The One&Only Le Saint Géran celebrated its 40th anniversary in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, and in Cape Town two weeks ago. The hotel’s GM and Head of Sales thanked invited guests for attending and joining in the celebration of the important milestone.
In Cape Town the celebration was held at the Cook’s Playground, Giggling Gourmet Chef Jenny Morris having traveled around the country with the Le Saint Géran team. On arrival, we received a garland of flowers to wear, the frangipani in it transporting one to Mauritius immediately. Long tables had been set up for us to eat at, beautifully decorated with pineapples and vases filled with flowers, to give a Mauritian feel. Bar staff created a Mauritian style pineapple mojito, which created quite a hold-up, as each cocktail was individually made.
Two dancing ladies opened the proceedings, and speeches were made by Rochelle van Rosenveldt, responsible for One&Only Sales for Africa, and our hostess for the evening. Charles de Foucault, GM of the hotel in Mauritius, said that the Le Saint Géran Hotel was the first hotel which Sol Kerzner had opened outside our country. The role of partner SAA was acknowledged.
We received a brochure for Kerzner, a company I had not heard of, which incorporates its hospitality interests in ATLANTIS (no longer in the Bahamas but now in Dubai, and soon to open in China), One&Only hotels (Los Cabos in Mexico, in Bahamas, Cape Town, Royal Mirage and The Palm in Dubai, Reethi Rah in Maldives, Hayman Islands in the Great Barrier Reef, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in Australia, and opening soon in Bahrain, China, and in Montenegro), and Mazagan (Morocco).
I sat next to Johan du Toit, International One&Only Sales Manager for the Gulf countries and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) groups, and he was a most considerate host. Nothing was too much trouble, and that probably is why he is so good at his job.
We had each received a goodie bag on arrival, and inside it was an One&Only Le Saint Geran/Giggling Gourmet/SAA branded apron, which we were asked to wear, to the detriment of our garland. The surprise was that we were to cook our own supper, Chef Jenny reading out the menu, and asking for volunteers for each of the dishes. She emphasised that the menu reflected the fusion food of the island, with particular emphasis on fish, which is plentiful in the Mauritian waters.
The starter was the highlight for me, a salad of prawns, pineapple, and avocado, with an Asian mayonnaise dressing. This was followed by a buffet table laden with the food prepared by all the guests, including a whole baked Norwegian salmon stuffed with lemon and dill, butter chicken and prawns, black bean chicken salad, roti, mussel salad, Jeera rice, egg fried rice, chucks chicken, seaweed salad, and butter bean, brinjal, and potato curry. The dessert was a very generous portion of tropical Pavlova.
It was a long evening, but it sped past with the cooking of our meal. We met tour operators, and One&Only staff, and I enjoyed catching up with Barbara Lenhard of Opulent Living. We had fun being ‘transported’ to Mauritius, even if it was only for a few hours.
Disclosure: We received an apron, a SAA branded cap, and a pair of One&Only Le Saint Géran branded havaianas slip slops with our media goodie bag.
One&Only Le Saint Géran, Pointe de Flacq, Mauritius. Tel +230 401 1688. www.onandonlyresorts.com Twitter: @OOLeSaintGeran