Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rent your own island

HAVING a private island to enjoy is usually reserved for millionaires and celebrities.

But a place in Mauritius gives vacationers a chance to enjoy the Marlon Brando lifestyle.

Ile des Deux Cocos owned by Naiade Resorts, is a small island off the southwest coast of Mauritius.

In an age when planning a wedding is as important as the ceremony, the secluded island is proving extremely popular for soon-to-be husbands and wives.

White, sandy beaches, palm trees, a traditional villa and a private bar are just some of the indulgences on offer.

Up to 20 hotel staff can be on the island catering for as few as two people.

A housekeeper, valet and cook are always available to look after guests. Water transport is always available.

A private bar has 10 different types of local rum and bar staff will serve guests sunbaking on the beach.

Contact with the outside world can be maintained by radio or satellite phone.

The island is filled with native flora and fauna and there is a guided path for exploring the vegetation.

The island's villa was built more than one century ago and has a mix of British and Moorish architecture, with a Mauritian-style interior.

It has been recently renovated, but with the original concepts retained.

There is a delightful European-style courtyard with a fountain and palm trees, and an upstairs balcony where guests can have dinner under the stars.

The villa has two bedrooms, a dining room, lounge room, a patio and a bathroom, and is the perfect escape, with beautiful surroundings, privacy and modern comforts.

It can sleep one couple or a family with two children.

For celebrations, such as a wedding or birthday gathering, guests can camp on the beach.

Special island packages include all meals and non-alcoholic drinks.

During the day there are various activities, such as beach volleyball, underwater treasure hunts or circuits around the island.

There are also other relaxing attractions, including snorkelling over coral, sunbaking or lying under the shade of the coconut palms with a book.

Wedding ceremonies or other celebrations can be co-ordinated through Naiade Resorts.

The island costs about $6000 for an overnight stay, though there are special package prices available.

Package deals, including accommodation, start from about $1300.