Glass visits La Pirogue Resort in the Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius

THERE are some holiday destinations that, when casually dropped into conversation, inspire a series of facial expressions. They range from the sort of wide-eyed excitedness that only serves to exhilarate you further, to the flat out turn-away, disgusted with jealousy, probably won’t speak to you for a good few days.

La Pirogue Pool-View-Night copyLa Pirogue’s pool at night

In the run-up to Glass’s visit to Mauritius, these reactions became all too common as I prepared for the trip that surely, thousands would die to go on. Going through security at the airport, I was stopped for an overzealously packed cosmetics bag; after a quick chat and a light reprimand, the security agent all but begged me to take her with me, albeit zipped up in my suitcase. But why does this small Indian Ocean nation inspire so much fascination?

Ile MauriceAriel view of the resort

Upon coming into our final descent, the reason became abundantly clear. Turquoise and emerald green mix together along the lush, greenery filled coastline, where the gentle waves lap ever so lightly at sun-bleached sands. Nothing can quite prepare you for seeing this magnificent place up close and personal however – you quickly understand why this is such a highly regarded holiday destination. 

La Pirogue Coconut-Grove-La-Pirogue copyCoconut groves on the resort

Situated in the rather fabulously named sea town of Flic En Flac, La Pirogue is the kind of resort that expertly blends luxurious comfort, fine dining and top-tier service with the kind of unpretentious and uninhibitedly relaxed attitude one wants from a de-stressing holiday on the beach. La Pirogue has recently undergone a complete refurbishment following its 40th birthday last year, closing for four months in order to refit almost every aspect of this bohemian island paradise, one of the first hotels built in Mauritius.

La Pirogue Wolmar Restaurant copyWolmar Restaurant

Thankfully, the refurbishment has not interfered with the ‘70s boho chic of the hotel, which is so integral to its personality. The 248 rooms, each laid out as mini, straw-roofed huts, are the perfect combination of the old and the new. where Mediterranean style white painted exposed brickwork walls surround a chic and oh so comfortable bedroom, with an attached ensuite complete with walk in shower and luxuriously roomy bathtub. The aesthetic is pared back, minimal even, focusing instead on providing comfort and cosiness rather than over the top extravagance.

Superior - RoomOutdoor terrace

The refurbishment also serves as a revamp for the resort’s services. The Sun Resorts led project, Timeless Memories, emphasises the unique opportunities afforded to guests staying at the hotel. The system has seven tiers; Sun Beach, Sunrise and Sunset, Sun Luxury Moments, Sun Mixology, Sun Kids, Sun Golf and Sun Memory Lab. These experiences focus on the best that the resort has to offer, taking full advantage of the incredible natural beauty of the area. For fitness addicts, sunrise Tai chi on the beach or morning paddle-boarding is an invigorating and inspiring way to start your day in paradise, whilst private beach dining as the day winds to its close and the stars appear is as romantic as it is unforgettable.

La Pirogue Beach_View_at_La_Pirogue copyThe La Pirogue beach

And unforgettable is what La Pirogue specialises in. Every focus is geared towards creating these namesake timeless memories for guests, symbolised by a friendship bracelet given to each guest on their final day at the hotel. For families, this is especially valuable. Sun Kids, which includes a separate Teens Club for 12-17 year olds, is a fun-filled extravaganza for children staying at the hotel. Multiple sports are on offer, as well as indoor and outdoor activities, but windsurfing is a particular highlight, and not to be missed on these serene green waters.

La Pirogue Beach_Pavillon_Terrace copyLa Pirogue Beach Pavillion Terrace

With a choice of eight culinary experiences, you won’t go hungry at La Pirogue either. The main restaurant, Wolmar, features world cuisine with a Mauritian twist. For seafood lovers, Tides offers some of the very freshest delicacies you will ever eat, straight from the ocean. Situated by the beach, it constitutes a must-visit, even if just to experience the epitome of seafront dining.

La Pirogue BEACH_BAR_03 copyLa Pirogue Beach Bar

One feature that will surely delight many is the hotel’s brand new wine bar, introduced with the refurbishment. Offering guests the chance to sample 60 wines from around the world, expert sommeliers will be on hand to guide and recommend as to the best options for you. Crucially, the payment process couldn’t be easier – simply top up your payment card, slot it into the dispenser, and only pay for what you use.

La Pirogue Beach-Jetty copyLa Pirogue beach jetty

In all the places I have visited (and believe me, they are many) very few have come close to the perfection of Mauritius. During one of my many paddle-boarding sessions on the trip, the sun shone down on the water at the perfect angle, illuminating the seabed below. It truly was like floating on glass, looking down through water so clear it could have been crystal. Some things can only ever be truly experienced in person, in the moment – right then, it occurred to me that this was probably one of them.

by Thomas Marrington

La Pirogue room rates start at £285 per night, click here to book

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