Borders are open and the islanders are ready to welcome tourists – with all sanitary protocols in place let’s explore the Mauritius island
WORDS: DEBBIE HATHWAY
On October 1, Mauritius island borders will reopen for tourism. “The stakes are high and everyone, regardless of the category of hotel, has put in place the necessary sanitary protocols to enable our visitors to enjoy their holidays in the best possible conditions that this exceptional situation can allow,” said Jean-Michel Pitot, president of the Mauritian Hotel and Restaurant Association, as reported by ilemauricetourisme.info. “The hotel sector is ready, the general offering more attractive. We are waiting almost frantically for the return of customers with the promise of exceptional and unique Mauritian holidays.”
Mervin Appadu “can’t wait” and he’s not the only one. The newly appointed general manager of boutique resort hotel La Maison d’Été and his loyal staff are eager to welcome guests back to their contemporary hotel on stilts – set within the enclave of pristine beaches, cobalt blue waters and lush tropical vegetation on the sought-after east coast of Mauritius island. The hotel, now part of the NEWMARK Hotels, Reserves, Lodges and Residences portfolio, is well established as a local getaway, accommodating up to 45 guests in 16 rooms. It is known for its exclusive location, intimate design, magnetic appeal, gastronomy and friendly staff.
Neil Markovitz, CEO of NEWMARK, fell in love with the upmarket beach-house potential of La Maison d’Été when he first visited the property and is also looking forward to rolling out the group’s vision of an unpretentious, outdoorsy chill-out holiday. “Mauritian authenticity. That’s our ethos. And the personalities that make up the hotel’s team are absolutely vital,” says Markovitz.
Like several NEWMARK properties, this one is also said to feed your soul – literally and figuratively. “Our restaurant is superb. It’s not a typical hotel restaurant, and it doesn’t have walls, so there is great ventilation which caters to our obsession with fresh air since the pandemic,” he says. The menu offers everything from line fish caught daily to barbeque and à la carte, featuring a variety of local curries and Creole specialties. What to do when you’re there? Absolutely nothing is the GM’s advice. Since they’re right on the beach, he recommends sipping a cocktail, watching the waves come in, listening to the birds singing and having a good massage in a spa cabin near the beach.
When guests have had enough time cocooning, La Maison d’Été is the ideal base from where to explore Mauritius island. It is a mere 35 minutes’ drive to the capital Port Louis to visit the famous fresh fruit and vegetable market, China Town, the seaside village of Grand Baie in the north and the renowned Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens. Air Mauritius will be operating two flights a week (Friday and Sunday) from Johannesburg from October 1. Confirmed hotel bookings are 60% and growing for that month so plan your holiday and grab the getaway deal that suits you.
You can book via www.newmarkhotels.com to stay six nights and only pay for five. Honeymooners who book for at least three nights will receive a 30-minute massage. This offer is available until January 31 2022, subject to availability, excluding December 20 2021 to January 5 2022 inclusive.
LIVE AND WORK IN MAURITIUS
“These months of forced downtime have not changed the DNA of Mauritius island. The island remains a multifaceted, top-of-the-range destination, its people generous and welcoming by nature. The excellence of its hotel sector, coupled with the hospitality of its people, make it a destination in a class of its own,” reports ilemauricetourisme.info.
The Mauritius government has made it more appealing to linger longer – even permanently – by smashing the ceiling for property investment in exchange for residency and cutting the investment requirement from $500,000 to $375,000. And they have extended the perk to the investor’s spouse, dependent unmarried children younger than 24 and dependent parents. Those aged 50 or more looking for a better, happier, healthier life in general will do well to consider this tropical island as a retirement destination. All they need to apply for a retirement permit is proof of income of $1,500 per month ($18,000 per year), an unabridged birth certificate and a valid passport. Furthermore, investors in this category may buy property for less than $375,000 and still enjoy the privilege of living on the island. In the popular north, near vibey Grand Baie, 2Beach Residences’ one- to three-bedroom homes go for $200,000+ while Ki Resort’s two- or three-bedroom homes start at $269,000.
TEST THE WATERS
Not sure if island life is for you? Book a Mauritius holiday for a few weeks. Relax first, then explore the island at your leisure. It’s the only way to get a real sense of it. If you’re on the fence, a New World Wealth report on wealth migration, published in collaboration with AfrAsia Bank, is food for thought. It highlights ease of doing business as one of several reasons for HNWIs to move there. Mauritius island is ranked first in Africa and 13th worldwide in the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Report. In addition, the island government encourages entrepreneurship and invites foreign investment across a range of industries. Foreigners are invited to apply for a 10-year Occupation Permit, which will contribute to the long-term stability of the island economy. Or there’s the Premium Travel Visa, which suits digital nomads. Valid for one year, renewable, this option is ideal for people who want to stay on the island for more than 180 days in a calendar year. Anything less qualifies for a Tourist Visa, which is granted for arrival on the Mauritius island. Visit residencymauritius.com for more information on how to invest, where to live, how to make it happen and more.