Notes from Heaven – My Mauritius Diary

It was a jeweled night sky that greeted us in Mauritius.  Looking up, I saw the stars shining out of the dark blanket while the moon slipped behind a delicate layer of cloud.  I had just landed in Port Louis but the airport was rather quiet at this hour. The Air Mauritius flight from Mumbai was rather short and comfortable and it was a perfect time to reach Mauritius. As we drove towards our destination, there was not a single vehicle giving us company. I almost dozed off again only to wake up to the sight of silhouetted stalks of sugarcane fields dancing to the tune of the breeze. Perhaps I imagined it but I woke up eventually as we entered the portals of Club Med La Plantation D’ Albion, one of the premium luxury resorts in Mauritius and also one of the best all inclusive resorts in Mauritius. I had been invited by Club Med Resorts to experience Mauritius and our week in the island country was divided between Club Med La Plantation D’ Albion and Club Med La Pointe Aux Canonniers, which are one of the best resorts in Mauritius for families.

The stars were covered by a dense canopy of trees even as the sea breeze waltzed in. It was the wee hours of the morning but we had a very warm welcome at the resort and we were finally in a little buggy navigating the tiny tree-fringed lanes to find our luxury rooms. In a fraction of a second I was fast asleep and lost in a world of dreams.

I woke up to the sounds of silence. Sipping a cup of tea, I drew the curtains to reveal shafts of sunlight bathing the gardens outside my room while an automatic sprinkler sprayed the lawns. I decided to go for a walk. As I walked around, I saw a pair of the endangered Mauritius fody adding a dash of red to the verdant greenery before they vanished into the leaves. I realized that it was not long before these birds suffered the same fate as the extinct dodo, but the Mauritians have taken pains to conserve the endemic fody and save it from extinction. There were several bulbuls flitting around the trees as I explored the property. It was a Sunday and everyone seemed to be lost in a world of stupor. I took a detour to the ocean on the way to the restaurant.

The low hanging cotton candy clouds formed a beautiful white border near the horizon, separating the turquoise waters of the ocean and the blue sky. A sandy strip separated a little lagoon from the ocean and it was probably the best place to get lost. I followed the little stream where it became a puddle amidst rocks. A small jetty protruded into the ocean. A couple of kids, probably siblings were playing as I saw a family fishing in the shallow waters. I realized that they were locals and not tourists who had roots in India. Speaking to a couple of them, I learnt that their ancestors had landed on this island during the colonial era. The French and the British had ruled over Mauritius and most of the Indians had then worked in the sugarcane plantations. The Tamilians were artisans and they brought in arts and crafts to the island.

I heard that there are several temples and local festivals were celebrated grandly. There were men and women from different communities but mainly from Bihar and Tamil Nadu and yet the younger generation identified themselves as Mauritians. While some of them spoke their native languages, most of them were fluent in Creole and had merged with the cultural milieu. And that I had learnt was the very essence of Mauritius. There were different ethnic communities even in a family practising multiple religions and yet they had blended into the colourful fabric that was Mauritius.

I headed back to the restaurant – La Distillerie for some breakfast only to find that there were more cats than people. Adorable cats were waiting to be fed by the guests as they wandered around the restaurant as they owned it. I found a quiet corner and binged on the fruits and looked out into the sea. The breakfast spread had more continental dishes than local food and I was content with my toast and fruits. I continued exploring The Village as they called it. The resort was one of the best luxury resorts  and ideal for travellers as it was one of the comprehensive all inclusive resorts in Mauritius

Set amidst 21 hectares of lush woodland, it did feel like I was wandering aimlessly in the countryside of a quaint European village, surrounded by oceans. I was particularly taken in by the architectural style and there was a colonial flavour to the design as well.  Zen pools and gardens surrounded me. A little lane took me to the infinity pool near the Phare, another restaurant and I was lost in the blues and reds. I made a mental note to head back here for sunset.

Club Med resorts are destinations by themselves. They are elegant, luxurious, customisable and are one of the best all inclusive resorts in Mauritius. Every experience is included in the package – be it food and drinks, activities, excursions and even wellness. I had a relaxed session at the spa overlooking the sea and lost myself in the blues. Perhaps that is one of the reasons it is one of the best resorts in Mauritius for families.

