Situated on a sheltered strip of sand on its own private peninsula in the northeast of the island. It overlooks the turquoise waters for over a mile of white sand that runs to its left and right. The journey from the airport takes approximately one hour.
The first luxury hotel to be built on the island in the 1970s, it underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment in 2017, bringing it up with the times. Many of the new additions have been housed in buildings inspired by local sugar cane factories or plantation-style homes, and topped with sugarcane straw, and all have been carefully woven into the original colonial-style design that relies heavily on heat. – marble and teak in shades.
The fact that the overall grandeur manages to be warm and welcoming rather than imposing is due to the friendly and very professional staff. Many that have been there for several decades and create a home away from home atmosphere.
The arrival of La Dame de Pic as a pop up at the hotel until 4 March 2023 is the impressive icing on an already very good cake. Tapasake, One & Only’s brand of dazzling Pan-Asian-style fusion cuisine (don’t miss their miso marinated cod or their yellow tail carpaccio with jalapeno and coriander) sits on the edge of the lagoon. Recently launched, La Badamier (named after the resplendent Indian almond tree, under whose scattered branches it sits) offers elegant dishes such as lobster ravioli with fried and shellfish butter along with the famous wild mushroom pizza with truffle parmesan cream and mozzarella cheese.
Those who want to linger by the pool all day have La Pointe’s inspired menu on hand to tap into. Start with their rum cocktails and then share a selection of snacks such as yellow fin tartare with crispy rice paper and nori, soft shell crab pancakes with chilli jam and wasabi mayonnaise and Cajun spiced mahi mahi tacos with avocado. For a main dish try their wagyu burger or local grilled sea bass fillet in a banana leaf with tropical sauce. At La Terrasse, food draws on the island’s French and Creole heritage and offers international dishes such as an Indian tandoori of the day.
But for foodies, head to the newly founded La Dame de Pic, where culinary genius Anne-Sophie Pic offers her typically delicate, minimalist dishes in a candlelit setting. Having spent her honeymoon in a hotel thirty years ago and has been a regular visitor ever since, Pic is perfectly positioned to recreate the culinary soul of Mauritius on the plate and does so with typical aplomb. Her menu is inspired by the generosity of the island (think palm heart and coconuts, Mauritian mangrove crab and Saint Julien D’Hotman smoked vanilla) and overflows with both sense of place and flavor. Try the Local Gueule Pavé with green apple pie broth, anise, local cinnamon leaf, celeriac and chayote to understand what I mean and finish with Mauritian pineapple, infused with Madagascar pink pepper corn, shortbread biscuits and panna cotta al coconut. Sublime.
Setting the standard of luxury accommodation on the island means being at the forefront of facilities. The One & Only Spa extends over 1,000 square meters and includes a tree-lined Olympic pool overlooking the lagoon. The products used in the 13 treatment rooms, some of which open onto private gardens with outdoor showers, are ESPA and Biologique Recherche.
Club One is the hub of the resort’s activities and includes a state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor fitness center where guests can practice kick-boxing, Zumba, HIIT, TRX and a MyEquilibria outdoor workout area. the first in the Indian Ocean. There are free yoga and pilates classes at the yoga pavilion and world-class sports facilities including floodlit tennis courts, volleyball court, putting green, and Mauritius’ first padel courts. Here too you can find recreational centers for children and teenagers where you can enjoy art lessons, movie nights, parties with DJs and exclusive barbecues.
You can take to the sea and deep-sea fishing, explore Port Louis food markets, or experience island conservation work on the Ile aux Aigrettes, where pink pigeons and red foddies roam.
Standard Rooms have a private balcony or terrace, marble-clad bathroom with bathtub (and best bookcase ever) and rain shower, and a separate dressing area. The suites, located on the ground floor, have a large private terrace with loungers and a beach cabana reserved for their private use. The latter are also equipped with personal butler service. Such has been the popularity among families who have returned here that two- and three-bedroom suites have been introduced. There is also Villa One, which is a two bedroom private island home with stunning views of the Indian Ocean. All rooms boast locally crafted artwork and custom-made furniture.
Actually all, since this really delivers on all fronts. Families, honeymooners, couples returning for the thirtieth time, spa junkies are all in the column who stays here.
Abercrombie and Kent (abercrombiekent.co.uk; 03301 734 712) offers a seven night stay at One & Only Le Saint Géran from £ 3,500 per person with two people sharing a Lagoon room in a B&B. Includes private flights and transfers; oneandonlyresorts.com