Find seclusion with your lover at Paradise Cove Boutique Hotel, a serene adults-only retreat with its own white-sand beach at the northernmost point of tropical isle Mauritius. Set on a private peninsula, it’s studded with hidden love-nests from which to steal a cheeky peck, and there’s a bar at its cape for a sunset apéritif. Stargaze, swim in one of three pools or off a private beach, go snorkelling, take a catamaran cruise to a deserted tropical island, and sample the inimitable local cuisine. The best of Mauritius, but at a gentle, leisurely pace.
Check-in is from 2pm, with check-out by 12 noon. The hotel will facilitate outside of these hours where possible, and there is a dedicated beachside arrival and departure lounge with private changing rooms and showers available.
Double rooms from £197.13 (€233).
An English or Continental buffet breakfast is included in the room rate.
Take a day trip to the uninhabited islands of Bernache and Ambre aboard the hotel’s pirogue (a long, narrow, motorised canoe), for archetypal tropical island views and lazy hours spent splashing in sandy turquoise shallows.
At the hotel
Private beach, spa with hammam, beauty salon, free activities on water and land, two floodlit tennis courts, fitness centre. In rooms: free WiFi, tea- and coffee-making facilities, balcony or veranda, work station.
Our favourite rooms
The Prestige Junior Suites have double shower heads, a bath tub, and a terrace. The farthest few are on the peninsula, making them more secluded and gifting ocean views of the private cove from their terrace.
A pool for every need, and a beach for good measure – there are six distinct bodies of water at Paradise Cove, each offering something special. The main pool is encircled by palm-tree-shaded sunloungers; and on the hotel’s signature peninsula you’ll find a broad infinity pool, with views across Mauritius’ uninhabited northern islands, which is heated in winter. There’s a restaurant and bar here too, and it may be the best place in all of Mauritius to watch the sun set. Hidden among the palms nearer the suites is a small lap pool, and in the spa’s garden you’ll find a plunge pool for an après-massage dip. The temperate waters of the Indian Ocean flow right into the resort’s private cove, where there are more sunloungers on a crisp, white-sand beach, and a three-tiered waterfall pool supplied with fresh seawater.
The Parisian powerhouse brand Cinq Mōndes curates the spa at Paradise Cove, and it is not only stocked with their premium products, but also their own specially-developed menu of treatments and massages. Seven treatment cabins are spread amid a tropical garden filled with endemic species and a towering shade tree, and there is a vivid flower bath, a vichy shower for body scrubs and hot-water massage, a hammam for thermal steam treatments, and a beauty salon. Outdoor treatments can be delivered seaside in a special private couples’ cabin on the peninsula, and those wanting to prolong the state of post-massage bliss can linger on the sunloungers or dip in the spa’s secret plunge pool.
Make sure to load a good digital-planetarium app on your smartphone. An astronomer leads a weekly stargazing session, and once you’ve had your celestial orientation, you’ll be gazing skywards each night.
One of the ground-floor Junior Suites has been adapted for guests with mobility issues, and has been built with wider doors for wheelchair access, grab handles, and a stepless shower – request at time of booking.
The hotel has eliminated single-use plastics from rooms, there is a recycling program, and the four restaurants source produce from local farmers and suppliers.
With panoramic tip-of-the-peninsula views and arguably the best sunset view in all of Mauritius, be sure to spend an evening at Peninsula.
Swimmers are de-rigueur at Peninsula, but have a shirt or skirt pressed for your evening at the Cove.
There are four restaurants on offer at Paradise Cove, each with a different menu and a distinct speciality. The Dining Room is the focal point for breakfast and dinner, and offers a contemporary interpretation of traditional Mauritian recipes, with a heavy Indian influence mixed with a bounty of local seafood. The interior design is a crisp, clean take on colonial styling, with roomy balconies, wide apertures taking in easy morning breezes and cove views. XO focuses exclusively on sushi and sashimi, and is idyllically sandwiched between the main pool and the cove. The signature dish is a maki tempura with fresh river prawns and hijiki seaweed cooked in sake, and it is prepared by a Japanese sushi chef recruited specially for this restaurant. Looking over the peninsula’s infinity pool and with 280-degree views of the ocean and islands beyond is the Peninsula Restaurant, serving a relaxed tapas-style menu built for poolside grazing or as the perfect accompaniment to daily sundowners. The culinary showpiece is a little fine-dining seafood restaurant called the Cove, which is nestled under palm trees in the white sands and serves a contemporary fusion menu with gems such as the vanilla-flavoured lobster on avocado tartar, with ginger crumble. Couples will swoon over the love nest-style cabanas, where guests dine by candlelight over the gently lapping ocean in the cove. Meals at the Dining Room, XO and Peninsula are included in the hotel’s Dine-Around half-board package, but the Cove is an extra-cost treat.
Paradise Cove offers three bars, linking indoors and outdoors to make the most of the balmy Mauritian weather. There is live acoustic music at sunset, setting the tone for a wonderful relaxed evening. The Beach Bar, Stay Bar and Peninsula Bar have cold beers, wines and poolside cocktails, but the real surprise is the hotel’s secret Rum Gallery, which is squirrelled away in the lobby. The Rum Gallery has a choice of local Mauritian and international rums to sample, but our insider tip is to ask for the bartender’s own blend. S’Cellar also stocks a selection of exclusively Southern Hemisphere wines, with a sommelier on hand to assist with selection.
The Beach Bar closes at 8pm, and the Peninsula and Stay bars are open until 1130pm.
A room service menu is available from 8am until 11.30pm.
