Posner plans to return at Christmas. “In this time of strife around the world, it’s a very, very tolerant place. You have Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Catholics and Protestants, all living on the island in peace.”
She frequently spends holidays at the understated Royal Palm on the northwest coast’s Grand Bay, an elegant six-star resort that caters to dignitaries such as Nelson Mandela, French President Jacques Chirac and the Swedish royal family. She also enjoys the Prince Maurice, which has hosted Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, while ICM colleague Duncan Heath favors the Oberoi.
A common film location for Indian directors, Mauritius is a Bollywood hotspot as well, hosting an annual Indian Film Festival. Consequently, the five-star Indian Taj Exotica resort opened in November. It’s the island’s first resort to offer villas with private plunge pools and a spa specializing in the ancient Indian healing art of ayurveda.
Given the distance from the United States to Mauritius, Americans often add a visit onto a safari trip in Southern Africa or use it as a rest stop on the way to Australia. Aussie actor Hugh Jackman just returned with his wife and son from Mauritius, where he split his time between Le Saint Geran and Le Touesserok.
“After ‘The Boy From Oz’ I was exhausted,” he says. Mauritius “It was like having our own private island — really relaxing and rejuvenating. You are in another world without any needs and every whim taken care of.”
Both of the One & Only resorts where Jackman stayed feature Givenchy spas with private villa treatment rooms. The food is top of the line. Famed French chef Alain Ducasse opened his first restaurant outside of Paris, Spoon des Iles, at Le Saint Geran.
“The accommodations are stunning,” Jackman says. “There is a unique sense of place — beautiful and tranquil, yet fun.”
Le Saint Geran’s two-bedroom villas with private swimming pools, terrace Jacuzzis and garden showers go for $6,000 to $10,000 a night. They come with full kitchens and private dining rooms equipped with quality china, crystal and silver. Junior suites go for as low as $600 a night.
The Flacq open-air market offers some local color. There’s also the Black River Gorge National Park. The ornate Jummah Mosque, an Islamic monument in the middle of the island’s Chinatown, ornamented with teak doors, decorative towers and marble interior, offers a taste of the island’s eclecticism.
Jackman and his family went snorkeling in “exquisite, clear water” and tried paragliding. Mauritius is known for sport fishing and cashmere shopping, too.
“It’s a great place for kids. My daughter learned to water ski there,” Posner said. “I basically sit and do nothing. “