The island nation of Mauritius is often overlooked in favor of the far better-known Maldives. This would be a mistake. Whereas the Maldives, albeit beautiful, is fundamentally a series of resorts on barely inhabited islands kept far from local culture, Mauritius offers a far more rewarding and authentic experience rooted in its locals. A mix between French, Indian, African and Chinese, Mauritians are among the most diverse—yet fascinatingly distinct—population groups in the Indian Ocean region.
Mauritius is also eye-poppingly beautiful, with both towering verdant peaks along with powder-sand beaches. There are also an enviable assortment of luxury resorts, along with a vibrant prime property scene. It’s within this scene that buyers will find Villa Charlotte, a contemporary villa compound with panoramic views of the nearby mountains, the azure Indian Ocean and some of the best golfing in Mauritius.
Currently on the market for $10.8 million, Villa Charlotte is located on Mauritius’s eastern coast in the luxury resort and spa development known as Anahita. Located roughly 35 minutes from the international airport at Port Louis, the nearly 10,000-square-foot main home includes six bedrooms, each one with an en suite. The project features an array of individual pavilions all connected by lushly landscaped pathways.
“We decided on building the accommodation across different buildings, more in the style of an island hotel than as a traditional villa, and this really is unique on the island,” says Villa Charlotte owner David Rich-Jones, CEO of Richstone Properties and the Richstone Collection. “Our needs as a family have evolved, and everybody likes to have their own space yet get together at different times of day.”
Rich-Jones says he personally oversaw the development and construction of Villa Charlotte, whose design reflects his “passion for outside spaces and creating different areas within gardens.” To that end, the property is set up to be as airy and spacious as possible. At the center of the home’s grounds is a 82-foot swimming pool complete with eco-friendly salt-water filtration system. “The thought behind it is always to bring nature into everyday living,” says Rich-Jones, “whether this be around the . . . pool, or by the fire pit watching the amazing Mauritius birds and other wildlife.”
Inside, there’s a large open-plan kitchen and a main family room, which serves as Villa Charlotte’s main gathering space. On one side, this grand room is open to the pool and the elements just beyond, while up above it is capped by a soaring roof, whose clean lines and subtle color palette feel both contemporary and cool. Off to one side is a circular alfresco lounging pit, with a curved and dreamily comfy built-in couch and BBQ. Rich-Jones says the fire pit area is “one of my favorites. Sunken into the ground, you are sheltered from wind and any other elements yet in a very intimate setting.”
There are a pair of bedrooms on the ground floor, followed by four more on the top floor, including the oversized primary suite. A spa and gym, an entertainment suite and staff accommodations round out the villa’s all-in-one offerings. With so much of the lifestyle at Villa Charlotte centered around the outdoors, the designers devised some nifty—and tech-forward—tricks to contend with the elements. “The biometric pergolas are a great example,” Rich-Jones says. “Designed and built bespoke to our specifications, these have enabled outside living even when the skies open, which they certainly can do on the island. They sense the rain and close automatically, sheltering those beneath.”
Most of the villa’s windows are framed with sturdy aluminum, while the home’s myriad covered pergolas are lined with tropical teak wood. Decks are made from sturdy Ipe wood, most of the furniture was custom-crafted on the island and heat-reflective glass helps shield the home from the often strong tropical sun.
Rich-Jones says as he and his family move on from Villa Charlotte, the home enters a market filled with buyers from across the globe. French, Swiss and Dutch families are key components of the European market, while South Africans are also notable players. Unlike in the past, many buyers now live full-time in Mauritius, taking advantage of its “fantastic schools,” says Rich-Jones, which help make the island “a great place to bring up children.” Living in Mauritius also offers many tax advantages, he adds.
Check out more photos of Villa Charlotte below: