On a crescent of sand overlooking a blue lagoon on Mauritius’ north coast, Lux Grand Baie is the Beyoncé of beach resorts – a confident performer, dressed to thrill. Its photoshoot-worthy pool bar on the roof (with swing, natch), snazzily striped beach club and elegant pan-Asian restaurant and sake bar riff on glamour, with more costume changes than a diva at the Grammys. The hotel belts out assured sophistication with Kelly Hoppen-dressed suites, residences and duplex villas – the latter with private pools and butler service. Throw in rooftop fitness training and Olympic-grade running tracks, cycling and wellness studios and a three-storey spa, and we’re pretty sure you’ll be left wanting an encore.
11am. Earliest check-in, 2pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from £383.89 (€448), including tax at 15 per cent.
Rates include breakfast.
Lux Grand Baie is sister hotel to Smith-approved Lux Le Morne, in the island’s south-east.
At the hotel
Beach club, watersports, running track, gym, wellness and cycling studios, rooftop fitness equipment, shop, art gallery, night club (weekends), ice-cream parlour, food lab (development kitchen). In rooms: private pools (residences and villas), LED TV, free WiFi, minibar, coffee machine, Lux bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Two-bedroom pool villas come with a private pool, sumptuous terrace and alfresco dining space with a barbecue to create a luxurious home from home with Kelly Hoppen interiors in muted neutral shades. Three-bedroom penthouses feature a vast terrace bordering a private pool and outdoor dining; muted, modern interiors are light-filled and spacious, and butler service is the cherry on top. Junior suites are elegantly appointed with either lagoon or garden views from the private terrace and terrazzo-tiled ensuites, each with an egg-shaped bath tub.
Pools at Lux Grand Baie are a pick ’n’ mix of altitude and inclination, from rooftop Bisou where you can graze at in-pool tables or sip cocktails on submerged loungers to surfside dips at all-day restaurant Beach Rouge, via the lounger-lined, family-friendly main pool.
The three-storey Lux Me spa has a relaxation garden and outdoor pool, a hair salon and barbers, and eight treatment rooms including two double suites. A modest fitness studio is set aside for pilates, yoga and private classes; there’s also a dedicated cycling studio. The lower ground floor is reserved entirely for hydrotherapy: it features a hammam, tepidarium, sauna and steam rooms; a water path of mists, jets and waterfalls is equal parts soothing and surprising. An open-air fitness centre on the roof is open first thing and late afternoon for running on its Olympic-grade tracks or endurance training on its 12-station fitness frame.
Don’t let the pristine seafront setting and choice of pools fool you – club-worthy evening threads (for nights at Ai Kisu and Beach Rouge) should feature as strongly in your luggage as swimwear.
Penthouses and villas come with butler service. Two junior suites and most communal areas are wheelchair accessible.
Cots can be provided (free); there are two- and three-bedroom options; all restaurants have a children’s menu; babysitting is available at extra cost and there’s a kids club and teens chill-out area and DJ decks.
Over threes and all ages up to teens, best placed to enjoy the amazing kids’ club and teen zone.
Duplex pool villas – a home from home with the freedom of being at ground level – are the obvious choice for families with one- and two-bedroom options (the grand pool villa has three).
With indoor and outdoor areas, ‘Play’ is the hotel’s club for three- to 11-year-olds, open 9am–10pm. Activities from art to gardening, talent shows to storytelling, are split into three age groups. Studio 17 for teens offers free watersports including Hobi Cat sailing, stand-up paddleboarding, snorkelling and windsurfing; Scuba, kitesurfing and water skiing can be arranged at extra cost. Back at base, a chill-out zone is equipped with DJ decks, PS5s, vintage arcade games and a movie pod.
Art and crafts, cookery, gardening, watersports and beach games.
The main pool at Lux Grand Baie is divided into two areas, with a shallow family-friendly pool, supervised by lifeguards during the day.
The Lux Little Travellers menu rolls out across all resort restaurants and offers little Smiths the chance to build a healthy meal with their choice of meat, pulses or fish and a selection of sides. Highchairs are provided and baby food can be heated on request.
Book in advance at extra cost for children aged nine months and older. Baby-listening equipment is also available on request.
No need to pack
Cots can be provided – and whatever you forget to pack, the hotel is incredibly amenable and happy to help you plug any gaps.
We’re not sure if this is a Smith first, but a kids’ club that involves children in aquaponics is both welcome and for sure a rarity.
The hotel is involved in a number of practical and educational partnerships to reduce its impact on the environment and support the local community: beach clean-ups, cookery classes and food hygiene courses feature. Food waste is a major focus: as well as having its own composting programme, Lux Grand Baie donates meals to schoolchildren every week and food scraps go to a local dog shelter. Eco education comes into play sessions on gardening and cookery for both little Smiths and local schoolchildren, and a significant chunk of all restaurant menus at Lux Grand Baie – including those for kids – focus on vegetarian or vegan dishes. Drinking water is provided in refillable glass bottles and purified using the Nordaq water system.
