LUMINOUS TRIPS

Lux Belle Mare, Mauritius – All about soul

Day 1

The much awaited was finally here. Driving from the north, we took the scenic route through the Bras D’eau National park to reach Lux Belle Mare, in the Northeast corner of Mauritius. It’s reputation certainly precedes; the much lauded property has been absolutely adored by its guests. The moment we entered the mint tea scented lobby, we could feel the warmth and the vibrancy. After a quick lowdown on the facilities at resort, the friendly staff led us to our room. En route, the kids club – play appeared and our kids, well, they just disappeared. They were on their way to a glass bottomed boat cruise.

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The Kid’s Club

With uplifting interiors, comfortable beds, mesmerizing views of the silver sand beach and the azure waters, our tech savvy room, a family suite, was just perfect.

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from our room

After lunch at the K-bar, we strolled through the resort. At the heart of the property is Mauritius’ biggest free form pool.

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The K-bar

The gardens resplendent with colorful fauna, the gently swaying palms trees and the sparkling clear waters of the pool, looked absolutely stunning. Right next to the pool there were retro carts serving delicious ice cream.

We came across a giant clock showing it was 4 o’clock. I told the guy at the desk there that clock was not working. He smirked and said nope and continued with his work. I was quite amazed at this, it was certainly not 4pm and clearly the clock was broken and clearly this guy was nuts. Suddenly he stopped doing whatever he was doing, looked at me, smiled and said that it is always 4 o’clock here and that the watch was perfect. He handed me a cup of a flat white and said welcome to Café Lux, its was always time for a coffee here. The coffee was delicious, properly brewed beans roasted perfectly.

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A caffeine kick

He then led us to a coffee roasting session and explained how Lux Belle Mare roasted its own island blend on site. The milk used here was freshly sourced from the island’s first working dairy. The coffee was indeed very special here and the baristas were extremely talented. They would become our best buddies in the days to come and every time we saw the gigantic 4 o’clock watch, we would stop by.

The kids were back from their expedition and were now on their way to “hunting crabs”. I am going to the beach to catch a big one shrieked our younger one. We were tempted and joined them. The purposeful entourage of about 8 along with the kid’s club staff hit the beach with a bucket, a white cloth and flashlights. They caught quite a few and then released them in the ocean.

We had dinner at the restaurant besides the pool called Mixe. With the night-time illumination, the pool had now transformed into an almost magical backdrop. The gentle breeze from the ocean, the starry skies and the live music added to the magic. It was a lovely evening.

Day 2

After breakfast, the boys made their way to the kids club and we went to the boathouse, an in house activity centre that offers tons of on shore and off shore activities. We went for a snorkelling trip. The friendly staff at the boathouse got us all suited up and after a short boat ride, we were amidst beautiful purple coral and colorful fish. The water was absolutely crystal, making it a perfect viewing spot. I got really up close to the coral, as my wife “ in an attempt to rebalance herself”, as she describes it, grabbed on to me and pushed me deep under water.

On our return, we grabbed a quick lunch and visited the quaint village of Belle Mare. On a different day, we would have cycled by the Belle Mare beach an to the village but since it was a little damp now, we decided to just cab it.

On return, we dined at the BEACH ROUGE – a bright and airy Mediterranean restaurant at the beach. Loved the cocktails and the tapas.

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Cotton candy evening skies

The restaurant spills out onto the beach with cabanas and beanbags on the sands. As the light faded outside, the lighting inside the restaurant shifted to fiery red. The backdrop had completely transformed and so had the music, a sax player was performing in tandem with a DJ, incredible.

Day 3

Today, our excited kids left early for the kids club.

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Little pizzaiolos

With an outdoor splash pool, outdoor a culinary school with baking and decorating sessions, a buffet station, ezone, a reading corner, beach games, many expeditions, film showings, nature tours, tennis lessons, the kid’s club at Lux Belle Mare has innumerous offerings to entertain kids aged 3-12. With an extremely attentive staff and great infrastructure; Lux Belle Mare is in a league of its own,  when it comes to family friendly beach resorts. There is also a place for the older kids to hang out and socialise.

