Reopened in November 2015 under the Shangri-La banner, Le Touessrok Resort & Spa has long been considered THE family destination on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. This is no beach hideaway or boutique bolt hole, but a full-blown resort where every whim is catered for.
The property lies on the east of the island, on the white-sand beaches of Trou d’Eau Douce bay, and also extends to several private islands a short boat ride away, including Ilot Mangénie, exclusive to Le Touessrok guests, and Ile aux Cerfs, where an 18-hole golf course designed by German great Bernhard Langer is recognised as one of the best in the world. Here you can also water-ski, windsurf, snorkel, kayak or take out a glass-bottomed boat. If that’s not enough, the T-Club will keep the children happily occupied while you enjoy the adults-only pool and spa.All that’s left to decide on is which of the three accommodation areas – the Coral Wing, Hibiscus Wing or Frangipani Island, each with 24-hour butler service – to settle in; which of the four restaurants (Indian, Mediterranean, Japanese or international food) to dine at; and which of the six white-sand beaches (hammock provided) to laze on.
With its three-tier pool falling down to an inviting sea, this renowned hotel will make your heart soar when you stand at the top of its terraces – blue slice after blue slice leading your eye out to an unblemished horizon. Set on the quieter eastern side of Bali, where verdant paddy fields lie in the shadow of the sacred Mount Agung, Amankila is like something out of a fantasy adventure.
High up on a cliff, its 34 villas radiate from a steep stone staircase covered in bougainvillea, with frangipani perfuming the air. Way down beneath (there is a buggy for the faint-hearted) is the black volcanic-sand beach with a yoga pavilion and day beds where you can settle with a book and a cocktail. The huge villas with private pool provide a day bed big enough for a family; a pool you can actually swim in rather than just plunge into; and a terrace where you can enjoy an order of nasi goring (Indonesian stir-fried rice). Alternatively, feast on local produce at the seaview restaurant – think fresh herbs from the garden, duck from the resort’s free-range farm, and vegetables and exotic fruit grown in the rich volcanic soil.
Interiors are muted and minimalist, in typical Aman style. There is a sunken bath and a shower that opens onto your courtyard, complete with mother-of-pearl pots of lotions and potions. If you can drag yourself away from all the home comforts, two of Bali’s important temples – Lempuyang Luhur and Besakih – are also located on the east of the island. And if you can’t, head to the spa, which draws on local ingredients and traditions. Try the Asuci Angga treatment, where your feet are scrubbed with salt and lime and your body with ground rice and ginger, while your hair is coated in a mask of avocado and coconut. Glowing results guaranteed.
In 2013, the luxury hotel arm of LVMH snapped up what has been the Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France to make the third outpost in its chain after the Maldives and Courchevel in the French Alps.
For years, the resort had been a home from home to the rich and famous who holidayed here, its particular brand of ultra-chic, barefoot island living a balm to those who need to escape the hustle of urban jungles. Forty rooms, suites and villas are dotted around lush gardens or set opposite the white sandy beach of Flamands, one of the island’s best. If you want to explore, a team of “Alchemists” is available to conjure up bespoke excursions for guests, from desert-island picnics to sunset cruises.
The original format has been honed to perfection, with Cheval Blanc bringing in its own scents – think Tropical Chic, a fresh ocean breeze created especially for the hotel by the resident nose at Guerlain, Thierry Wasser. It has also added a Guerlain spa, where the rejuvenating treatments for sun repair and anti-ageing conclude with an iced green tea with rose and mint, and coconut ice-cream.
Food is a focus here, marrying the informal vibe of the hotel with the best local ingredients. Lunch can be taken in La cabane de l’Isle on the beach, toes in the sand while savouring the grilled mahimahi. Dinner – where lobster is a speciality – is a more dressed up, flowing-white-linen affair. Walk it all off in the early morning along the empty beach, where foam-flecked turquoise waters come lapping in, warm and welcoming as the sun rises.