Everyone needs a smile from time to time and luxury hotels that provide such opportunities get a Big Tick. At Oberoi Mauritius, the delicate breakfast buffet in the open-sided main restaurant is complemented by an à la carte menu and of course the gal was intrigued. Who on earth would eat, at that hour, home-made granola with yoghurt icecream, black truffle and caramelised green papaya? Well, as you can see it looked magnificent, and tasted pretty good too (the main yoghurts, by the way, are home-made, and served in paper-capped labelled china pots). The bread had just come out of the oven, smelled divine. Others might have enjoyed a local specialty, fried taro dumplings with mint chutney.
There was taro galore at canapé time, both in the main bar and in villa 205. My welcome included samples, nicely named – I had chilli bites, with split yellow lentils, chives and chilies; samosas filled with crushed potatoes, and taro fritters of grated taro root with ginger. Taro, by the way, is a tropical Asian plant of the arum family. Learn something every day… like my bottle of wine was Cara by Chinkara, the new Australian label of Natasha Oberoi, daughter of legendary hotelier Biki Oberoi, whose vision and minute sense of creative detail is visible in all his hotels. Apparently he saw the 21-acre site in the year-round-balm of the Pointe aux Piments area, and said THIS is where he wanted his 71-villa resort.
You enter at the main building, with a gushing 30-foot waterfall, and probably never see it again until you leave. This is the kind of resort where typically you get up late, saunter along for a late breakfast, spend the day lazing around the main pool or one of the beaches, head to the bar for sundowners and canapés, dine and go to bed, day in and day out, for a typical seven nights. Interestingly, this is more an adult place than some other island resorts, but at the same time those adults are younger, with lots in the 35-40 age range.
Oh yes, at some time during the day, too, you may head out to the jetty, perhaps to fish. From villa 205, one of those closest to the ocean, I could see over my wall, down the six-foot slope to the beach walk, and straight out to the jetty. Birds sing, and the greenery is lush. This luxury hotel engages all the senses.