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The Idyllic Indian Ocean SPOTLIGHT SEYCHELLES

ISLAND INDULGENCE LUXURY RESORTS OF THE INDIAN OCEAN

29 ISSUE June 2015


CONTENTS THE IDYLLIC INDIAN OCEAN SUBLIME SEYCHELLES SPOTLIGHT ON: SEYCHELLES AIR SEYCHELLES: YOUR TICKET TO PARADISE KEMPINSKI SEYCHELLES: A MULTIFACETED PARADISE ALAIN ST.ANGE, SEYCHELLES MINISTER OF TOURISM AND CULTURE HILTON SEYCHELLES LABRIZ RESORT & SPA HILTON SEYCHELLES NORTHOLME RESORT & SPA RAFFLES PRASLIN ENCHANTED ISLAND RESORT EDEN BLEU

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ANANTARA KIHAVAH VILLAS

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ANANTARA VELI RESORT & SPA

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NALADHU MALDIVES

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COCO COLLECTION

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COCO PRIVÉ KUDA HITHI ISLAND

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LUX* MALDIVES

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PARADISE ISLAND RESORT & SPA 66 24

TRANS MALDIVIAN AIRWAYS

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MAGICAL MAURITIUS

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SPOTLIGHT ON: MAURITIUS

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HILTON MAURITIUS RESORT & SPA

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ONE&ONLY LE SAINT GERAN

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GOLF MAURITIUS

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MESMERISING MALDIVES

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REUNION, THE HIDDEN GEM OF THE INDIAN OCEAN

SPOTLIGHT ON: MALDIVES

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LUX* ÎLE DE LA RÉUNION

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ANANTARA DHIGU RESORT MALDIVES

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MADAGASCAR, AN ISOLATED PARADISE

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AYADA MALDIVES

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COVER: Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Baie Lazare


CONTENTS

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AFRICA & INDIAN OCEAN CEREMONY 2015 Saturday 20th June 2015 ~ Kempinski Seychelles Resort worldtravelawards.com


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The Idyllic Indian Ocean This month’s issue of Best In Travel takes us to the azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Home to countless luxury retreats, the Ocean’s naturally temperate climate and warm welcoming waters make it an ideal destination for travellers from all walks of life. Arguably the home of luxury tourism, for years the islands and archipelagos of the Maldives, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar and the Seychelles have been sought after retreats. As tourism and business in the area have grown so too have the destinations’ offerings, giving visitors an unparalleled array of accommodation, activities and entertainment. Join us as we look at each destination in turn, what sets it apart from its counterparts, and which one best suites your travel needs.

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The Idyllic Indian Ocean

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ETIHAD TAKES ABU DHABI HOSPITALITY TO THE WORLD Etihad Airways – which began operations in 2003 – has continued to soar in recent months, fully growing into its role as the standard bearer of the United Arab Emirates.

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Etihad takes Abu Dhabi hospitality to the world

Last year the carrier welcomed more than 14 million passengers, with the figure increasing annually for over a decade as Etihad adds an ever growing number of destinations to its global portfolio. The airline launched services to ten new destinations in eight countries last year – Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco, Rome, Zurich, Medina, Yerevan, Jaipur, Phuket and Perth – and increased capacity on 23 existing routes. The latest additions were however just the tip of the iceberg, with Etihad currently flying to more than 100 destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Etihad also has one of the most modern fleets in the skies, with 116 luxurious Airbus and Boeing aircraft in operation. At the same time, the airline is realising its ever expanding ambitions, with more than 200 aircraft on firm order, including 69 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s and eight Airbus A380s. The launch of the airline’s first Airbus A380 and first Boeing 787, along with its new cabin crew uniform, received an overwhelming response from the public, leading to a major increase in online brand awareness. On social media alone, the Etihad Airways brand garnered more than 150 million impressions throughout the world in a two-week period after the launch of the new planes. Most recently, Etihad added a touch of glamour to its operations, welcoming Nicole Kidman as global spokeswomen. Kidman is both star and narrator of a captivating feature, which was shown on global TV stations and social media in both 60 and 30 second formats, with still versions of the campaign appearing in print, digital and on outdoor channels. The ad was shot on-board Etihad Airways’ new flagship Airbus A380 – home to The Residence by Etihad – and in locations around the world, including various landmarks in Abu Dhabi.

www.etihad.com

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Sublime Seychelles

SUBLIME SEYCHELLES 1500km off the coast of east Africa lies the idyllic Republic of Seychelles. Comprising 115 islands, the Indian Ocean paradise is home to some of the world’s most luxurious resorts and hotels, and offers an abundance of activities to suit any type of visitor. The destination’s year-long warm climate means that any time of year is a good time for a visit. Sailing and snorkelling are always accessible, but certain periods are better suited to certain activities: May to September is ideal for surfing, windsurfing, hiking, and walking; fishing comes alive October through April; March to May is best for diving; and bird-watching depends on the species, but you’ll find something interesting year-round. The tropical island’s fauna and flora are unlike any to be found anywhere else, it is therefore not surprising that it’s home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites. Within these reserves, visitors may witness any number of otherworldly, indigenous species including Jellyfish Tree, the Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher, the world’s smallest frog, the heaviest land tortoise, the world’s largest fish and the Indian Ocean’s only flightless bird. Seychelles is also host to number of noteworthy yearly events including the Seychelles Sailing Cup held in January, the International Fishing Competition held in November, the SUBIOS Underwater Festival held in the latter months of the year, and the vibrant Festival Kreol which takes place in October. Whether you visit to make the most of the great outdoor activities, or to take in the local fauna and flora, or simply to indulge in the local culture and cuisine, one thing is certain: visit, you must. 13


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Spotlight on: SEYCHELLES The tropical archipelago that constitutes the Seychelles is any traveller’s dream. Like most Indian Ocean destinations, its year-round temperate climate means it’s always a good time to visit. Blessed with an abundance of natural treasures and boasting a myriad of luxury resorts, and their accompanying activities and entertainment, every visit becomes an unforgettable experience.

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Spotlight on: Seychelles

LUXURY ACCOMMODATION

Visitors to the island are spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation, within the collection of excellent luxury resorts and hotels there is something for every taste. Whether it be secluded beach bungalows on a pristine sandy stretch, villas perched on stilts above the tranquil turquoise waters, poolside residences with all the trimmings, or anything else, it can be found on Seychelles. GOLFING

With only two golf courses on the archipelago, it would be easy to dismiss the Seychelles as a great golfing destination, but this would be a terrible injustice. The Seychelles Golf Club and the The Lemuria Championship Golf Course are two of the most scenic and enjoyable courses to be found anywhere in the world. The former, built on an old coconut plantation on Mahe island, is a challenging 9-hole course and part of wildlife sanctuary – rare migratory birds are a common feature as are red crabs, which occasionally see fit to join in and grab golf balls. The Lemuria Championship Golf Course is the younger of the two, but no less formidable. Elevated tees, water hazards and wide fairways make each of the 18-holes a particular challenge, the test of each hole matched only by its scenic beauty.

