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This divine Mauritius getaway offers plenty of inspiration for planning your next island adventure
WORDS: DEBBIE HATHWAY
Lout in reverie, I concentrated on the stone pathway as I wandered through the lush tropical gardens at LUX* Belle Mare on the Sunrise Coast of Mauritius. That’s east, for those unfamiliar with the layout of this paradise island, and the location for the best sunrises. As I rounded the corner, I spotted two bicycles parked outside a heavy wooden door – a welcoming and homely touch at the entrance to one of the 12 sea-facing villas.
I was on a site visit, and keen to learn more about accommodation options at this award-winning resort. Luxurious, spacious and beautifully appointed with views to match, the villas offer the privacy of a genuine home from home with all the benefits of a five-star resort. Here, “everything is possible” when it comes to ensuring that guests leave feeling lighter and brighter. The philosophy applies across the resort, but guests staying at the villas have additional exclusive access to a private butler. Everything you need is on hand – you simply have to pack the bare essentials and get there.
REFRESHED AND REVITALISED
While the travel world adopted a holding pattern during the most limiting periods of the pandemic, the LUX* Belle Mare team stayed focused on the endgame – welcoming back their beloved guests. All the Kelly Hoppen-designed suites and villa interiors were refreshed, while maintaining their contemporary beach house style with warm, neutral tones and colourful accents. At the villas, bright, airy interiors, uncluttered rooms, custom-made beds inviting a great night’s sleep, and luxurious bathrooms combine to create an elegant sanctuary in a secluded setting. I love the fact that they are set away from the bustle of the resort, but close enough to the action that you can join when desired. The white sandy beach is also moments away, if you manage to leave your private heated pool.
WHAT GUESTS WANT
Like beauties that turn heads, hotels that truly change the game are a rare breed. Not only has LUX* Belle Mare won a slew of awards over the years, but LUX* Resorts and Hotels recently won the Best Hotel Group 2022 category at the Travel d’Or in Paris. The resort’s innovative look and feel, memorable experiences and evocative location would be a tad less lighter and brighter if it weren’t for the incredible staff team. It’s largely thanks to them, and a forward-thinking management approach, that LUX* Belle Mare ranks fourth among the Top 25 All-Inclusive Hotels in the World according to Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice 2020 and 2021 as well as 22nd in Condé Nast Traveller 2020 Readers’ Choice Award for the Indian Ocean – Resorts category. “Today’s guest is looking for value. It’s not that they mind spending – but they look for the return that they get. Mauritius has that value-for-money aspect,” says Ashish Modak, regional GM of LUX* Belle Mare, LUX* Grand Gaube and LUX* Grand Baie.
“You could go on a historical trip or an adventure to different parts of the world, but if you really want to relax and rejuvenate yourself why not travel the four hours from Johannesburg and enter a different world? A lot of my guests tell me that they feel they have come home, and they can just unwind.” The hotel is known for its unique experiences offered in a high-class, high-quality environment that delivers oodles of value. “From the spa at one end to Mari Kontan at the poolside, where we have rum tasting, and our craft beers at the MIXE bar, we have really gone the distance to be different. Today, we offer collectable experiences you will remember for a lifetime,” adds Modak. “That’s the whole idea at LUX*. We go into detail with every single thing that we do. And we do it with class and we do it with quality.”
Why Mauritius? “People love the simplicity of the lifestyle. We’ve seen huge growth in SA numbers for this hotel. Comparatively, it’s a hop, skip and a jump destination, with visa-free access. And last-minute planning is easy,” says Modak. It’s good to note that the hotel has increased its focus on wellbeing, which includes managing its footprint. The resort is committed to operating as a responsible business, reducing its impact on the environment and adopting sustainable practices by embracing The PLEDGE on Food Waste Certification. This approach is in line with global travel trends, which see guests choosing their holiday destination based on these criteria.
Experience Mauritius magic. You’re bound to return, as I have done repeatedly.
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