Full of incredible history, Mauritius and its verdure backdrop is home to 5 star luxury hotels, including one of the best gold resorts in the world. Discover the unforgettable Touessrok Hotel.
I travel the world for competitions. Looking at the sky, I get carried away, daydreaming. Lifting my Venetian blinds, I stare into the Indian Ocean, where the turquoise water only gets lighter until it caresses the white sand beaches. The piton of « La Petite Rivière Noire » (The Little Black River) unveils its highest peak, the view is magic. Mauritius, how I missed you!
Nearing SSR International Airport, the descent beings, my excitement rises.
The Touessrok, the flower of the Hotel industry.
Due to its multiple colonisations, Mauritius plays host to a diverse mix of cultures, which adds to the breath-taking nature of the Island. The word « beauty » finds its meaning here. Clear skies, magnificent views and a pleasant heat – This is the feeling given from the flower of the Mauritian hotel industry, the Touessrok.
For this solo voyage, I chose the junior suite. I open the door and am welcomed by the dazzling sunlight into a 65 m2 contemporary suite with terrace and king-size bed; an incredible level of comfort in a 5 star hotel. Finally, I feel at home as I settle in. As per usual, I put on some traditional music whilst unpacking my case. The smell of ocean air and the sweet aroma of nature tickles my nose – everything is calm. Once « Operation Unpack » is finished, I take time out on the terrace to reflect. Fruits, a cocktail, a panorama of the ocean, the good times begin.
The Touessrok brochure contains the various residences available in the resort. From the deluxe rooms with a sea view, to the private villa decorated with a modern take on authentic Mauritian style, not forgetting the royal suite; everything seems to be made to cater for families, couples and solo-travellers. The personalised butler service is an advantage which I won’t be forgetting over the next few days; someone to accompany me for a better performance – that’s exactly what I need.
On the green at one of the best golf courses in the World
As has often been suggested, I made the most of the course and played a round of golf. Alone, I strolled along the beach then headed to the pontoon. Afterwards, I’m picked up by a boat and taken to a new destination – L’île aux Cerfs (Deer Island). Soon, I’ll be able to claim ownership of what will be my playground for the next few hours. Skimming the turquoise water, the boat brings me towards this place, long deserted by the deer.
Once I arrive, I look around one of the 10 most-beautiful golf courses in the World. Designed by Bernhard Langer, the 18-hole course benefits from exceptional scenery mixing tropical trees and ocean views, which surround the island. Peacefully, I observe the strategic points of the course mixing difficulty for experienced players and simplicity for novices. Whilst the tree’s leaves swayed gently in the refreshing wind, I look to see how well my colleagues are playing. In the distance, I catch a glimpse of Tom and Andrew, two serious players. The Mauritian restaurant at the Club House gives us the chance to catch up whilst sharing a meal; we are once again amongst friends.
Experienced sportsmen, the two men suggest a water excursion. Underwater diving isn’t a common sport for these two Americans, nor kayaking, incidentally. Proposition accepted, the moment has come to collect the necessary materials to participate in these unplanned sports. In order to regain strength, my body obliges me to have a siesta.
Lead by a diver, we leave the mainland for an hour’s diving in the reefs. Under the water, everything is so peaceful; I realise that we are but small creatures in this immense blue sea. The fish are in their element – however my two travel companions are not so much so. They glide through the water, making the most of all the aquatic gems that the sea has decided to share with us. Alas, their competitive spirit arises once more when we finally settle into our kayaks. The challenge begins, yet the two men, complete beginners, find themselves quickly falling behind. In the evening, we celebrated my victory in the Sega Bar, a place where whisky is drunk in various ways.
One of the best golf in the world.
At nightfall, our steps brush against the wooden floors in Barlens, an Asian restaurant. Under the thatched roof, we are seated with a joyous view of the lagoon. Sushi, Grilled meat and other Japanese specialities are prepared on a volcanic rock grill whilst Tom and Andrew explain the diversity of the hotel to me.
These two men, enthralled by the Touessrok, have become living tourist guides. Both of them present the seven restaurants and the hotel’s activities. They think that I must try the Three-Nine-Eight, a gastronomic restaurant with an American dining room over three floors, which offers specialities from 9 different countries, served in 8 themed rooms. Our itinerary is complete; the men seem enthralled, like children in a candy store .
Fine Gourmands, I know that I should trust their judgements. In this dark evening, shimmering in a discreet light, we find ourselves in a completely masculine company, just like when we were students in University, in California. We reminisce on the good old times. However, times have changed since, our responsibilities too, yet our passion for discovering the world and golf have stayed intact. In order to be in good shape, we returned to our suites after a long day, rich in new experiences. The championship starts tomorrow, the competition begins.
The Touessrok Butler service
The following three days were made memorable by the challenges on the road to victory. The location and service were perfect, the exceptional views of the Ile aux Cerfs helped me to settle myself for the next trials. Every morning followed the same ritual: Up at 9am, breakfast at the same table in Three-Nine-Eight at 9: 30, then practise from 11am until the start of the competition. In the evening, I took a relaxing walk along the beach. I have to admit that the butler was really helpful in managing my day – I didn’t have to think about anything, except relaxing enough to be on the top of my game.
On the last day of the competition, Raik, the butler, came to see if I needed anything. We chatted about him, his life here, and his hobbies. I felt the influence of the past and his Island’s history through his own words. This man truly has priceless treasures. In order to better understand Mauritius, I asked him to prepare me a « discovery » programme.
The Jewels of Mauritius
In the restaurant, he brings me the documents I need for this new adventure: « Alarm set for 5am to leave at 6am for Port Louis, the capital; A sea-fare to discover the Island’s dolphins. On your return, you will explore the history and architecture of Port Louis. After having lunch in a typical local restaurant, you will head to the National Park Gorges Noires (The Black Gorges), our diamond in the crown ». Tom and Andrew asked me what I was going to do, but I couldn’t explain it to them, so I took them with me.
Every second of the day was rich in both emotion and discovery. We saw the peaceful waters break with the arrival of the dolphins - We were in awe of the aquatic ballet they put on for us. We were bewitched by the Island’s history and its inhabitants, fascinated by its architecture. We discovered an explorer spirit inside of us whilst walking through the paths of the National Park. The damaged cliffs, beaten over time, the impressive waterfalls, the local flora and fauna, the long hours spent in silence, awe-struck by the extraordinary nature that surrounded us. We went back to our hotel and looked through the photos of our stay – I never thought that I would ever find two long lost friends with this competitive spirit who make such an impact on our daily lives. We promised each other that we would return again soon, but this time with our families.
Swim with dolphins in their natural environment
2.5 hours, around 30 €
Trained by the Givenchy Institute, the massage therapists offer the best of the brand in their temple, Beauty, Well-Being and relaxation. Open from 8 :30 – 20 :30, Information here.
The Touessrok offers 7 restaurants with various rich culinary inspirations.
The Three-Nine-Eight is a gastronomic restaurant open from 7am – 10: 30am for breakfast, and from 7pm – 10pm for dinner. Offering cuisines from 9 different countries, served in 8 themed rooms.
The centre contains a swimming and aqua-gym space, tennis courts and diverse activities such as Mountain biking, French Bowls, Archery, yoga, Tai-chi. A personal coach is available (Additional fee)
Located on the Ile aux Cerfs, the Golf club offers an 18-hole course by 72, designed by Berhnard Langer. Lessons and training sessions are also provided.