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WELLNESS

Although Seychelles is home to a host of outdoor activities, it suffers no shortage of wellness retreats and cultural attractions, offering the ultimate in mind and body relaxation and refreshment and sensory thrills. Rejuvenate your body and mind at any of a number of leading spas, or indulge in an extended retreat of your choosing. Invigorate your sense at one of Seychelles’ wonderfully authentic Bazars – local markets, occurring at regular frequencies. Each Bazar is an opportunity for all in attendance to experience local craft, culture and cuisine in a setting like no other. Providing a unique perspective on the Seychelles Creole culture, along with its relevant tastings and trappings, the Bazars are a Seychelles staple which cannot be missed. TURTLES

Home to a great many animal species, one in particular stands out from the rest; the hawksbill turtle. The coy reptile nests on the shores of Seychelles, a fascinating occurrence which draws an ever-growing number of visitors each year. A critically endangered species, nesting becomes much more than just another attraction as it’s crucial to their survival as a whole. Seeing nature unfold in front of your eyes is a truly unique experience, and the battle for survival as the baby turtles make for the ocean only moments after birth is an emotional rollercoaster you’ll not soon forget. Mating times peak between mid-October and mid-January, but occasionally earlier sightings have been reported.

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Spotlight on: Seychelles

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Air Seychelles: Your Ticket To Paradise

Air Seychelles:

YOUR TICKET TO PARADISE

Rather than wait for your arrival, begin your Creole experience from the moment your board your flight with Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Seychelles. Operating from the world’s gateway to the tropical paradise, Seychelles International Airport on Mahé Island, the airline has made every possible effort to make your journey as pleasant as possible. In addition to its international flights, Air Seychelles also offers over 20 daily domestic departures, each of which offers breath-taking view of the archipelago from the sky. On the ground, their Business and VIP lounges are second to none, offering the very best in style and comfort between departures. As of 1 July the airline will also be operating three weekly flights from Johannesburg on comfortable, modern Airbus A330-200s – which boast exceptional in-flight dining options and entertainment systems at every seat – making it easier than ever before to reach this gem of the Indian Ocean from South Africa. 19


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Kempinski Seychelles: A MULTIFACETED PARADISE

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Kempinski Seychelles: A multifaceted paradise

Nestled on the south end of Mahé in Baie Lazare, lies the Kempinski Seychelles Resort, a luxury retreat boasting 4 restaurants and bars, a luxury spa, and rooms so spectacular guests won’t want to leave. Priding itself on making travellers’ dreams realities, the exotic getaway delivers in every respect. 21


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Kempinski Seychelles: A multifaceted paradise

Rooms at the Kempinksi Seychelles Resort come with a choice of three, equally captivating views: Hill View, Beachside and Sea View - suites offer either of the former two. Each with their own, unique allure, all suites and rooms are handsomely decorated and luxuriously outfitted with modern facilities. Special emphasis was placed on privacy, ensuring that guests can enjoy complete relaxation. With a choice of 4 unique dining venues, and the option of private dining, guests can rest assured that all their gastronomic expectations will be met, and exceeded. Stylish yet understated, the resort’s signature restaurant, L’Indochine creates an unparalleled dining experience. Café Lazare offers a complete array of dining options, from themed buffet dinners to healthy breakfast and everything else in between – the perfect choice for any mood or time of day. For more casual occasions, guests can enjoy either the Planters Bar and Lounge, a comfortable, casual indoor setting, or the Windsong Beach Bar, a harmoniously designed, beachside retreat. For guests who prefer a more intimate dining experience, look no further than the Kempinski’s Private Dining options.

Located at the foot of the Baie Lazare granite rock formation, the Kempinski Spa makes available to guests an array of relaxing, refreshing, and revitalising treatments. Combing the best of modern and traditional techniques with natural therapies, guests will leave feeling restored and rejuvenated. The spa also boasts a twin treatment suite, perfect for couples and a must-visit for honeymooners. Kempinski Seychelles also caters to those hosting meetings and social events with the capacity to accommodate anywhere from 10 to 200 guests in the utmost comfort. The Salon Quincy Ballroom, one of the largest indoor venues in the Seychelles, is a versatile venue ideal for any event or occasion. Smaller gatherings are served by the Lemongrass and Cinnamon Meeting Rooms, accommodating 20 and 10 guests respectively. Both offer superb furnishings and can be used for any number of activities including intimate wedding parties, private dinners, business conversations and more. In true island style, a Poolside venue is also available, a beautiful outdoor setting as versatile as any of the other venues.

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A conversation with...

Alain St.Ange, Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture

Earlier this month Best In Travel was honoured to have the opportunity to interview the Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange. Although we were unable to sit down with the minister, his charm and hospitality was more than apparent through our email correspondence. Below follows our exchange. 24

BIT: The Indian Ocean is home to a great many wonderful destinations, what sets Seychelles apart from the competition? ASA: Seychelles sits firmly as part and parcel of the Indian Ocean Vanilla islands block. We have all rallied together that is the islands of Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, Comoros, Mayotte and the

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Maldives because we wanted to create a new destination or region using the key USPs (unique selling points) of each of our respective islands as the region's attractions while respecting the strength or appeal by individual islands to forge ahead with their own personalised marketing when and as needed. I will not tell you about the beauty of the Seychelles white and clean sandy


Alain St.Ange, Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture

beaches because this you know already, nor will I be telling you of the clean and clear turquoise blues seas of the Seychelles because that also you know. The world of tourism know these unique strong points of Seychelles as they also know that Seychelles has a weather pattern that has given it the name of the tourism island with perpetual summer. But the point that really sets Seychelles apart from other destinations is that we remain a year round holiday destination not running after mass tourism but one where we follow the policy of personalised tourism only. Seychelles remains the exclusive hide away for all wanting a real holiday with a difference. BIT: Can you tell us a bit about what is in store for new travellers to Seychelles? ASA: Seychelles is blessed to be a mid ocean group of islands offering diversity to its visitors. Diversity in our islands, we have 115 islands with some being granitic and the rest coralline. The mountain clad granitic islands are unique because we are the only mid ocean granitic islands in the world and they offer walks and trails through untouched national parks and the flat coralline islands with its spectacular reefs offer dives and snorkelling excursions like swimming in an aquarium.

