Timeless luxury on the Indian Ocean: The „Maradiva Villa Resort & Spa“ on Mauritius stands up to even the highest demands. A conversation with „Maradiva“ CEO Sanjiv Ramdanee about hotel highlights, breakfast in the afternoon, polo plans and new markets.

 

“EVERYONE FEEL WELCOME ON MAURITIUS,  ANY TIME.

Interview with Sanjiv Ramdanee, CEO of „Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa“, Mauritius

Mr. Ramdanee, what makes Mauritius so special for you?
The island is one of the places in the world that exudes a very special magic. A magic that every guest should simply experience for themselves. In addition, the Mauritians are known for their hospitality and warm-heartedness. Here everyone feels warmly welcome at any time. This fact also makes every visit so unique.

You were born in Mauritius and your family is the fith generation to live There. What do you appreciate and like most about your home country to this day? 
Definitely the great diversity of landscapes and the Mauritian culture. We have a microclimate here and that‘s why, for example, the region in the south is completely different from the one in the north. Every region offers its beautiful attraction and nature. And I would also mention the harmony among people.

You are the CEO of the „Maradiva Villa Resort & Spa“. Why is your hotel one of the best on the island?
I don‘t like to praise the „Maradiva“ myself – but judging by the very positive feedback from our guests, we seem to be doing quite well. (laughs)

For example?
Let me describe it this way. When it comes to the concept of luxury in the hotel sector, two factors are particularly essential in my eyes: space and temporal independence. And that‘s why we offer our guests a particularly large amount of space. Our Luxury Suite Pool Villas and Beachfront Suite Pool Villas are 163 square metres, Exclusive Suite Pool Villas are 220 square metres and Presidential Suite Pool Villas are 345 square metres. To note also that all our villas (65 in total) have a
private pool.

What can you offer vacationers with particularly high demands?
For them we have the Luxury Suite Pool Villa or the Presidential Suite Pool Villa with a size of 345 square meters and a 56 square meter infinty pool in the portfolio. Whatever the size of the villas, privacy is our USP.

You want your guests to feel almost exactly like they are at home?
Exactly! With us, everything is designed to be extremely spacious and airy – regardless of whether it‘s about the bathroom, bedroom or the walk-in closet in XL format. And the concept runs through the entire hotel complex. We offer only 65 villas on 27 hectares. So if you are a guest going to the beach, spa area or restaurant, it will almost always remain familiar quiet and private. And it will almost never happen that anything is overbooked or guests will have to wait for a certain offer.

And what is it about the luxury factor of time?
We offer a full service in case you don‘t want to leave your villa for a day. You feel like enjoying your breakfast only at two o‘clock in the afternoon? No problem! You can book a massage in your villa or a private dinner. We can fulfill almost any wish, whenever you want. There are no fixed time slots, where sometimes in other hotels certain services are offered. No one has to worry about missing out on anything with us. You alone determine the program! And this is very relaxing!

A very special gem is the spa area, right?
Yes, the spa alone is 1200 square meters and we offer many new and innovative treatments there. The fitness area offers the same amount of space.

What kind of guest mix is visiting the „Maradiva“?
Our guests come mainly from European countries like England, France, Germany or Switzerland. But we also have guests from the Gulf States, Russia, China or South Korea.

At the beginning of 2020, you officially announced that you wanted to hold a polo tournament in Mauritius. Then the pandemic intervened… Are your plans still going ahead?
We quickly realized that it would not be possible to organize a complete tournament. For this, it would be essential to fly about 200 polo ponies to Mauritius, which would then have to be quarantined. But that would be too complicated and costly. That‘s why, for the first attempt last year, we actually considered the compromise of organizing polo show matches over a period of two to three days. This would be logistically not so difficult and expensive to manage and still a good opportunity to present this sport to the Mauritians and their guests. But then the pandemic stroke and we had to postpone.

Would you like to make Mauritius even more attractive for guests in the future?
Absolutely! Together with the MTPA, it‘s an important goal to keep offering visitors activities and attractions that they won’t find in other similar destinations. 

 

 “WE FULFILL ALMOST EVERY WISH YOU HAVE, WHENEVER YOU HAVE IT.

 

“SAFETY IS THE NEW LUXURY.

Interview with Arvind Bundhun, Director of the „Mauritius Tourism Promotion Agency“ (MTPA)

Which part of Mauritius or which place do you like the most?
This is like choosing a favorite child… But if I had to choose, I would say hiking up Le Morne Peak, a spectacular mountain overlooking an ocean that has as many shades of blue as you can imagine. It‘s so peaceful, and you have a breathtaking view of the interior and the water. Le Morne is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a great source of pride for Mauritanians. Also, Bel Ombre on the south coast is a beautiful place where I love to spend time. 

What else should guests visiting Mauritius for the first time definitely not miss? 
The Chamarel rum distillery is a must, as is the nearby panoramic restaurant „Le Chamarel.“ A fascinating insight into the rich history of Mauritius is offered by the museum „L‘Aventure du Sucre“, a former sugar factory, where exhibits about the cultivation of sugar cane are displayed – by the way, the most important crop on Mauritius and a key factor for the economic development of the country. And if they dare to make an early start, they should definitely go swimming with our dolphins.

As head of MTPA, what strategy are you pursuing to maintain or even expand Mauritius‘ status as a high-end tourist destination?
We always work with an eye to the future. The pandemic was a real shock to global tourism and will have a lasting impact on people‘s travel behavior. We therefore believe that safety is the new luxury. Consumers are choosing vacation destinations like Mauritius that have responded robustly to the pandemic; places they can be sure will stay open and won‘t be red-listed in their home countries.

Does the pandemic also present opportunities?
The pause in global tourism caused by Corona has certainly been an occasion for the industry to reflect on some of its unsustainable practices, and the fresh start now provides a good opportunity for a fresh start. Mauritius has long been a regional leader in sustainable tourism. We are determined to step up these efforts immediately and quickly. This is the duty of the tourism industry to our planet. But we also expect this to become a commercial necessity as more and more consumers prioritize sustainability in their lifestyle choices.

How would you describe the collaboration between you and Sanjiv Ramdanee?
We both grew up in the tourism industry and share the same vision of positioning Mauritius as a luxury destination.  

 

“WE ALWAYS WORK WITH AN EYE TO THE FUTURE.

 

Interview by POLO+10 / Alexander Nebe