Where is it?
Situated on a sheltered sandspit on its own private peninsula in the north-east of the island. It faces the turquoise waters over a mile long stretch of white sands running to its right and left. The journey from the airport takes approximately an hour.
The first luxury hotel to be built on the island in the seventies, it had a multi-million pound make over in 2017 bringing it bang up to date. Many of the new additions have been housed in buildings inspired by local sugar-cane factories or plantation-style houses, and topped with sugar-cane thatch, and all have been carefully woven into the original colonial-style design which relies heavily on warm-toned marble and teak.
The fact that the grandeur of the whole manages to be warm and welcoming rather than imposing is due to the friendly and very professional staff. Many who have been there over several decades and create a home from home atmosphere.
Food & Drink
The arrival of La Dame de Pic as a pop up at the hotel until March 4 2023 is the impressive icing on an already very good cake. Tapasake, One&Only’s own brand of dazzling pan-Asian style fusion cuisine (don’t miss their marinated cod with miso or their yellowtail carpaccio with jalapeno and coriander) is found at the edge of the lagoon. Recently launched La Badamier (named after the resplendent Indian Almond tree, under whose spreading branches it sits under) offers elegant dishes such as lobster ravioli with sofrito and crustacean butter alongside the popular wild mushroom pizza with truffle parmesan cream and mozzarella.
Those who want to linger poolside all day have the inspired menu of La Pointe to draw on. Start with their rum cocktails and then share a selection of snacks such as the yellow-fin tartare with crunchy rice paper and nori, the soft-shell crab pancakes with chilli jam and wasabi mayo and the Cajun spiced mahi mahi tacos with avocado. For a main course try their wagyu burger or the local spot tail bass fillet grilled in a banana leaf with tropical salsa. At La Terrasse, food draws on the island’s French and Creole heritage and offers international favourites such as an Indian tandoori of the day.
But for gourmet, head to the newly establish La Dame de Pic, where culinary genius Anne-Sophie Pic delivers her characteristically delicate, minimalist dishes in candle-lit surroundings. Having honeymooned at the hotel thirty years ago and been a regular visitor ever since, Pic is perfectly positioned to recreate the culinary soul of Mauritius on the plate and she does so with typical aplomb. Her menu is inspired by the island’s bounty (think palm heart and coconuts, Mauritian mangrove crab and smoked vanilla from Saint Julien D’Hotman) and brims as much with sense of place as with flavour. Try the Local Gueule Pavé with tart green apple broth, anise, local cinnamon leaf, celeriac and chayote to see what I mean and finish with the Mauritian pineapple, infused with Madagascar pink pepper corn, shortbread and coconut panna cotta. Sublime.
Setting the bar for luxury accommodation on the island means being at the forefront facility wise. The One&Only Spa extends over 1,000 square metres and includes a tree-framed lap pool which faces onto the lagoon. Products used in the 13 treatment rooms, some of which open out onto private gardens with outdoor showers, are ESPA and Biologique Recherche.
Club One is the hub for activities at the resort and includes a state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor fitness centre for guests to do kick-boxing, Zumba, HIIT, TRX and an outdoor training area by MyEquilibria, the first in the Indian Ocean. There are complimentary yoga and pilates classes at the yoga pavilion and world-class sporting facilities including floodlit tennis courts, volleyball court, putting green and Mauritius’s first ever Padel Courts. Here too you can find recreational centres for children and teenagers where art classes, movie nights, DJ parties and exclusive barbeques can be enjoyed.
You can take to the seas and go deep sea fishing, explore the food markets of Port Louis or experience the conservation work of the island on Ile aux Aigrettes, where the pink pigeons and red foddys roam.
The standard guest rooms feature a private balcony or terrace, a marble-clad bathroom with tub (and the best ever book rack) and rain shower and a separate dressing area. Suites, located on the ground floor have a generous private deck with daybeds and a cabana by the beach reserved for their private use. The latter also come with personal butler service. Such has been the popularity with families returning here that two- and three-bedroom suites have been introduced. There is also Villa One, which is a private two-bedroomed island home with wonderful views over the Indian Ocean. All rooms boast locally crafted artwork and bespoke furniture.
Actually everyone, as this really delivers on all fronts. Families, honeymooners, couples returning for the thirtieth time, spa junkies are all in the who stays here column.
Abercrombie & Kent (abercrombiekent.co.uk; 03301 734 712) offers a seven night stay at One&Only Le Saint Géran from £3,500pp based on two people sharing a Lagoon Room on a B&B basis. Includes flights and private transfers; oneandonlyresorts.com