Diversity is also seen in our people called today simply Seychellois but origination from five key branches namely France, Africa, the UK, India and China. These roots have been perfectly blended to give Seychelles the Creole population we call Seychellois. That diversity brings our unique culture where food, music and dance remains unique attractions in their own right. But Seychelles is also the heaven for big game fishing, for sailing, for island hopping, for swimming which is often referred to as being unrivalled, for bird watching and for being yourself amongst so many other attractions. Seychelles is the home of so many wonders inclusive of the Cocode-Mer double nut that grows on the island of Praslin and that remains the largest and heaviest nut in world. It is this nut that has helped give the Seychelles the name of the Garden of Eden or simply paradise because of the nut's erotic shape and of it male catkin both found on distinctly separate trees. BIT: A number of hotels and resorts in Seychelles have won various travel awards, what do you think makes them so successful? ASA: Hotels and Resorts in Seychelles have grown to become what is expected of homes in paradise. Hotels are like and

should be your home away from home. In Seychelles they have adapted to be just that. Small in size for most of them, but with a clear eye for being the best of the best. This is why Seychelles has become the holiday destination for Royalty and famous Stars. Today the list of visitors speak for itself and described simply with those who have been to Seychelles and the others. From one island one resort concept, to home grown Seychellois concepts, to boutique hotels and to those suited for our groups and incentive markets. We have the whole range all offering the plus that helps make Seychelles the destination with a difference. BIT: Speaking of awards, congratulations on being selected as a host for the 2015 World Travel Awards. What do you think lead to this and what does this mean for Seychelles? ASA: Thank you, we are indeed proud to have been chosen as the host country for the 2015 World Travel Awards. It must be remembered that the World Travel Awards remains the event that rewards the best of the best. What a better place to hold such an award that in Seychelles wherespectacular hotels and resorts blend themselves into our pristine environment. Seychelles has been more visible than it has ever been since the last couple of 25


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years. This brings focus on our islands because the visibility ensured we remain relevant always. The word of mouth we enjoy has been helped by the press coverage we get from the cultural events we organise starting with the annual Carnaval International de Victoria that has now been named the Carnival of Carnivals because it remains the only carnival that manages to bring together all the best and most popular carnivals to parade side by side and followed by cultural troupes from the Community of Nations. This event alone attracts to Seychelles year after year the most important press houses and the publicity the islands get from that cannot be measured at all. We have achieved this because as islands we were not ashamed of our culture and we proudly stated that through an event that showcased our culture we were putting our people in the centre of our tourism development. Getting the World Travel Award to be held in Seychelles, or continuously receiving personal invitations to address tourism conferences in the four corners of the globe are just signs that Seychelles is today noticed and taken seriously in the competitive world of tourism. BIT: How are you preparing for the prestigious event? 26

ASA: Seychelles is just going to be the welcoming tourism destination is has been and remains to be. Our Tourism Board is the body mandated to work alongside the World Travel Awards organisers to ensure the event is what is expected of an event held in Seychelles. What is important is for our culture to be showcased as it remains important for the natural beauty of our islands to radiate in the Award Ceremony itself. Suffice to say we shall ensure that the those chosen to be in Seychelles becausethat are the best of the best will be received in what is today accepted as being as unique a tourism destination as can be. BIT: What other big events do you have coming up that tourists and travellers can look forward to? ASA: Seychelles organises a suite of cultural events throughout the year. Seychelles has understood the message that tourism will be consolidated through the promotion of culture and one's culture will be protected when it is able to form part and parcel of the tourism industry. Even though Seychelles is renowned to have the best for a sun, sea and sand holiday it moved down the path of placing its culture, and in so

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doing its people at thecentre of its tourism marketing and development way before the UNWTO and UNESCO organised their conference in Cambodia on just that topic. Today we have two big cultural events the April Carnaval International de Victoria and the October Festival Creole. Then we have a range of smaller cultural events to mark math makes the people of Seychelles the strong and capable people we are. These include our La Fete de La Francophonie, our Africa Day celebrations called FetAfrik, the marking of Commonwealth Day, the Seychelles-India Day Celebrations and the Seychelles-China Day Celebrations. These five feats culminate into the annual October Festival Creole, as it celebrates who we are today. We also have tourism support celebrations such as the Ocean Festival in November marking our attachment to our Blue Economy and the Culinary & Arts Fiesta on Praslin, the 15th August La Fete La Digue, an Arts Fair, the Miss Seychelles Pageant and the Seychelles Ball that marks World Tourism Day every year. Through this panorama of events we see our culture in all its form and the world is invited through them to get to better understand us and to get to know us.


Alain St.Ange, Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture

BIT: What are some of the newer and up and coming developments that future and repeat visitors can look forward to? ASA: Seychelles is now set on consolidating its tourism industry for the long term. The Government of Seychelles has now declared well over 52% of its total land area as protected natural reserves. This is because we want the unique attractions we have to still be here for generations to come. The Government wants to be recognised and remembered as having been good custodians of what we have been blessed with. On the hotel front we are moving our emphasis from only the marketing of our islands to placing greater emphasis on the product itself. For this we are preparing a hotel classification of grading system which will be introduced on the 1st of January 2017. We are conscious that what we say we are we need to be. This is why future visitors and repeat clients will see that buildings are one thing but value for money and the culture of service will be givenmore attention than ever before. This will come with a new drive to inculcate our culture into the hotels to ensure our visitors live that special feel when they

are in Seychelles. We are also looking at maintaining the tourism industry as one that reflects Seychelles which is why we have embarked on a Carrying Capacity for our islands that will go side by side with the country's Land Use Plan. This will give us a sound and well balanced tourism industry that will continue to be guided by our well integrated Tourism Master Plan. BIT: The Seychelles offers almost everything a traveller could hope for, but if there's one thing that every visitor to the island must do, what would it be? ASA: Seychelles is not one island but remains the destination with diversity of islands and each one, as accessible as they are to everyone, all offer specificities that should not be missed. Island hopping is a must for visitors to Seychelles. A two or three island visit should not be missed. We have fast ferries, as we have helicopter charters of plane transfers. For those with time and on a budget the local schooners still today provides a ride from and to the main island of Mahe to Praslin and La Digue. Seychelles is not the destination where you become a prisoner in your hotel, get out and visit the islands and let yourself soak

in all the unique attractions that make Seychelles the mid-ocean paradise they are. BIT: And lastly, as the Minister of Tourism, what is your favourite thing about the Seychelles, what endears you to it? ASA: Appreciating what we have and what we can offer to our visitors. As Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture I travel a lot to get into our market place and do my bit to sell Seychelles, but coming home I am always overtake by the beauty of our islands. Our way of life, our culture, our food andsour music. Our dancing and our friendly people remain what endears not only me, but also my CEO for the Seychelles Tourism Board Sherin Naiken, and Anne Lafortune, my PS for Tourism and Benjamine Rose my PS for Culture. Together as a united team we strive to keep what we have culturally as we promote Seychelles as the tourism destination well worth a visit.

