Reality on pause: 5 hotels in Mauritius

Posted on 6 July 2023 By David Henning

With turquoise waters, postcard beaches, haute restaurants and luxury spas, it’s easy to forget about reality in Mauritius. From more rustic stays to hotels where every hour is cocktail hour, here’s a list of hotels in Mauritius to put reality on pause.

Also read: 10 of the best eco hotels in South Africa

1. SALT of Palmar

Picture: SALT of Palmar

Progressive, unorthodox, experiential and aesthetically accentuating the island’s enduring state of tropical bliss, Salt is a 59-room hotel that opened in 2018 with a mix of bold colour and elegant minimalism that works incredibly well in a hot and frequently humid environment. The vibrant design is the result of a collaboration between French artist Camille Walala, known for her vivid murals, and Mauritian architect Jean- François Adam, who repurposed an existing riad-like building on the edge of Palmar’s white sand beach and transformed it into something that looks and feels like a true original.

Aside from communal tables in the restaurant, bakery and beach bar, it has the island’s first roof-top bar and local artisans were tasked with making everything from basket beach bags to rattan chairs. Salt has its own farm that supplies the kitchen – other produce is locally sourced and there’s a circular system that ensures zero food waste. There are no buffets, no fixed TV screens, and no single-use plastics either.

Before we continue, you should also check out the best resorts in Gauteng.

Picture: SALT of Palmar

Staff are encouraged to get to know their guests with a skills-swap concept through the hotel’s app and encourage guests to become “Salt Shakers” and take short courses with the island fishermen, bag weavers and ceramicists to name a few.

Visit their website here

2. C Mauritius

Picture: C Restorts

In Palmar on the east coast, this down-to-earth resort is all about immersion, with lots of activities for energetic sun- and fun-seekers. From grown-up swings dangling from palm trees and guided adventures to Le Pouce Mountain, there are also nights with DJs on the beach and lagoon outings on a pirogue. There’s a freshness to this refurbished property, and lots of variety when it comes to choosing what and where to eat – aside from four restaurants, there’s a deli next to the beach. Plus, there are three pools, a spa and all your stand-up paddling, kayaking and kite-surfing needs accounted for.

Visit their website here

3. LUX* Grand Gaube

LUX* Grand Gaube

“Lux” is not a lazy abbreviation for “luxury”. It’s Latin for “light” and at the eponymous Lux* resort chain, the translation is taken quite literally. Throughout Lux* Grand Gaube there are bright, light-filled expressions of that preppy, contemporary look to which millennials are drawn. Perhaps the light favours Instagram? Certainly, it’s the kind of resort favoured by those looking for that “curated” experience. Draped in bougainvillaeas, the pale-hued suites and villas are arranged in crescents overlooking the water with Coin de Mire island cradled in one bay. And, beyond the beauteous setting, there’s an almost infinite number of activities to keep busybodies buzzing.

Visit their website here

4. LUX* Grand Baie

Picture: Lux* Grand Baie

At this stylish newer spot in northern Mauritius, it’s tempting to get stuck in this five-star resort, especially since it makes such a valiant attempt at trying to bring the world – particularly the culture of Mauritius – to you. It also does a pretty tempting job of convincing you that this is how the world should be. Aside from its setting on a beautiful bay, there’s extravagance aplenty: five pools, music spilling out of everywhere almost perpetually (there are speakers in the trees and in the garden beds), bars, a beach club, and curated activities to ensure you need never have a dull, unaccounted for moment. Lux* has its own in-house gelato and is up-to-date with shifting dietary trends: plenty of plant-based dishes are on offer.

Visit their website here

5. Otentic

No photo description available.

Picture; Otentic

For something very different, skip the full-blown resort experience and opt for one of these eco-tents at the island’s first glamping establishment, a backpacker-style lodge with sustainability in mind. It offers activities such as kitesurfing, canoeing and reef snorkelling. No keys, no key cards, no locks, no doors. There are zips, though, and Velcro strips, and inside your big, sturdy safari-grade tent-on-stilts, there are beds assembled from recycled palettes. But no plastic, and no senseless fripperies – no minibar or phone, no TV and definitely no aircon. Instead, there is rustic furniture made from reclaimed wood and the bathroom panelling is made from old beams and planks, heavily stressed with aking paint. All tents can sleep two adults and three children, or four adults.

Visit their website here

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