Hotel Review: Maradiva Villas Resort and Spa, Mauritius
Travel writer Codelia Mantsebo experiences the luxurious tranquility of the Maradiva Villas Resort and Spa on the stunning island of Mauritius.
The beauty of Maradiva Villas Resort and Spa can be found in its surrounding tropical settings, spectacular sunset views or perhaps even in the staff’s impeccable service. But the true magic of this resort is found in the sense of total privacy from its villas.
If there’s anything Mauritius is guaranteed to give you, it’s palm trees, white sands, and beautiful beaches. Rightfully so, families, honeymooners, and romantics alike head to this paradisal island for a tropical escape. And with an array of luxury hotels and resorts to choose from, the real challenge is finding a hotel that offers more than just access to a pretty (sometimes busy) beach.
What makes Maradiva stand out, is the intimacy and privacy of villa living that you just won’t find anywhere else on the island. The 65 all-villa hotel is designed for those after discreteness and exclusivity.
Nestled on 11 hectares of lush tropical gardens, bordering the white beaches and lagoons of the western coast of the island, the resort takes inspiration from Mauritius’ colonial past and seamlessly blends the architectural style with the unspoilt Mauritian environment. Think ancient Mauritian residences and sugar plantation structures, with spacious villas offering natural views of the coast and the surrounding endemic plants and trees.
The resort was renovated in 2017, and no detail has been overlooked with the choice of interiors and designs. Owned by a fifth generation Mauritian family, you can tell this is a hotel that has been careful to keep with the spirit of Mauritius’ colonists’ heritage – you’ll find Jaisalmer wood imported from Rajasthan, palisander wood from the neighbouring island of Madagascar and teck from Burma.
Maradiva has been designed purely for comfort and total privacy in every villa. Each villa has a plunge pool and daybed, a walk in wardrobe and a terrace large enough to host a small gathering (if you did seriously consider doing this though, perhaps book one of the inter-connecting suites).
The interiors in the bedrooms are warm, with a choice of earthy colours and a touch of bright orange. Original artworks, wooden floors and the custom-designed Hermes wallpaper behind the headboard complement the warm tones, while room temperature controls are a breeze. The pool isn’t heated though, but with Mauritius’ warm temperatures, you’ll appreciate a cool midnight dip.(Unless you’re staying in one of the Presidential Suite Pool Villas — the pools are heated in the winter).
In the Luxury Suite Pool Villa’s bathroom, you’ll find a deep soak bathtub, along with Hermes toiletries. A walk-in rain shower stands to the left of the tub, while behind the tub, a floor-to-ceiling glass door leads to a secluded open-air garden shower.
All 65 villas are discreetly hidden from view — so swimming in the pool, showering in the open-air garden shower, and anything else you do in your villa’s garden or terrace is an entirely private affair. Drones are normally banned but if you’re really eager to use a drone here, you’ll need to ask the hotel for permission.
The delightful service goes a long way towards creating a sense of exclusivity. The staff are very friendly, with an approach so effortless you’ll hardly even notice. With three employees per villa, and butler service available upon request, there’s no shortage of personal service.
If for whatever reason, you feel to retire to your room from the dinner table, staff can call for a buggy to escort you back, and room service will deliver the food you ordered — nothing is too much. It does seem quite fussy but the service isn’t stuffy nor will you feel harassed — it’s the level of care you can expect when you need or want it, delivered with refreshing simplicity. The staff’s approach presents the calm ambiance that permeates the entire resort.
Cocooned in the heart of the resort you’ll find the tranquil spa, reminiscent of a traditional siheyuan. You’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve entered a peaceful boutique wellness retreat. Once inside, you’ll feel like you’re a world away — evergreen trees rise above, tucked away from the rest of the resort — it’s tempting to relax here all day.
Six treatment rooms surround the interior garden, along with a heated pool, a chill pool, steam room, and sauna. The treatments available span more than just idle massages, with most taking a strong influence from Indian philosophy. There are plenty of treatments available, but if you’re at Maradiva, the Ayurvedic treatments should be an obvious choice, and a consultation with Ayurvedic Doctor from Kerala is available.
If you can pull yourself away from the peace and quiet of your villa or the spa, you can find there’s plenty to do here. A Rolls-Royce White Phantom or Black Ghost is available to take you sightseeing, with a picnic hamper included for you to indulge. You’ll certainly be one of the few to experience this on the entire island.
Head to the hotel’s beach or to the shared infinity pool (which looks like a part of the lagoon) and enjoy the scenery. There’s complimentary water-skiing, snorkelling, paddle boat, kayaking, canoeing and windsurfing available from the boathouse by the beach. Scuba diving is available nearby for the more adventurous.
On the opposite end, you can discover the art of Mauritian cooking, with a cooking class proposed at the resort’s organic garden. We had the chance to pick from the homegrown fruits and vegetables before our master class with one of the resident chefs.
After an afternoon of cooking (or trying to on my part), we enjoyed our creations on a table set up in front. The masterclass is not limited to Mauritian cuisines though, you can even try your hand at Japanese, Thai and Indian cooking in the restaurant kitchens.
The restaurants at Maradiva offer a range of culinary cuisines, including Mauritian specialties, Mediterranean flavors, and Asian cuisines. Watch your meal be prepared before your eyes at Teppan Counter with live Japanese cooking, or indulge in refined Indian fusion dishes at Cilantro.
Restaurant Coast2Coast serves meals all day serving the Mediterranean, Mauritian and International cuisines in a relaxed ambiance. In-villa dining is available to all guests who wish to enjoy their meals within the privacy of their villas — you can enjoy your meal from the comfort of your bed, but nothing beats dining alfresco on your villa’s terrace.
If you’re lucky during your visit, you’ll be able to join one of the glamourous events organised by the hotel. Previsouly, the hotel has hosted a New Year’s Eve Party with Cavalli Club Dubai World Tour.
Mauritius has five-star service and spas in many of its hotels but it’s the privacy and sense of
space that truly sets Maradiva apart. Come to Maradiva to enjoy its beautiful surroundings, understated elegance and impeccable service, but if anything, come for privacy. The hotel is an oasis of luxurious calm without the overbearing (and intrusive) fuss of most luxury grand hotels. If you’re after authenticity, privacy and comfort, you won’t go wrong here.
Maradiva Villas Resort and Spa is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.
Address: Wolmar Coastal Road, Flic en Flac, Mauritius
Phone: +230 403 1500