It’s 4pm. We’re driving up a stretch on the North-East of the island to get from our previous hotel to the One&Only Le Saint Géran. I turn my head at every imposing white and palm tree-lined resort that we pass by but soon realise it was silly of me to think the One and Only would ever be caught between two towering properties. It’s only until we get to the end of the stretch, halted by cast iron gates with two large gold letters; “OO” carved into it, that I know we have arrived. The welcoming security ushers us into the One&Only’s private oasis; a sectioned off tip of the Island of Mauritius that is surrounded by water like a moat protecting its castle.
Fit for a King and Queen … that it is.
We pass the watersports section on our left, (I’m pleased to hear even the waterskiing and motor-sports are complimentary all day – I’m not much of a pedalo girl ) as well as “Tapasake”, their traditional yet modern pan-Asian restaurant, housed in an authentic thatched-roof building on the lagoon. Palm trees are growing free and plentiful like an accidental but flawlessly unfiltered photograph and then the dedicated “Club One” on our right takes me by surprise. Doesn’t the One&Only attract a slightly older, perhaps less active clientele? That myth gets quickly blown out the water from our first night sipping G&T’s at the bar and touching shoulders with our neighboring guests on the dance floor (more on that later). Club One is complete with a state of the art in-and-outdoor training facility, pristine tennis and padel courts (the first Henri Leconte designed courts on the entire island), a 9-hole mini golf course that meanders through the grounds and a kids club that your children will be begging you to visit. Rich with history being the first luxury hotel to open on the island in 1975, the resort has just gone through a nine-month, £41 million renovation that will undoubtedly secure its’ success and presence in Mauritius for hundreds of years to come. Whilst I may not be able to answer to what’s changed, I can answer to the “what now”, and that, is a perfectly painted piece of art.
One of the elegantly and smartly dressed doormen bang a giant bronze gong as we enter the lobby. The interior shines bright with its’ stunning colonial-style architecture and immaculate precision. Tables are laced with bouquets of flowers and I watch as smiling guests chat away to warm staff members as if they have been friends for life – Later getting to know the guests, the likelihood is that they probably are. One man catches my eye; an almost father-like aura around him. It’s the General manager, Charles de Foucauld, who quite frankly looks like he just stepped off a boat shoot for Ralph Lauren.
The whole arrival set a very accurate tone for our stay. Whilst the One&Only ticks every box when it comes to expectations of a luxury hotel – exquisite food, exceptional service and beautiful rooms (the list goes on), it’s so much more than that. It’s the place that your grandparents brought your parents when they were young, the place you remember so fondly as a child yourself and are now journeying there every year with young couples and friends just like you. It’s akin to a Patek Philippe – passed on through generations but never loses its’ fine-tuning or distinctive edge. It’s remarkable and special whilst also being steeped in history.
I’m writing this review of the One&Only Le Saint Géran differently to my normal blogs because it is different. I can let the images speak to the beauty of the property; the wrap around golden-pristine beach with sand that feels like butter under your feet and the infinity pool so close to the ocean that the only background music you need is that of the natural waves. The many areas that you’ll find two solo sunloungers to bask in privacy in the warm sun and the really quite stunning restaurants that serve the perfect coffee morning after morning. But what I really want to get across is the atmosphere – the people – the guests.
I have visited some truly extraordinary hotels and resorts in the last few years. Snapped many the ‘perfect’ Instagram picture and showcased just how special the offering is. But there is something different about this place. Something that would keep me coming back time and time again. The One&Only Le Saint Géran still breathes life after dinner has been cleared away; its bar is bustling with interesting and engaging young, old and everything in between couples and families that are living some of their best lives. Guests are as happy and eager to converse and make acquaintance as they are to treat themselves to quality alone time. They love fitness, they love wine, fine food as much as the local-catch fish burger and fries. There is little to no room for disappointment here and can honestly say hand on heart that I’m in love with this property.
Now to let the images speak to the stunning renovation at One&Only Le Saint Géran …
Any questions about the hotel, please comment below or message me on Instagram and I’d love to help
Ocean Balcony room with warm white, soft blues and grey furnishings.
The hub of the hotel – Alfresco La Terrasse. Every night guests come to sit and socialise around the bar area and watch the nightly live music and dancing put on by the hotel. Breakfasts are a breath of fresh air here (literally) with seat choices on the deck right next to the ocean and an impressive and interactive buffet with the chefs. Right next door is one of the new crown jewels in their renovation; L’Artisan. A social-inspired bakery serving healthy options as well as daily-made chocolates, pastries, and a pick-n-mix section for those with a sweet tooth!
Club One – the incredibly impressive fitness and kids club space that is good enough to slot into any detox and health retreat (I’m glad it isn’t), but a really welcome sight to see such an investment go into the health and fitness side to a luxury hotel. We had the pleasure of meeting celebrity trainer, Bolko from Refuel Concept and yoga instructor Imogen Harding during our stay which only added to the wellness offering that O&O deliver to the guests.
The spa has expanded with the renovation, complete with a tranquil pool, dedicated Kérastase beauty salon and treatments inspired by local Mauritian traditions.
Morning breakfast experience out on the lagoon.
Website: One&Only Le Saint Géran
Dates: We stayed from 28th – 31st March 2019. The weather was beautiful for the most part – with the odd rain shower and relatively high humidity levels on hot days.
Tip: If you’re particular about noise levels at night, ask for your room to be a good distance from the main restaurant, La Terrasse, so that the live music does not disturb you.
Hello and welcome! I'm Carly, originally from London but currently enjoying a little adventure in Dubai. A travel and wellness blogger exploring the world one step at a time. Think fabulous food at undiscovered gems, unique destinations, skin care obsessions and so much more. This is my life, I hope you enjoy the ride!