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Mauritius

MINIVIEW: Escape to nature at Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: Escape to nature at Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort

The architecture and interior design narrative of Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort & Villas has been inspired by its natural surrounding beauty. As the world daydreams about travel, editor Hamish Kilburn writes… 

For luxury travellers already aware of the Anantara brand, they will recognise the brand’s DNA of connecting people to genuine places when checking in to Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort & Villas.

Located on the southeastern coast of Mauritius on Le Chaland Beach, the resort is a tranquil hideaway offering secluded luxury, where design and service work together to providing heartfelt hospitality.

Set around manicured tropical gardens, the new resort shelters 164 guestrooms and suites with eight additional pool villas, as well as a 30-metre ozone-treated infinity pool sits at the heart of the resort, mirroring the iridescent sky and looking out onto the crashing waves beyond the shoreline.

Modern villa overlooking the sea

Image credit: Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort & Villas

The interior design scheme reflects the natural wonders of Mauritius, echoing the sparkling shades of the Indian Ocean, golden beaches, amber sunsets, green sugar cane fields and rare corals.

Bangkok based interior designers, Abacus Design Co. Ltd. referenced Mauritius’ natural tropical colour scheme and landscape in native materials when creating the concept. “By mirroring the sea’s movement of ripples, waves and corals, as well as restoring driftwood and recycling materials, we aimed to showcase nature and sustainability at the core of the resort, whilst blending seamlessly with the stunning beachfront environment,” explained Director Samantha Lightbody.

“The measured decision to build the resort a hundred metres back from the beach was taken to lessen the environmental impact on this stunning rugged coastline.”

Australia-based Grounds Kent Architects were responsible for the architecture in collaboration with the Office of Global Architecture in Mauritius. Renewable energy sources have been incorporated into the design to aid sustainable and environmentally friendly operation management, whilst various green initiatives across the resort reduce waste and promote energy recycling. The measured decision to build the resort a hundred metres back from the beach was taken to lessen the environmental impact on this stunning rugged coastline.

The lobby appears to float around a tranquil water garden, where the boundaries between indoor and outdoor are softened, creating a sanctuary-like feel. Upon arrival, the eye is immediately drawn to the ocean, framed picturesquely beyond the infinity pool through a striking stone window. 

Indigenous materials honour the warmth and detail of local Mauritian architecture. Distinctive antique basalt stone, used throughout the public spaces in a thoughtful manner, has been reclaimed from demolished buildings on the island. Throughout, traditional roofing materials such as corrugated iron, wood shingle and thatch are incorporated with a modern and refreshing touch.  

At the signature restaurant Sea.Fire.Salt, striking driftwood chandeliers draw attention to the high vaulted ceilings in the restaurant and open air bar area, complimented by the gentle sound of waves as backdrop to this refined take on beachfront dining. In addition, the adjacent alfresco courtyard offers an unforgettable feet-in-the-sand dining experience with tables nestled in powdery white sand to root diners in nature as they enjoy flame grilled seafood.

The poolside Karokan bar’s interior design is reminiscent of a traditional sugarcane mill and a replica sugarcane crusher dominates the space behind the bar. Mounted rum barrel heads create decorative walls whilst natural jute soft furnishings and hessian fabrics are illustrative of the materials historically used in such mills, the remains of which are still visible across the island from the rock mills and chimneys that jut out of the Mauritian landscape.

In the all-day dining restaurant, Horizon, exposed wood trusses lend a lofty spaciousness to the eatery, whilst terracotta chenille fabrics pop against its bright ivory wood palette reflecting the ‘beachscape’ below. The restaurant is furnished with teak tables and braided rope chairs whilst ceramic tile mosaics add a splash of colour to the breakfast stations. Indoors, the air-conditioned glass walled wine cellar, 1884, showcases a rich collection of international wines and can house intimate private dinners, whilst the adjoining Zafran can be reserved for larger exclusive private dining events.

Modern, beachside restaurant

Image caption: Horizon Restaurant | Image credit: Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort & Villas

The accommodation buildings feature blade walls to create protected courtyards which define secluded spaces, provide natural lighting and encourage breezy cross ventilation. Spacious balconies frame views of the ocean or surrounding lush tropical gardens. The interior design of the guest rooms has a contemporary feel with silk soft furnishings chosen in colourways that reflect the soothing blue tones of the ocean and the island’s golden sandy beaches, the Jim Thompson fabrics also providing a nod to Anantara’s Thai heritage. Framed artworks from young local Mauritian photographers depict scenery from the authentic South of Mauritius to complement the minimalist décor.  

Modern villa overlooking sea

Image credit: Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort & Villas

A cocooned village of well-being, the Anantara Spa is housed beneath thatch roofs in a secluded tropical garden bordered by a colonnade of trees known as the Almond Allee. The thoughtful design combines tactile elements and comprises of two double treatment rooms and three single treatment rooms, a beauty salon, a traditional Turkish Hammam, two outdoor Thai massage pavilions and a whirlpool. Additional resort recreational facilities include a state-of-the-art fitness centre and a library filled with classic fiction and historical and cultural books of Mauritius. 

