Grand luxury resorts in island paradise Mauritius captivate KISHORE AND SMITA IYENGAR with their unmatched features.

An island paradise of dazzling bays, lagoons and coves, Mauritius is home to stunning resorts and hotels which are uppercrust, leisure destinations by themselves. Their eco-sensitive architecture, innovatively designed villas, lavish living areas, infinity pools and spectacular golf courses bordering the seafronts spell ultimate decadence.

Le Touessrok – Lagoon Lure

The tranquil Trou D'Eau Douce Bay is inhabited by the award-winning ‘Le Touessrok' a grand luxury five star resort, radiating tropically designed sophistication. This grand address has five specialty restaurants and bars, meandering lagoon-esque swimming pools and three super luxury ‘Le Touessrok Villas' designed in stunning locales with uber-exclusive accommodation hosting the latest technology, discerningly for the crème de la crème. A scenic wooden bridge links over to Frangipani Island.

Across the panoramic ocean views are the resort's two very own exotic islands, -‘Ile Aux Cerfs' or Island of Deers with a spectacular 18-hole championship golf course designed by Bernhard Langer. ‘ Ilot Mangenie', a private island hideaway with fantastic ocean scapes and the unique ‘ Crusoe's Restaurant and Robinson's Bar' is exclusively for resort residents only.

Natural materials and eco-sensitive tones add up to tropical accents. Sophistication in design is vivid in the living areas of 132 suites and 68 rooms where simplicity and class radiate in carved panels flanking king beds reminiscent of old Creole homes. In the restaurants, effusive Executive Chef Barnaby Jones has thematic designs with the Mediterranean-styled ‘Three Nine Eight' bringing alive the market place feel, ‘Saffran' the open air Indian dining restaurant with polished wood floors. ‘Barlen's Bar and Restaurant' with deep thatched roofing and wooden furniture based on the principles of Feng Shui.

The high gilt-edge is the swish Givenchy Spa built in natural stone, golden-hued porcelain tiles, light gold and neutral-toned facades and graceful arches. A tranquil private garden with Givenchy blue in glass mosaic embellishes the design perfection in soft tones.

Four Seasons Resort

STYLE AND SOPHISTICATION

Set amidst a private sanctuary is this world class leisure resort with stylised individual villas, their own plunge pool, private garden and beachfront. The main resort's minimalistically designed open-plan reception and atrium lounge with fascinating art installations overlook mirrored water bodies. Thatched roof forms the environmental theme of the entire resort's architecture. 123 spacious individual villas and residence villas present wide windows and doors to transport the outside in with a homely feel. Open air baths, exotic outdoor garden showers, landscaped gardens, private beach sit-outs and glorious views of the Bambou Mountains lend to a privileged lifestyle.

Made popular by youthful chef Julio Frappier, the all-day dining multi-cuisine ‘Beau Champ' with a svelte Wine Cellar for private wine tastings and the ‘O-Bar' are on a seemingly floating island with calm water bodies. The swish deck-dazzling Italian fine dining ‘ Acquapazza' on the ‘Ile Aux Chats' displays candlelight dining and fantastic views of the resort's custom-landscaped expanse. The poolside Pan-Asian Bohemian restaurant ‘ Bambou' put together by energetic Indian chef Kapil Sharma, overlooks coves and aquatic excitement beyond. The world class Four Seasons Golf Club Mauritius at Anahita designed by Ernie Els is an 18-hole par-72 championship course surrounded by diverse landscapes and stunning Indian Ocean vistas.

Sugar Beach Resort

Evocative plantation-style architecture and interiors reminiscent of the glorious Sugar plantation culture, mark the five star Sugar Beach Resort. Contemporary interior design, a central Manor House layout, chic white accents, graceful gabled roofs in sugar almond colours contrast the dazzling green lawns and stately palms. 16 villas make up stylised accommodation for 258 guest rooms and suites. Authentic mahogany furniture, pastel undertones in pistachio, beige and white create the ambience while wide windows offer grand ocean views. Sugar Beach Resort's fabled feature is the trendy Mauritian-design bar and World Sea Cuisine restaurant – ‘Tides' commanding grand Indian Ocean views. The semi-circular bar with a roof-high, mood-lit beverage display feature and an open sitting along the pool areas add to the celebrative touch. ace sommelier Jean Michell Nanette creates waves with his oenophillic expertise.

Their chic ‘Mon Plaisir' all-day dining French-accented outlet has its bar designed on the lines of French Promenade Cafes. Its high rafters in pale green and dazzling white highlight the easy-going, cheerful ambience. Friendly Executive Assistant Manager Viren Chetty took us a further distance down to ‘Citronella's Café' popularised and conducted by Chef Kallooa Vijranand, a beachside Italian market place dining pad with an open wood-fire oven, earthy Tuscan tones and shades and designer hand-crafted ceramic elements.

The new ‘Aura' spa is a tranquil landscaped oasis around gurgling water bodies. Oriental and exotic, unobtrusive, with geometrically spaced out treatment rooms and green factors all juxtapose in harmonious rhythm.

‘Le Pirogue'

Fringing stunning beachscapes on Wolmar Beach is the grand luxury resort – ‘Le Pirogue' with it's unique designer Mauritian dining treats at restaurant ‘Thatches'. Executive Assistant Manager Prem Maghoo's dedication radiates with sophistication at this celebrated hospitality destination.

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Sunday MagazineJune 28, 2012