With the kids busy, we visited the spa. Set in a peaceful zen garden, the spacious and modern spa offers a plethora of spa therapies, steam, sauna, a chilled plunge pool, a heated swimming pool and a tea lounge to relax and sip on herbal infusions. Also, the spa boutique offers various oils and skincare products created from island sourced ingredients by the aromatherapist Shirley Page.

A few steps from the is the tea house, it serves an impressive list of fine tea from around the the world. This is one of the most peaceful places in the resort. They also have a real good collection of books. The kids joined us at the tea house.

We went to THE FOOD TRUCK for lunch; true to its name, Latin American Street food –  fries, burgers, hot dogs, ceviche, is cooked in the trailer kitchen attached to a 1933 Phantom Hooper Rolls Royce. Very close to the beach, it is a fun place, insanely loved by the kids.

We then grabbed a coffee at Café Lux. Besides  Café Lux, there were two London style phone boxes where you could make free international calls. They call it the phone home.

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The babyccino

We hit the beach and went paddle boating. The turquoise waters, the crescent white sand beach, the palm trees and the typical Mauritian thatched roofs of the resort; the view of the resort from the sea was stunning. At the southern end of the beach,  we could spot a high tower – an old lime kiln which had now been transformed in a viewing point.

As soon as we hit the shore, the kids rushed back to the kid’s club and we went to Amari by Vineet, an in house fine dining restaurant. The Michelin starred chef Vineet Bhatia is the mastermind behind the menus at the restaurant and they offer a masterfully constructed culinary experience.

Day 4

We were up early today, in tine for the sunrise and made our way to the beach with our camera. We also visited the gazebo, it boasts of the most sublime views of the sunrise from the resort. Nestled amidst landscaped gardens and sitting atop a pond, is the gazebo. The gazebo is perhaps the prettiest spot within the resort and everyday early morning yoga sessions are scheduled here.

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The Gazebo

There are various excursions on offer such as horse riding by the Belle Mare beach or a visit to the popular Ile aux Cerfs, but we decided against it as we did not want to leave our hotel. Soon we hit the beach and went  jet skiing. Loved it!

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Famished, we lunched at Beach Rouge and then we went to Junk Art Studio. Here, an in house artist helps you upscale salvaged material into beautiful art forms, It is a fantastic concept, especially if you are artistically inclined. Our kids loved it.

Next to the junk art studio is Photo Fanatics – you can get professional photography guidance here to capture great shots

In the evening we lounged by the pool and took a stroll at the beach. We dined at an exquisite Chinese restaurant here called the Duck Laundry. Lounged at the pool while the kids nibbled at some ice cream.

After dinner, it was movietime! There was a movie showing by the beach; Cinema Paradiso as they call it. Beanbags at the beach with headsets, you could even hear the ocean with the headsets on, it was amazing experience.

Day 5

This was day we bid goodbye

After breakfast, all of us went to the pool. Soon, my older one and I embarked on hunt to discover hidden treasure. Message in a Bottle, as they call it, is a resort wide game where you have to find hidden bottles with messages in them and you win prizes. We won coffee packets from our beloved Café Lux. We went for a quick lunch at the food truck.

We also visited the Tree of Wishes where you write your wishes on a piece of paper and hang it on the tree. Our older one posted an emotionally charged message, our younger one, on the other hand was very clear with his wish – Koenigsegg, Mustang and McLaren.

So, here it was, we went to Café Lux for a coffee to bid goodbye. The moment we entered the resort till the time we were waiting for our ride back to the airport, there was something about this place, a spirited vibe, an unmistakable sense of warmth and happiness, that just does not want to let go.

The personal touches in the subtlest of things are very evident, the staff is extremely hard working and always busy ensuring that their guests have a pleasant experience. Each one of them went miles to ensure that we had a great stay and if we were to pick a hotel with a soul, it would be Lux Bell Mare, undoubtedly.

Thank you for the memories Lux Belle Mare

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