For this year’s must-go honeymoon or a ‘just because’ luxury vacation, the Royal Palm, a Beachcomber property, is right up there. Our expectations were high for this Mauritian resort as competition is rife – but we had them exceeded. The Royal Palm is arguably among the finest hotels in Mauritius.
You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to sun-lounging; we spent much of our time on the pure white, sun-drenched sandy beach which made for ideal basking as it’s protected by trade winds, while others stopped just shy of the beach and enjoyed the coconut palm-lined sun-deck by the pool. We found our stay the perfect opportunity to completely unwind and escape; admittedly there’s not much else to do apart from sunbathe and swim in pure, turquoise water – but don’t mistake this for a complaint, far from it. The property’s discreet suites were gorgeous, and combined delicate and bold hues, fine fabrics, finishes in wood and marble and custom-made wooden furniture crafted by local artisans. Recently overhauled and refurbished, the new overall design preserves the hotel’s unique atmosphere, natural charm and timeless elegance that have all made it a favourite among the jet-set for decades.The attention you receive from the staff (who outnumber guests three to one) is warm and friendly rather than ceremonious, while your suite – with its beautiful wooden furniture made by local artisans – demonstrates the hotel’s thoughtful charm. Each suite has a sea-facing balcony or terrace screened by palms and looks out towards Grand Baie, or “bay without end” as the Dutch called it.
After all, it was Mark Twain who said that Mauritius was created first as a blueprint for heaven. This island paradise is ringed by the cobalt waters of the Indian Ocean, stunning coral reefs and crystalline lagoons. Its beauty and potential were first spotted by Beachcomber Hotels in 1952 when the company cherry-picked the most breathtaking locations for the first of its eight hotels here. Its flagship hotel, the Royal Palm, was the first in the Indian Ocean to become a member of the Leading Hotels of the World – and now the most prestigious address in Mauritius has just got even better.
Just a stone’s throw from the resort, the fishing “village” has become a popular hub for visitors with plenty of shops, restaurants and nightlife. There is also a great choice of sea adventures departing from the bay. You could take a ride on a submarine, try deep-sea fishing or simply take a meandering tour around the pretty northern islands of Gabriel, Serpent or Gunners’ Quoin. Further afield, you might want to take a stroll around the lush Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens with their spectacular pond of giant Amazon lilies, head south to the Casela Nature Park and zoom down a zipline under a lush forest canopy.