Agent describes how quick-thinking staff saved guests’ lives as hotel burned

By Lisa James
05/07/2022
Home » Agent describes how quick-thinking staff saved guests’ lives as hotel burned

A travel agent staying at the Lux Belle Mare on Mauritius has said swift action by the hotel’s staff undoubtedly saved lives when fire broke out – and he’s urging the trade to support them now they’ve lost their livelihoods.

Anthony Goord, Partner at Peter Goord Travel in Plymouth, was staying at the luxury property with wife Sue, who does the accounts at the agency, when a fire started in the main reception area on Saturday and rapidly spread.

Staff helped 380 guests safely evacuate before most of the property was destroyed. The resort is now closed for the foreseeable future.

Anthony, pictured at the Lux Belle Mare a few days before the fire, is now asking the trade to support affected staff by continuing to book other Lux properties on the island.

He told Travel Gossip: “I’ll be forever grateful to the Lux staff for keeping Sue and me safe. When they realised how serious the situation was, they made sure the hotel was empty and we were all moved to the beach.

“The staff and hotel residents were not hurt but the hotel has been decimated. I can’t praise the staff enough for the care they’ve given us before, during and after the fire and, while we’ve only lost material things, their lives have been changed forever.”

He recalled: “We were on the beach when I noticed smoke coming from the direction of the reception.

“I ran to see what was going on and suddenly the weather changed dramatically to be grey skies and very windy.

“Within a few minutes the fire had spread very quickly across the thatched roofs to the area where our room on the higher floor was.

“By the time I realised I should get everything out of the room, the staff were evacuating the area and sending us to the beach.

“The wind had increased to such a level the burning ashes had blown across to the beach parasols, which then also caught fire.

“We were then moved further up the beach away from the direction of the wind to safety.

“Just watching the devastation happening within minutes made everyone realise how lucky we were to be evacuated so quickly.

“Things could have been so much worse if it wasn’t for the quick thinking of the staff, who, at all times, were concerned only for our safety while watching their fabulous hotel go up in flames.”

Guests were initially moved to the Salt resort, another property in the Lux group, before being allocated accommodation for the remainder of their holiday. Anthony and Sue are now at the Lux Grand Baie and say staff continue to ‘constantly check we’re OK’.

“Although most of our clothes have been ruined, our money and passports were in the safety deposit box, which protected them,” Anthony added.

“Having been very lucky to travel to some of the best hotels and destinations in the world, I can honestly say they have been the most friendly and attentive we’ve ever had.

“The 500 staff from the Belle Mare have been relocated but, financially, with one hotel down they will struggle. It’s such a terribly sad situation.”

He urged Travel Gossip members: “Any support you can give this fantastic hotel group and staff in the coming months would be greatly appreciated.”

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