History on the beach
Mauritian tourism isn’t just about the beach, visitors are being encouraged to venture forth into the centre of the island to enjoy the natural wilderness, quadding and horse riding through the luxurious greenery inland and there is also an interesting architectural heritage to discover that dates back to the 1800s. Sadly, between cyclones and urban development many historical buildings on the island have disappeared over the years but those that remain are worth searching out. The island has it’s ‘chateaux’ too – the name given to the old colonial houses built and lived in mainly by the sugar planation owners. Some of those that remain are open to the public either as show cases for rum or ther local production or restaurants. Chateau Labourdonnais in the north of the island, dates from 1859 and has been beautifully restored. The original sugar production is now replaced with rums, jams and preserves made from the tropical fruit grown in the estate orchards, but the house remains and all the produce can be tasted at the excellent modern restaurant, bar and boutique built in the grounds.
The picturesque Chateau Bel Ombre, at the heart of the Valriche redevelopment of the surrounding sugar estate is another excellent example of a renovation. Here you can dine in the chateau, looking over the formal gardens, as did the original planters.
Their is a more intimate way to experience a historical Mauritian home. The Colonial House is the very last authentic Mauritian home on the Northern coast of the island. Still in the ownership of the same family that built it as a beach front holiday home in 1888, it is hidden in a manicured tropical garden not too far from the beaten track. Opened earlier this year after 2 years of passionate renovation, every room is unique, filled with historical furniture, each piece of which has a tale to tell.
Surrounded with hundred-year-old flame trees the house has a wooden deck, perfect for early morning yoga classes, and a slate pool with direct access to a discreet white sandy beach.
Sleeping 8 in 4 double ensuite bedrooms, more details and enquiries about private rentals can be made with Joanne Kirk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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