Beach party: Sunset hits Mauritius to celebrate 30 years in travel

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Long haul specialist Sunset Faraway Holidays flew a coterie of its top selling agents and their partners out to Mauritius earlier this month to help it celebrate hitting the big three-oh – and Aspire went along for the ride

Leaving behind the snowy shores of the UK on December 4 the group spent three nights on the island.

Helping to ensure the 30th birthday celebrations were truly a family affair, Sunset’s managing director and founder Harvin Kaumaya was joined by his wife, his daughter, commercial director Shamira, and his son, sales and marketing director Hamish. And Air Mauritius regional manager Tony Cowles came along to ensure we all got there in one piece.

The choice of location was significant for a couple of reasons. Not only is Harvin Mauritian himself, but the island was the original focus of the family-run travel business he set up in November 1980.

Originally a flight-only operation, Sunset soon branched out into holidays before adding a wide range of other destinations.

Applying the maxim that more is more, Harvin threw not one but three parties for the group. Night one involved a beach party at the One&Only St Geran, with the agents indulging in a spot of traditional Sega dancing around a large ice sculpture spelling out ‘Sunset 30’.

Next up was Le Touessrok and a party held on one of the resort’s private islands, Ile aux Cerfs.

Dinner over, the agents didn’t need much arm-twisting to get up on the dancefloor and bust some exuberant moves into the wee small hours – not least Travelmania’s managing director John Neophytou who raided the vaults to unleash some spectacular old skool moves straight out of the movie Saturday Night Fever.

On the last day some of us sought to appease our sore heads with a spa treatment at Heritage Le Telfair hotel, while others chose to hit the greens for a spot of golf or kick up some dust (most of which seemed to land on Travel Counsellor Jack Leaf’s shirt) on a quad bike adventure.

A spot of lunch on the terrace of the delightful plantation house Le Château de Bel Ombre later and it was on to Sugar Beach, another Sun Resort.

Another hotel, another party?| For the grand finale of the trip we were treated to a drinks reception on the beach where we were joined by representatives from local hotels and companies such as Air Mauritius and ground handler Mauritours.

Suitably oiled we were then called to dinner, comprising a gourmet tasting menu complete with matching wines chosen by Harvin.

"The trip went well - way beyond my expectations," says Harvin. "Every day was an highlight and each hotel had put on a fantastic show.

“The highlight was to see that all my guests from the UK and my countrymen blended so well that to date I have had great thank yous from all who came to this 30th Anniversary celebrations.

"What’s in store for the next 30 years? My two young Kaumayas are proof that I am leaving a legacy that should last for the next 30 years and hopefully my grandson Louis (one year old) will be made Chairman of the Board, thus exceeding the next 30 years."

Three parties in three days? Like your style, Harvin. Happy birthday Sunset – and here’s to the next 30 eventful years.