Stuart visits the refurbished Constance Belle Mare Plage
Mauritius October 2016
It was a lovely surprise to find out that I was heading back to Mauritius again after only being there 4 months earlier. The reason for this visit was to see the newly refurbished Belle Mare Plage Hotel.
As I left a cold but surprisingly dry Belfast and headed to Heathrow to meet the rest of the group, I was wondering how you could improve a hotel that was already very good within 4 months! The flight to Mauritius goes from London via Dubai and as a tall man (6 ft 4 inches) I have to say that the Emirates A380 is one of the best economy class seats I have flown in. The aircraft has a great choice of entertainment as well as plenty of leg room, and even with the stopover the journey seemed to take no time.
After the short drive to the hotel we arrived at the lovely new reception area, where I was immediately able to notice the improvements. We were taken to the bar area and went through the new check in procedure which was very streamlined and relaxed. We were then taken for lunch to the La Kaze restaurant for a superb lunch until our rooms where ready.
Once in the new Junior Suite I was amazed to see the changes that they had made with the room; from the vibrant new colour concept to the outside furniture and of course the new bathroom. We didn’t have a lot of time before we headed for a relaxing spa treatment to get over the long journey which we had undertaken.
It was a quick change before the group met up that evening and headed to the Deerhunter for a gin making class. I have to say this was excellent as I would never have dreamed of some of the ingredients we added to the gin! Dinner that night was in my favourite restaurant – La Spiaggia – and again it did not disappoint with another fantastic meal followed by a couple of nightcaps. Then it was off to bed as we had an early tee off time the following morning.
Up early for breakfast and feeling slightly better after a good night’s sleep, we headed to the Legends golf course. Again it was great to see the new changes that they had made to the bar to brighten it up, but it was the course I was most interested in, as when I was there in May the greens had been destroyed and the course was not in good condition. However this time the course was in fantastic condition as even with a little top dressing the greens were running brilliantly. Furthermore the changes they had made on each hole made this a great experience for me as I shot a gross 79! We had the obligatory beer and marked the cards before we met up with the others for a rum cocktail prior to boarding the hotel’s catamaran.
Stuart enjoying the resort’s new catamaran
The catamaran is a new purchase for the hotel and if you are staying there with a couple of friends this is a must. They take you out into the ocean where you can snorkel and see the marine life. Then after getting back on board you are treated to a wonderful barbecue with beers while going for a sail. We had a little time to ourselves after a busy day – so for me that meant a relaxing swim and then a rest at the pool before the organised wine tasting at the Blue Penny Restaurant. Again this is another new activity which the resort offers; and if you like your fine wine and food then it’s a must as it was a fantastic experience followed by a top class meal.
Hard at Work
We all headed to the Deerhunter Restaurant for a traditional Mauritian breakfast which was very different but wonderful to taste the difference compared to the European style that we are used to. After breakfast it was off to the Links course for a quick round as we needed to move from the Constance Belle Mare Plage to Constance Le Prince Maurice hotel. It was sad to leave the Belle Mare Plage as we had only really just settled in, but with the hotel being full it had to be done and to be honest there is no better place than Le Prince Maurice. Upon arrival we were greeted with the usual champagne welcome before being whisked off to the wine cellar to meet Jerome.
Jerome is a person you could listen to all day when he talks about wine and how passionate he is about it! He walked us through his cellar with some of the bottles costing 28,000 euro!! I didn’t want to touch that bottle, but he did introduce us to the resort with the signature opening of a champagne bottle with a sword. I know it sounds dangerous but it was really good fun and of course you get sample the champers!
It was supposed to be a light late lunch as we had been booked in for yoga later that afternoon. I knew the yoga was going to be interesting but it was all very good fun even if it was a little embarrassing! That night we met up for pre-dinner drinks on the floating bar, and this was a lovely experience as you are sitting on the lagoon with clear bright skies and watching the world go by , before we headed to the floating restaurant for dinner.
It was lovely to enjoy a lazy morning where we didn’t have to be somewhere early and could enjoy the breakfast and some downtime. The guys decided to join in on a culinary morning and become pastry chefs which was really good fun. We had a lovely lunch in the Asian restaurant before having a relaxing massage and then checking out the tennis facilities.
It was our last evening on the island and the hotel had set up a beach barbecue for us which was extra special. We were served delicious fresh fish and meat along with the excellent wine picked by Jerome. He was like a magician and appeared from nowhere while we were eating and even on the beach was no problem to him! The evening finished off with a local Mauritian band and a few night caps.
Stuart waterskiing, one of many water activities
Last morning in paradise and after breakfast we got to try water skiing. This was going to be fun as it was an activity I had never tried before and is something I had always wanted to do! Having tried it I found it was both exciting and enjoyable; although it certainly puts a lot of strain on the arms! I would certainly love to do it again. After a bite of lunch we headed back to the airport for the flight home.
As a summary on the Belle Mare Plage Hotel it was great to see all the new features in the hotel. If you have been before you must go again, as it will be a totally different experience than last time.
Get in touch if you would like to chat to me about Mauritius and how good the golf is here!