Boutique hotel 20 Degres Sud proffers the simple pleasures of rum-laced cocktails and a quiet stretch of shore. Set in a coconut grove, close – but not too close – to lively Grand Baie, its palapa-thatched rooms are within lazy strolling distance of the beach (and watersports are included in room rates). Tropical spa treatments and tip-top service add a layer of luxury.
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of champagne and 25 per cent off spa treatments
11.30am, but flexible, late check-out is available for 75 per cent of the room rate a person. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $336.91 (€304), excluding tax at 15 per cent.
Rates include breakfast (Continental, full-English or American) and à la carte dinner, plus daily transfers to Grand Baie in a motorised pirogue (longboat).
Bikes and helmets, snorkel masks and flippers, sea kayaks, laser dinghies, Hobie Cats, stand-up paddle-boards and windsurfing boards are available to hire for free.
At the hotel
two library lounges with board games, a boutique, billiard table, parking and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV and films on-demand, minibar, kettle and cafetière. The Beachfront, Suite and Austral Suite categories have Nespresso machines and iPod docks and speakers.
Our favourite rooms
Rooms are in mod-colonial style, with dark wood and leather against white walls and linens, gauze-veiled four-poster beds and designer Belgian furnishings from Flamant. Room 4 is a large suite, with a sprawling deck for tropical views, and has a Jacuzzi. Room 2 is equally elegant, with a little pool on its deck.
Both of the hotel’s pools are lined with schist rock tiles and fringed with coconut palms. Day-beds, and wicker tables and chairs line the decking. The larger pool is by the bar and heated to 26 degrees in the winter. The more petite pool is in palm-shaded seclusion behind the spa. Alternatively, take a cool dip in the Indian Ocean from the nearby beach.
The spa has comprise three treatment rooms – one for couples – a hammam and whirlpool bath. Enjoy massages, wraps, body scrubs and rejuvenating facials. Couples can treat each other to the Lovers Retreat ritual with over two hours of pampering featuring a flower-petal scrub, a Monticelli mud wrap, and relaxing hot oil massage followed by a flower petal bath.
A kaftan for après-swim drinks and some basic French for polite exchanges with the friendly staff.
The hotel isn’t suited to guests with mobility issues.
Over 12s only – this sophisticated hotel is more of a ‘let’s leave them with the grandparents’ kind of place.
By the window in the on-site restaurant watching the boat lights twinkle in the Indian Ocean.
Be an angelic beach bunny in floaty white linen with minimal gold accessories to glint in the sun. Mr Smith should don untucked white shirts with tailored shorts.
The hotel has jaw-dropping settings for the fabulous sea-to-table dishes crafted by local chef Sanjeev Purahoo. Overlook the waves at the seafront restaurant, or get even cloaser to the ocean by chartering vintage motorboat Lady Lisbeth for a meal in its teak-lined cabin. The food is as spectacular as the settings, with a six-course lobster menu, tender cuts of meat from South Africa, and a caught-that-day sushi spread (must be ordered in advance).
The bar is a bright space with white wooden walls, rattan furnishings and 19th-century antiques. Be sociable at the long slate bar, or pluck a book from the shelves by the door and delve into the fine wine list.
Breakfast is from 7am to 10.30am; lunch from noon to 2pm; and coffee, tea and home-made cakes are served at 4pm. Dinner on site is from 7.30pm to 9.30pm; on the Lady Lisbeth it runs from 7.45pm to 11.30pm.
20 Degres Sud is set in a coconut grove on the northerly tip of Mauritius, close to the sheltered beaches of Grand Baie and Pointe aux Cannoniers.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is an hour’s drive from the hotel. There are daily flights to international hubs such as London, Singapore, Paris and Dubai.
Driving in Mauritius is relatively stress-free. Roads are well signposted and there are some jaw-dropping coastal routes. Just remember to drive on the left. There’s free parking at the hotel and an Avis car-hire booth at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport.
