Mauritius tries the villa route
December 28th, 2010 by jason

Many long-haul destinations offer mainly hotel-based holidays, which can mean they fail to attract families who prefer the freedom and flexibility of villa-based holidays (the huge growth in Florida villa holidays shows just how many such families there are). But things could be starting to change. For instance, in September the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius saw the launch of a new luxury villa resort, Villas Valriche, at Domaine de Bel Ombre on the island’s less developed, southwest coast.

Mauritius has long been known for its luxury hotels and is especially popular with honeymooners, but the villa concept is relatively new. However, mindful of the well-heeled nature of its target clientele, the resort offers five star hotel services for villa renters who don’t want to self-cater. The location is away from the tourist hotspots, with the Valriche Nature Reserve and over a kilometre of white sand beaches on its doorstep.

The resort’s three and four bedroom villas are equipped with high-tech gadgets (iPod docking systems, Nintendo Wii game consoles and plasma screen TVs) as well as free internet access and international satellite channels. They’ve been designed with families in mind, featuring large landscaped gardens, infinity pools with child safety features, spacious patios with verandas, BBQs and even a sheltered heated outdoor shower.

In addition to in-villa services including a 24 hour concierge, private chef, butler and babysitting, guests can enjoy full access to the facilities and restaurants at neighbouring five star Heritage Le Telfair and Heritage Awali Golf and Spa Resorts. Latest addition to the resort is the Bel Ombre Beach Club, which includes a large swimming pool, chill-out area for teens, beach sports, parties and two restaurants.

Does this approach represent the best of both worlds, and the way forward for exotic destinations? While most villa renters in mainstream destinations probably won’t wish to pay for luxury cosseting, the approach probably makes sense in an expensive-to-reach location that only the affluent can afford.

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