LOST IN PARADISE

With an enchanting combination of natural splendour, medieval heritage and modern luxury, The Oberoi, Mauritius is a truly idyllic getaway

Mauritius has been the muse of many a poet, its breathtaking display of natural beauty and cultural richness capturing their imagination like no other destination in the world. Breathtaking beaches, spectacular mountainscapes, pristine lagoons, mystical forests, vibrant culture, exotic fragrances and delectable cuisine - the island nation boasts all this and more. Any traveller who chances by its shores will find within its expanse an endless number of reasons to return, yearning for more. Overlooking the azure waters of Turtle Bay stands the most compelling reason of all: The Oberoi, Mauritius. Surrounded by 20 acres of lush, sub-tropical gardens and with majestic green mountains as its backdrop, the hotel is like a haven of tranquility in the heart of paradise.

The stunning property embodies an ode to nature. Perfectly complementing the beauty and serenity of its surroundings, it is home to several species of rare trees, shrubs and plants that line the snaking terracotta-hued pathways leading to a large natural lake speckled with water lilies, golden koi carp and ducks. The gardens and lawns spill over onto the oceanfront beach, which is perfect for a relaxing stroll early in the morning. Even the architecture of The Oberoi, Mauritius

draws upon its surroundings - it is inspired by the Asian and African heritage of the inhabitants of the island. Renowned architect Lek Bunnag and noted landscape designer Bill Bensley have together attempted to create seamless harmony between the hotel’s exterior and its interiors. For instance, all the guestrooms and public spaces of the hotel integrate beautifully with exotic foliage, flowers and trees. The public spaces, in fact, also overlook the lagoon and so, a leisurely walk through them is an absolute treat for the senses.

living in luxury

The Oberoi, Mauritius has 71 guestrooms in five categories, including one Royal Villa with private swimming pools, one Presidential Villa with private swimming pool, 16 Luxury Villas with private swimming pools, five Luxury Villas with private gardens and 48 Luxury Pavilions. Interior designer H L Lim has created within each of them an ambience  of serenity using soft and subtle natural-coloured fabrics and timbers, imbuing the spaces with a soothing, light vibe that makes for an interesting visual contrast to the bright, organic hues animating the outdoor spaces.

The Luxury Pavilions, each spread across 70 square metres, are equipped with a spacious terrace that offers breathtaking views of the gardens as well as the mighty Indian Ocean. The Luxury Villas, with or without a private pool, are spread out over 295 square metres or 325 square metres each. Each of them includes an open-air dining pavilion nestled in the midst of a lush garden. The en suite bathrooms, overlooking the private walled garden, also feature separate shower stalls and luxurious sunken marble bathtubs. The exquisite Presidential Villa boasts a king-size bedroom, a spacious living room and a luxurious bathroom overlooking the private courtyard. Nestled within the private garden is another private villa that can accommodate two additional guests. The Royal Villa - the most opulent guestroom of all - lies within a lush tropical garden spread across 650 square metres and features an elegant living room, a private pool and a spectacular view of the Indian Ocean. It also includes an open-air pavilion that serves as an ideal setting for al fresco dining.

dining in style

The restaurants and bars at The Oberoi, Mauritius, offer an array of delectable options to choose from. The main restaurant serves a sumptuous breakfast, featuring an array of freshly baked pastries, cereals, fruits, yoghurt, freshly brewed tea and coffee; and an a la carte menu of international, Indian and Mauritian cuisine for dinner. For the latter, it also boasts a vegetarian menu and a special children’s selection. Lunchtime calls for a visit to On The Rocks, the perfect restaurant for al fresco dining as the waves rise against the rocks by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. With a light menu of salads, pastas, pizzas and snacks, it is perfect for a mid-day meal. You can also stick around for a barbecue dinner with a fresh selection of exquisite seafood and meats, or enjoy some delicious authentic Creole fare at The Gunpowder Room, housed within a restored 18th-century building. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, you can opt to partake of a gourmet experience where the hotel’s chefs let you embark on a culinary exploration of Japanese flavours using fresh and seasonal ingredients.

a tryst with history

Among the most fascinating aspects of staying at The Oberoi, Mauritius is the experience of Mauritian heritage the hotel gives you. Within the premises, there are 18th-century French structures and relics - including the Gunpowder Room - of national importance that have been carefully restored. In fact, the area the resort currently occupies served as a fortress in the mid-18th century!

Nandini D Tripathy

About the author / Nandini D Tripathy