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Meet the giants of the sea: Mauritius’s sperm whales

  • 20/07/2022
  • Activités aquatiques

As Mauritius is on the migration route of the humpback whales, with a population of some 300 individuals living on the north and west coast of Mauritius, your holiday is an ideal opportunity to encounter these fabulous ocean creatures. This protected species is to be seen during an exclusive spotting boat tour. Let’s dive together to meet the giants of the sea.   What is the difference between a whale and a sperm whale? The whale is a marine mammal belonging to the cetacean family, which is divided into two categories: the mysticetes, including baleen whales, and the odontocetes, including toothed whales. The whale is a very large animal: it can measure up to 30 metres in length. It can weigh up to 150 tonnes. It also has a tongue that can weigh 2 tonnes. This mammal breathes with its lungs when it swims on the surface. Some species of whale, such as the sperm whale, can dive to a depth of 2 km and remain underwater for more than an hour. Sperm whales are the largest cetaceans in the oceans. Male sperm whales are generally found in cold waters where food is plentiful, while females are found in equatorial or subtropical waters, which is the case in Mauritius. Their life expectancy is about 70 years. The population of sperm whales has largely decreased during the 20th century, notably because of hunting which lasted until the 1980s. Today, the species is protected in almost all of the world’s countries, including Mauritius.The difference between a whale and a sperm whale is the teeth. The whale has baleens, and only on its upper jaw. The baleens are sorts of soft horn blades covered with hair. They allow the whale to filter the water so that it can swallow only plankton, its main food. Other fish and marine animals that it catches involuntarily are spat out. The sperm whale, on the other hand, is a true marine carnivore and has teeth on its lower jaw. These teeth, which weigh almost 1 kg each, enable it to feed on crustaceans, squid, herring and jellyfish. Swimming with sperm whales in Mauritius: special conditions apply   Although sperm whale watching from a boat is still possible, swimming with these enormous cetaceans is highly regulated in Mauritius. No launching is allowed, except for scientific, educational or media purposes with written permission from the authorities. Only NGOs or specialized professional journalists can obtain these authorisations. This is the case for the Marine Megafauna Conservation Organisation. To carry out a sperm whale watching dive in this particular setting, a financial contribution and the handing over of all rights on pictures to enhance the research fund, the strict respect of safe observation rules is expected. Swimming is only allowed for scientific purposes during survey missions and only after a few days training. It is not necessary to be a certified diver to participate: the discovery is conducted under apnea. The course teaches you how sperm whales live and how to approach them. Then finally comes the great adventure! However, it can happen that outside of this very specific scientific context, that during a boat excursion, a scuba dive or during humpback whale watching during the southern winter (from June to October), you come across sperm whales. The rule: stay in the boat, or if you dive, stay away from the whales.Swimming close to sperm whales: those who have experienced it report… There are only a few people who have had the extraordinary opportunity to observe sperm whales in their natural environment, in the ocean, but their stories are always intense and the sensations unforgettable  The encounter usually takes place in shallow water or at the surface. As a sperm whale weighs around 50 tons and is several meters long, the thrill of the encounter is both immediate and intense. The mammals often stand upright, which adds to their giant dimensions. You are gripped by a feeling between apprehension and fascination. Eventually, as your heart begins to slow down, you will fall in love with sperm whales for the rest of your life. The cetaceans are fairly calm and sometimes have fun reproducing swimmers’ strokes, in a surprisingly graceful ballet. The presence of a whale calf and experiencing the love of its mother is one of the highlights of this unforgettable encounter.   Boat observation of the sperm whales of Mauritius   This option is more accessible because it is less subject to conditions. It offers the opportunity to watch sperm whales around the west or north coast during an outing at sea. It is sometimes necessary to go far away to have the chance to meet the largest toothed whales in the world. This is an opportunity to capture this unforgettable encounter with photos. We propose to our travelers responsible service providers who organize sperm whale watching trips by boat, such as the Blue Water Diving Centre (http://bluewaterdivingcentre.com/fr/prestations/observation-des-baleines-et-cachalots)   As with all whale watching, it depends on the weather conditions and the presence of sperm whales on the scheduled excursion. Your concierge will contact the service provider beforehand to make sure you have the best possible chance of spotting sperm whales on your outing.