We thank the Minister for his time and look forward to visiting the Seychelles for the 2015 World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Ceremony! 27


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A Beach Hideaway Like No Other:

HILTON SEYCHELLES LABRIZ RESORT & SPA 30

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Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa

Perfectly perched on Silhouette Island between a pristine 2.5 km long white beach lined with leaning palms and a stunning tropical forest, the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa is an award-winning beach hideaway sure to capture the adoration of any visitor. The resort is just a 20-minute helicopter transfer from Seychelles International Airport, and guests have the option of one of five villa categories, each as luxurious as the next, as well as the unrivalled Presidential Villa. With over 93% of the island made up of national park, guests are quite literally in the heart of an exotic paradise. The Eco Centre, which serves as the launching point for all active pursuits, is the perfect place to take advantage of the serene surroundings. After a day spent exploring the island and its surrounds, a treatment at the Silhouette Spa at Labriz is exactly what the body and mind need to relax and rejuvenate. Indoor and outdoor couples’ therapy suites are available and the Spa Menu has more than enough variety to satisfy any visitor.

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A Serene Island Getaway:

HILTON SEYCHELLES NORTHOLME RESORT & SPA

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Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa

Located on Mahé, the biggest island in the Seychelles, Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa is an idyllic island hideaway and home to the iconic villa – which is available to guests – which originally inspired James Bond creator Ian Fleming to pen “For Your Eyes Only”. No stranger to awards, the resort has been crowned the World Travel Awards Indian Ocean Leading Villa Resort for 8 consecutive years beginning 2007. The resort has been styled to emulate the best of traditional Seychellois architecture, with 40 uniquely designed luxury wooden-clad villas on stilts. Recently it added 16 Deluxe Oceanview Villas with Infinity Pools which be available from the third quarter of this year. Of these new additions, the two-bedroom Presidential Suite is the crown jewel, boasting not only state of the art facilities and stunning contemporary artwork, but also the largest private villa pool in Seychelles. With a breath-taking view of the Indian Ocean, the Duniye Spa is one of the best on the island, a tranquil escape offering an array of first class treatments. Professional spa therapists see to guests’ every need, ensuring all visitors leave in a state of bliss. 33


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RAFFLES PRASLIN

World Class in every aspect

Anyway Occupying over 30 acres of pristine land on the magical island of Praslin, Raffles Praslin is a premier resort unlike any other. Designed by world-renowned interior design firm, Wilson Associates, it boasts some of the most beautiful and spacious villas to be found anywhere in the Seychelles, and was chosen as the World’s Leading Luxury Villa Resort at the World Travel Awards 2013 and 2014. The resort’s 86 opulent villas, each with a private plunge pool, are just short trip from some of the Seychelles most impressive attractions not least of which are the Vallée de Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the islands Curieuse and La Digue. Guest services abound including a 24-hour Raffles Butler service, 24-hour in-villa dining, in-villa spa treatments and many more. Raffles Praslin is also home to the very first Raffles Signature Spa, a 1234 square meter establishment making it the largest spa in the archipelago. With 13 treatment rooms, a beauty salon, a Movement Pavilion, the Spa Boutique, wet area facilities and a fitness centre, there is no request that cannot be met. 34

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Raffles Praslin

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ENCHANTED ISLAND RESORT A DESTINATION WORTHY OF ITS NAME

T h e E n c h a n t e d I s lan d Re s o r t i s a n e x c l u s i ve, seclu de d l u x u r y g e t a w a y sit u at ed i n t h e m i d d l e o f a Nat ion al Ma r i n e P a r k .

Just 10 villas make up the resort, but each has its own private infinity pool, a walkway to access the picturesque beach, and outdoor bathroom to mention but a few features. Designed to perfectly blend The Enchanted Island experience the different influences which have commences mere moments after shaped the Seychelles over the years arrival at Seychelles International but still incorporate all the modern Airport as guests are whisked away day comforts one would expect, the to the Mahé jetty, where they’ll villas also offer unique views of the enjoy refreshments in a private Indian Ocean’s turquoise waters. lounge before embarking on a scenic, 15-minute motorboat ride Dining at Enchanted Island’s Bounty to the resort. Restaurant is a cultural experience 36

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Enchanted Island Resort

where guests can enjoy contemporary international and local Creole cuisine. The Castaway Bar is the perfect place for sundowners or nightcaps, or a cigar of choice. The resort’s Serena Spa sits atop the hilltop of the island and is a treat for any visitor, offering an array of treatments and activities.

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Eden Bleu

A Tech Haven in a Tropical Paradise:

EDEN BLEU

One of the Seychelles newest resorts and its first business hotel, Eden Bleu, is also its most technologically advanced boasting exceptional digital technology and a recently introduced fully interactive and responsive guest facing solution. Located on the reclaimed Eden Island, the hotel is equally close to Victoria, the Seychelles capital, and the International Airport, ideal for business and leisure travellers. Designed by South African architect Paolo Viotti, Its 87 rooms - 74 luxury rooms, 12 luxury suites and a presidential suite – cater specifically to business travellers, offering personal work stations with telephone and voicemail facilities as well as international plug sockets. The business hotel is also home to a 340 seat conference centre and six business meeting rooms, perfect for the facilitation of any business needs. 39


An experience of a lifetime that captures the opulence and romance of Imperial India

www.the-maharajas.com


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Mesmerising Maldives

MESMERISING MALDIVES Comprising almost 1200 islands and boasting some of the most pristine beaches to be found anywhere in the world, the Maldives is an exotic paradise waiting to be explored. Set in the sky blue waters of the Indian Ocean, visitors are spoilt for choice as this island wonderland is home to a plethora of resorts, each boasting the finest in accommodation, dining, and entertainment. Private pools, personal butlers, world-class dining options, and more await behind the doors of every establishment. The archipelago’s natural wonders are an attraction in their own right and enough to satisfy any visitor; glorious tropical vegetation abounds and the surrounding waters are constantly teeming with exotic marine life. All of which are accessible to any visitor. Pictures may paint 1000s of words, but nothing trumps experiencing Maldives first hand.

