Modern, light and airy, LUX* Belle Mare is a welcoming hotel, refurbished by designer Kelly Hoppen and is quite contemporary in its look, but remains comfortable and homely at the same time. The taupe palette used throughout ensures that the decor has raised the bar for Mauritian hotels and will stand the test of time in the design stakes. The resort boasts the largest pool on the island which is at the heart of the hotel complex. It has four stunning restaurants which not only offer plenty of choice for informal dining by the sea but they excel in more high cuisine at the Indian smart by Vincent or the fabulous modern Chinese Duck Laundry. The food was excellent.
Staff are personable, friendly and efficient and always on hand to help. Highlights, like at any LUX* property include Café LUX*, ICI for delicious homemade ice creams in the afternoon and the Rolls Royce food cart in the gardens.
It’s the unique touches that make LUX* resorts so special and truly memorable. The beach scene is more condensed than at LUX* Le Morne, but you will still find plenty of sun loungers. The rooms are bright and breezy and are a joy to stay in. I loved the comfortable beds that engulf you and the fantastic LUX* Me room amenities are exceptional.
LUX* Me Spa at LUX* Belle Mare
The spa at LUX* Belle Mare is quite large with 11 treatment rooms, which includes two special cabins for the Chinese medicine treatments. It has a fresh feel and a relaxed atmosphere that benefits from a large relaxation space around a cold plunge pool and larger relaxing pool with jets. Sun loungers and cabins are placed around the pool garden ensuring total chilled-out bliss. The design is very much in line with the hotel, featuring a cool, neutral colour palette, stones and muted taupe. The retail area doubles as the reception and is where many of the spa rituals begin – allowing guests to choose their particular massage oil blend.
The treatment: LUX* Me Zhengliao
The LUX* Me Zhengliao Chinese medicine treatment is a specialist therapy offered at LUX* which is powerful and totally unique. Combining ancient wisdom and techniques used for over 100 years, specially trained Chinese therapists are employed to carry out the healing and regenerating treatment. It begins with singing bowl maneuvered around the head and placed on the stomach to pass vibrational therapy through the body and centre the guest. A sequence of strong manual massage then follows the meridian lines of the body. Gentle scraping with jade stone across the body ensues and also includes the head (it doesn’t hurt, it’s a bit like cold stone therapy). It’s designed to stimulate circulation and prepare for body for the following steps. Cupping is then used across the back and sometimes the legs to stimulate circulation and detox. It’s not for the faint hearted, but this treatment, made famous by Gwyneth Paltrow was a revelation.
Next up is smoking therapy. Small sticks of moxa are lit, and then placed in wooden box on and beside the body to smoke. It combines heat plus the power of smoking to complete the therapy. By the end I felt like I was having an out of body experience and was close to tears as it unblocked some emotions in my body. It is potent stuff and totally blew me away. This elevates spa to another level. The LUX* Me Zhengliao was not only deeply relaxing and calming, it gave me a deep emotional release and its something I will remember for a long, long time.
The best bits
LUX* Me Zhengliao
Relaxing post treatment in the pool garden
Tea tasting in the tea house
Dinner in Duck Laundry
Breakfast on the beach, by the waters edge
Room to improve
The netted swimming area in the sea is small – could this be extended?
Make the relaxation space phone-free. So many guests were just glued to their phones. Digital detox is definitely needed.
Chinese treatment package Zhengliao – 2 hours treatment including Chinese massage, cupping,
Moxibustion and scraping (Rs. 5,600 per person – approx. £128)
Rooms at LUX* Belle Mare start from €414 (approx. £358) per night B&B for two people in a Junior Suite.