Can you close your eye just for one short moment before reading further and imagine… you are on a beautiful beach, with white sand, a blue lagoon and gorgeous rainforest behind you and you hear the sound of the Indian Ocean gently kissing the shoreline, while softly falling into a daydream state of mind…..
And back to planet Earth… a few weeks ago I was invited to attend a presentation on one of the 10 best hotels on Mauritius island, the Maradiva Villas Resourt and Spa.
I’ve never been to Mauritius before, but the popular phrase from Mark Twain says already enough: “You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first and then heaven, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius.”
A popular honeymoon destination and a luxury hot spot for celebrities and jet setters, Mauritius looks like one of the closest things to paradise on earth. But from what I gathered at this exclusive presentation, it’s not only the blue lagoons, the palm trees and the exotic sands that make the place so attractive. It is the mix of cultures, the never-ending festivals and celebrations that bring extra spices to your holiday experience. The local food represents the colourful culture mix as well and is influenced by the French, Chinese, Creole, and Indian traditional cuisine.
The Maradiva Villas Resort SPA itself is situated in a lush 27-acre setting near the turquoise waters on Tamarin Bay lapping the white sandy beach. The 65 villas enjoy views of the ocean or the lush gardens, each with its own plunge pool.
The resort has been designed in 2003 by the famous Mauritian architect Maurice Giraud and its architecture was inspired by the colonial residences of the sugar cane plantation owners. Utmost attention has been given to the natural environment: seaward with the coral reef and landward towards the volcanic peaks. The striking colours of the landscape and the lush gardens give serenity and a sense of wellness to Maradiva.
For people like me, who enjoy being active through their holiday, Maradiva offers all kinds of water activities such as coral diving, big game fishing, dolphin swim, also hiking and world-class golf of course, plus a little safari trip around the beautiful national parks.
However, the best part as usual is in the little details. For example 70% of Maradiva’s production in the kitchen comes from their local garden called Karo du Chef. It is situated on 2 acres of land providing over 40 different types of 100% organically grown fruits, vegetables and aromatic herbs. The resourt also has their own bees and produces organic honey in 4 hives.
Another little surprise is that the resort has an Ayurveda practitioner, who can design for you a healthy meal plan and recommend specific Aurvedic treatments to purify and regenerate the body for your constitution type. You can follow the Ayurvedic meal plan during your stay at Maradiva, or try the rich variety of local, Thai, Indonisian and Japanes dishes. The variety is really amazing and the restaurant chefs are some of the bests from the island.
Of course it’s impossible not to mention the gorgeous SPA facilities, designed in all natural materials, strongly based on the Indian philosophy for body and mind relaxation, that make your stay even extra special and harmonizing for your stressed mind and tattered soul.
As a mum who doesn’t like to leave her children at home when traveling, I was curious to find out whether there are any baby sitting services. It turns out yes, plus for the older kids there are al kind of adventures with pirate boats, finding birds nests and playing Peter Pan stories. But that’s of course in case kids get bored with the pool, building sand castles on the beach and feeding the giraffes.
For those who are looking for even something exra special, Maradiva is starting this year several art events, inviting artists from all over the world to paint at the beach of Tamarin Bay. Can it get any better than that? In fact I almost forgot to ask, but my question is being answered even before I open my mouth. Yes, there is a gorgeous bar, nestled under an intricate woodwork where guests can enjoy the magnificent view out towards “Le Morne”, the bay of Tamarin and its amazing sunsets.
Just before you think it is too good to be truth, a few months ago the resourt became a Hollywood destination for the shooting of the next blockbuster movie. So hurry before the film is out at end of next year when Mauritius will probably become the next best holiday destination, just like Bally did thanks to Julia Roberts and Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Eat Love Pray”.