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Spotlight on: Maldives

Spotlight on:

MALDIVES As one of the most demanding holiday destinations around the world, the Maldives enjoys a constant influx of visitors coming to enjoy the archipelago nation’s wonderful offerings. Boasting “summer throughout the year”, there’s never a dull moment in the Maldives. The Maldives caters to every type of visitor; sports enthusiasts, business persons, honeymooners, families, divers, and many, many more. Because of the incredible variety of activities and offerings available, every visitor is ensured a memorable, personalised experience. DIVING MALDIVES

Undoubtedly one of its top attractions, diving in the Maldives is an extraordinary experience. The abundant sea-life in the surrounding waters create an otherworldly underwater tapestry and the high visibility in the water allows visitors to take in every inch of it. OUTDOOR & WATER SPORTS

Many of the nation’s resorts boast the finest in sporting facilities including tennis courts, volleyball courts, fitness centers, and lap pools. However, for a truly Maldivian experience one must get out on the water! Surfing, canoeing, jet-skiing, sailing, tow-boating, you name it, at the Maldives you can do it in some of the most beautiful waters to be found anywhere.

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EXCURSIONS & TRIPS

Explore uninhabited islands by boat or head off to unique locations with professional guides to see a side of Maldives one ordinarily wouldn’t encounter. Alternatively, take a trip to an inhabited island and get a taste of true Maldivian life. Home to Trans Maldivian Airways, which boasts the world’s largest fleet of seaplanes, getting to and from any location in the Maldives couldn’t be easier or more beautiful. REST & REJUVENATE

At times the modern world can be full of noise, distractions, interruptions and frustrations – leave that all behind and embrace the easy-going, island lifestyle. Luxury treatment

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spas can found in almost every corner of the Maldives. Staffed by some the best professionals in their fields, visitors can rest-assured that they’ll be in good hands. Of course, sometimes it’s not a spa that’s needed but just to reconnect with nature and there’s no better place to do that than the Maldives. It’s pristine white, palm-lined beaches are the perfect setting in which to unwind, relax, and refresh. Coming up next year, the Maldivian tourism industry is thrilled to host a major year celebrating “Visit Maldives Year 2016”, part of which will be celebrating an anticipated milestone of 1.5 million tourists to the destination will events both locally and abroad.


Spotlight on: Maldives

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ANANTARA DHIGU RESORT MALDIVES

Contemporary Comfort Meets Island-Style Living

Situated on the edge of an idyllic lagoon, Anantara Dhigu Maldives is amongst the top luxury and leisure resorts in Maldives. A perfect balance between contemporary comfort and island-style living, the tropical retreat is perfectly positioned for guests to make the most of their surroundings. With 110 beach villas and over water suites, guests always wake up to the inviting, tropical, turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. But, Anantara Dhigu is so much more than just another beach resort offering: 9 dining options each with a unique, themed menu; an authentically local dining school; water sports galore; and a plethora of other activities to ensure visitors are always entertained.

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Anantara Dhigu Resort Maldives

Much like the resort’s accommodations, the luxury Spa at Anantara Dhigu is virtually on the water, allowing the soothing sounds of the ocean to set the mood. The spa boasts 9 treatment suits, with 2 double treatment suites, and a host of signature spa treatments of varying lengths that give guests the ultimate escape from daily life.

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AYADA MALDIVES Easy-Going Elegance

Let us paint you a picture: powder-soft, palm-lined pristine white beaches, the serene Indian Ocean lapping gently against the shore, a lively coral reef sitting just below the water, tropical flora in every direction – this is the setting of the easy-going yet elegant Ayada Maldives Resort. The multi-award winning retreat showcases the best of Maldivian culture from its perch on the Gaafu 50

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Dhaalu Atoll in the south of the country. Comprising 112 sumptuous villas and suites, each with tasteful detailing, a private pool, and a butler, guests can live out their exotic vacation dreams in the lap of luxury. Six restaurants and bars, including the recently launched Sea Salt pop up, beach restaurant, ensure visitors are spoilt for dining options. In addition, the resort plans to imple-

ment a range of weekly activities including a Las Vegas night, local drumming and dancing demonstrations, and film screenings in a swimming pool. The resort’s large spa, nestled in tropical gardens, is home to a Turkish Hammam and a Vichy Shower, and boasts 8 private treatment villas – the perfect retreat to refresh body and mind.


Ayada Maldives

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ANANTARA KIHAVAH VILLAS Indulge In Every Whim

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Anantara Kihavah Villas

Kihavah Haruvalhi, an immaculate Maldivian island, is home to Anantara Kihavah Villas, a first class island destination and the perfect launching point to explore the lively underwater world of the Indian Ocean. A spectacular 30-minute seaplane transfer from Male International Airport delivers guests to the lavish resort which boasts 79 roomy private pool villas perched over the tranquil waters or snug along the breath-taking stretch of private beach. The spacious lodgings are complemented by a quartet of restaurants, including an award-winning underwater dining option, which serve the best world cuisine to the backdrop of the picturesque Indian Ocean. The tropical lifestyle lends itself to the sports-enthusiast, and at the resort active visitors will find no shortage of activities to keep them entertained throughout their stay. For those more taken with cultural endeavours, the Spice Spoons cooking classes provides an indigenous culinary journey for all whom partake. Anantara Kihavah Villas’ true trump card is its unrivalled ocean-based activities. Dive within a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and experience the vibrant sea-life surrounding the reefs, adventure onto uninhabited islands, or cruise into picture-perfect sunset.

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PREMIUM CHOICE

Hotel & Casa Valamar Sanfior 4*, R

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asa Valamar Sanfior represents a premium choice with a view and great wellness options while the e family vacation.

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ANANTARA VELI RESORT & SPA A Tailored Experience for every Guest

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Anantara Veli Resort & Spa

For couples or small groups of friends looking to enjoy the Indian Ocean, Anantara Veli Resort & Spa is unparalleled in its tailored offerings. The understated tropical getaway, situated on the stunning South Malテゥ Atoll, offers a choice of 4 luxury accommodation types to suit any occasion. 36 Over Water Bungalows and 14 Deluxe Over Water Bungalows allows guests to live on the water as the teeming marine life mesmerises from below. 7 Ocean Pool Bungalows and 10 Deluxe Over Water Pool Bungalows present a beach-based option, with pristine white sands only a short stroll away. 4 world class restaurants cater to any and all tastes, and dining options are extended on nearby sister resorts. In addition to the numerous activities and entertainment options on offer, the SUNDテコI Ayurveda Spa provides a unique, tranquil retreat for visitors. All levels of Ayurveda students are welcomed to participate in the practice based on an ancient eastern philosophy, which incorporates high-quality ingredients straight from the surrounding nature, to ultimately achieve outer radiance and inner serenity. 57


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Naladhu Maldives

The Beautiful Island

NALADHU MALDIVES

Anantara’s sister island of Naladhu, Maldivian for “beautiful island”, is home to the serene resort which shares its name: Naladhu Maldives. Much like the island, the resort is a timeless paradise which provides guests the opportunity to create a unique and unforgettable experience. An aspirational travel experience, the resort boasts 19 exclusive houses and a luxurious two-bedroom pool residence. Of its many attractions, chief among them is the newly unveiled Ocean Retreat Spa. Setting out to capture the essence of Naladhu, the one-room wellness haven is equipped with a sauna, private pool, tropical rain shower, and an ocean facing relaxation deck. Signature treatments include Ocean Glow, Ocean Duet, and Timeless Moments, and at over three, four, and five hours respectively, ultimate mind and body relaxation and rejuvenation is ensured. Travellers visiting in August can look forward to a special guest chef appearance by Two-Star Michelin Chef, Heiko Nieder. He’s set to create an exclusive, unforgettable eight-course tasting menu for 16 patrons of The Living Room in Naladhu – reservations are highly recommended.

