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Michaela death hotel changes its name after killing

THE five-star hotel where new bride Michaela McAreavey was killed nearly a year ago has changed its name.

All five establishments under the former Naiade Resorts umbrella, including the Legends Hotel in Mauritius where Michaela (27) was murdered, have now been rebranded LUX* Island Resorts.

The Legends Hotel is now called Lux* Grand Gaube, after the fishing village north of the island where it is based.



devastated

The former teacher from Tyrone had only been married for 11 days when her new husband John McAreavey (27) discovered her body in the bathtub of her suite, where she had been strangled.

Michaela's devastated dad Mickey Harte spoke yesterday on what would have been her first wedding anniversary.

The Tyrone GAA boss described her December 30, 2010, wedding as "one of the best days of my life".

Mickey says he turns to memories of the wedding to help him through his grief.

He said: "It was a privilege to share in what can only be described as the giddy excitement that ran through Michaela's veins that morning.

"Thank God for the memories, the meal, the speeches, the dancing, the sheer enjoyment of being part of something very special that continued unabated until after midnight".

The former Naiade hotel group includes hotels in Mauritius, the nearby Reunion island and the Maldives.

Their new names were unveiled in early December at a gala event, which also announced the resorts' new motto: 'Lighter. Brighter'.

"Our launch event is not a traditional hotel opening: it is a unique celebration of island life inspired by the flavours, culture and people of all our destinations in Mauritius, Maldives and La Reunion," the CEO of LUX* Island Resorts Paul Jones said at the time.

"We are doing more than simply changing the name of the company or putting a new brand on our hotels."

The event came days before the Director of Public Prosecutions in Mauritius confirmed that room attendant Avinash Treebohowon (30) and floor supervisor Sandip Moneea (41) would be tried in the New Year for premeditated murder.

A trial date has yet to be announced. The two men have repeatedly claimed that they are innocent.

Grieving husband John is expected to travel to Mauritius in 2012 to give evidence for the murder trial.

So far, the prosecution's case appears to rest on Treebohowon's confession. His lawyer has insisted that the testimony is not valid as it was obtained under duress.



investigation

No DNA evidence linking the suspects to the scene of the crime was found by forensic analysts, while footage from CCTV cameras near the room was also inconclusive.

The Herald revealed earlier this year that several question marks remain with regards to the investigation.

Hair found in the bathtub of the couple's room was never sent to the forensics team, despite being one of the surest ways to identify DNA. Michaela was thought to have come back to the suite after a late lunch to get some biscuits for her tea, however these were not included among the list of exhibits.

hnews@herald.ie


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