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Arriving in style – Mauritius

Getting to Mauritius from Yorkshire was a pretty straightforward affair: train to Kings Cross, taxi to Paddington, Heathrow Express to Terminal 4 and then a direct flight with Air Mauritius. We had a window seat and adjoining seat and enough leg room to not feel too cramped. We’d deliberately booked an overnight flight and this turned out to be a really good decision. After an in-flight meal with a choice of a lamb tagine (which was very tasty) or chicken curry (which I can’t vouch for) and a glass of wine, it was time to turn in. With a complimentary blanket, pillow and eye mask, I was all set for a snooze. I amazed myself by waking about five and a half hours later feeling quite refreshed. The cabin was in ‘subdued lighting’ mode with all the blinds down but I took a little peek outside. There was a beautiful bright sky outside but, not wishing to disturb my fellow passengers, rather than gaze out of the window at the clouds, I decided to tune in to one of the movies on offer. There was a good selection and I opted for ‘Man on a Ledge’ which, whilst having an implausible storyline, was actually an enjoyable film. Just as I was getting to the end of the film, the cabin lights came on and hot towels were passed around so we could freshen up. Shortly after that, breakfast was served and we were told we’d soon start our descent. We were nearly there. We started to be able to make out the bright blue roofs and pastel coloured houses below – and the amazing beaches too of course. Mauritius was awaiting our arrival and, for our part, we were anticipating the trip of a lifetime. We had arranged for a taxi transfer to our hotel, Le Telfair in Bel Ombre in the South Western part of the island. Our transfer didn’t take long and it provided us with the opportunity to see the area around where we would be staying for the first part of our trip. We whizzed past beaches where locals were picnicking beneath the trees and passed houses which reminded me of ones I’d seen in Jamaica: colourful, one storey properties huddled together on either side of the road which snaked its way to the coast. At the gates of our hotel was a guard who checked our names and waved the car through. What a grand arrival: for a moment, I felt like the heroine in a period drama drawing up at the country residence of a family friend as we were greeted by elegantly dressed staff, who helped us out of the car and immediately set to collecting our luggage. The building which housed the lobby was an elegant, colonial style, open on two sides, giving the feeling of being both inside and out simultaneously. It boasted impressive filigree woodwork painted in a cool creamy white. To the side, was an elegant drawing room where guests could enjoy the benefit of free WiFi whilst feeling like they’d travelled back in time. Refreshing drinks arrived for us to enjoy as we completed the paperwork for check in and then we were shown to our first floor room. It was actually the room we’d seen on the website, with the view of the beach cafe so it immediately felt familiar and welcoming. Like the lobby, the Cavendish bar and Anabella’s restaurant (which we’d passed on our way to the room), the room itself echoed the cool, classy colonial style which oozed elegant sophistication. After the long flight, the Superking-sized bed looked inviting but instead we opted to unpack, freshen up and head down to the beach cafe where we were served a delicious lunch accompanied by frozen watermelon Dakaris. We’d arrived! If this was five star living in Mauritius, we just knew we were going to love it!

Angie Aspinall

Angie Aspinall is a travel writer and photographer living in Yorkshire, with her husband, professional underwater photographer, Richard Aspinall. Together they write about and photograph luxury travel, spas, ecotourism, diving and food and drink. Angie enjoys tweeting with fellow travellers and is co-founder of the Twitter phenomenon #Yorkshirehour which has over 6,700 followers.

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