The first of a new level of luxury has been rolled out for Club Med in the form of their private luxury villas at Club Med La Plantation d’ Albion resort in Mauritius. These are the top of the top as far as luxury goes and I’ve just spent 6 nights getting accustomed to a lifestyle I could get dangerously used to.
There are two Club Med resorts in Mauritius, this tiny dot of an island east of Madagascar. One is this 5-trident (star) and the other is more family focused and 4-trident. (More about that in another blog).
We were picked up by a Club Med rep who drove us about an hour across the island to our resort. It was dark when we landed, but the streets were busy with people cycling along, chatting on corners, sugar cane growing in the fields.
This Albion property has three classes of rooms – Club, Deluxe and Suites, in the main grounds set amongst 27 hectares of gardens and lakes edged by the white sands of the Indian Ocean.
If you don’t already know this, Club Med resorts are all-inclusive, so guests in the entire resort – including us posh villa girls – get to dine at the extensive daily buffet or book in at the a la carte restaurant (Le Phare) for dinner, watch the evening shows (the Michael Jackson tribute and clouds of dry ice with about 25 staff was great fun), get as sporty as you like with tennis, golf (including lessons with the pro), archery, even trapeze. On the water there are catamarans, snorkeling and swimming.
You can pay extra and go scuba diving. There is also a spa, but treatments are extra. There’s a main pool surrounded by deck chairs in front of the main lobby/bar area and also a quiet adults’ only infinity Zen Pool area with a restaurant and bar where no cell phones or yelling is allowed.
And the kids clubs. Don’t forget the kids’ activities. I’ve heard it said that some parents hardly see their kids because they love the activities so much they just want to hang out there each day. And the problem is…?
Oh and did I say that free bubbles from 6-8pm tends to be our evening kick-off drink of choice. That’s after we’ve had a few cheeky afternoon mojitos – all part of the all-inclusive deal.
But back to the villas. So here at Albion Villas, you get to be as involved in the crazy fun Club Med scene as much or as little as you like. We chose a modicum of involvement – usually around lunchtime, happy hour and dinner. The reason being? We had our own pool and our own butler, Raj. We also had a pool villa (or summer house, I liked to call it) with a swinging day bed that had a habit of lulling one off on an afternoon siesta.
It’s also where Raj served our breakfast each morning – hot pastries, eggs which ever way we liked them and by the end of our days we’d realized we only needed to ask and anything was at our service. Pancakes with maple syrup and bananas, with bacon on the side please, was breakfast on our final morning.
The villas are privately owned (got a cool €1 million?) and managed by Club Med. Owners get 6 weeks a year to spend either here, or at other Club Med properties around the world (there are about 80). They come in 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms. We had 3 rooms for 4 of us. Two of the rooms are masters with four-poster super king beds, a bathtub with garden views, an outdoor shower for coming in from the pool – and of course an indoor shower for any other time. French doors open from both suites onto the pool area and in the middle is the enormous living/dining room with a 2-story ceiling.
The 3rd bedroom has twin beds that can be joined into a king, its own ensuite bathroom with a shower and a loo. There’s also a third mattress so if the kids are coming, they can all bunk in here.
Then there’s the kitchen with an espresso maker than even I could master but which is taken over by Raj from about 6am till 11 and then again from about 4.30pm till 8. Plus a laundry which we utilized after buying powder from the boutique in the main resort.
And here’s another reason to book your 60th birthday shenanigans here – free daily access to the 18-hole Tamarina golf course nearby.