Honeymooning in Mauritius

There are few people in life who make exotic travels their # 1 priority.  We’ve found that these rare travel gems are often physically fit and funny, with a broad sparkling smile that allows them to make friends with the locals where ever they go. We’re happy to say, Victoria Korosis, is just that sort of a passionate travel bunny.  An integral part of the Jaunt Magazine fold, this week she’s writing about her trip to Mauritius and her stay at the luxe Oberoi.

For a traveler reluctant to redefine her interpretation of luxury, ie) that it can exist in forms other than a hostel in Russia with running water, arriving at the Oberoi resort in Mauritius was an indulgence hard to deny.  Nestled along the lush coast of the deceivingly populated island north of Madagascar, the Oberoi exists as a sumptuous enclave even for the most lavished traveler.

We were greeted at our car (arranged by the resort in our pre -arrival questionnaire) by our first names and sweet smelling towelettes to refresh after our trek from Dubai. A cool drink of fresh mint and cane syrup (think mojito sans rum) was served as we were guided to a pavilion overlooking the sprawling grounds. Our gracious host pointed out the various points of interest in our field of view as our wedding weary bodies sunk into the plush couches. Soon after, we were greeted by Singh and guided to one of their 75 luxury bungalows. Our bags already placed in our closet (which was roughly the size of my first apt in NYC), we opened the bottle of complimentary wine, cut into fresh kiwis and took in the spectacular view from our porch.

Now working in the hospitality industry, I am particularly appreciative of the little touches and special amenities that make a hotel stay personal, not just relaxing;  laundry delivered same day in a fragrant wicker box adored with local flowers, a turn down service also including a thorough freshing of the room and crisp folded towels (as noted by the obsessive compulsive organizer in me), the bowl of artfully arranged flowers floating below the headrest of my massage table and the maitre d’ who greeted us at the path from our bungalow to personally escort us to our private candlelit table on the beach for dinner.  As the week went on the special perks continued – as did our game of counting how many other honeymooning couples we encountered on the resort (the French tipped nails always the give away…she says looking down at her own)

Aside from the personal service, the hotel itself is one to be admired. Member of the exclusive Small Luxury Hotels of the World, a group widely revered and personally my benchmark for luxurious unique travel, the Oberoi does not disappoint.  Each room boasts a shower with a second door leading to a private outdoor jungle – that the shower head still reaches – customized pillows, a large Jacuzzi built deep into the marble floor of the bathroom, as well as personal outdoor lounging and dining area (and private pool in some pavilions) completely unseen from neighbors (though not the local exotic birds). On the resort grounds, other highlights include two infinity pools more spectacular than that at the Four Seasons in Hong Kong as well as a variety of water sports and local outings (or so I hear…)

Just beyond each pool is the picturesque white sand beach onto which laps the perfectly clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Add in the full spa, a friendly staff (at a ratio of two to every one guest), and a seared scallop appetizer worthy of re-ordering every night, the luxuries here somehow seem endless.

And if you are really looking to indulge while at the Oberoi, go for the ultimate in extravagance and stay at one of the resort’s two Royal Pavilions. With separate living and sleeping pavilions, a private pool, secluded lounging and entertaining area, and a thatched roof deck perfect for dining, the Royal Pavilion is the ultimate when it comes to decadence. And at upwards of 5,000Euro a night during peak season it should be! It covers an area of over 650 square meters, and can also interconnect to two other luxury bungalows (roughly 70 squ meters each) making it perfect for family getaways. Famous residents to stay here include Sonia Gandhi and the President of Madagascar.

As we left this island paradise to take our honeymoon into Lebanese territory, we were overwhelmingly touched by not just the beauty of our surroundings but also the warmth of the people who made our stay truly memorable.

Next stop…Beirut!

The Oberoi, Mauritius

Baie aux Tortues, Pointe aux Piments, Mauritius

www.oberoihotels.com

RATES: 2009/2010

Luxury Pavilion: 770Euro – 1600Euro

Luxury Villa with Garden: 1020Euro – 2200Euro

Luxury Villa with Private Pool: 1350Euro – 3300Euro

Royal Villa with Private Pool: 2400Euro – 5000Euro

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