Typical cuisine from L’Atelier, Mauritius

  • 04/07/2022

Your stay at Mythic Suites & Villas will be an unforgettable discovery of the many tasty dishes of Mauritian gastronomy. Out of this fascinating multicultural melting pot has emerged a delightfully mixed cuisine, high in colour and exotic flavours, influenced by Creole, Asian, European and African cultures. Surprise yourself with our range of typical recipes served in our restaurant, l’Atelier, Mauritius.   A taste of Mauritius on your plate at L’Atelier   No need to leave the resort to be introduced to Mauritian cuisine: l’Atelier serves our residents and guests a new menu with typical local dishes. Featuring the finest produce, some from our eco-friendly garden and the best local and regional suppliers, our dishes are lovingly concocted by our Chef Vijendra Kundun and his team. Daily catch, fresh vegetables and fruits, local meats and venison, exotic spices: we aim at providing the tastiest of what Mauritius has in store.   Manze lakaz” – an original and innovative formula of L’Atelier, Mauritius   Both in the restaurant and in the Suite or Villa, l’Atelier proposes a mouth-watering menu of local dishes of the day called “Manze lakaz”, which means ” Home-style cuisine “. The concept? Each day a typical dish served with a daily dessert. Experience the authentic, varied and original local cuisine Mauritians are fond of every day.   The most popular dishes of Mauritians   A must try dish in Mauritius, the Chicken, Eggs and Shrimps Upside Down Bowl is a very popular Chinese dish, served as a dome of rice mixed with various ingredients. It is also a popular street food meal at lunchtime. Another popular Chinese speciality is Salted Fish Fried Rice (called snoek here), with omelette, curry leaves and mushroom soy sauce. Also on the menu is the typical recipe of many households, the Fish and Bringelles (aubergines) / White Rice / Dry Grains Curry, which enhances the fish caught that day. More refined but just as succulent is the Dry Beef Curry / White Rice / Cucumber Salad, a dry curry, consisting of meat flavoured with curry and very little sauce.   French influence crossed with local flavours   L’Atelier brings a new twist to authentic Mauritian cuisine by offering a dish full of flavour: The Chicken Salmis / Cucumber Salad / White Rice / Fricasseed Black Lentils. Another delicious treat that combines French tradition and local products is our Stir-fried Beef with Onions / Watercress Broth / Tomato Chutney / Fried Potato Ring. A quick visit to Rodrigues One cannot fail to enjoy the Rodriguan cuisine and the delicious local pork dishes with the Rodriguan Rougaille Saucisse / White Rice and Lentils Fricassee. The Rougaille is a very spicy and tasty meat and tomato dish.   Each of the local dishes comes with three different achards, marinated or pickled vegetables that add to the flavour of the dish. At the Atelier or on delivery, check out our traditional dishes and book with our concierge.


The Top 5 favourite cocktails of our Mythic Suites & Villas residents

  • 16/06/2022

A holiday in Mauritius and a stay in one of our elegant Suites is an opportunity to discover and taste – in moderation – the local spirits and cocktails, watching the crimson colours of the sunset from your terrace. L’Atelier’s bar favours local ingredients to prepare surprising cocktails. For more authenticity and character, we call upon the best Mauritian producers of rhums, sugar syrups and fruits. By the pool, on your terrace with friends or before dinner at our restaurant L’Atelier, these are some of our residents’ favourite cocktails.   Our Mauritian mojitos cocktails : L’Atelier Restaurant offers fresh mojitos made with passion! The Mojito cocktails From the golden green of its garden-picked mint leaves to the bright yellow of the local lemon, this classic cocktail proudly claims its Mauritian flavours with the sugar syrup of the canes and especially its white rhum from the Domaine de Labourdonnais Distillery.   The Passion Mojito We keep the classic Mojito recipe and add a touch of acidity and sweetness from the passion fruit, called grenadine in Mauritius. This mauve berry, which grows on a climbing plant, contains a very fragrant orange flesh with a marked flavour and a touch of acidity. Widely used in local cocktails and juices, passion fruit is the ultimate twist to this Passion Mojito.   The Strawberry Mojito An explosion of flavours and vibrant colours are the signature of this variation of the classic Mojito, with a focus on local strawberries. This pink cocktail combines the acidity of the lemon, the freshness of the mint leaves and the sweetness of the strawberries.    Our top cocktails at L’Atelier Restaurant, Mauritius : Mauritius is famous for its delicious home-made rum, but don’t be fooled, let yourself be surprised by other cocktails! The Dark & Stormy Dark and Stormy: this intriguingly named cocktail combines the sunny, sweet pulp of Victoria pineapple with the deep amber of Dark Rhum produced by the Labourdonnais Distillery. They are aged in a variety of specially selected French and American oak barrels to produce delicious aged rhums. The pineapple juice comes from the Domaine’s orchards, which grow the finest tropical fruits all year round. The final exotic touch is the decorative pineapple, which comes from a local producer.   Yuzu Gin Tonic This fresh and invigorating version of the classic gin and tonic is particularly appreciated by purist enthusiasts. Various gins are available including Bombay Sapphire, The Botanist and Hendrick Scottish gins, which combine perfectly with local rhum and rosemary from the garden.    Our cocktails are an excellent appetizer before dinner. Enjoy the classic but still excellent chicken and prawn curry with white rice and black lentils at L’Atelier or have it delivered to your suite. Discover the list of our cocktails here.


