5 reasons to visit LUX* Grand Gaube
You have to be fairly jaded not to be excited about a week or so at an island resort … and when it’s just been totally refurbished and is looking its absolute best, what’s not to love? LUX* Grand Gaube relaunched this year and is all spacious white spaces and sparkling ocean views. The gorgeous, magical retro-chic décor is by the incredibly talented Kelly Hoppen. Our favourites were the hanging baskets in the main bar, overflowing with fresh green tropical plants in the Palm Court Bar, the swaying basket lampshades in the Bodrum Blue restaurant and the pop-style artwork by London-based French artist Camille Walala, whose witty illustrations have a cult following across Europe, Africa, China and the Indian Ocean islands. Oh … and the rooms, suites and villas (especially the villas!), which are all Egyptian cotton linens, potted succulents and handwoven baskets. They all open to sea views and airy verandas, some with outdoor baths. If it’s a family spoil you’re treating yourself to, the top-of-the-class accommodation is the signature two-bedroom LUX* Villa, which sleeps a family of four in a beautiful blend of original, modern and classic retro-chic style and has a 24-hour butler service.
We aren’t the slightest bit embarrassed to admit food plays a big part – heck, a major part – in our holiday enjoyment. So with six restaurants and seven bars, oh … we were in heaven. The main Palm Court restaurant has half a dozen or so live cooking stations, with a Mediterranean Tapas Bar, a Southeast Asian Kitchen, a Comfort Kitchen (when you’re craving home-style food), a bakery, a dessert and ice cream bar and … oh, a real treasure … The Glass Box, a bright and airy walk-in chilled kitchen, with the healthiest options imaginable. As lovely as this is (and believe us, it is lovely and not an awful queue-and-wait buffet), we were more excited about INTI, the first Argentinian-Peruvian restaurant in Mauritius. It’s dreamy for sundowners along with Latin American music in the late afternoon, followed by extraordinary ceviche dishes. Our favourite had to be Bodrum Blue … sitting on its own mini peninsula right on the water, this open-air Turkish restaurant has a beautiful Aegean-inspired bar (fab Turkish wines) and is the spot to watch the sun go down before ordering a mezze to share. There’s a wonderful Creole smoke house and burger spot under the banyan tree, which is set in the adults-only corner of the resort. It’s here we discovered the Tree House, a tiny spot hidden up in the trees where you can try out one of 88 different rums (and can, if you book, enjoy an amazing and informative rum tasting with the barman, who used to work for Bono in Ireland … a few tales to be told here!). More cocktails at the 100 G&T Club – a tiny and jolly, joyful little spot just off the beach. Spent an hour or two there, to be honest!
We love our kids. ADORE them. But sometimes it’s rather lovely to escape. So we’re huge fans of dropping them off at the fun-fun-fun kids club, and heading to the banyan
adults-only area – a couple of restaurants, the rum Tree House bar as well as French Kiss, the wonderfully named, quirky, classic Citroen H van which serves refreshing and very grown-up cocktails. There are oversized sunbeds where you can collapse with a drink, a book and an eyemask for an afternoon zizz. Complete and utter bliss.
Sport and spas. The energetic and hedonistic are equally catered for at the wellness area. If you lean a little more to the lazy, treat-yourself side (welcome … you’re with us!), then it’ll be aromatherapy treatments at the spa, manis and pedis at the new Essie Nail Bar, luxury haircare treatments and daily wash and blows at the Kérastase Hairdressing Salon. And for him … the brilliant, brilliant Murdock London Barbershop is all Victoria grooming and wet shaves, and beard and moustache trimming with a side of malt whisky. So smooth! Add a barre, stretch or meditation class or private yoga session. We were fairly keen on trying the Private Sun Salutation Session, until we were told it wasn’t reclining on a sunbed with a G&T in hand. So we passed. Need a little more of a workout? Oh boy … there’s cardio boxing training and an aqua gym, HIIT and Tabata training and a fully equipped gym as well as padel tennis … the quintessential LA sport, similar to tennis but with a tiny court and lower net. It’s all quick, explosive movements and a fierce dose of healthy, family fun. It goes without saying that there are all the watersports you could wish for, from waterskiing and boardsailing to snorkelling and glass-bottom boat trips and so much more. Some sports are fully complimentary, but as an add-on you can also go big-game fishing, rent bikes and play golf at the nearby Mont Choisy course.
It’s often the little extras that make a holiday even more special … so we can’t leave out the Café LUX* – where fabulous coffee is served every which way – or ICI, a tiny ice-cream truck where you can dither between the flavours (may we suggest the Sicilian pistachio … it’s perfection in a cone). Then there’s Phone Home … an old-fashioned red phone booth where, for no charge, you can phone a friend or someone you miss (even if just to boast about your fantabulous holiday). And there’s so, so much more. There’s a Tree of Wishes (leave your wish and you could be in for a surprise); Cinema Paradiso, where old favourites and new releases are shown under the stars (so romantic!); Message in a Bottle (find the bottle and win a prize); a lovely library and Photofanatics, where experts share their knowledge on how to take the perfect holiday snap. And when in Mauritius, it’s always worth exploring further afield. It’s far more than just a beach holiday. There’s quad biking and abseiling, scuba diving and archery, bill fishing and mountain climbing … the list goes on and on, with an endless choice of possible activities on the island of Mauritius to revel in. Balmy days, warm tropical nights and so much to do from sunrise until long after sunset.
Info you need to know … Packages range from R26 480 a person sharing (between 22 June and 27 July 2018 – with a high-season surcharge between 7 and 17 July), which include return economy flights on Air Mauritius, approximate airport taxes, return airport transfers, six nights’ accommodation as well as breakfast and dinner daily. Plus, there’s free Wi-Fi and free unlimited waterskiing. Details: 011-770-7821, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.luxresorts.com • Flights to and from Mauritius are with Air Mauritius, which has just taken delivery of two Airbus A350-900s … think full flat seats in business class, a more comfy economy class cabin and state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment. The airline offers highly competitive rates too. Details: www.airmauritius.com.
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