Escape to The Residence Mauritius – where tradition meets tranquillity

2.00

Scott Manson discovers the delights of The Residence, one of Mauritius’ finest five-star hotels….

Moments of crisis are a great way of establishing societal niceness. To explain, I’d touched down in Mauritius for a week of relaxation on this island paradise off the south-east coast of Africa. However, on arriving at the Residence hotel, our stunning home for the next seven days, it quickly became clear that any R&R would have to wait. Because, and as a travel writer it pains me to say this, it appeared I’d lost my passport. Somewhere between the airport and the hotel it had gone missing. While there are worse places to be stuck for an indeterminate period, I wasn’t sure my family would see it that way.

Happily, this prompted my first experience of the warmth and hospitality of Mauritians. The hotel’s team quickly mobilised, calling the airport and – when they claimed not to have it – directing me to a local police station just a few yards from the hotel. Here, as a ceiling fan lazily stirred the hot air in a front office last decorated in the sixties, a smiling policeman quelled any fears by saying: “Happens all the time, sir. You sit there and have a nice cup of tea. Leave it with me.” Around 25 minutes later, an airport employee turned up on a moped, my passport in hand. In fact, it took longer to get that lovely chap to accept some cash for his troubles than it did for me to get my ID back. But this kind of cordiality quickly became a hallmark of what was a terrific trip.

From the moment you step into the opulent lobby of The Residence Mauritius, it’s clear that this isn’t just another luxury resort on the island’s spectacular east coast. It’s a journey into a refined, colonial past, seamlessly integrated with the comforts and conveniences of modern hospitality. The resort is nestled on a stunning stretch of white sandy beach, against the backdrop of lush gardens and the tranquil waters of the Indian Ocean. It’s not just the setting that makes The Residence a standout; the service, amenities, and unique experiences contribute to a truly memorable stay.

The rooms and suites exude classic elegance with a contemporary twist, featuring delicate linens, dark wood furnishings and soothing, neutral colour palettes. Balconies and terraces offer serene garden or ocean views, providing a private oasis of tranquillity.

The real highlight of my stay was the range of activities tailored to immerse guests in the local culture. The hotel’s spa, an abode of relaxation, offers treatments that blend ancient rituals with modern wellness techniques. Opting for a massage, I found it to be not just rejuvenating but also reflective of Mauritian therapeutic traditions, utilising local oils and essences that soothe the mind and body alike.

However, it was the cooking class in the hotel’s verdant herb and vegetable garden that captured the essence of Mauritius for me. Led by one of the hotel’s chefs, this experience was both educational and deeply engaging. We prepared Creole Cari Poule (chicken curry), a local dish rich in history and flavour. The chef expertly guided us through the traditional methods of crushing spices and combining ingredients, emphasising the importance of each step in achieving the authentic taste that Creole cuisine is known for.

The setting of the class, amidst rows of fresh herbs and vegetables, added an element of authenticity and connection to the land. The chef shared stories of the dish’s significance at festivals and weddings, weaving culinary skills with cultural appreciation. After cooking, we sat down to a meal that was not just delicious but also a celebration of Mauritian heritage. This meal, paired with the serene garden ambiance, felt like a singular moment of cultural immersion.

Dining options at The Residence were varied and always delightful. The Plantation, with its oceanfront setting, served up a blend of local and international cuisine that was both fresh and tantalising. The Verandah offered lighter meals in a casual atmosphere, perfect for a breezy lunch after a morning at the beach.

For those looking to unwind, the resort offers a variety of water sports and ample opportunities for relaxation by the pool or beach. Each evening, the fading sunlight set the ocean aglow, a reminder of the island’s breathtaking natural beauty. This proved the perfect time for a pre-dinner amble, wandering along the island’s beautiful coastline, taking in views of the crystal-clear waters of the sea.

The Residence Mauritius is more than just a luxury resort; it’s a gateway to the rich cultural tapestry and serene landscapes of Mauritius. Whether it’s through a deeply relaxing spa treatment, a cooking class that offers a taste of local tradition, or simply the day-to-day pleasures of resort life, The Residence promises and delivers a truly exceptional experience. For those seeking a resort with cool, classical elegance – staffed by an efficient and friendly team – this is a destination that should not be missed.

Discover The Residence Mauritius by clicking here.

Subscribe for More