagoon-like pool beyond which an ultramarine sea paints a mesmerizing picture while blending into the skies of eternity. Cleverly combining the charm of a bygone era - Asian antiques, chaise longues, nostalgic sepia prints and cream beach parasols - with a cool classical elegance that never goes out of style, this resort is a delicious treat with a side serving of the scent of ylang ylang floating in the air.
Checked in to the Colonial Ocean Front Suite, it was nothing less than 1249 square feet of pure elegance! A majestic room with a four poster bed, and spacious bathroom with a separate bathtub and shower cabin, walk-in closet, coiffeuse. A tastefully decorated living room that opens out into a large, beautiful balcony furnished with elegant wooden chairs, a table and sun beds and luscious ocean views.
I started my stay at this lovely resort with a lovely sea food buffet dinner that came with some intriguing Sega dance show. And then there was my birthday, I brought it in with the warm, kind-hearted team of The Plantation Restaurant who decorated a pretty little cake for me and sang for me as I blew on the candles.
I spent the next day out at the sea, the resort provides water sports like water skiing, windsurfing, hobie cat, glass bottom boat, paddle boat, snorkelling, canoeing, kayaking, deep sea fishing, catamaran cruise, undersea walk and what not! I started with kayaking. Slide in a kayak and discover the beauty of the lagoon, the bright sandy beaches, the clear blue skies laced with cotton candy clouds, and stop in the middle of the calm ocean to admire the Mauritius mainland from afar!
Then I went back to the Resort's Plantation restaurant for a special cooking class by the sea. It was amazingly calming and therapeutic for my soul. Led by The Plantation’s chefs, this fun session taught me how to make a palm heart salad and how to cook delicious Prawns curry flavoured with authentic Mauritian spices.
And then I headed out for my first ever underwater sea walking experience where I got to explore the rich, mesmerizing sea life. Exploring the reef and walking amongst the beautiful sea life had me grinning from ear to ear at the happiness of almost living my mermaid fantasy!
Next, I hit the spa. The stunning Sanctuary Spa is a tranquil dream like space uniquely located underneath the hotel. The wonderful sensation of renewal and rejuvenation soaks your senses as soon as you enter this lovely area. The facilities include eight treatment rooms, a gym, a sauna and a steam room, and the highly-trained therapists offer a wide-choice of treatments and custom-made treatments using products of luxury French brand CARITA, whose exclusive “Haute Beauté” concept works magic in bringing out your natural radiance and lustre. I opted for a deep tissue massage with a relaxing blend of aromatic oils. Needless to say, I walked out smelling like heaven and walking on the clouds!
The next day the hotel concierge helped me plan a trip to the south of Mauritius to cover the most amazing tourist spots on that route. We started at the Trou aux Cerfs. Located in Curepipe, this is a dormant volcano with a well-defined cone and crater. The top of the volcano provides a good view of the crater and also of the surrounding countryside if the weather is nice. The islands were formed from Volcanic activity so it is a good idea to see the centre of one of the volcano up close and safe.
Then we headed to the Black River Gorges National Park: to witness the Alexandra Falls. The Alexandra Falls viewpoint is found on the central plateau. It is a part of the Black River Gorges. You first cross a charming little path, with some trees around and picnic tables. You cross a little river, go up a couple of stairs, and the scenery is absolutely amazing! Alexandra falls and Cascade 500 pieds can both be viewed from here.
Our next stop was Ganga Talao. Commonly known as Grand Bassin in Mauritius, this is a beautiful crater lake, about 550 metres above sea level, located in the mountainous Southwest district of Savanne. On the shoreline sits a temple along with a collection of small shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and other gods. Ganga Talao is a major draw of crowds in Mauritius, with many people visiting the site to pray, meditate, play with the local monkeys, or simply to walk by the lake and enjoy the gorgeous surrounding views. The lake of Ganga Talao is thought to be around 18 meters deep and is teeming with a healthy population of fish and eels.
The next day was a trip to Port Louis. We started at the Tien Tan Chinese Pagoda. Found at the foot of the Signal Mountain, the Tien Tan Chinese Pagoda is a gorgeous building with a very nice architecture. The place looks rather secluded but is very well maintained with a beautiful garden of flowers.
Next was a trip to Fort Adelaide. Named after the Queen Adelaide, the fort had been built between 1834 and 1840, under the direction of William IV. At 240 ft. above sea level, Fort Adelaide, also known as 'La Citadelle' has historically fulfilled the strategic purpose of guarding the harbour against enemy attacks and fires that broke in the city. A ride uphill to Fort Adelaide, will guarantee you a breathtaking view of the city of Port Louis, nestled at the foot of the Port Louis / Moka mountain ranges and stretching towards the habour.
Talking about views, the one from Marie Reine de la Paix is hard to miss. This is an open church on the side of Signal mountain, where you have a beautiful panoramic view of Port-Louis. If you want to reach the actual monument, prepare your feet for a climb up a fair amount of steps though! But once at the top, just allow yourself to relax and take in the absolutely gorgeous scenery. Benches are scattered here and there too if you just feel like admiring the view from one of them. The constructions started in May 1940 and was inaugurated in August of the following year. The 3m white marble statue represents Mary holding a world globe.
Our last stop in Port Louis was Le Caudan Waterfront, where one could grab a drink, take a walk along the harbour, watch the latest movie, enjoy a meal, try one’s luck at the casino or just enjoying shopping.
The highlight for me was definitely the umbrella street which I loved, the brightly coloured umbrellas shade the street and definitely provide for every traveller's dream pictures!
All I wanted to do on the last day was stay in at the resort, take a dip in the pool, walk by the beach, eat the fresh catch of the day at The Plantation, soak in a rose petal bubble bath, pack with the help of the butler assigned to me, and head out to the sea again to nurture my mermaid fetish!
Yes, I went snorkeling! Look out for angel fish, damselfish, parrotfish, wrasse, clownfish and other colourful creatures, plus various types of habitat such as mangroves, algae gardens, sea grasses and corals.