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COCO COLLECTION Distinct, First Class Luxury

Across its three unique brands, Coco Resorts : Retreats, Coco Privé and Coco Palm, the Coco Collection comprises some of the most luxurious properties in Maldives. Each with a distinct perspective on first-class leisure travel, the portfolio caters to every type of traveller. Coco Resorts : Retreats offers guests private, five-star destinations set in an idyllic, natural environment. The boutique properties, known as the Coco Residences, are manned by Lifestyle Hosts who are ready to meet guests’ every need. Timeless luxury within a welcoming tropical setting is what the Coco Palm Resort exemplifies. Situated on the Baa Atoll, the Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is a perfect iteration of this, providing guests with a personalised paradise experience from which to enjoy the many treasures of Maldives. At the very top of Coco Collection lies Coco Privé, the ultimate leisure retreat. No less than an island is made exclusively available to a group of up to 12 guests. Each guests experience is tailored to the finest detail, ensuring an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. At the start of the year, Coco Collection partnered with the Olive Ridley Project to establish turtle rescue centers and work together to reduce the effect of ghost nets on the extraordinary marine life. Initially, the partnership will facilitate the construction of the first Olive Ridley Turtle Center at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, a similar effort to be later repeated at Coco Bodu Hithi. Guests of the former will have the opportunity to support the project and construction via direct donations or by the purchase of a signature Olive Ridley Turtle toy.

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Coco Collection

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An Unrivalled Luxury Experience

COCO PRIVÉ KUDA HITHI ISLAND

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Coco Privé Kuda Hithi Island

“Your time. Your space.” Is the vision that drives Coco Privé Kuda Hithi Island and it comes through in every aspect of the superbly managed private island. Home to only the most discerning travellers, this exclusive, secluded, private island paradise is in a league of its own. Accommodating up to 12 guests in five luxurious guest accommodations and one split-level Master Residence, the island is the pinnacle of opulence with “every amenity imaginable” available at a moment’s notice. Guests also benefit from the butler services of a personal host, there to take care of every possible request or concern. The island’s accommodations and facilities are second to none, boasting all the fixings that are expected from a five-star establishment including, an infinity pool, a private Jacuzzi, Dining Room, Library, Cocktail Bar, and Gym as well as a private chef and a sommelier to assist with selecting wines. Surrounded by uninterrupted views of the tranquil turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, Coco Privé Kuda Hithi Island is the crown jewel of the Coco Collection and a magnificent gem of the Maldives.

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An All-Inclusive Escape

LUX* MALDIVES Break away from it all and escape to the tropical utopia that is LUX* Maldives. Situated on the immaculate Dhidhoofinolhu island, in the heart of a serene lagoon, the picturesque setting is the stuff of Hollywood dream sequences. As a leading and award-winning all-inclusive resort, guests can expect to indulge to any number of activities and forms of entertainment including snorkelling with majestic whale sharks, spotting dolphins at sunrise, or hopping on a local dhoni for a sunset cruise or a day trip to nearby islands. On site at the resort an array of excitement awaits guests as well as range of wellness-focused activities. As far as accommodation is concerned, visitors are spoilt for choice with the option of beachfront thatch-roofed pavilions, suites or villas, a beach villa with a pool, or one of two varieties of water villa – sat atop stilts above the tranquil waters of the lagoon. Of course no luxury island resort would be complete without a spa, and LUX*’s Me Spa is one of the best, named Best Luxury Spa Group in the Indian Ocean region.

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LUX* Maldives

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PARADISE ISLAND RESORT & SPA A Dream Come To Life

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Paradise Island Resort & Spa

A travellers’ favourite for two decades and counting, Paradise Island, locally known as Lankanfinolhu, is a 23km2 tropical island haven. The award-winning, five star resort is surrounded by immaculate white beaches on all sides with marine life thriving just meters from the shore. The luxurious resort’s Water Sports Center offers guests a myriad of aquatic activities ranging from catamaran sailing and windsurfing to jet skiing and two sports. Surfers too will be delighted at the proximity of superb local spots, and if those don’t satisfy tailored trips can be arranged. Accommodation options include five distinct room types: Superior Beach Bun-

galow, Water Villa, Haven Villa, Haven Suite, and Ocean Suite. The latter is the largest of the options and offers an incomparable experience from its reef edge perch. An assortment of six restaurants and five superb bars make up the dining options, with in-dining also available upon request. Set in a peaceful corner of the resort, the Araamu Spa boasts 17 treatment rooms, four of which are dedicated to Ayurvedic treatments and another one which is used exclusively for hydrotherapy. Treatment options vary and regardless of the choice, guests will leave with a clear mind and a spring in their step. 67


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TRANS MALDIVIAN AIRWAYS Air Travel Like Never Before

Travelling between the 1190 island archipelago that is the Maldives would be a herculean task were it not for Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA), owner and operator of the largest seaplane fleet in the world. The large fleet is made up entirely of a single type of aircraft; the rugged and reliable de Havilland Twin Otter. Started over 20 years ago with just two aircraft, TMA has grown to now include 40 of the specialist aircraft. Recently, it unveiled a new logo on all TMA aircrafts – the Minivan 50 logo, which marks the 50 years of independence in the Maldives. Thanks to its serene setting, travelling with TMA is likely to be unlike any other air travel passengers have ever experienced. Regardless of the duration of the journey, flying over the azure waters of the Indian Ocean is an unforgettable, breath-taking experience.

