by Parthip Thyagarajan
The date is July 20th. I am@Long Beach Resort, Mauritius and I can feel the excitement in the fresh air. The Management team is looking forward to hosting a magnificent engagement function over three days, and some of the guest relations staff asks me: “Sir, do you know a very big Indian engagement function is taking place here?” The next question which they ask but don’t ask, “if the engagement is so grand, we can imagine how much grander the wedding will be”. Long Beach, the chic & contemporary property on the East Coast plays host to 4-6 weddings a month, with most of them being intimate functions. I spoke to Nicolas B. de Chalain, General Manager of Long Beach to know more about Weddings@ the Resort.
Q- Tell us more about weddings that take place@Long Beach, Mauritius.
We are very popular among brides/ grooms from UK, China and France. Typically the exchange of vows is by the beach, and the guest list numbers between 10 and 50. Last year a South African billionaire hosted a grand three day wedding, almost like a big Indian wedding—with theme-based celebrations, and all the rooms were booked for his family and friends. In 2012 and 2013 we are looking forward to hosting more Indian celebrations at Long Beach.
Q- Everyone wants a share of the Big Indian wedding. And many resorts are making lots of efforts to attract Indian Weddings, tell us why Long Beach will be much preferred.
There are many reasons. We renovated the hotel just over a year ago, our design inspiration was chic and modern with a luxury touch and this in my opinion, is a big draw for Indian families looking for a destination wedding venue. When preparing our renovation plans, one important factor was the requirement of a large indoor space which could accommodate many guests. We didn’t construct a big ballroom like what some resorts have constructed, but earmarked a space, which could accommodate as many as 2,000 guests and which could be covered easily. Ind ian families like different theme celebrations at different locales—and we have many such spaces. The other factor I kept in mind was to have atleast 4 restaurants specializing in different foods. Indians may love their dal, rotis and curries, but when they travel, they love to stay in contemporary spaces and enjoy a different culinary experience every evening! And like most global travelers they love outdoor and water-sports- we have all that everyone could ask for, so they don’t have to step out of the property.
Q- The Food factor is all-important when a family finalises where to host the wedding. Tell us more on Long Beach’s expertise and ability to please the Indian palate.
Indian food is cooked and served here every day, so it is not an occasional exercise. Many Indian families come here for a holiday, and we are popular among honeymooners from India. A month ago, a big Indian wedding took place in Mauritius, the pheras ceremony was at Swami Vivekanand Convention Centre- and the catering for this function was managed by us. The bride and groom’s family from India had several meetings and tasting sessions, and were convinced we could create the most sumptuous vegetarian spread. In the last few months, we have spent a lot of time researching Indian food and interacting with Indian chefs, and we are confident of managing catering for any Indian wedding. Of course, if the family wishes to bring their own caterer or want us to work with their chefs, we are flexible on that front.
Q- Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m 45 years old, I’ve been married since 14 years, and I live at the Long Beach Resort with my wife and three children. I was born and brought up in Mauritius, I studied Business & Economics in South Africa, and I have worked in hotels in almost every continent- both in operations and sales & marketing. One of the reasons why I love my job is because I love learning about different cultures and communities, and I get a chance to interact with so many people from different cultures.
Long Beach is run by Sun Resorts Limited. Their other properties in Mauritius are Sugar Beach and Le Touessrok. To know more about Long Beach visit www.longbeachmauritius.com. To know more about Sun Resorts visit www.sunresortshotels.com