Travel: Is­land life, up­graded

This Mau­ri­tius re­sort is the per­fect es­cape

ELLE (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

Set in the In­dian Ocean’s sparkling sap­phire and aqua­ma­rine wa­ters, Mau­ri­tius spells ‘utopia’. Ubiq­ui­tous palms, mango trees and sugar cane plan­ta­tions form a bril­liant green canopy that feels al­most over-sat­u­rated, as if na­ture has gone into re­touch­ing overdrive. Glint­ing in the tropical sun­light, the sea turns to a vivid shade of dazzling lapis lazuli so un­ac­cus­tomed, my city eyes need to re­fo­cus. A vol­canic is­land of la­goons, golden sands and the dreami­est warm zephyrs, Mau­ri­tius’s jaw-drop­ping nat­u­ral beauty will viv­ify even the most jaded long­haul fre­quent flyer.

Sit­u­ated on the south west coast of the is­land – site of the most In­sta­grammable sun­sets – LUX* Le Morne is in per­fect sync with its sur­round­ings’ nat­u­ral beauty. Grim and gaudy high-rises are not the thing here; in­stead it’s all about chic, chalet-style suites sur­rounded by lush tropical gar­dens and fac­ing onto a mag­nif­i­cent beach. Rooms are pared back, el­e­gant and well-con­sid­ered. Think richly pol­ished wooden floors, min­i­mal clut­ter, mar­ble bath­rooms and ma­jes­tic beds fit for an em­peror. De­signed by a former aero­nau­ti­cal

en­gi­neer, the en­velop­ing dream mat­tresses are so cov­eted by guests that LUX* can ar­range to ship one home to wher­ever you choose to lay your head.

Af­ter a 12-hour flight, an al­fresco shower in a stall carved out of rock was the ideal ex­otic in­tro­duc­tion to our is­land par­adise. LUX*’s sig­na­ture prod­ucts by renowned aro­mather­a­pist Shirley Page are, hands-down, the best own-brand ho­tel prod­ucts I’ve yet dis­cov­ered. The Mal­dives Citronella Body Wash and In­dian Ocean Pep­per­mint and Men­thol Sham­poo are par­tic­u­larly good: they’re paraben­free, made with all nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents, and their scent is di­vine.

For LLM’s dis­creet, ul­tra-pro­fes­sional sunny staff, noth­ing is too much trou­ble. This helps cre­ate instant switch-off so you fall straight into ex­actly the type of break you crave. Whether that’s loung­ing by one of the four swim­ming pools with a fresh co­conut and a book from the ho­tel’s bou­tique li­brary, be­ing a spa junkie and sur­ren­der­ing to re­lax­ing holis­tic treat­ments at the renowned eight-room spa or stay­ing ac­tive with com­pli­men­tary wind­surf­ing, wa­ter­ski­ing and sail­ing. Mau­ri­tius is famed for its waves – the 1974 cult movie For­got­ten Is­land

of San­tosha ce­mented its rep­u­ta­tion as a surfer’s par­adise. The iso­lated penin­sula that hosts the ho­tel is not only World Her­itage-listed but has some of the best surf­ing con­di­tions on the is­land, per­fect for the board boys (and girls), es­pe­cially be­tween May and De­cem­ber.

LUX*’s fo­cus on well­ness and premium ser­vice ex­tends to its three restau­rants. East dishes up zingy Thai cui­sine, The Beach of­fers sim­ple, healthy Mediter­ranean-style cook­ing, and the run­ning buf­fet at The Kitchen in­cludes just about ev­ery de­li­cious dish you can imag­ine, from grilled seafood and Cal­i­for­nian-style sal­ads to rich, aro­matic cur­ries and the most sump­tu­ous desserts. Tal­ented chefs cus­tomise dishes to your per­sonal tastes: our sim­ple shrimp lin­guine with chilli, fresh herbs and gar­lic be­came a nightly sta­ple, as did LUX*’s creamy home­made ice-cream served at a dinky ice cream par­lour and through­out the ho­tel’s restau­rants.

Cool touches in­clude nightly beach bon­fires, com­plete with marsh­mal­lows to roast while the picture-per­fect sun­set un­folds. The ho­tel’s open-air Cin­ema Par­adiso, with its bean­bags, pop­corn and more of that de­li­cious ice cream, screens an eclec­tic mix of movies. Hol­ly­wood stars un­der the stars: bliss. A par­tic­u­larly charm­ing cus­tom is LUX*’s ‘mes­sage in a bot­tle’. Bot­tles con­tain­ing sur­prise and to­tally gratis treats for guests are buried on the beach or hid­den within the gar­dens. They might be a ro­man­tic can­dle-lit din­ner for two in the lap­ping surf, a ther­a­peu­tic spa treat­ment, or a scuba-div­ing les­son. These ex­tra touches add an­other level of magic and sur­prise to an al­ready out-of-this-world ex­pe­ri­ence, and are in­dica­tive of LUX* Le Morne’s per­son­alised ap­proach to pam­per­ing their guests. In par­adise, ex­pect noth­ing less.

Re­lax with a fresh co­conut by the pool

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