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Trans Maldivian Airways

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Magical Mauritius

MAGICAL MAURITIUS Set in the tranquil turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is an exotic island getaway with year-round sunshine that can be enjoyed by one and all. Surrounded by a coral reef on almost all sides, the nation boasts immaculate white beaches lined with indigenous vegetation that’s the stuff of postcards. The clear, warm waters beckon to visitors from the moment they touchdown, inviting them to explore the pristine aquatic life that thrives below. The island’s numerous accommodation options are of the highest standard, offering guests an experience like no other. In addition to its many wonderful choices, it is also home to the One&Only Le Saint Geran - winner of last year’s coveted World Travel Awards Indian Ocean’s Leading Resort. Sport and leisure activities abound, and golf in particular has made a name for itself in the region, turning the island into first-class golfing destination. The tropical island has something special in store for every visitor, and all who come will leave with a treasure trove of unique memories.

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Spotlight on: MAURITIUS Named after the Dutch Prince Maurice Van Nassau, Mauritius sits on the far side of Madagascar approximately 2000km off the coast of Africa. With a bustling population of over 1 million, the tropical paradise is home to beautiful natural wonders and some of the finest luxury resorts. Although the island nation enjoys a favourable climate year-round, there are certain times which are preferable, depending on preference: summers, from November to April, are warm and dry, winters, from May to October, are cooler, and rainfall is highest between December and March.

FAMILY GETAWAYS

Thanks to Mauritius’ all-encompassing offerings which cater to visitors of all ages and interests, the island retreat has become a favourite among holidaying families. Hotels and resorts are equipped with brilliant facilities for families, incorporating everything a travelling family of any size could need. Children of all ages, from infants to teens, will be entertained and well looked after ensuring parents get a much deserved break.

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Spotlight on: Mauritius

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Spotlight on: Mauritius

ISLAND ATTRACTIONS

As luxurious and well-equipped as the accommodations are, visitors will find it hard to stay put with the abundance of natural, cultural and manmade attractions beckoning them from all sides. To the north of the island, near the vibrant Grand Baie, lies the greatest concentration of attractions including a solar-powered underwater walk and tandem skydiving. Visitors can also immerse themselves in local culture at the modern interactive museum L'Aventure du Sucre, which offers rum tastings among other interests, the Blue Penny Museum, and the Natural History museum. A stroll through the capital, Port Louis, will give visitors a sense of the nation’s multi-faith population and its rich colonial past. The island’s numerous parks and reserves, which include the Black River Gorges National Park, which is home to the sacred Grand Bassin lake, Domaine L'Etoile and Frederica Nature Reserve, not to mention UNESCO World Heritage Site Le Morne, are a must-visit for any outdoors-enthusiast. SPAS & WELLNESS

As a world leader in wellbeing, travellers visiting Mauritius seeking a break from the chaos that modern life sometimes creates, couldn’t have chosen a better destination. Mental and physical rest and rejuvenation are key drivers for the island’s many spa and wellness centres. Many of these retreats have adopted a holistic approach to wellness, incorporating ancient therapies and philosophies and combining pampering with diet, meditation and exercise. Individual resorts are far too many to mention, but suffice it to say they are all extremely well equipped with fantastic facilities and welltrained, professional staff. 77


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SOFT ADVENTURE

Those seeking adventure will rejoice at the island’s plethora of outdoor activities for all fitness and ability levels. Mauritius’ beautiful, diverse landscape is a veritable playground for adventure lovers. Hiking has long been a staple on the island and more recently horse riding has become more popular, both of which are excellent way to explore the beautiful surrounds and get a sweat going. For those wanting something more contemporary, there are several exciting quad biking and mountain biking trails spread across the island. These, however, are merely the tip of an iceberg of available activities. Adventure lovers of every sort will find something to indulge in on the island paradise, from rock climbing, ziplining, and canyoning to tandem skydiving, trail running, and tennis, not to mention the myriad water sports on offer. GOLFING

Mauritius’ love affair with golf began many decades ago when it became the fourth country in the world to have held a golf match in 1844. Since then it has grown into a leading golfing destination with the courses and facilities to match. The island’s natural landscapes and beauty lend themselves perfectly to the game, resulting in some of the scenic courses to be found anywhere in the world.

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Spotlight on: Mauritius

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CULTURE & CUISINE

Mauritians are a fun loving people, renowned for their hospitality and relaxed, welcoming nature. After experiencing it first hand, many visitors embrace the island-style and adopt an equally relax outlook on all things. As much as they know how to take it easy, they also know how to turn it up, a fact which is on display just about night of the week when many Mauritians can be found indulging in “sega”, a popular style of local music and dance. Visitors are encourage to join and for those not feeling quite up to it there are local resorts which offer lessons. The cuisine of this Indian Ocean island is otherworldly. Many resorts boast celebrity chefs who have created five-star menus that will thrill and delight. Visitors should also step away from the gourmet tables to indulge in some traditional specialities like vindaye poisson (seasoned grilled fish), rougaille saucisses (wild boar sausages in a spicy tomato sauce) and chicken kalya (cooked with yoghurt and spiced with saffron). A shortlist of must-visit restaurants includes, Chez Tante Athalie , Chez Tino, Le Case du Pecheur, Le Table de Château, Varangue sur Morne, Les Copains d’Abord, Le Palais de Barbizon, Euréka, La Bonne Marmite, and L’Adventure du Sucre. GREEN MAURITIUS

With such an expanse of natural beauty, it was only logical that efforts be made to preserve it. The island is pulling together to reduce its eco-footprint by promoting eco-friendly activities and through concerted efforts to cut down on energy wasting practices. FESTIVALS

Thanks to its multi-cultural, multi-religion nature, Mauritius is home to a great many celebrations and traditions which manifest as festivals throughout the year. A sensory treat for all travellers who are lucky enough to be exposed to any of the festivals, these are few to look out for: Chinese New Year, celebrated January/February; Maha Shivaratree, celebrated February; Mauritius National Day, celebrated 12 March; Cavadee; Divali; Eid-Ul-Fitr, celebrated at the end of Ramadan; Christmas and Easter. 81


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WORLD’S LEADING SPORTS ACADEMY 2014


LIVE YOUR DREAMS Ever dreamed of a five-star luxury suite which opens onto a stunning beach and blends in effortlessly with the sea? Ever imagined playing alongside trainers from Chelsea Football Club or the stars of tennis, rugby, cricket and golf? How about dinner courtesy of the most famous Michelin-starred chefs? This is Forte Village’s constellation. And you are the real stars.

fortevillage.com + 39 070 9218820 holiday@fortevillage.com


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HILTON MAURITIUS RESORT & SPA

A Traveller’s Delight 84

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Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa

