Rainforest Luxury Boutique Mauritius
Mr Keith Phillips travelled on a tailor-made Cox & Kings holiday to Mauritius, staying in the comfortable and welcoming Lakaz Chamarel.
Rainforests are not defined as such because they are always dry and sunny. Our recent tour to the ecological Lakaz Chamarel with Cox & Kings provided a kaleidoscopic experience of Mauritian winter weather and unspoilt natural beauty. Although rainfall was a daily occurrence that was hastened by strong winds from southern Africa, the periods were usually short and followed by clearer, sunny spells. Set harmoniously at 450 metres (1,500ft) above sea level and surrounded by unspoilt forest, the accommodation offers a serene, secluded and comfortable destination for anyone seeking some peace and tranquillity. Discreet services from the staff, whose only objective is to ensure that the customer’s satisfaction is the priority, ensured that visitors have a completely undisturbed vacation in a purely natural environment.
Outside the complex, a footpath offers a short walk (albeit aided by some strategically placed ropes), to a nearby peak that presents dramatic views of the south western corner of the island. The advice given is that a successful climb to the summit would take approximately 30 minutes, but that would depend on fitness. I suggest that people of a more sedentary disposition would find this particular excursion taxing, but the rewards from the summit were well worth the effort – particularly at sunset.
Each suite within the complex is isolated and decorated to a special theme. In our case it corresponded to the legend of ‘Paul et Virginie’, and included a private pool, outdoor shower, spacious lounge and sleeping facilities – with so many pillows that a special ‘pillow menu’ had been provided.
Meals were served in the dining room (located at the reception), and we were offered a choice of starter, main course and dessert. The breakfast buffet catered for international clientele, and the kitchen staff provided variations of cooked eggs and other hot meals as desired. Everything was served by personnel, who, as stated before, were all too eager to please. Despite it being winter, evening meals were taken outdoors with the occasional musical accompaniment – and with a regular cacophonic chorus of frog calls. It was additionally entertaining for us to see how the singers competed with the frogs, but the sounds confirmed that we really were in a natural habitat.
Being quite remote and isolated (apart from a few local restaurants), most of what is essential is available on site. Of special mention was the provision of a sauna and massage opportunity, and as we have spent many years in Scandinavia – especially Finland where sauna is a specific cultural habit – it was essential that we organised a reservation. Fortunately the weather was kind for the occasion.
Of the local attractions, it can be said that this area is quite un-commercialised, so don’t expect to find souvenir shops, clubs, pubs and bars. But only a short walk – again depending on individual abilities – is the Rhummery Chamarel, the local distillery for rum (as the name suggests), made from an abundance of local sugar cane. A modest entrance fee allows the visitor to see the workings of the plant and the distillation process, after which a tasting of each of the products is mandatory – the coffee flavour proved to be my favourite.
‘Lakaz Chamarel’ is served on behalf of Cox and Kings, by the local company Mauritours, who organised a chauffeur and car for us to explore more of the southern part of the island – but that is a story for another day.
View all Cox & Kings' holidays to Mauritius here.