In Dubai I did a Dune dinner safari with Arabian Adventures. It was a magical evening with safari guides that transported me by four-wheel-drive vehicles to the Dubai Desert Conservatory Reserve. The adventure started with a Falconry demonstration. Before starting your thrilling journey deep into the heart of the desert, over the rolling dunes of the reserve, watching the sunset from the crest of a high dune is spectacular! From there I was taken to the camp to have an authentic Arabian night. Relaxing on comfortable low cushions in Bedu tents, I painted my hands with henna and dressed in traditional Arabic attire, ate and drank, and did short camel ride.
The flight from Dubai to Mauritius is roughly six and a half hours long. Mauritius has been described as the “Jewel of the Indian Ocean”. It is below the Sea Shells on the East coast of Africa.
Once I arrived, the turquoise water and the jade mountains thrilled my senses unlike any other island I have visited. I thought Bora Bora and Morea were beautiful, but Mauritius is way more beautiful to me. Mark Twain said it better; "Mauritius was made first, and then heaven, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius."
The One & Only Le St. Geran, located about an hour from the Airport, is the oldest in the area – well-kept and known for years by wealthy Europeans, and with repeat celebrity guests like Boy George, Gina Lollobrigida, and Alan Delon. The One & Only is a beauty, with gorgeous beaches, and the best hotel lounge I seen, with a great band, and the ambiance was refined without being overdone. The service and food were amazing! The hotel is great for families and has a great children’s program - in fact there were many couples with children. l recommend this hotel for families.
The picture below is from La Vallee de Ferney, a hike I did close by, which was organized by the hotel concierge.
The Oberoi, has a much more sophisticated ambiance, and is great for couples celebrating anniversaries - very romantic, for old and young, and for people that don’t want to do anything but relax. The room service is very quick , nothing beats that! The rooms are cozy, elegant, and their bathrooms are full of light, connected to a great courtyard, lush with nature and palm trees.
The Four Seasons, located on the West central part of the island is below the One & Only, about 45 minutes by car.
The Four Seasons has a completely different atmosphere; more relaxed, with lots of young couples, and it is a much larger property. Everybody seemed to be on bicycles or golf carts to get around. All of the villas have their own plunge pools and very large and comfortable rooms. The best restaurant in the island is here, with great food and quite an experience. They are connected to an small island called Ile Aux Cerfs, which is where the golf courses are located.
If you care about beauty and luxury this is the place to be!
Located on the Northeast side of the island, opposite from the One & Only West North Side, about an hour drive from each other. Located in a small bay, the Oberoi hotels are such magnificent properties. I have stayed at the Oberois in India, and I always admired their buildings. This one is no exception. What a beautiful property! - A fusion of African and Southeast Asian architecture. The entry to the property is very impressive, and the layout of the entire place is well thought out. This part of the island is less windy because it is protected by the massive range of mountains in front of the bay, which give it a magnificent view from all the rooms - so you get ocean AND mountains!
The Spa rooms are all villas as well. Very Zen, and being over the water was magnificent.
Mauiritus has a very unique past. I loved the mixed of cultures; 70% Hindu, 20 % Muslim, and the rest Christians, Chinese, and African. This was the best hospitality I have experienced in any country.
An African Safari is a great combination with the trip to Mauritius, only 3.5 hrs from Joburg, or it could be a Safari in the Serengeti or the Mara.
If you have any questions about these destinations, please feel free to call or email me.
John Rios, Century Travel