A muddled transfer results in an hour-long wait before I even get in the car for the drive up to the Lux Grand Gaube, in the northern part of the country. I've been in Mauritius a few days already and it's been inclement mostly, but as we pull up to the resort, the beaming sun elevates my mood immediately – this is more like the Mauritius I imagined. The reception is bustling with guests coming and going, and after a short wait, the desk staff offer me a refreshment and take my particulars. I am ushered to lunch before being shown to my room.
This resort is a destination in its own right, which means there is little need to leave. Situated on a secluded peninsula in the Riviere du Rempart District, this barefoot luxury offering provides guests with sweeping views of the Indian Ocean and a beachfront playground. There are two beaches and a calm lagoon, three pools, four tennis courts and one of the two padel courts in the region. If you do feel like venturing out, Port Louis is 29 kilometres down the road and worth a few hours of your time, or closer home you can check out the seaside village of Grand-Baie, which is home to a large tourist beach.
Of the 186 rooms, suites and villas – all sea facing – I’m staying in a junior suite on the upper level. Designed in retro-chic style by award-winning designer Kelly Hoppen, the generous space is more like a beach house than a room, and stylish without being overdone. I have my own balcony from which to gaze out over the Indian ocean, there’s a king-sized bed, a small lounge area and sleek modern bathroom with rainfall shower and separate toilet. Some of the higher category suites have their own private pools.
It’s busy at the resort when I stay, but this doesn’t dilute the level of service. There is plenty of attention to detail in the dining stakes, and housekeeping can’t be faulted either. I’m particularly impressed by the team’s caring attitude toward my dietary requirements, although at times I did feel like it was frowned upon that I was travelling alone.
Smile-inducing. From the paint brushes hanging across the resort for dusting the sand off your feet, to the funky ice cream van positioned near the main beach club and the food trucks by the adults-only pool, there is plenty of personality to be found here. Relaxed yet sophisticated, but at the same time energised, as night falls the place is buzzing – there is entertainment on most nights, whether it be DJs or bands.
Bodrum Blue leads the way when it comes to the six restaurants and seven bars here. Aside from the quality of the Turkish fare, this spot has some of the best panoramic views around. The Creole Smoke House comes a close second, partly due to its secluded foliage-filled location under a big Banyan tree within the resort's adults-only zone. Beach Rouge is the ideal spot for a quick bite at lunchtime before heading back to the beach. Breakfast is an international affair and served in Palm Court, the all-day dining restaurant by the main pool. The expansive offering is certain to impress even the most regular hotel guest. There's a cheese and cold cuts room and live-cooking stations for everything from pancakes to eggs and noodles to stir-fried vegetables. Guests can get coffee from Cafe Lux, the hotel's in-house roastery, which is a point of difference.
The 30-minute seaplane ride (Dh551) I took during my stay – it’s one thing to experience a place like this on land, and quite another to see it from the air.
That there was no bathtub in my room, I do love a relaxing soak after a day at the beach, as well as the temperamental air-conditioning in my room.
Definitely a place for those who prefer to take a breather and switch off. Whether you're looking for a family holiday spot, a romantic getaway destination or celebrating a special occasion, this resort is ideal for all three.
The bottom line
Rooms at Lux Grand Gaube (www.luxresorts.com) start from Dh1,458 per room per night, include taxes, breakfast and Wi-Fi.