Thursday, March 10, 2011

WE HAVE JUST BEEN TO MAURITIUS, part 9, Trou aux Biches

Trou aux Biches is the latest luxury resort from Beachcomber. With sites running out for new five star hotels in paradise, Beachcomber has transformed an existing property to get hold of nature’s gold – sandy beaches and turquoise lagoons sheltered by coral reef.

And so the old Trou aux Biches has gone, and the new five star deluxe is unfolding after 2 years of building operations. Held back by unfortunate drought, the resort has run at a fraction of occupancy since November 2010.

Launch of L’Oasis complex with reception, shops, main pool, miniclub, and four additional restaurants is set for April 4. Work will continue on some suites till 30 September during which time Beachcomber will extend half board to full board. In all there will be 333 suites and villas, and 6 restaurants.

Meanwhile all Mauritius is watching.

We visited the resort for yummy lunch on 2 February. Two restaurants surrounded by water on the verdant palm lined beachfront seemed far away from drought. The most obvious effects were seen in the vast and beautifully laid out gardens. In a few places they were more reminiscent of Palm Springs due to lack of water after a period of construction.

Fortunately they have left lots of beautiful old trees on the property - including magical banyan trees - so Trou aux Biches gardens will soon look luciously tropical.

Our favourite accommodation is usually on the beachfront. Trou aux Biches will be no exception. These are delightful accommodations all with private pools – 22 senior beachfront suites and 44 beachfront suites. Stylish villa-style buildings each house 3 suites.

From these suites you view your own plunge pool, but clever design hides your neighbour’s pool. Further you view the frothy luxuriance of palms along the beach and glints of turquoise water.

Further from the beach, 27 spacious villas will be much in demand, offering perfect privacy round your swimming pool encircled by stone walls.

Several details appeal very much – from the long bathroom you walk out to an open air bathtub, encircled by yet another stone wall. Another favourite spot will be the huge family sofa on the patio overlooking the pool. Apart from that you have a proper family living room, and a really proper kitchen. It’s not compulsory to cook there of course … you have your own butler, apart from 6 restaurants on site. 10 villas have two bedrooms (4 or 5 people) and 17 have three bedrooms (7 guests in each).

Apart from the 90 Junior Suites and 110 tropical junior suites (with outdoor showers), there are to be 40 family suites. All these suite types are all built in crescents around swimming pools, a nice way for kids to make friends and families to be able to keep an eye on the kids.

A highlight of any visit to Trou aux Biches must be the spa. You are greeted by an attractive free form pool, pointed sloping roofs, and a relax island. We saw a delightful treatment room with open sides and thatched roof. The perfect climate for that.

In the background to this big venture is a lot of support from the local community. Noone was fired from the old resort, and 400 people were kept on the payroll. More than double that will be hired. In addition Beachcomber are building a post office and a police station to help the community.

Trou aux Biches has very sheltered waters. Hence boats are a feature. It is a short ride to Grand Baie with a choice of restaurants, cafes and shops.

From the beach at Trou aux Biches we took a boat to our next stop. View of the resort as we leave on our tour with Air Mauritius...

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