Nestled on the serine south-eastern coast of Mauritius you will find Le Chaland Beach, an unspoilt stretch of golden sand lying alongside a rich, deep turquoise ocean that is home to Anantara Iko Resort.
This sun kissed island in the Indian Ocean is magical and doesn’t disappoint. It lived up to everything I expected, unblemished shorelines, natural wonders, culture and a dash of luxury courtesy of Anantara, a new deluxe five-star resort that successfully combines authentic Mauritius with high end sustainable chic.
Just 100m from the beach and enveloped in a lush green nature reserve, this secluded hotel has made a conscious effort to blend in with its stunning surroundings and where possible use sustainable initiatives to preserve the natural environment. The resort successfully brings the beauty of the outdoors indoors using lots of locally sourced materials around the property. Recycled volcanic stone combined with a scattering of driftwood crafted by local artisans, touch everything from the reception, bedrooms and restaurants. At the heart of the resort is the spectacular 30-metre ozone-based infinity pool which uses fewer chemicals and is more efficient than a regular pool. Other eco touches include solar technology for water heating in all the guest rooms, water is reused for irrigation and cleaning and the food waste goes out to local farms.
Each of the 164 stylish rooms and suites are spacious and sophisticated with clean lines and minimal décor enhanced with a splash of ocean blue and wood making it feel warm and welcoming. Wake up and take in the views of the Indian Ocean or flourishing tropical gardens direct from your day bed on the balcony. For me the measure of a hotel is in the bathroom and I loved the large double sinks and rain shower but the jewel in the crown was the free standing bathtub that dominated the room, perfect for a long soak at the end of the day. Eight luxury Pool Villas will be available to book from April 2020.
Anantara is a foodie’s dream, under the watchful eye of Executive Chef, Didier Jacob the resort offers multiple dining options that reflect the island’s rich cultural heritage. Taste the authentic flavours and influences of Mauritius at one of the amazing five restaurants. For me, staying at Anantara was a real culinary experience. I got to jump into the Island’s foodie culture and savour cuisine with French, Indian and Creole influences. A huge highlight was the private dining offer where you can indulge in something a bit special with your own bespoke menu, personal chef and private butler. The hotel set up a private table on the beach where I got to soak up the remarkable setting, outstanding views of the ocean and enjoy some delicious dishes under the stars.
It’s easy to relax at Anantara, kick back and get into the Mauritian vibe. The team of attentive staff quickly make you feel welcome and go all out to make sure you enjoy your stay. Reset and reconnect at the onsite spa where you can unwind with a range of therapeutic treatments including traditional massage therapies, detox treatments and hammam wellness. My energy levels are always high and at times I struggle to wind it down a notch so retreating to the spa was a great way for me to switch off and slow down. I soon loosened up with one of the signature massages and a few days into my stay I was back for the hammam treatment, I left feeling relaxed yet invigorated.
There’s plenty to do on this south east corner of the island, if you don’t want to relax on the beach or by the pool. Just 15 minutes’ drive away is Mahebourg, a cute picture postcard town with a pretty harbour and vibrant, bustling market, perfect for exploring. Don’t leave without swimming in the Indian Ocean, take a catamaran trip to get a unique view of this beautiful island, catch the sunset and go for a swim before heading back to shore. Mauritius is steeped in history and the hotel hosts campfire chats on the beach after dinner with their resident ‘Man in Mauritius’, Marcel Noe, who brings to life the island’s historic battles between the British and French. Enjoy the anecdotal tales delivered with knowledge and passion while roasting marshmallows over the fire. A little further away is Black River Gorges National Park, famous for its waterfalls, vistas and hiking, and for the more adventurous, quad biking and zip lining.
Whether you’re a beach lover, culture and history buff, nature enthusiast, foodie or sporty adventurer, Anantara has something for everyone and I can’t way to go back. Mauritius you really were something special!
A stay at Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort costs from £335 (390 Euros) per room per night on a half board basis. For more information visit www.anantara.com