We can’t think of much that’s nicer than wallowing in a shaded cool pool over lunch at rooftop Bisou – although the exclusivity afforded by private dining ‘cocoons’ by the beach is also alluring.
All restaurants and cafés require that you cover up your swimwear when dining, and smarter threads – a shirt and longs for him, something glamorous for her – are encouraged for evening.
Rooftop restaurant Bisou has shaded tables in the pool, where you can graze on small plates of international tapas such as ceviche, salads, lobster rolls, kebabs and empanadas, accompanied by cocktails and panoramic sea views. Beach Rouge is an all-day restaurant beside the sea that has beach-club vibes and a similarly casual approach to dining with light bites, sandwiches, salads and seafood and an excellent rep for brunch. Asian restaurant Ai Kisu is the spot for dim sum, noodles and dishes such as pepper-spiced snapper, teriyaki tuna, soft shell crab and braised pork belly. In the high-ceilinged lobby with squishy low sofas and stools at the bar, Maison Lux opens for breakfast, serving coffee and pastries and stays open all day, switching barista for bartender in time for sundowners and canapés with sea views. When all you want is an ice-cream, head to Ici, for small-batch, handmade gelato and sorbet. Food Lab is the hotel’s development kitchen, featuring an ingredients library, fermentation section and photography studio. Keen gastronomists should explore opportunities to dine at chef’s table, tasting dishes before they’re even on the menu.
For daytime drinks on the roof, pool bar Bisou is hard to beat, although beach lovers may prefer the proximity-to-shore of Beach Rouge. Both serve a fine selection of wines, beers and spirits. By evening, cocktails in a low-lit Japanese art-adorned lounge at Ai Kisu come into their own; even if you’re not there for the pan-Asian tasting menus, its ten-strong selection of sake is worth sampling.
All-day Beach Rouge is open for breakfast, 7am–10.30am; brunch is served 11am–3pm and lunch between 12 noon and 3pm; for dinner, 6.30pm–10pm. Bisou is open 11am–11pm. Dinner at Ai Kisu is served from 6pm until midnight. Ici is open, 10.30am until 5.30pm.
A dedicated menu of snacks and light bites is available 24 hours a day.
Lux Grand Baie is on the north coast of Mauritius, half an hour’s drive from island capital Port Louis.
Mauritius International Airport (MRU) is 75 minutes from the hotel by road. Lux Grand Baie can arrange private transfers at extra cost.
Sun: check. Sea: check. Locomotion? Sadly not.
The hotel has a car park and free valet parking.
Worth getting out of bed for
Lux Grand Baie has all your fitness needs covered: running on the rooftop track, using its rooftop fitness station, joining a group cycle, yoga or pilates class or a session at the gym can all be accommodated. Watersports such as windsurfing, kayaking, Hobi Cat sailing and snorkelling are all free, with kit provided. The hotel can arrange Scuba, kitesurfing, water skiing, game fishing and speedboat tours at extra cost.
In an elegant, timbered restaurant across the lawn from Château Labourdonnais, chef Fabio de Poli works wonders with fish and fresh produce from the chateau’s kitchen garden, creating dishes with Cajun, Creole and French influences at La Table du Château. Also in Grand Baie, La Rougaille Créole is a timbered dining room serving traditional Mauritian fare such as lobster with heart of palm gratin, pulled duck with sweet potato purée and red snapper in créole sauce. A short drive away, Inti at Lux Grand Gaube is a smartly-tiled reed-roofed restaurant serving prettily presented Peruvian fare such as tuna ceviche and king crab tacos.
Thatch-roofed, open-sided Bloom in Pereybere serves a delicious brunch of granola bowls, avo on toast, sugar-sticky waffles and excellent coffee.
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 beachfront hotel in Mauritius and unpacked their Pucci beachwear and Mauritian rum, a full account of their tropical island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Lux Grand Baie…
Serving up a masterclass in fly-and-flop, Lux Grand Baie is designed for sun seekers looking to max out on a luxury beach escape. It has supermodel good looks, with suites, residences and villas facing Merville Beach, a sweep of soft sand edging an aquamarine lagoon. The dining options alone suggest you’ll need to stay at least a week to sample pan-Asian tasting menus at Ai Kisu, languid lunches served to in-pool tables on the roof at Bisou and sea-soundtracked casual dining at ruby-striped club, Beach Rouge. Interiors are tastefully muted and high spec – thanks Kelly Hoppen – from spacious suites for two to multi-room penthouses and villas with butler service. Some rooms come with private pools, but that by no means leaves a dearth of places to dip elsewhere, with a family-friendly main pool and more options by the beach and on the roof. Then there’s the Lux Me spa: three storeys of treatment rooms, studios and fitness equipment including an entire floor dedicated to hydrotherapy. Even the lobby café comes with mesmerising sea views. Lux Grand Baie is a has-it-all idyll in which to relish staying put.
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