‘Lighter.Brighter.’ It took just these two highly uplifting words to make Mr Husband and I dream of the effervescent essence behind the beauty of LUX* resorts – well before we even arrived at our Mauritian destination.
There are three properties to choose from in the LUX* league: Le Morne, Belle Mare and Grand Gaube. We were invited to stay at the latter, Grand Gaube, which is nestled close to a quiet fishing village near the northern tip of the island’s coastline.
Synonymous to each of these resorts, LUX* Grand Gaube beams with courageous contemporary-cool character and a laid-back kind of luxurious charm. Mr Husband and I arrived feeling hot and bothered and jet-lagged but were swiftly eased in to entirely unwind and enjoy all the thoughtful special touches that LUX* has to offer.
We settled into our newly refurbished junior suite, complete with all the expected mod-con in-room amenities and a stunning sea view. The most unique offering we discovered when taking respite in our room is the soap service, where a selection of natural locally made cocoa and other scented bars are presented at your front door and then scraped into a muslin cloth bag for you. We let the soft creamy soap melt into our skin whilst enjoying the whirlpool – a perfect post sun, sea and sand bath-time treat.
For those who like to stay digitally switched on, a major hotel highlight has got to be the unfaltering and ultra-speedy Wi-Fi connection. The Internet access stretches out of the confines of your room and right across the entire resort (even when lounging at the beach) and is by far the best that we have ever experienced on our worldwide travels.
On to the dining facilities where, in short, there’s definitely a dish here for everyone: local boats bring in their fresh ocean bounty, so the chefs can serve various catches of the day at Abalone – the lagoon-facing fish shack. Meanwhile, grilled lobster and other culinary skills are showcased at the resort’s romantic The Beach restaurant that sits on its very own pontoon facing out to the deep blue sea. For those who prefer a changing daily cuisine theme, there’s a well-presented buffet available at The Kitchen – the upmarket canteen area. We especially enjoyed the steadfast Indian feast, where the resort’s highly skilled Punjabi chef rustles up authentic dahl, curry and naan bread baked in a tandoor. The breakfast buffet spread is equally inviting and a sure bet to help kick-start your day of healthy indulgence. Expect freshly squeezed juices, breads, cereals and carved coconuts and other world cuisine to cater for the eclectic mix of guests who choose to stay at LUX*. For lunch, we sat in the cool shade under old Banyan trees at the Island Kitchen to sample Mauritian street food flavours.
To wash down such delicious dishes, LUX* does not believe in importing drinking water but instead pours out its own bottles using local, natural sources to create ‘Earth’ (still) and ‘Dance’ (sparkling). It has also introduced Scrucap and Popcap – a fine selection of cork-less wines and champagne. Tastefully, LUX* also boasts its own coffee by blending certified green organic beans that are roasted on the island and prepared by baristas down at its very own Café in the resort lobby. The best bit is that coffee here is complimentary until 10.30am as part of your morning wake-up fix.
As well as swimming in the four crystal-clear pools, there’s also the chance to water-ski, wind-surf and snorkel in the warm temperatures of the Indian Ocean, as well as an abundance of other outdoor activities to choose from, including a comprehensive and coolly conditioned fitness centre.
Down at the LUX* Me spa, it’s all about you. The ‘Me Time’ spa menu tailors to the areas you want addressed against the number of minutes you want to spend focusing on it. LUX* ME also has its own range of organic face and body aromatherapy oils expertly mixed using essences of flowers, fruits and spices from Mauritius and other local islands.
Taking such extra special touches into serious consideration, an iconic red London phone box brings you the ‘phone home service’ of free international calls to all landlines. A sensational viewing screen even appears on the beach at random to host a pop-up cinema night with popcorn and lounge cushions under the night sky. We especially love the hidden ‘message in a bottle’ idea, where guests are invited to explore the grounds and hunt for a treat and we can’t help but seriously salivate over the own-brand Ici ice-cream cart by the beach, serving scoops of creamy gelato and refreshing sorbets in various tempting flavours. There’s also a secret honesty bar where it’s there one day and then gone the next. You can also listen to and buy a CD collection by LUX* with tranquil Café Del Mar-esque sounds to evoke your memorable experience and tempt you to re-visit the resort once again. We are completely sold.
By Reena Patel