Beau Plan Creative Park : Northern Island’s cultural heart

  • 16/06/2022
  • Culture

How about getting into the cultural spirit? Meet local and African artists and craftsmen as well as those from Madagascar. Head to the Creative Park of Beau Plan, in Pamplemousses, for a full-blown immersion in creativity and art.   Located in the splendid garden of Aventure du Sucre in Pamplemousses, about twenty minutes from Mythic Suites&Villas, in the shade of majestic trees and old stone buildings, the Creative Park welcomes a community of artisans and artists around a central idea: “Where ideas clash, art awakens”. It provides an ideal platform for self-expression, where artists and craftspeople can meet, interact and fulfil their potential.   A space designed as a concept store   Inaugurated in 2018, the Creative Park welcomes artists, painters, writers and photographers for exhibitions and performances within this site tailor-made for cultural life. The idea: to offer a unique concept store around a high-jewellery craftsman, the multifunctional space hosting the Workshop and the dance school Le Studio as well as The African Trader.   Patrick Mavros’ delicate jewellery in The Creative Park   The family-run workshop located at the entrance to the park in the beautiful former sugar factory forge offers beautiful African-inspired jewellery. Originally from Zimbabwe, the Mavros designers draw inspiration from their African roots to create decorative accessories and jewellery in silver and white gold that enhances the precious stones. Watch out, you’ll fall in love with each new discovery!   African Trader, Creative Park: African craftsmanship with passion   With its handicrafts from South and East African countries such as Madagascar or Tanzania, African Trader is an open door to an amazingly creative craft. Wood or recycled materials, basketry, jewellery and accessories celebrate African nature with must-see artisans.   L’Atelier des Artisans, Creative Park: transmitting creativity   This is the place to be for local crafts. L’Atelier des Artisans welcomes traditional craftsmen who work with wood, vacoas or rattan. The Atelier des Artisans team has set itself the task of supporting these talented craftsmen, offering them the opportunity to benefit from a high level of visibility that will increase their reputation, and to promote their local talents. Thanks to workshops, they learn how to better respond to market expectations while passing on their know-how, assisted by designers. L’Atelier is more than an exhibition space: it is a place for sharing and communicating.   After or before a visit to l’Aventure du Sucre, or when visiting the Pamplemousses Garden, check out the Creative Park for an exciting artistic immersion. Our concierge service can provide you with information about the current exhibitions.