Sporting activities are divided into land and water experiences. I saw a group of tourists heading out for sailing, snorkeling, and scuba diving while I went back to school. I got ready for my maiden golf session which was followed by taichi and yoga later in the day. Some of my adventurous friends opted for the flying trapeze while I saw a few playing tennis. Every experience was given a title – Taichi was all about Serenity, Golf was New Moves and the Flying Trapeze was Confidence.

And while it was fun to soak up the sun and sand, I was dying to get out and explore Mauritius. Club Med resorts offer several excursions which are customised based on your interests and you could choose from nature, wildlife, culture to adventure and this makes it one of the most convenient all inclusive resorts in Mauritius.  We went on a safari ride at Casela, a World of Adventures created for you in this amusement, bird and wildlife park.

It started raining as we went on the African Safari experience as we said hello to the Big Five . Casela is more than just a wildlife park. You can interact with the animals here – be it giraffes or lions and understand more about conservation. For a moment I felt transported to the game reserves in South Africa.

While some of the animals were brought in from other wildlife parks, most of them have been born here and they have grown up in this habitat as well. Personally I enjoyed feeding the giraffes than posing with a lion, although every moment here was priceless.

Back in the resort, we were getting ready for the main event – a gala dinner followed by the mega entertainment show, The Beyonce Show by the GO team. As they set the stage on fire, I thought for a moment that Beyonce was actually here in Mauritius and performing exclusively for us. That night set the tone for the remaining nights in Mauritius.

Every night was a big and bold party and the atmosphere was electrifying. The most spectacular was the Circus Show by the GO team with breathtaking performances and live music.  I partied the blues away virtually every night in one of the most premium luxury resorts in Mauritius.

The following day, we shifted to another stunning property of Club Med – La Pointe Aux Canonniers, towards the north of the island for the relaunch ceremony. Over 200 guests from 20 countries were here and there was a magical buzz around it. We went on a property tour as we explored the idyllic luxury resort which is like a verdant peninsula, surrounded by two beaches. It was beyond breathtaking as I saw a picture postcard come alive in one of the most luxury resorts in Mauritius.

There were four swimming pools including the zen and the family pool. Club Med prided itself on focussing on families and kids and there are special experiences designed exclusively for them. There was also a new zen zone for the adults.  Keeping in mind its emphasis on being the ultimate destination and one of the best resorts in Mauritius for families, there were special spaces for every guest. However, the ocean was the main attraction. Water sports was one of the main experiences here and one could do jet skiing, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and even a catamaran sailing experience towards the islands. They were the New Passions – experiences that have been designed for the adventurous traveller. Every night was a party and we were all in a sea of white, sashaying along the sands, living it up and soaking in the good life. It seemed like these nights would never end.

Finally, it was time for us to leave, but not before we explored some beautiful corners of Mauritius. We visited Chamarel, the land of the seven colours where sand dunes were coasted in different hues. Driving through sugarcane fields and rainforests, we stumbled upon the Chamarel waterfall before heading to these sand dunes. A geological formation, it is believed to have been the result of volcanic activity and uneven cooling of molten rock.

On the way to the airport, we stopped for lunch at the La Rhumerie de Chamarel, a rum distillery which has its own plantations. You do not visit Mauritius and not taste rum. We tried almost half a dozen varieties of both dark and white rums after a tour of the distillery. Our final stop was at the Curious Corner of Chamarel, where we lost ourselves in a world of fantasies. It was the perfect way to bring this idyllic trip to an end as we walked into optical illusions and found ourselves carried away by mirages.

As  I went back to the car, I saw a thin sliver of a rainbow adorning the sky. In a few moments, I saw a couple of them drawing an arc around the sky painting it with several shades. And as the rain tumbled down, it washed away the colours in a jiffy. But I could not have asked for a more beautiful way to end the trip.  I realized that Mark Twain was indeed right – even heaven pales in comparison to Mauritius.

This post is written in partnership with Club Med who had hosted me in both their resorts in Mauritius.

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