With chic new interiors by British design queen Kelly Hoppen, LUX* Belle Mare, on the east coast’s finest beach, is now the coolest hotel on the island. Thatched roofed suites and villas are dressed in soothing whites, with coloured throws, and services at the touch of an app. Lux* Belle Mare is no ordinary hotel. We’ve stayed in a fair few luxury hotels but we have no qualms in admitting this is one of our favourite hotels in the world. Want to know why? Read on
On the breezier east coast’s Belle Mare Plage, one of the island’s most beautiful talcum sandbeaches, about an hour’s drive from the airport. A popular undersea walk lies just offshore and the spa’s ‘Wellbeing Safari’ takes guests on a nature walk, with yoga, meditation and laughtertherapy, in Domaine de L’Etoile. Trou d’Eau Douce, the jumping off point for Ile aux Cerfs, and bustling Flacq market are a 20-minute drive away.
At Lux* Belle Mare there are gazebos draped with white chiffon, frangipanis littered on breakfast tables, an open-air cinema by the beach (swoon!), fresh green coconuts housing delectable coconut water, and rooms of one’s dreams.
The cool concepts created by visionary hotelier Paul Jones are most evident at LUX*’s flagshiphotel, from the mint-tea-scented lobby to Creole lessons over a drink in the authentic rum shack – with salvaged wood and broken glass windows – by the pool in the afternoon. British design queen Kelly Hoppen took his ‘lighter and brighter’ ideas to heart in revitalising the hotel’s thatched mod-colonial, sea-facing suites, villas and public areas with a chic look, which manages to be both simple and smart, with light clay external walls, and inside, soothing whites and splashes of vibrant colour.
With four restaurants offering authentic fine dining, including Indian, Chinese, international classics and ‘veggie heaven’ dishes on every menu, there’s plenty of choice. A funky yellow food truck serves fusion food on naturally-distressed tables on the sand and classic American smokehouse fare in the evening. Amari by Michelin-starred chef Vineet is a must, with mouth-watering modern dishes such as fish encrusted with coconut and peanut chutney, baked in a banana leaf. Mediterranean-style Beach Rouge is the spot for a strawberry, lime and vanilla rum cocktail by the beach to Balearic beats – or choose from 100 gins, infused with homegrown herb-infused tonics.