Mauritius: five-star style

by Amanda.Statham

The luxury hotels of Mauritius are a magnet for celebs and honeymooners alike. But which one to go for? Here's half a dozen of the best...

This honeymoon hotspot now boasts 100 resorts ringing its 110-mile coast, many of them four- and five-star, and nearly all overlooking the island’s top commodities, its white sand beaches. Couples are attracted by much more than just the gorgeous five-star-plus hotels, however, as unlike other tropical island destinations, there’s a lot to see and do here, from climbing the impressive volcanic peaks in the interior to exploring the continuous coral reef circling the island.
 
It is also a leading spa destination. What started with the introduction of a few upmarket pampering palaces has exploded into a whole new industry, with hotels such as Heritage Resort & Spa offering a daily massage to every guest as part of its Premium Package. And if your partner doesn’t want to spa, there are some impressive 18- and nine-hole courses, including the spectacular Ile aux Cerfs Golf Course, a Bernard Langer-designed 18-hole course that lies on its own island.
 
One&Only Le Saint Géran
Mauritius’s most famous hotel is a supermodel favourite: the likes of Linda Evangelista top up their tans here. The 162-room retreat has old-school charm - think butlers and afternoon tea - but enough modern touches to keep it leader of the pack. There's also a state-of-the-art Givenchy Spa and the island’s top restaurant, Michelin-star chef Alain Ducasse’s Spoon des Iles. Romance-wise it’s hard to beat, from a sunset stroll on the white sands of the Belle Mare peninsula to a petal-filled bathtub.
 
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa
This luxurious villa-only getaway is already a firm favourite of the jet set. Check in to one of the 57 luxury villas or six suites and you’ll enjoy 24-hour butler service, a plunge pool, outside lounge area and huge sexy bedroom. Best of all are the seriously sexy bathrooms, with Molton Brown toiletries, giant tub and outside garden shower so you can wash together beneath the sun or stars. If you’ve got money to burn, two presidential suites have their own large swimming pool and beachfront setting. The white-sand Wolmar Beach, infinity pool and Mediterranean-style restaurant Breakers are the icing on the cake.
 
Oberoi Mauritius
One of Mauritius’s most popular hotels, thanks to its exquisite rooms and magical setting overlooking Turtle Bay on the northwest coast, one of the most sublime stretches of sand on the island. There are 73 rooms, 23 luxury villas and 48 luxury pavilions plus two royal villas. Eco-lovers will be pleased to hear that indigenous materials were used to build the resort, like sugar cane thatch for the roofs, volcanic boulders for walls and tropical plants for landscaping. Other attractions include a beautiful infinity pool, excellent spa and mouth-wateringly good seafood dishes.
 
The Residence
If you’re after colonial-style opulence, then this is the hotel for you. The grand dame of the island’s hotel scene has 163 spacious rooms and suites perfect for honeymoons, with four-poster beds with white mosquito nets and cool tile floors opening out onto verandas with stunning views of the turquoise Indian Ocean. Obligatory private butlers are on hand to cater to your every whim, and there are three restaurants to satisfy your tastebuds, and an excellent spa. The white-sand beach is the perfect place to unwind after a hectic wedding day and long-haul flight.
 
Royal Palm
Officially one of the most exclusive addresses in the Indian Ocean, this gorgeous getaway is more Jimmy Choo than barefoot chic. It’s all very refined, from the elegant piano bar to the Moroccan-style Clarins spa and the à la carte dining experience at the exquisite La Goelette restaurant. The 84 suites are decorated with real flair, with colourful rugs and intricate carvings, and the facilities are magnificent. Celebs, such as Geri Halliwell, like to book the super-private Royal Suite, due to its plunge pool, gazebo, private beach access and Hammam.
 
Le Prince Maurice
Polished teak floors, king-size beds with crisp white linen, sunken marble baths and Jacuzzis – this hotel is made for romance. Scattered throughout 60 acres of colourful gardens are 76 junior suites and 12 senior suites, which boast a lounge and open courtyard bathroom, plus there’s the super-luxe Princely Suite, with a kitchen and two swimming pools. Barachois, its famous floating restaurant, is considered the most romantic dining experience on the island, while the Guerlain spa is a must-visit.
 
Celebrity watch!
Mauritius is a great destination for celeb-spotting from your sun lounger. Famous faces seen on the island include Prince William, Princess Caroline, Joseph Fiennes, Ewan Mcgregor, Geri Halliwell and Naomi Campbell. Jemma Kidd and Jade Jagger are regulars, while French film star Emmanuelle Béart, racing driver Michael Schumacher, tennis ace Boris Becker and Catherine Deneuve also love the island.
 
 
 

Amanda.Statham

Travel editor of Cosmopolitan and You & Your Wedding magazines, plus freelancer for various national newspapers and magazines. Author of the Brit's Guide to New York and The Globetrotter's Guide (out in May 09); keen photographer and addicted to travel. Aside from roaming the planet, I love cocktails, surfing, sunshine, reading and flip-flops. Favourite places? It's soooo hard to whittle it down. My perfect morning would be waking up to sunshine and the call to prayer in Marrakech before having breakfast on Riad Tarabel's rooftop, with views of the whole city. Lunch would be a long and lazy affair sitting with friends at the huge al fresco table at Villa Fontelunga in Tuscany, while an afternoon surfing at Hana in Maui or Florianopolis in Brazil would be hard to beat. For sundowners, it has to be a gin & tonic on an African safari, and for a night out, New York, New York, or Jamaica's remote Pelican Reef bar. Built by owner Floyd from mangrove sticks, it lies on a sand bank one-mile offshore from Treasure Beach, can only be reached by boat, and is the coolest bar on the planet.