Worth getting out of bed for
Grand Baie sits at the northerly tip of Mauritius, close to Point aux Cannoniers: the more touristy side of the island, with postcard-perfect beaches and sheltered bays. There are sprawling resorts close by, but 20 Degres Sud has a peaceful spot to itself, with an elegantly landscaped beach. You needn’t rouse yourself from your sunlounger to organise holiday fun – the hotel can plan it all. Watersports equipment can be hired for free on site, and the shuttle to Grand Baie will drop snorkellers off at the best sites, such as Coin de Mire island or Black River, where dolphins frolic. For an extra charge, guests can waterski, paraglide, orkitesurf just off-site. Play a few rounds at Mon Choisy Golf Club, a five-minute drive away, or haul in your own supper on a big-game fishing excursion. Blue- and yellow-fin tuna, marlin and sea bream populate the turquoise waters, and you can spend a relaxing full or half day spotting and catching them (advance booking is recommended). Excursions to Mauritius’s greener south side and the Central Market in Port Louis let guests experience the islander lifestyle. Or take a peek at the giant lilypads of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden (+230 243 9401), hop back in time at the Sugar Museum and Factory (+230 243 7900) or explore colonial castle La Bourdonnais (+230 266 9533). In Grand Baie, experience the serenity of the oldest temple in Mauritius, Shiv Kalyan Vath Mandir, haggle in the Grand Baie Bazaar or don a Spongebob Squarepants-esque helmet for a Solar Under Sea Walk (+230 263 7819).
Colourful eatery Le Off(+230 263 6357) serves up elegant fusion fare – tuna tartare with a passion-fruit coulis, tagliatelle with lamb meatballs in a spicy creole sauce and tropical-fruit-infused desserts. Dine in a space filled with Moorish furnishings from Morocco, Egypt and Portugal or dine alfresco by the backlit pool. Strung with tropical flowers and lit with candles, romantic Rivoli (+230 269 0617) in Grand Baie has a small, secluded garden. It’s also rather good at authentic Italian food, with simple but tasty pasta, meat and fish dishes.
Coffee Garden(+230 263 2270) is a sweet, unassuming joint that’s brightly painted in citrus hues inside, but has a serene garden for alfresco dining. Coffee is good, but their menu of paninis, omelettes and brochettes is worth dipping into – the smoked marlin sandwiches are excellent.
Sleek club Les Enfants Terribles(+230 5263 1076) has three sections, (one each for hip-hop, pop and R’n’B). There are coloured lights and a laser show, plenty of bars to prop up and a VIP room.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this serene beach hotel in Grand Baie and unpacked their spices and brightly coloured baskets, a full account of their luxury beach break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a postcard from 20 Degres Sud in Mauritius…
Mauritius doesn’t have to try hard to be romantic: its powder-soft beaches and tropical foliage immediately suggest sun-kissed seduction. But the island’s beachfront resorts can be impersonal passion killers, so head to boutique hotel 20 Degres Sud for knock-your-socks-off (and several other items) ardour. The hotel’s coconut grove buffers guests from the touristy trappings of Grand Baie, and its beach is usually empty but for a few locals and some shaded rattan day-beds. The cosy, colonial rooms may not boast gadgets and gizmos, but they won’t be missed. Instead, you’ll be gazing over the ocean from your terrace, meandering to the bar for balloon glasses filled to the brim, or having a meal in the tree-pronged ruin of a governor’s house on a nearby private island. This bite-size boutique paradise has all the trimmings and we challenge you not to get carried away.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in 20 Degres Sud’s Guestbook below.
We loved the service and the quaintness of the hotel. The staff were extremely friendly, helpful and accommodating. We felt very welcome and at ease while every need was tended to. The views from the resort are stunning. We loved the hammock seats off the dock, the double chaise lounges on the beach, and the pool cabana lounging beds. We enjoyed the free boat ride to Grande Baie, kayaking (included) and a sunset cruise (extra fee but worth the money). There were so many extra touches: staff parked my car upon arrival, the restaurant was closed when we arrived at 10pm, but a cold plate was delivered to our room, we enjoyed a complimentary 10-minute spa treatment with no pressure to purchase anything (but we did book services), and enjoyed a farewell cocktail upon departure. We were asked often if we needed anything and had a personal tour of the hotel by the manager.
Stayed on 2 Jul 2019
The staff were so helpful. The food was incredible and we could not recommend the boat trip the hotel organises with diving and a lobster BBQ more – definitely book, it was a highlight!
Great cocktails. We were a little let down by the cocktails, and also we were offered cocktails with spa packages and they were mocktails – fine, but they don't let you know this so do ask!
ByJaime Lee, SilverSmith
Stayed on 12 Jun 2019
Beautiful, peaceful hotel in a gorgeous setting. Once the heavy oak doors to the street close behind you, and the welcome cocktail is placed in your hand, the outside world recedes. The staff are friendly, kind; attentive without being intrusive. The setting is beautiful – the beach is breezy but we loved lounging around watching the world go by in the bay then swimming in the cool blue-green tiled pool. Food and wine to die for and cake every afternoon at 4pm – what could be more perfect? If you want them, there are plenty of tours, trips and watery activities available. The spa is relaxing and treatments well-done. And books! Shelves and shelves of them, in English, French German.