Celebrity life­style on the hori­zon

Do you wish that Kylie could be your neigh­bour?

The Jewish Chronicle - - Classified -

PROP­ERTY “CIVIL­I­SA­TION” over­seas goes through three dis­tinct stages. At first, any­one can buy in an over­seas re­sort be­cause laws are so re­laxed — but would you want to? The next, the lo­cals be­come ap­palled at the num­ber of for­eign­ers mov­ing in so they re­strict prop­erty own­er­ship. In the third stage, they re­lax a bit, re­alise that the for­eign­ers are not as bad as they thought and al­low them to buy again.

Drawn by the sub­lime cli­mate, re­laxed at­mos­phere, friendly lo­cals, stun­ning beaches and great food, more than a mil­lion peo­ple visit Mau­ri­tius ev­ery year. Now, thanks to gen­er­ous pro­vi­sions from the Mau­ri­tian gov­ern­ment, more and more vis­i­tors are buy ing prop­erty on this trop­i­cal is­land, sitting in the In­dian Ocean a few hun­dred miles east of the African coast.

Full ti­tle to prop­erty is avail­able for for­eign in­vestors, along with repa­tri­a­tion of busi­ness prof­its and zero cap­i­tal gains or value added tax. And since 2005, over­seas buy­ers have re­ceived spe­cial treat­ment and en­cour­age­ment to buy in Mau­ri­tius through the In­te­grated Re­sort Scheme (IRS), which of­fers fur­ther tax in­cen­tives and an au­to­matic res­i­dence per­mit.

Prices are not tiny, with mod­est vil­las and apart­ments start­ing at 500,000 eu­ros (ap­prox­i­mately £440,000) and the best houses with pools on the coast rou­tinely sell­ing off-plan for 2.25 mil­lion eu­ros (just un­der £2 mil­lion), but these prices com­pare well with Caribbean prop­er­ties and there are many good rea­sons to pre­fer Mau­ri­tius to, say, Ja­maica.

A 12-hour flight from Lon­don takes you to a four-hour time dif­fer­ence, min­imis­ing jet­lag. The var­ied her­itage of the is­land means that French, In­dian, Chinese and African cui­sine and cul­ture cre­ate a fu­sion of tastes and ex­pe­ri­ences.

Mau­ri­tius has a small Jewish com­mu­nity. De­tails of lat­est ac­tiv­i­ties can be found at www.african­jew­ish­congress. com and some hol­i­day com­pa­nies of­fer oc­ca­sional kosher pack­ages. Prospec­tive buy­ers should tour the is­land to get to know the var­i­ous re­gions. There is the busy west coast, home to the is­land’s cap­i­tal Port Louis, with its buzzing har­bour, shop­ping op­por­tu­ni­ties and nearby soar­ing peaks in­clud­ing Le Pouce (The Thumb). Mov­ing south, the ter­rain grows wilder, with the jungly Black River do­main and fur­ther ma­jes­tic peaks that de­scend al­most into the sea. Here lie the re­sorts of Par­adis Ho­tel and Le Telfair, in Bel Om­bre, with golf cour­ses, beaches and an un­spoilt, tran­quil aura.

To the east is a chain of top-end re­sorts, sprin­kled around coves and bays, is­lands and penin­su­las. Among them can be found vil­las such as the two Sankhara prop­er­ties, voted among the world’s finest pri­vate vil­las in the Sun­day Times and of­fer­ing a quite spec­tac­u­lar ar­ray of concierge ser­vices, in­clud­ing two but­lers, an award­win­ning chef (who will pro­vide cook­ing demon­stra­tions), yoga lessons, cata­ma­ran ex­cur­sions, horse rid­ing and golf. The course at Le Touess­rok, about half an hour’s drive away, was de­signed by Bernhard Langer and is among the world’s most chal­leng­ing (and ex­trav­a­gantly beau­ti­ful) cour­ses. It sits on its own is­land, 10 min­utes by boat from the main re­sort.

In the Sankhara vil­las them­selves, vis­i­tors can laze in the heated pool, stroll on the (spe­cially swept) beach, snorkel in the la­goon, or­der food and drink from one of the but­lers (why not give them some­thing to do?) or re­lax to the sound of the In­dian live mu­sic ac­com­pa­ny­ing the five-course din­ner. Prices start at £800 per night for the three-bed­room villa, ris­ing to £2,400 per night for the five-bed­room prop­erty.

Fi­nally,tothenorth,is­thetownof Grand Baie, with its beach-front restau­rants, chic bou­tique­sandthrum­ming­nightlife.

Stars re­cently spot­ted vis­it­ing Mau­ri­tius in­clude ac­tor Robert de Niro, rock mu­si­cian Mark Knopfler, singers Kylie Minogue and Natalie Im­bruglia (on a girlie hol­i­day to com­mis­er­ate with one an­other over how aw­ful men are), butch TV pre­sen­ters Bear Grylls and Ben Fogle, singer Chris de Burgh (a reg­u­lar visi­tor to One&Only St Geran) and co­me­dian Rob Bry­don.

De­tached plan­ta­tion-style four-bed­room villa with pa­tio, in­fin­ity pool and se­cluded land­scaped trop­i­cal gar­den on the Telfair es­tate in the south­west of the is­land, with ac­cess to the five star ho­tel fa­cil­i­ties and cham­pi­onship-level 18-hole golf course. Prices start at 2.2 mil­lion eu­ros (£1.9 mil­lion).

Over­seas buy­ers love to moor in Mau­ri­tius

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