Since I announced the Dreaming of Mauritius Contest on my blog 1.5 weeks back, a lot of you have tweeted and emailed me asking what it’s like to stay at Le Meridien, and why I chose a luxury hotel over my typical preference for boutique hideouts. The answer to the latter is that I didn’t want to miss out on the paradisiacal island experience that has put Mauritius on the world map, and a large part of this experience depends on where you choose to stay. The answer to the former? Brace yourself, this might make you want to jump to their website, pack your bags and head right out that door!
Only a day remains before I must board a flight back to Mauritius, and leave the island of Rodrigues behind forever. I came knowing or expecting nothing from this tiny little dot in the Indian Ocean, and I found everything. I fell in love with its stunning coastline, the volcanic landscapes of its interiors, the smiles forever pasted on the faces of its residents, the casual pace at which life moves here, the handful of cafes… I fell in love with it all. And just as I thought I could live here forever, time has come for me to move on. I feel my heart crumbling to pieces, and like a lovelorn soul, I walk into the Rodrigues tourism office to ask if foreigners like myself can buy land in this little paradise. Who am I kidding, right? I’ll never afford it in a thousand years, and even if I do, my itchy feet won’t let me stay for too long. Rodrigues and I part with a heavy heart.
Romanticized as a honeymooning paradise by the turquoise blue waters of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is a haven in disguise for lovers of a different kind; those that love the heady rush of adrenalin from being suspended in mid air, or coming face to face with the big cats of the ocean, or feeling the wind whirl your two wheel ride. Its location off the southeast coast of Africa and its unique geography with mountains in its interiors and serene waters along all its coastlines, make it a hotspot for adventures that aren’t for the faint hearted.
Bonjour! Christmas has come early, and after making you extremely jealous of my recent trip to paradise Mauritius, and after receiving threats to be blocked from Facebook newsfeeds and un-followed on Twitter for sharing such tempting pictures, I’ll be playing Santa. Thanks to Le Meridien Ile Maurice, who have kindly offered to sponsor a stay for one of my readers at the beachside paradise they’ve created in Mauritius. What Do You Win? – A four nights stay for TWO in a deluxe room at Le Meridien Ile Maurice.
The winds of the Pacific come knocking on my door Singing tales of kangaroos, oceans, adventures and more Of a city so chic, of symbols of ancient folklore Of a place where glitzy skyscrapers kiss the hills and the bay Oi Melbourne you take my breath away.
We leave behind the traffic of Port Louis and maneuver our way through a small winding road that leads us uphill for a good twenty minutes. At an unassuming orange-colored French villa where we pull up, the warm hospitality of Jean-Michel and his wife Joan awaits me. We exchange niceties and my request for water quickly gets upgraded to a rum punch. I’m in Mauritius after all, and it doesnt matter that it’s just after mid day or that I’ve just landed here after a sleepless 7.5 hour flight from Delhi!
I caught my first glimpse of the mesmerizing blue shades of the Indian Ocean from the window seat of a turbulent flight. As we geared for landing, the clouds parted to reveal a turquoise water body surrounding a tiny island; I’m not quite sure if the island was indeed Mauritius or one of its many neighbors in the ocean, but that first glimpse was everything I had dreamt about on my first trip to this paradisiacal island (and indeed my first time in the continent of Africa).