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As little as five years ago, Mauritius seemed in danger of losing its crown as the luxury destination of choice. Other resort locations - most notably the Maldives -threatened to eclipse its popularity, yet now it seems that things are looking up for this Indian Ocean paradise island. A new building programme and improved facilities are luring visitors back in their thousands. Many respected travel commentators are now predicting that Mauritius will once again takes its rightful place as the ultimate indulgent holiday destination, leaving the Maldives trailing disconsolately in its wake.

Just forty years ago, Mauritius boasted just one five star hotel. The areas which are now the main tourist thoroughfares - Grand Baie and Ile aux Cerfs - were totally undeveloped and consisted simply of endless white sandy beaches, inhabited only by the native tortoises and the very occasional tourist. Four decades on, and the landscape is almost unrecognisable, the only constant being its ethereal beauty, which has, thankfully, been preserved in all its glory.

Mauritius is now home to the largest choice of top-end accommodation of any island in the world - rather an achievement for such a diminutive location. Backed by a tropical paradise of towing volcanic peaks, masses of sugar cane fields and mature and beautiful verdant forests, the many luxury resorts, hotels and villas, all set along the miles and miles of white sandy beaches. Throw in a selection of luxury spas, world-class golf courses plus excellent restaurants and the reasons driving the island’s new lease of life becomes self-explanatory.

Mauritius is increasingly popular with honeymooners travelling from the UK, who take advantage of some of the great packages available at the ‘couples only’ resorts. Several of the leading hotels offer private premium accommodation which is perfect for those wanting to relax and wind down in peace and quiet.

It is certainly true to say that over the last few years, many holiday makers have been lured away from Mauritius to destinations such as the pretty but somewhat insubstantial Maldives, the Seychelles with its preponderance of villas and the newly peaceful Sri Lanka. However, the tide has started to turn. Why? Well, it’s simple: Mauritius offers excellent value for money, year round warm-weather, outstandingly beautiful scenery, crystal clear seas and the friendliest people you are likely to find anywhere. For pure, unadulterated luxury, Mauritius is the only choice for those in the know.

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