The Serenity Villas architects have captured the essence of the contemporary Mauritian lifestyle to create a timeless and elegant getaway.
By Debbie Hathway
Less than five hours direct from Cape Town via Air Mauritius lies the Indian Ocean island that has captured the hearts of thousands of South Africans. The Mauritius attraction is easy to understand. Beyond the undeniable natural beauty, think relaxed island lifestyle with modern infrastructure, welcoming and friendly locals, English as an official language, international schools and tertiary institutions, and tax benefits for those who invest in property to secure permanent residency in Mauritius. And that’s just the start of it…
My first visit to Mauritius was in 2012. It was a last-minute decision to burn frequent flyer miles, and we booked into a cheap hotel in Pereybere, within walking distance of the popular neighbouring village of Grand Baie. We were struck by how convenient and safe it was to walk to where we wanted to go, day or night, with public transport on local buses readily available if we wanted to explore further afield. Although it was low season, the weather was warm, and we spent a week sunning ourselves on Pereybere Beach, hunting for bargains at the Grand Baie market, sampling Mauritian cuisine and enjoying the multiple water sports on offer.
A couple of kilometres along the coastal road separate the two villages, Grand Baie being the favoured destination for visitors and locals who love a lively atmosphere. Sophisticated international retail, entertainment, restaurants and medical facilities are juxtaposed with local stores selling art, fashion and keepsakes, as well as brightly coloured caravans and vendors selling tasty street food. Everybody walks everywhere, because it’s quicker and easier, occasionally seeking shelter in the shade of palm trees that line the beach to drink a freshly squeezed fruit juice or snack on a delicious roti. A few minutes away, keen golfers gravitate to the Peter Matkovich-designed 18-hole golf course – the only one in this part of the island.
Jonathan Tagg, who used to look after the Pam Golding Properties Johannesburg head office before moving to Mauritius 12 years ago, has no regrets about leaving the City of Gold. He loves the “fast mentality” of the island’s business environment and has seen radical changes in Grand Baie during this time. He loves the fact that he no longer has to drive to the capital, Port Louis, to take his daughters to see a movie, buy veggies from a wire shack, be frustrated that neither a coffee shop nor a book shop was open on a Sunday, or that entertainment outlets were closed in winter. “It’s become a year-long season,” he says.
Grand Baie La Croisette, the largest mall in the north, gives people moving to Mauritius from the city some reprieve. The mall has everything you need from supermarket to gym to cinema. There is a wide range of local and foreign retail brands, including a Woolies clothing store, restaurants and even a piano bar nightclub. There is also a Fortis Clinique Darné outpatient facility, which incorporates a 24/7 emergency department and Advanced Cardiac Life Support Ambulance (ACLS).
My point? In the six years since I first visited this part of Mauritius the village feel is reassuringly unchanged. Pereybere and Grand Baie have lost none of their appeal despite more land being developed to meet demand among eager buyers wanting to secure new homes and, in many cases, permanent residency in their desire for a better, more fulfilling, less stressed way of life.
The luxurious Serenity Villas by 2Futures is one example of a high-end residential development that’s just a stone’s throw away from Pereybere Beach and the nearby exclusive Beach Club, which owners and residents gain access to once they purchase a property in the development.
Designed by Cape Town-based architect Stefan Antoni of SAOTA, who also conceptualised the Beach Club, Serenity Villas comprises 24 three- and four-bedroom villas on plots ranging from 1 000m² to 2000m². More than half the villas are already sold. Buyers are drawn by their sophisticated, stylish interiors, cool colours, clean lines and sweeping verandas overlooking lush gardens and a private swimming pool in a manner that reflects a sense of place. It’s an Antoni trademark.
The award-winning designer collaborated with local architect Eric Chavoix to reflect the Mauritius way of life through a modern interpretation of the existing fabric. Antoni is as skilled at bringing the outside in (reflecting the natural surrounds inside the home) as he is in directing one’s gaze to the view, in this instance one that instantly conveys tranquillity, space and relaxation.
“We have aimed to capture the essence of the contemporary Mauritian lifestyle in the way we believe a sophisticated clientele would expect… a timeless and elegant dream getaway” says Antoni.
Chavoix’s signature is the creation of natural, elegant spaces and the precision of aesthetic details. His architecture seeks a unity of simplicity, harmony, serenity and subtle luxury. It’s the ideal artistic pairing, and the result is a seamless transition from outdoors to indoors, where buyers can put their personal stamp on their home by choosing from a variety of finishes. There are parquet or marble options for the floors and white or volcanic rock or wood cladding for the walls.
All the bedrooms are en suite, and they’ve given “soul” to the luxury European kitchen with a level of quality and attention to detail that is second to none. Stainless steel appliances, stone bench tops and splashbacks embody a classic sense of style, while the gleaming fixtures add a hint of glamour.
The Serenity Villas development also incorporates a shared workspace and a gym.
The Beach Club, on pretty Pereybere Beach, offers auspicious membership to residents of 2Futures developments. The Club is modelled on exclusive destinations in Europe and the US and is rapidly becoming a social hub for those who relish the opportunity to lounge on the beach, savouring delicious cocktails and indulging in gourmet cuisine.
For more information, visit https://www.pamgolding.co.za/international-property/mauritius