Blame it on the fresh start effect, but I was determined to cross Mauritius off my bucket list. With the year coming to an end and the hope of a better tomorrow hanging in the air, retreating to a place where all your troubles could be washed away by near-mystical crystal clear water sounded like the perfect plan. So I hopped on a seven-hour flight, a direct route offered by Air Mauritius, and headed for Club Med Resort La Plantation d’Albion. Keep reading for our full review of Club Med Albion.
Located on the western coast of the island country, surrounded by sprawling greenery, the resort echoes the Club Med service style that I have grown accustomed to. A warm welcome here means downing a shot of sweet elixir while watching Gentils Organisateurs (GO) in bright-coloured dresses and even brighter smiles dance with an unbridled vigour to the beat of the drums. The energy was infectious—I headed to my room with a spring in my step.
Speaking of which, the Deluxe room captures the same spirited vibes with its vibrant boho décor. The warm colour palette and motifs of nature evoke a sense of stillness that makes one feel at ease and at home. The furnished terrace overlooking a garden area doesn’t hurt either. The bathroom, separated only by wooden concertina doors, too, is worthy of a mention, especially for its clawfoot bath that I spared no time jumping into. My travel fatigue was allayed.
The night eventually drew in and I made my way to the resort’s main restaurant. A cavernous open space dotted with live cooking stations, The Distillerie features unique offerings where Indian, African, and European influences mix in harmonious design. I headed for the covered terrace for a dining experience unlike any other: indulging in the fresh, grilled seafood while listening to the sound of waves crashing from a distance.
A more intimate setting can be found at The Phare. Serving an alternative menu that puts a spotlight on local gastronomic delights, which I enjoyed the following day for late breakfast and lunch, this specialty restaurant however is beloved for its ambience. Its minimalist design embraces the tranquillity of the surroundings as the eatery is perched on a formation of black volcanic rocks and faces the vastness of the ocean that lies ahead.
Sitting next to it is the adult-only Zen pool where guests often frequent for the best view of the sunset. I retreated to one of the cabanas encircling this haven of quiet and calm for some light reading—Chelsea Fagan’s A Perfect Vintage was unsurprisingly a fitting material to pore over in between sips of refreshing cocktails from the gourmet lounge bar, The Alouda—before taking a dip into the freshwater overflow pool to remedy the afternoon heat.
One of the reasons why Club Med is held dear by its patrons is the carefully curated activities in its repertoire and the community it cultivates in those shared moments. Club Med Resort La Plantation d’Albion is no exception. Where else would you find the opportunity to try your hand at flying trapeze, reliving your childhood memories of seeing the Cirque du Soleil extravaganza or simply watching a diamond-encrusted Nicole Kidman swinging across the room in Moulin Rouge?
I was not about to pass on that chance. After a few minutes of dry run and getting strapped and ready, I found myself climbing what felt like a 30-foot-tall vertical ladder before cautiously stepping onto the platform. I leaned forward with my hands now on the trapeze, the GO holding the back of my safety belt was mumbling words I couldn’t decipher, and took the leap. It might have not been a pretty sight but I respectably executed the knee-hang trick.
Now, what good is travelling to a country famed for its coco palm-fringed beaches with powder-fine sands and a stunning submarine world of coral reefs if you are not going to sign up for some water sports? From advanced scuba diving to accessible snorkelling, guests are treated to plenty of options that guarantee them a whale of time. I, for one, jumped at the chance of sailing across the Indian Ocean with an experienced GO steering the sturdy sailboat.
But if you’re looking for an elevated, Jennifer Coolidge in The White Lotus type excursion, charter a yacht and take a day trip to Mauritius’ capital city, Port Louis. Feel the fresh ocean breeze blowing through your hair, the sunshine on your skin, and soft reggae music playing in the background, lulling you into a peaceful state of mind, in the 30-minute ride as the boat cuts across the silky emerald ocean. You might even spot some friendly flippers jumping out of the water if you are lucky.
Moments of serenity can be found in abundance at Club Med Resort La Plantation d’Albion. Spectacular nature presents itself at every turn, even as you’re lying down lathered in traditional concoction at Club Med Spa by Cinq Mondes, as the property is enclosed by centuries-old tamarinds, cacti, flamboyants, banyans, and the sun-bleached coastline. It is a true reflection of the laid-back lifestyle of Mauritius that will make you feel as though you have been born anew.