Friday, March 4, 2011

WE HAVE JUST BEEN TO MAURITIUS, part 7, Four Seasons at Anahita

Four Seasons at Anahita is an island unto itself of tropical beauty, pleasant faces, and intuitive service. Mauritian people are friendly and thoughtful by nature. But here they seem especially so. This is due to careful policies to keep staff happy, we were told by everyone we asked for the secret formula.

The site chosen for Four Seasons Mauritius at Anahita made many on the island raise eyebrows when construction began. Though on a beautiful sheltered lagoon, it lacked the usual paradise beach - but not for long. Human ingenuity has created sandy beaches around a private island, paved banks, running pools and a deliciously tropical feel. Though it is definitely Four Seasons, it is also very Mauritian. Because of the staff, the food, and the exquisite villas with private gardens you feel close to mother earth and the spirit of the island.

There are a total of 133 villas and residences (latter with one or two bedrooms). Most of the villas are along the beaches of the island or facing the lagoon mangroves. A big team of golf buggies wends along the curving roads between villas and over the bridge.

Even the garden villas are luxurious hideaways hard to leave. Garden category here doesn’t mean absence of something better, it means colourful tropical garden and pristine private plunge pool with romantic double sunbed. It means a huge sofa on the patio where you can gaze at a small lake and a hill covered with banana palms. It means a table for dining outside, and an outdoor warming oven. Inside you are enfolded in warm but earthy colour, and all the usual comforts. Dressing room is ample. The inside shower faces the back garden and outdoor shower.

On our first morning we dashed out happily to look at the new day rising over our pool. A wind smashed the door closed. We had no choice but to walk barefoot to the main building through a shower of summer rain, where the first person found was the usher at breakfast. She was amused in a mild sweet way. Fortunately we were in Four Seasons dressing gowns and a new key was found quickly.

So now we returned to breakfast early. Even though it was raining, it was a spiritual experience thanks to the tones of Vivaldi, the warm service, open windows and a perfect choice of things to eat. Happiness included fresh pastries from a separate glass room, tropical fruit, and a table in a nook that jutted into an ornamental pool. The warm rain drummed on the pool, fish could be seen swimming past, yellow coconuts ripened on an islet. And then of course the sun came.

There are four restaurants altogether, one at the golf course, the French restaurant (where we ate breakfast), a 2nd Asian restaurant poolside and beachside, and Aquapazza, Italian restaurant over the canal, reached by bridge. Ate at the pool & beach restaurant in the balmy evening with Melinda from the sales department (below).

All perfect. Then at Aquapazza, a stylish place with bar looking over the channel (meal snapped below).

The spa is also on the island, with treatment rooms overwater with views of mangroves. The waiting area is a platform with water views.

Several bridges cross the water including a mini Bridge of Sighs, with upmarket shops. The golf course designed by Ernie Els, Four Seasons Golf Club at Anahita, is an 18-hole, par-72 championship course with large fairways.

So who loves Four Seasons at Anahita?
We do! Definitely a resort for golfers and families, and others wanting delicious privacy, tropical charm and Four Seasons Mauritian-style food and service.

40 minutes by car, 15 minutes by helicopter from Mauritius International Airport

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