05So, here are my impressions I want to share with you regarding Albion.
The flight (Zurich via Dubai by Emirates) went smoothly and without any incident. I was the only GM arriving, so I had a taxi just for myself. Arrived at the village and there were some GOs standing in two lines. Wow, this is what I thought. So many GOs for just one GM. Well, as a coincidence, I knew quite some of them having met them in La Pointe or other villages. But the thing is, there was a coach arriving behind me with a group of Italian GMs and the GOs were in fact waiting for them. But nonetheless, my welcome was more than stunning.
I had a superb Club room right behind the reception which was very convenient, because I like to go back to my room during the day. While the buildings around the zen pool have a better view, I find it less convenient, although there are buggies that give you a ride.
The room is fantastic. Very large bed, a sofa bed and some chairs. Lots of closets, a filled minibar (soft drinks, beer and snacks). The shower is just awesome, just like the bathtub. I felt immediately comfortable, once I had everything unpacked.
The village was filled to some 50 %. Since there are different parts like the beach, the main pool and the zen pool, the village may seem sort of empty during the day. But in the evening, everybody gathers around the bar. It was a good nationality mix. French, Belgians, Italians, Germans, quite some Swiss from the French part, some South Africans and SE Asians. Very few kids, just some teenagers who had come with their parents.
The GO team did an outstanding job. Since I knew lots of them before, also from Phuket 2008, making new contacts was very easy. They also would present you to other GMs you might like.
The sports activities are very varied. Lots of GMs seem to like the flying trapeze, the only one in Mauritius. It's team is outstanding and they did some great evening shows. I was particularly happy to find again Gabriele from Italy whom I had met in Djerba La Douce during the tsunami in 2004. The sports team is run by Ali from Morocco. In my opinion a potential new CDV. He's doing a very good job.
Weather was more than perfect. Nice and warm during the day, but not yet hot and humid. The evenings were cooler and one needed a pashmina.
Food was absolutely best I've ever had. Lots of dishes are prepared in front of you and you can tell them how you want the meat or whatever done. Also, everything is very pleasantly displayed. I should have taken photos of the fruit, dessert and sushi counter... Wonderful to look at and even better to eat!!
I was slightly afraid the sailing would be too difficult because the lagoon is a lot smaller compared to La Pointe. But everything went perfectly. Sometimes, winds would be a little rough, so the GOs would make sure only confirmed sailers would go out. The team organized a weekly beach party, the armada and a regata. Lots of fun, as always.
I also did the aqua gym and sometimes the power walk which was at 8.30 AM though...
Albion is a little more isolated compared to La Pointe. But I had no wish to go to Port Louis or wherever. The small village is pretty residential (the British ambassador has his house there), but some small shops start to pop up. Mainly, there is the Dodo supermarket very near the sailing house, in case one needs something.... like a bottle of Green Island Rum or whatever!
I once went to La Pointe (some 35€, takes about 1 hour) to say hi to everybody. I had very strange feelings, since La Pointe used to be my favourite village for years. Now, I am not that sure anymore. Also, it's not really worth the 4 Tridents and the differences are pretty significant compared to Albion, although a 5 Trident, where everything is just top notch.
One day, some GOs who were off and myself went by taxi towards the south of the island. Superb beaches, lunch in a small very typical bar and relaxing on the beach of Blue Bay. Just awesome. Back to Albion on the seaside road with awesome beaches and great views. At Le Morne, lots of kite surfers. In fact, it's the best spot on the island for that sport. Nice to look at.
The evenings were very classy with extremely good shows. The choreographer Corentin is doing a superb job. Also, lots of good dancers in the GO team, not to mention the costume designer, Jean-Noël, which I've known for years already.
I liked the place so much that I decided to stay a little longer. But still, the last day arrives nonetheless and leaving was very hard indeed, especially since we're heading into the winter season in Europe. I am sure I'll be back.
Special thanks to the whole GO team which is pretty much going to change for the winter season and to Karim who is doing a very good job in a village which IMO is not that easy to run.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. I'd be happy to answer.
Just do NOT ask which of the two villages on Mauritius Island I prefer...
A question that can't be answered. The two villages are just too different and both have advantages and disadvantages.
Hope to be back in Mauritius - whichever village - very soon!