One & Only Le Saint Géran
For over 30 years, the five-star, five-diamond, One & Only Le Saint Géran has been the grand dame of resorts on Mauritius. Everyone from Oprah to Nelson Mandela has become a loyal guest of this 60-acre resort set on a private peninsula. Whitney Houston not only repeatedly visits, but often sings with the hotel band. Even the Queen of Sweden flies in regularly to perform. During our stay, English singer Chris de Burgh got up and crooned his hit, “The Lady in Red.” The ethos of the hotel is to make each guest feel “completely and utterly” at home. If your home is a palace with one of the finest trained staff, they achieve this.
The Rooms: Decorated in a traditional colonial style, the rooms are well equipped without being overly modern. The four-poster beds are hand-carved Asian. The separate sitting room boasts plush sofas with views of the Indian Ocean. The bathroom (the size of the average hotel room) has large granite counters, a sinking tub and separate shower, complete with Molton Brown amenities.
The Service: The staff provides the soul for the hotel, and much like the locals, they hail from France, India, South Africa and beyond. Their signature butler service wakes you up with coffee or tea of your choice and later return with sundown cocktails. In the ocean suites, the butlers prepare complimentary baths which range from lavender, orange and cedarwood that is accompanied with a pot of green tea and fresh sushi. At night they strew rose petals over the Egyptian cotton sheets. The beauty of the staff is that it acts without asking, clothes were unpacked and repacked without requesting and glasses were always filled at the pool.
Activities: The resort has an in-house Givenchy Spa that has been honored with numerous hospitality accolades including “Best Spa in Africa” by Condé Nast Traveller. You name the treatment they offer it: four-hand massages, pedicures, body wraps and facials. The resort also offers complimentary water activities such as tubing, fishing, water skiing, and windsurfing. Tennis and golf are also options.
The Food: The hotel operates on a half board, which means breakfast and dinner are included. I fretted somewhat when I heard that most meals were buffet style, but it was not the words “all-inclusive.” cruise ship disaster of canned fruit. Eggs, pancakes and waffles were made to order, main courses at dinner were the same. Actually, the buffet gave a chance for the fun experience of tasting Mauritian cuisine, such as sea urchin, which wouldn’t be my first choice on an a la carte menu.
The Bottom Line: Rates start at $1,000 per person per night.
One & Only Le Saint Géran, Poste de Flacq, Mauritius. Telephone: (230) 401 1888 or (866) 552–0001 for toll free U.S. reservations. Email: email@example.com.