Travel

TRAVEL REPORT: EXPERIENCING MAURITIUS IN LUXURY {PART 1}

It’s only a 4-hour flight from Sandton and those who have stepped onto the beautiful beaches of Mauritius will fully understand why the Dutch, French and British fought to claim this volcanic island nation in the Indian Ocean, with its beaches, lagoons and reefs, all those years ago. Thanks to Jaguar, it’s time to visit Mauritius again for the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, but this time, experiencing the island on a whole new level of luxury.

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 7 May 2015: Traveling on Air Mauritius from O. R. Tambo International Airport, South Africa to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, Mauritius. The flight is just after 1:30pm so there’s no need to rush, however getting to the airport a bit earlier does have its benefits – the lounge facilities and duty free shopping. Naturally. Arriving at the Air Mauritius check in counter during the later part of the morning, the airlines legendary Business Class upgrade promotion is still available. For R1850 and the respective availability, an upgrade at the counter to Business Class is possible. Having never taken up the offer before, this time round, why not? A few Rand later, with Business Class tickets in hand, its time to clear Security and Passport control and check into the SAA Lounge for some drinks, lunch and a selection of cheese and crackers.

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The lounge with its complimentary magazines, newspapers, drinks and food selection is packed with the business traveler type, evidently not on route to any tropical islands or relaxation of any kind. Their expressions are a clear give away. Taking a brief moment to pause, reflect on these solemn souls Thursday morning predicament, it’s best to swiftly move on to happier thoughts like some last minute duty free shopping, before boarding the Air Mauritius flight.

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Upon boarding Air Mauritius, a male member of the cabin crew takes a look at the boarding passes and proceeds to show the way to the allotted Business Class seating, which covered in burnt orange upholstery, ample leg room and multitude of electronic features is what everyone’s come to love about Business Class – well at least those who’ve had the pleasure of experiencing it.

“There’s much to be said about Business Class travel and even more to be said about Economy Class travel – none of which is particularly favourable. Ever.”

– The Sandton Times

An air hostess with a distinct French accent proceeds to serve up some French Champagne and jus D’Orange, then presents the lunch menu and wine list for the flight along with a selection of international magazines. There’s more to read on the lunch menu than on the Economy Class in-flight magazine.

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At cruising altitude, lunch is served. The complimentary bread roll is a bit on the hard side – best to give that a skip considering the three course meal that’s on-route. For starters, it’s pan-seared sea scallops in extra virgin olive oil and tossed in zesty piri-piri vinagrette, presented with a mushroom risotto timbale. As a cold starter, it’s somewhat bland and would have probably been somewhat tastier, hot. For mains, it’s a pan roasted duck breast with herb mash potato and served with a selection of vegetables – delicious. Finishing off lunch with a duo-dessert, served on a table cloth and proper cutlery and crockery, with a selection of cheeses and figs, accompanied by something sweet in the shape of a strawberry and cream Swiss roll. The overall experience is great.

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Arriving in Mauritius sometime towards late evening, a blockbuster movie and selection of magazines later, the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport shows vast improvements since the last visit a few years ago, competing with some of the best in the world – a very unexpected yet exciting welcome and a great way to arrive on the island. Customs is no hassle and the new look airport sets the tone for a world-class stay.

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The transfer is ready and waiting outside the airport terminal. A convoy of three white Range Rovers with panoramic roofs, ready to head off to Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort, probably one of the best resorts in the Indian Ocean, located in the far South of the island. Navigating the dark roads is daunting at the best of times, but the convoy moves in stately style through the sugar cane fields and sections of suburbs. Under an hour later, and Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort emerges almost out of nowhere with an entire army of staff at reception ready to carry luggage and offer welcome drinks. During registration, it’s time to meet the two butlers – yes, butlers – who will be taking care of every wish and want during the 2-day stay. Alan, the evening butler, immediately offers to sort out dinner bookings and unpack the luggage. Dinner sounds great at this point, but unpacking the luggage might be expecting a bit too much.

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On route to dinner, Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort is lit up beautifully as the sound of the sea compliments the warm night out in Mauritius. The name of the property is a tribute to the Irish botanist and naturalist, Charles Edward Telfair and dinner for the first night will be served at Annabella’s, aptly named after Telfair’s wife. With 12 restaurants serving up diverse menus and 8 gorgeous bars, Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort is a foodies fantasy.

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Booked on an all-inclusive package, which means virtually anything and everything food and drink related is catered for, including French Champagne from 11am to 11pm, its dinner at Annabella’s with a gorgeous three course meal lined-up from a cappuccino style mushroom soup for starters, followed by a beef stroganoff pasta for mains and completed with a chocolate torte slice for dessert. The food is beautifully prepared and can only be described as divine.

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A beautiful evening is over, but the magic of Mauritius has just begun. More in EXPERIENCING MAURITIUS IN LUXURY {PART 2}. Wouldn’t mind visiting Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort? Visit www.agoda.com to get superb rates!

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