As previously mentioned, I recently visited Mauritius courtesy of Constance Hotels. This was one of those trips in which I spend the whole time ogling everything around me and marvelling at the blogging miracles that have led me to get invited to things like this. Anyway, it happened.
It was every bit as wonderful as you would imagine.
Sunrise at Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius.
Mauritius is a tiny island in the Indian Ocean, about 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) off the southeast coast of Africa (east of Madagascar). Mauritius was uninhabited until the Dutch established a colony there in 1638, and now has a population of about about 1.3 million. French is the main language in Mauritius and most of the residents there are of South- and East-Asian descent. And as I told you before, everything in Mauritius is beautiful.
Candid shot in the Centre de Flacq market.
I spent almost my whole stay at two hotel/resorts and didn’t have the chance to really explore the culture in Mauritius. But what I did see made me want to go back and learn more. Mauritius felt nothing like any other country I’ve visited; it’s Africa, India, and the Caribbean rolled into one.
I stayed for three days at Belle Mare Plage and two days at Le Prince Maurice, the two properties in Mauritius owned by Constance Hotels. (Constance, which originated as a Mauritian sugar estate, also has properties in the Maldives, the Seychelles, and Madagascar.) Belle Mare Plage is a large (a couple of hundred rooms), family oriented, 5-star beach resort. Le Prince Maurice is a smaller (less than 100 rooms), even more luxurious hotel. Both properties are stunning and lavish with amazing service. I don’t have a bad thing to say about either place, other than the fact that I could never afford to stay there on my own.
I’ve done quite a few luxury holidays like this over the last couple of years (blogging miracles!), and I pronounce the Mauritius trip to be the most relaxing of them all. Over the course of four days I received two 60-minute full-body massages, a “body treatment” (which involved a head-to-toe body scrub and then getting covered in fragrant cream and wrapped in plastic), and a 60-minute stretching exercise/sports massage that immediately sorted out my painful strained achilles.
One of the massage rooms at Le Prince Maurice, although not the actual room that I used. I’ve learned that taking photos during spa treatments is impossible so I don’t even bring my camera anymore. This photo was taken during our initial tour of the hotel.
I also had a golf lesson (my first ever), a creole cooking lesson, and more gourmet meals than anyone should eat in just over four days.
I will now show you an orgy of photos that tell the story of my blogging-miracle trip to Mauritius.
Belle Mare Plage
Belle Mare Plage is easy-going, friendly, and luxurious. Large resorts like this aren’t normally my thing but I must admit that I loved every minute of my stay there.
Belle Mare Plage. This isn’t the section of the hotel where we stayed but I thought it made the prettiest picture.
My room at Belle Mare Plage, as it looked when I arrived.
One of countless Belle Mare Plage sunrise shots.
My first-ever golf lesson. Belle Mare Plage has two 18-hole golf courses, one of which sometimes plays host to PGA events. (Photo: Adrian Rorvik)
Look, I’m golfing. I think my backswing looks pretty good. (Photo: Adrian Rorvik)
There is a herd of deer living on the Belle Mare Plage golf course, which I found fascinating. These are Java deer, brought to Mauritius by the Dutch governor in 1639. The Belle Mare Plage restaurant that overlooks the golf course is called the Deer Hunter.
There are five different restaurants at Belle Mare Plage. I ate this flaming crème brûlée at one of them. I’ve now forgotten which one.
I took lots of dessert photos at Belle Mare Plage. This is chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream from the Deer Hunter.
Creole cooking class at Belle Mare Plage. Actually the chefs cooked and explained things and we watched, and then ate.
Market and Temple
During our drive between Belle Mare Plage and Le Prince Maurice (they’re only about ten minutes apart), we made brief stops at the Centre de Flacq market and the Shir Sagar Mandir Hindu temple.
Chilles and coriander (cilantro) for sale at the market. This market smelled so good and I loved it.
Hot pineapple salesman.
A very mature-looking young shopper.
We briefly visited the Shir Sagar Mandir temple, which sits on a narrow spit of land right on the water. The brief glimpse I got of this temple was fascinating. I need to go back to Mauritius on a temple photography mission.
There are so many crazy shrines inside this temple.
I don’t have a caption for this.
Le Prince Maurice
This is one of the nicest luxury hotels I’ve ever stayed in.
The beach at Le Prince Maurice.
My Prince Maurice room.
The view from my room.
Le Prince Maurice has the biggest wine cellar in the Indian Ocean, according to the head sommelier. We spent a lovely evening down there, sipping champagne and eating cheese from France.
On my last night at Le Prince Maurice, I decided to leave my camera in my room. Due to a strange set of circumstances I wound up eating dinner alone. And it was the best meal of the trip.
Halfway through eating, as I looked out over the romantically lit swimming pool and the ocean beyond, I took out my phone and made some notes. They’re a bit stream-of-consciousness but I think they get the point across:
Calamari pasta. Creamy with peanuts like pad Thai. Chili. Spices. Calamari green in the light.
Half baked chocolate cake. Delicate loop of chocolate sauce delicately arched and chocolate square stamps. Mauritian vanilla.
Thanks for a perfect holiday, Mauritius. Be back soon.
Mauritian sunrise rainbow.