This was our fifth visit but if we had any concern arising from the old adage that familiarity breeds contempt, Lux very quickly put it to rest. Our experience this year was fresh, with many new surprises, while the high standards of luxury and hospitality that we have come to expect over the years have been maintained if not exceeded.
A stunningly beautiful resort with one of the best beaches in Mauritius, Lux’s geographical superlatives can only be enhanced by the team who run it. Theirs is an attitude of service with a friendly smile and genuine desire to ensure you have an amazing stay once you step into the resort - and yet, warm and casual enough to make us call this place our second home.
While a relatively small resort, Lux manages to pack a punch into every nook and cranny. A surprise this year was the new wine cave, home to a wide range of world’s best Grand Crus, so if you fancied a Cheval Blanc, Chateau Margaux or a Batard-Montrachet with your evening meal, you absolutely could! Our wine tasting session was expertly conducted by sommeliers Adesh and Amar, whose age belie their experience and knowledge.
Another surprise was the “Chocolate Experience” - at a mini Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory behind the patisserie. Here, we had the privilege of watching highly-inspirational Chef Denis at work and even took part in making various chocolate pieces! It was such fun and highly recommended for families with kids.
These add to a panoply of interesting experiences across the resort: TeaHouse where one can have a tea ceremony with Veronika, Cafe Lux whose baristas Sudhir, Bilal, Yashveer and Pooja make the best cuppa, Junk Art Gallery showcasing recycled art, Cinema Paradiso, cocktail-mixing class at rum shack Mari Kontan and so forth.
Meanwhile, the Lux stalwarts keep raising their game. Food is always of a high standard at Lux, especially at their main outlets.
Mixe offers an international spread at breakfast and dinner. Chefs Ravi and Randir are always attentive to taste and preferences. At breakfast, the freshly-made dhosas, uttapam and puris by Chef Purran are second to none, and you know this is no exaggeration when the compliments come from Indian aunties who know their stuff. Mari-Ange and Neeta - ladies at egg counter - are always cheerful. Dimsum by Chef An is authentic and delicious. Poonam, Chica, Delores, Vick, Priya always begin your day with a cheery "Bonzour Ki Maniere?" For dinner, one is spoiled for choice and on several evenings a week themed nights such as Mauritian, Arabic or Indian offer a delectable spread and a culinary tour of the world. Remember to save space for Parisian-quality desserts at the patisserie. When we dined at Mixe, Ashveena and Oumesh looked after us.
Beach Rouge offers great Mediterranean cuisine and grills. A a cool vibe and a DJ who is highly attuned to diner demographics (goldies for oldies!) sets the scene. We had super service from Jordi, Harish, Kris and sommelier Adesh.
Duck Laundry, in our view, is taking great Sichuan cuisine to new culinary heights under Chef Tang. This year, we were treated to off-menu surprises like the hong xiao niu ro mien (braised beef noodles) which we think he should introduce to the carte and which will contend with the top-notch Dan Dan and Biang Biang Noodles. Then there was the absolutely exquisite Peking Pancake duck, easily the best in the entire region, and sumptuous starters like crispy dumplings and lamb skewers. Service was attentive and professional by Kishan and Beelur.
Finally, there is Amari by Vineet - where we have had the pleasure to dine for the 10th time. Just when you think they’ve hit the height of perfection, they exceed expectations. Starters of black spiced chicken, keema pau, pistachio lamb chops, grilled prawns are all amazing. Mains of Biryani, lamb rogan josh, daskshi chicken with peshwari naan are simply sublime. Amari is a restaurant second to none, in the hands of Chefs Subi, Sundeep, Ravi, Kunal and Sorgen, and with service by Ravi, Vishal and Switie. It is a place we are lucky enough to return to celebrate most, if not all, our special occasions at.
Across the resort, the level of care and service was always attentive and friendly. Whether we were at the K Bar, or Mari Kontan or the beach or by the pool, there was always a familiar face - Wiyaye, Olivier, Daryl and Satish — who made sure we had everything we needed. If you wanted an excursion organised, head concierge Gopee is your man while front desk staff Hema and team are always on hand to help.
For water sport enthusiasts like us, the Boat House has been a key reason for our return year after year. Many of the activities are included. Importantly, the quality of care and expert instruction by the Boat House crew are on par with those at international sailing and surfing schools. The staff are as professional as they are patient and it is only thanks to the expert tutelage of Wesley and Dylan, and much encouragement from rest of team Gerald, Bertie, Stefano, Chris and Kevin, that I am now sufficiently competent on my waterskis (i.e. I can get up!) A point to note: The Boat House team is an amazing one, but often overlooked and under appreciated but were it not for them, our experience at Lux could have been an entirely different one. As it turned out, we spent our entire 10 days of stay in the resort and many hours of the day at the boat house.
If fitness and strength is more your thing, a training session with Jean-Pierre, Patrick or Brandon is worth checking out. Finally to unwind, Lux offers everything from yoga and tai chi (under gurus Joel and Sandhya) to a world class spa which, under manager Asha, has grown in terms of variety of services and authenticity. The Balinese massages offered by Junia and Mariani were just out of this world!
That Mauritius is a world-class destination is probably down to the genuine warmth and hospitality of Mauritian people, some of whom we are lucky enough to call friends over the years. But what makes Lux Belle Mare stand out is the culture created by leadership team Ashish, Antoine, Sheila, Jennifer, Ramesh and Ravin who go above and beyond the call of duty to lift our experience from great to nothing sort of amazing! For this, we are humbled and touched and so very grateful.
As a final example of the Lux Magic: Because we were celebrating our anniversary on this trip, the team at Lux quite literally pushed the boat out — by organising a private sunset cruise complete with champers and seafood canapés. Just a little surprise, they said.
Wow! Can it get better? Perhaps we will find out when we return next year.Read more