The overall design of Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort harmonises with both the natural scenery and the history of its location, combining modernity with indigenous design while retaining a true sense of tranquility and escapism.

Main image credit: Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort

SALT of Palmar opens in Mauritius as brand’s first hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SALT of Palmar opens in Mauritius as brand’s first hotel

SALT of Palmar, the first hotel in a new sub-brand from The Lux Collective, has opened in Mauritius…

With a strong commitment to sustainability, SALT of Palmer opens in Mauritius. Setting the foundations for a series of planned openings within the SALT brand, the 59-key hotel introduces a new breed of hospitality for the culturally curious, challenging perceptions of often unexplored regions.

The completely new sub-brand for The Lux Collective has been designed and created by branding agency & SMITH with aim to appeal to a younger generation – one that would celebrate the undiscovered beauty of destinations where travellers may hold preconceived ideas or would traditionally stay within the confines of a resort rather than exploring the local area.

“The first SALT had to be in Mauritius. It’s our home, our love, and our pride and joy,” the hotel’s website states. “Its colours, stories, customs, sounds, and flavours form a brilliant, heady mix that is impossible to ignore or forget. If you experience it. ”

“Every element of the SALT experience is rooted in the island culture.”

Inviting guests to continue this journey of exploration, the hotel offers its guests a guidebook called ‘This is Mauritius’ when checking in. Working in close collaboration with locals, the illustrated book is full of tips and advice for discovering the island’s hidden gems, including maps of where to go in Port Louis, the best sunrise spots, or where to listen to live music.

Back at the hotel, every element of the SALT experience is rooted in the island culture, from the handwoven baskets in each room created by a local craftswoman to the curated menus of seasonal produce and the opportunity to visit a house near the resort to learn how to make rum the Mauritian way.

“Every SALT hotel will have its own farm to provide guests with menus designed around what is in season.”

No endless buffets, no bath menu, no single-use plastics

At the heart of the SALT identity is a brand-wide commitment to sustainability. In addition to prioritising fair trade, organic and non-toxic produce, and limiting energy use, waste and emissions, every SALT hotel will have its own farm to provide guests with menus designed around what is in season and nothing more.

“For Mauritius, the common perception is endless images of white sandy beaches under cloudless blue skies, perfect for honeymooners drinking cocktails or having dinner for two on the beach,” said Rachel Smith, Creative Partner at & SMITH. “From our past visits to the island, we knew the island had so much more to offer and could attract a different audience.

“It’s bursting with vibrant experiences – from brightly coloured houses to bustling markets and the most amazing street food culture. Also, the waterfalls and greenery of the inland are just as beautiful as the beaches. There are so many reasons to step outside the resort and explore Mauritius, so we wanted to create an identity that captured the vitality and depth of the island, and invited travellers to explore on their own.

SALT of Palmar in Mauritius is the first property within the brand portfolio, with plans to open the next hotel in Wolong, China.

Anantara to debut in Mauritius

800 448 Hamish Kilburn

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas is entering the luxury hospitality sector on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius with the announcement of Anantara Mauritius Resort – a new luxury property on the South Eastern coast which is scheduled to open in Q4 2019…

Part of an integrated coastal development, a new Anantara resort located near Blue Bay Marine Park will arrive at the end of this year.

Anantara Mauritius Resort will feature 164 guestrooms and suites, with eight luxury pool villas – two with two bedrooms and six with four bedrooms – to be added in the first half of 2020. Facilities at the resort will include Sea.Fire.Salt – a specialty grill and seafood restaurant with courtyard and beach dining, an all-day dining restaurant, private dining with a wine cellar, a healthy wellness-focused cafe, two bars – one by the poolside and one facing the beach, a 30-metre ozone-based swimming pool, a gym and a signature Anantara Spa.

The look and feel of the new resort have been created by award winning Ground Kent Architects,  Australia, in collaboration with the Office of Global Architecture in Mauritius, alongside Abacus Design interior designers of Thailand. The design reflects the melting pot history of the country, drawing influences from the rich architectural heritage seen in the capital Port Louis and around the island. Natural, locally-sourced materials take precedence, harmoniously anchoring the buildings in their natural setting. Taking inspiration from local colonial architecture, the overall effect effortlessly evokes the vibe of a relaxing, tropical beach house, yet one with a distinctly modern feel.

modern guestroom overlooking the beach

Image credit: Anantara Mauritius

The use of scattered light, basalt and volcanic stone, drift wood, wave-and-ripple patterns and neutral sandy colours blur the line between the indoor and the outdoor. Fabrics and art selected for the rooms are a contrasting combination of accents of orange, deep ultramarine and royal yellow as a nod to Blue Bay’s crystal waters, sandy beaches and legendary sunsets.