“Feuilles et fleurs”, the kingdom of scents

  • 27/04/2022

 A magical garden a few kilometres from Mythic Suites & Villas invites you to immerse your senses among healing plants. In this haven of greenery and peace, delicate and comforting organic herbal teas made from plants from a 100% natural garden are prepared in a traditional and passionate style. Take a guided tour through this wellness Eden.   A certified organic farm Nathalie Baissac Daruty’s love of healthy and sustainable nature and her training in phyto and aromatherapy are the foundations of her magnificent “Feuilles et Fleurs” garden. Thanks to permaculture without pesticides or insecticides and to a permanent concern for the preservation of the environment, the herbal teas produced here are organic and benefit from an international certified label of quality.   The organic garden visit The visit begins with a guide explaining the virtues and qualities of each plant within the garden. A range of greens enhanced in places by the bright colour of a flower: time seems to stand still in this picturesque setting. Although some of the plants are easily identifiable, others are completely new: your guide will explain the benefits of ayapana, which has calming properties, and tulsi, with its soothing properties. All you have to do is bend over and breathe in these aromas to immediately experience peace of mind. The visit to the garden ends with the tasting of five different herbal teas.   The craft workshop After the visit of the garden, get to know the process of making herbal teas. Everything is done by hand in order to preserve the active ingredients of the plants. From growing to harvesting, from drying to packaging, each step is carefully and delicately handled. The plants are stripped by hand, leaf by leaf, and dried in a special drying cabinet. This workshop helps to better understand how the herbal teas are made and how to enhance the properties of each plant.     A wide range of herbal teas to take home  “Feuilles et Fleurs” offers eleven varieties of 100% natural and organic herbal teas in attractive packaging. Simple herbal teas based on a single plant or mixed, you”ll find plenty of options: lemongrass, ginger, sage, turmeric, rosemary, green tea, lavender, cinnamon… The range includes herbal teas for detox, digestion, toning and slimming…   “Feuilles et Fleurs” also runs a gardening and herbarium creation workshop open to all. Guided tours are available by appointment, your concierge will take care of the reservations for this refreshing and educational visit. 


The Labourdonnais Estate, an historical and natural experience

  • 27/04/2022
  • Activités culturelles

History and nature enthusiasts? Just twenty minutes from your resort, the magnificent Domaine de Labourdonnais invites you to a fascinating visit. This 540-hectare former sugar estate has admirably diversified its activities around its agricultural and food-processing centre. Discover a haven of beauty and delight amidst historic buildings and colourful fruit orchards.   The Château de Labourdonnais Built between 1856 and 1859, the castle is set at the end of a beautiful tree-lined driveway, the Allée des Intendances, named after these imposing trees. It illustrates the 19th century lifestyle in Mauritius. Restored to its original state, the house tells the story of its plantation owners, and features a number of splendid items worthy of collectors. Paintings, furniture, bibelots, crockery, splendid teak floors, picturesque scenes on the walls, the atmosphere is full of nostalgia. With its double colonnaded gallery, the Château stands out in this well-preserved and elegant setting.   The Estate Park The wide variety of native plants, the fifty or so varieties of century-old mango trees, the spice trees and many other exotic fruit trees are worth exploring. The park, which can be visited on a small train, is perfectly maintained and you can also see giant turtles grazing, much to the children’s delight.          The Labourdonnais Nursery Created in the 1950s, the Pépinière du Domaine is one of the best known in Mauritius for the extraordinary diversity of its plants. All those with a passion for botany come here to buy and choose their plants from among the hundreds of species on offer: fruit trees, bedding trees, palms, climbing plants, trees and shrubs, aromatic plants… The visit to the orchards and the discovery of these lesser-known species is the highlight of this excursion for nature lovers. The nursery supplies the raw material for the fruit jellies and other local delicacies produced on the estate.   The Labourdonnais Orchards Since 1995, the Domaine has been producing several types of food made from orchard fruit. With authentic cooking recipes that enhance the flavour of the fruit, the Labourdonais Orchards brand is widely recognised on the local and international markets for its gourmet products: fruit pastes, sweets, jams, marmalades, fruit jellies, fruit juices, sorbets and ice creams, and fruit mashed products. If you stay at our resorts, Marguery Villas and Mythic Suites & Villas, you can taste these products at any time of the day.   Labourdonnais Rhums The visit to the Château de Labourdonnais ends with a fruit jelly tasting and the excellent rhum produced by the estate. During the distillation period, feel free to visit the Mascareignes factory, which produces pale, amber and white rhum. In the Château’s shop, numerous products from the estate will make excellent holiday gifts.          At the end of your visit, you can have lunch at La Table du Château, a gourmet restaurant that combines refined cuisine with superb decor. The Domaine de Labourdonnais is one of the best places to visit in Mauritius and should be on your to do list.

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