Renowned worldwide, the Hilton hotel group’s Mauritius offering in seaside village Flic-en-Flac, Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa, lives up to the brand’s prestigious standards. Renovated just last year, the thoughtfully designed island destination offers the utmost in comfort and hospitality. Situated on the island’s idyllic beachfront, the Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa offers breath-taking views of the peaceful Indian Ocean, and serves as the ideal base from which to explore Flic-en-Flac and its surrounds. Water Sports enthusiasts will be thrilled with the resort’s complimentary offerings including snorkeling, a glass bottom boat, dolphin watching, windsurfing, pedal boats, surf paddling and water-skiing. For those in search of a more relaxing retreat, the award-winning Ensõ concept spa is the ticket. Counting oriental and occidental techniques among its treatments, and boasting a fully equipped fitness center, Ensõ is the home of rest, rejuvenation and revitalisation on Flic-en-Flac. With three restaurants and three bars within the resort, visitors can enjoy the best local and international cuisine without even having to leave this magical tropical retreat. 85


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One&Only Le Saint Geran

A Private Peninsula Paradise

ONE&ONLY LE SAINT GERAN The winner of last year’s coveted World Travel Awards Indian Ocean’s Leading Resort, the One&Only Le Saint Geran stands out as a first-class holiday destination not only in Mauritius but in the entire Indian Ocean too. Ensconced on its own private peninsula, the resort is a unique, tropical haven for all guests and visitors. Known as a destination that welcomes back generations of families year on year, the resort offers every imaginable amenity guests could need during their stay. Complimentary water sports are the perfect way to get in some holiday exercise, or for those who prefer to keep their feet on solid ground, the nine-hole Gary Player golf course provides an enjoyable challenge in a scenic setting. The active offerings are perfectly complemented by the services of the One&Only Spa. All of the resort’s spacious suites face out privately to the Indian Ocean, allowing guests to enjoy uninterrupted serenity.

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Golf Mauritius TEE OFF IN PARADISE

Set in the peaceful warm waters of the Indian Ocean, the island paradise that is Mauritius has become a leading golf destination for both enthusiasts and more serious players alike.

Mauritius has a long history with golf, recognised as the fourth country in the world where the sport was first played after Scotland, England and India. The leisure sport was brought to the island by the British Military in 1844 and it has blossomed since then. It is home to the oldest Golf Club, The Gymkhana Golf Club, in the Southern Hemisphere which is also the fourth oldest in the world. This historic site also offers some of the most affordable golfing on the island. Golf has gone from strength to strength over the years attracting all levels of players to come enjoy the island’s challenging, scenic courses. 88

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Golf Mauritius

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Home to a myriad of nine-hole and eighteen-hole courses which are characterised by a distinctly Mauritian design which tests players’ efficiency and accuracy, the island’s year-round temperate climate means that any time is a good time to tee off on the island. Many of the country’s leading courses were designed by world-renowned golfers including the likes of Ernie Els, Bernard Langer and David Leadbetter. Of the island’s many luxury resorts, the Heritage Awali Golf & Spa, set in the awe-inspiring landscape of Domaine de Bel Ombre, is the world’s only five-star, all-inclusive golf resort. Higher up on the west coast sits the Tamarina Golf, Spa and Beach Resort, the only residential golf estate. Unsurprisingly, most the courses are linked to luxury resorts and many offer guests great benefits. Some also boast excellent academies for players of all ages, notably the Beachcomber Paradis Hotel & Golf Club and the Four Seasons Resort at Anahita. For those looking to further their game, Heritage Golf Club’s courses are presented by top European professional players such as Mark James, a former Ryder Cup Captain. This year also saw the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, a tri-sanctioned golf tournament which was Mauritius’ biggest sporting event to date. The tournament, played at the Heritage Golf Club, went off without a hitch and was won by South African golfer, George Coetzee. 90

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Golf Mauritius

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REUNION, THE HIDDEN GEM OF THE INDIAN OCEAN West of Madagascar, just below Mauritius, is Reunion Island, an exotic retreat which is slowly but surely beginning to steal away some of the shine of its fellow Indian Ocean retreats. Considering its relatively small footprint, just 2500km2, the volcanic island has an enormously diverse offering including lush forests, crashing waterfalls, breath-taking mountainscapes, immaculate beaches and vibrant coastal cities – the perfect playground for adventure seekers! It is also home to Piton de la Fournaise, an accessible, active volcano. The nation’s interior is defined by its three unique cirques, volcanoes which had collapsed on themselves, which make for excellent photographs and exploration. Reunion’s heritage is built on a wonderfully diverse mix of cultures, traces of which can still be seen in the nation’s towns and villages. Many of these have also influenced the local cuisine which is at once distinctly Creole but also worldly. Reunion may not have been on your radar before today, but now that it is, you have no excuse not to visit.

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Reunion, The Hidden Gem of the Indian Ocean

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Five-Star Serenity

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LUX* Île de La Réunion

As the only five-star resort in La Réunion, the LUX* resort is truly in a class of its own. Perfectly blending authentic Creole culture with luxury, contemporary trends, the resort creates an experience unlike any other in Reunion. As the only resort with direct access to L’Hermitage, La Réunion’s most stunning beach, guests can enjoy the tranquil lagoon and breath-taking coral barrier with unprecedented access. For those who’d prefer to be poolside, the resort’s 1100m2 pool is the largest on the island and is pristinely kempt. Thanks to its perfect location, sightseeing trips, Scuba diving, helicopter rides, big game fishing and two golf courses are all easily accessible. Of course guests could also just spend their time meandering around the 7 hectares of tropical garden instead. Boasting 164 rooms and suites, all lagoon oriented, and three restaurants as well as a snack bar, guests will not be left wanting in any respect.

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MADAGASCAR, AN ISOLATED PARADISE Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island and home to incredible variety of fauna and flora, most of which can’t be found anywhere else on earth. Its landscape too is wonderfully diverse, boasting everything from rainforests to deserts. Situated in the Indian Ocean, off the south-west coast of Africa, the island is a tropical utopia and a paradise for adventure lovers. Many of its most exclusive attractions are also its hardest reach, but those who are willing to do the hard miles to get there are rewarded tenfold. The inviting turquoise waters surrounding the island are rich with marine life and a delight to explore. Divers and snorkelers alike will be mesmerised by the vibrant, underwater world which is home to brilliant array of marine creatures. The Malagasy have a diverse cultural heritage which informs their strong reverence for ancestor’s spirits. Their healthy relationship with death is part of daily life and may, at first, take some visitors by surprise. However what may seem strange initially may later turn into an unforgettable cultural experience. Few other places in the world offer such a diverse spread of attractions and activities in such a scenic setting.

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Madagascar, An Isolated Paradise

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Profile for Best in Travel Magazine

Best In Travel Magazine Issue 29 // June 2015  

In this latest edition of Best in Travel we head for the azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Making our way from one tropical island to t...

Best In Travel Magazine Issue 29 // June 2015  

In this latest edition of Best in Travel we head for the azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Making our way from one tropical island to t...