With the resort’s dining options ranging from traditional creole cooking to fine dining, guests can expect a gastronomic experience rooted in an exotic blend of European, Asian and African influences. Most of the ingredients will be harvested locally since Mauritius benefits from incredibly fertile soil, while the ocean is the source of the freshest seafood and fish.

As part of Anantara’s commitment to sustainability, the resort will incorporate solar technology for water heating in all guest rooms, to reduce the usage on energy. Other green initiatives include planting endemic flora within the hotel landscaping, reusing water for irrigation and cleaning as well as incorporating recycled materials into resort décor. The property will be plastic straw-free, an Anantara standard, and where possible organic farming methods will be encouraged throughout its restaurant supply chain.

An island nation in the south western Indian Ocean, Mauritius is known for its varied flora and fauna, with many species endemic to the island. Famously the only known home of the dodo, an avian species which became extinct back in the 1600s, the island offers nature-centred activities both onshore and offshore. Visitors can charter a boat for deep sea fishing, paddle over serene blue waters in a glass-bottomed kayak to go snorkelling, embark on bird-watching walks on nearby islands, explore botanical gardens and more.

Main image credit: Anantara Mauritius Resort

Villa revamp to begin at Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa

1024 683 Katy Phillips

Five-star resort undertakes seven-month refurbishment project.

Beachcomber Hotels & Resorts has confirmed the refurbishment of its high-end villas at Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa in Mauritius.

Detail are sketchy, but the project will run from 14th May to mid-November 2018 and will give the five-star 13 beachfront Paradis Villas a fresh look within its surroundings on a private section of beach on Le Morne Peninsula.

The refurbishment includes new colours, textures and interiors that the company says encompass a ‘stress-free ambiance, parallel to the local laid-back way of living’.

The revamped villas will offer subtle hues of cream and beige with accents influenced by the sea and Mauritian flora. Imprints of local plants will be on bathroom screens, complemented by wall prints and fabrics.

The resort is located against Morne Brabant mountain, a UNESCO world heritage site surrounded by a tropical lagoon, sandy beach and 18-hole golf course.

Renovated Heritage Le Château in Mauritius offers Michelin Star dining

1024 683 Katy Phillips

Luxury Mauritius hotel group, Heritage Resorts, has unveiled ‘Heritage Le Château’ after an extensive renovation to bring the 19th Century mansion back to its former glory.

Already operating as a fine dining restaurant, Heritage Le Château now offers a signature menu from Michelin-starred Chef David Toutain, and for the first time guests can also stay overnight in its new suite.

Previously known as ‘Château de Bel Ombre’, the property is located on the Heritage Bel Ombre domain adjacent to Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness Resort, in the south of Mauritius.

Anglo-Indian Colonial Style

The Anglo-Indian colonial style mansion dates back to 1765 when it presided over one of the oldest sugar plantation estates in south Mauritius. The château is now bordered by hills and a national park, boasting 1300 hectares of nature.

The château overlooks a landscaped French style garden, beyond which is Heritage Golf Course.

The Heritage Resort team collaborated with architect Florent Richard (from Perrot & Richards Architects), an expert in architectural heritage restoration and preservation, to create an interior inspired by the Victorian era.

The living areas offer small colonial touches, decorated with an eclectic array of vintage furniture, from Chesterfield sofas to antique china rosewood screens, while rattan chairs complement the wooden panels and venetian chandeliers.

Guests can now go back in time and stay overnight in the Presidential Suite, the only bedroom in the château.

The bedroom is designed with  what’s described as a luxurious tropical finesse, featuring, a four-poster canopy bed, long ivory draped curtains, paintings and antiques.

Beachcomber

First ‘swim-up’ rooms to launch at Mauritius’ Victoria Beachcomber Resort & Spa

709 421 Daniel Fountain

From January 2018, Beachcomber Hotels & Resorts, the luxury hotel group with eight properties in Mauritius, is set to open a new accommodation concept, Victoria for Two, at the award-winning Victoria Beachcomber Resort & Spa.

Designed exclusively for couples, this new adults-only wing will consist of 40 two-person terraced rooms, each opening onto a private beach and the marine park. Couples can choose between one of two luxurious room categories: 17 Swim-Up Rooms, each with direct access to an 800m2 swimming pool, the first room category of this kind available in Mauritius; or 23 Ocean-View Rooms, each with a magnificent vista over the lagoon.

The new Victoria for Two concept has been designed to meet the needs of a different clientele: guests travelling child-free, wanting accommodation that affords space, peace and quiet, and above all comfort, whilst still offering access to all facilities of the hotel itself.

All 40 rooms in the new adults-only wing will be 50m2 in size, sea-facing and with access onto a superb section of beach. Each air-conditioned room will include a Queen-size bed, private bathroom with bathtub, shower and separate toilets, hair-dryer, security box, telephone, satellite TV, complimentary Wi-Fi access, mini-bar and complimentary tea and coffee.