Saturday, January 15, 2011

WE HAVE JUST BEEN TO MAURITIUS, part 2, The Residence





CHIC AND ON THE BEACH

Uberchic. It’s hard to imagine anything more chic than The Residence. As you step into the lobby you are bowled over by the awesome height of the angled ceiling – and the brilliant white walls.

Then as you step out again you are stunned by the beauty of the beach. It too is brilliant white, washed by the warm turquoise water of the lagoon. It seems to go on forever.

The design of The Residence was inspired by the Mauritian Colonial plantation houses of a century ago, yet very contemporary in style. Though there are 163 rooms, three restaurants and the Carita Spa it does not feel like a big hotel. It feels somehow intimate, strung along the beach.

The suites are very attractive, and all offer ocean views. We stayed in an ocean front room – really to be recommended if you don’t have a budget for a suite. (There are several categories below the ocean front room, which are further from the sea.) What we most loved about our room was the balcony, with its view of the sea. Every time we went into our room we gravitated straight to the balcony, a place to drink some J├Ągermeister, taking in the atmosphere of this truly wonderful spot.



One nice touch for a couple on holiday who don’t want to do any tidying, is that you don’t have to. You can just sling your suitcases and the ruffle of clothes into the walk-in cupboard. That the rest of the room is tidied for you goes without saying.

The beach is hypnotic. It was hard to pull yourself away from the mesmerizing turquoise lagoon and white sands, so fortunately at The Residence you are able to eat on the beach at lunchtime. You could eat anything from pizza to lobster. And all day long they came past bringing cold towels, iced lollies (popsicles), fruit and other refreshments. So why move?

Well of course, you move when sunburnt and ready for a shower and a drink on your own balcony. And at 6pm every day we joined other guests at the open air lounge beside the pool to listen to jazz and drink the best gin and tonics ever created. Time also to chat to other guests, unwinding after a hard day on the beach.

The atmosphere at The Residence is beautifully relaxed for all its marvellous chic. Not at all stuck up. The service is out of this world, and staff take a genuine interest in everyone, remembering the children of returning guests and asking after them.

It’s certainly a great place for families. The Kid’s Club is something special, built like a plantation house, and kids can eat all three meals there. Apparently it is so good that parents have to drag their kids out of it so they can have some time with them.

Another winner for the hotel is the pool area – 2000 sqm. The spa is nice with different treatment rooms, gym, sauna etc and open for everyone even if you have not booked a treatment. Activities include scuba diving (of course), undersea walk and horse riding, as well as complimentary snorkelling, waterskiing, windsurfing, hobicats, kayaks, glass bottom boat, three tennis courts, fitness equipment and internet salon.

Last and certainly not least, the food. Delicious with a capital D. Apart from the excellent half board you could eat a la carte for a reasonable supplement, clearly marked on the menu.



HOW TO GET TO THE RESIDENCE

1 hour by car from Mauritius International Airport or 15 minutes by helicopter.


View from the lobby


Our ocean front room



Bright morning over the pool and lagoon


Paradise lagoon and beach

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