Paradise Cove Boutique Hotel is sited near Anse La Raie, at the northernmost tip of Mauritius Island, just off the eastern coast of Africa.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is a little over an hour away by car, and is well connected by the major international airlines to Europe, Dubai, and South Africa. Smaller regional airlines service destinations in India, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
The first stage of the impressive Mauritius Metro Express project has just opened for public use and may save some time getting into and out of the capital Port Louis in the direction of the airport, but it is not possible to reach the hotel by train.
Hiring a car is easy in Mauritius – most of the major brands have outlets at both the airport and in Port Louis, and the hotel offers free secure parking. If you plan to drive nothing more than a sunlounger during your visit, the hotel offers convenient private transfers to the airport. Enquire for cost at the time of booking.
The Mauritius Shipping Corporation has a route connecting Mauritius to the islands of Madagascar, Réunion, and Rodrigues. The M/S Mauritius Trochetia is a combined cargo/passenger ship that offers 108 passenger cabins, a cafeteria, and a dance floor with karaoke, amid space for 165 shipping containers. Open-minded, time-rich travellers are sure to come away from this journey with a suite of brilliant stories.
Worth getting out of bed for
Mauritius is an island dominated by its beaches, and rightly so – they’re some of the best in the world. That idyllic beach image displayed on your PC as you log in? It’s probably somewhere in Mauritius. The north of the island has some of the best, such as Mont Choisy and Péreybère, but Mauritius boasts over 100 miles of sandy beaches so you won’t have a problem finding one. The majority of the island is surrounded by the world’s third largest coral reef, so surf is almost non-existent, but a very fickle break at Tamarin Bay on the southwest coast is hypnotic if the stars align. The reef produces excellent snorkelling and diving, and Paradise Cove has PADI-certified scuba instructors available, as well as small and big game-fishing charters. The famous Roman Catholic Church of Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice de Cap Malheureux is a 15-minute walk away from Paradise Cove, and is one of the most celebrated sights on the entire island. Its vivid red roof and white walls really pop against the bright turquoise bay of the Bain Boeuf public beach, but come early to avoid the crowds. The 18th-century Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden (also known as the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden) is teeming with endemic Mauritian species, and its long shady alleys hide horticultural gems such as the Talipot Palm, which flowers just once in its 30-to-80-year lifespan and then immediately dies, or the gigantic eight-foot Victoria Amazonica waterlily. Mauritius has a strong colonial heritage which began with Portuguese occupation, and included Dutch, French and British administrations before independence was granted in 1968. Vestiges include undeniably the magnificent Domaine de Labourdonnais sugar plantation estate with its grand Ficus-lined avenue, and the capital Port Louis’ harbour-guarding Fort Adelaide, built by the British but now used as a cultural space for concerts and performances. The Dodo, which was endemic to Mauritius alone until its 17th-century extinction, is sadly long since departed, but there are rarities to behold; philatelists will want to visit the Blue Penny Museum to inspect the Blue Penny, reputedly one of the world’s rarest stamps with a value soaring well beyond a million dollars.
Thanks to its colonial heritage, Mauritian cuisine is a grand mosaic of African, French, Indian, and Chinese flavours, all tossed together with a bounty of just-caught seafood from the Indian Ocean. A visit to the capital, Port Louis, isn’t complete without delving into its street-food scene, and some of the most authentic Mauritian food can be found here, such as dholl puri (flatbreads stuffed with split peas and turmeric, best served alongside a curry). Amigo Restaurant, just around the bay from Paradise Cove in the village of Cap Malheureux, is the place for highly innovative yet unpretentious seafood with a Mauritian flare, such as the octopus vindaloo with tomato chutney. For more Creole-driven flavours, Chez Tanta Athalie uniquely sits guests on long familiar tables overlooking the garden and the owner’s classic car collection, with a Creole set menu served only at lunchtime (noon till 3pm) from Monday through Saturday. Nearby Grand Baie has the island’s only buzzing night-time restaurant scene – the whole catch of the day cooked in banana leaf at Le Capitaine is our pick.
Le Fournil is a family-owned artisan French boulangerie and pâtisserie where you’ll find the butteriest croissants, the sweetest madeleines, and the freshest coffee – the original bakery in Pointe aux Canonniers was so well received that the family have recently opened a second outlet in Grand Baie. Café Müller is an unusually Germanic joint, also in Grand Baie – revel in the juxtaposition of eating heavy cheesecake and strudel in the tropical garden, or come for a Saturday morning brunch.
It’s rather fortuitous that the only true nightlife in Mauritius is found in Grand Baie, which is an easy 10-minute drive around the coast from Paradise Cove. The local Phoenix beer is served ice-cold at Banana Beach Club – it may be located in a petrol station car park but there’s a cheerful cocktail list, nightly live music, and the upstairs Zanzibar Nightclub has the beginnings of a good night out. Avant Garde is where you’ll find true mixology, with a drinks list inspired by the local terroir and a curated program of live music.
It’s worth starting this review by saying that we love our kids, but I won’t deny, the ‘adults-only’ tag at time of booking did hold some sway.
“And this was the only resort available in the whole of Mauritius?”, my father-in-law enquired as we dropped off the kids before our flight.
“Uh, surprisingly yes – must be a popular time of year I guess…”
The reality at Paradise Cove Boutique Hotel Mauritius is as the name suggests, and that private cove really sets the tone for the entire resort, which is laid-out across a peninsula gifting vast sea views. They won’t say as much, but the entire property is really designed for couples, and spread throughout the grounds are countless little nooks, pairs of sunloungers, and places to escape together with a novel and a glass of wine.
We didn’t feel the need to leave Paradise Cove during our stay, even though there’s a fair bit to see on the island itself. With only 75 rooms and suites and such expansive grounds and its trio of pools, we revelled in the peace and quiet. Lazy mornings blurred into lazy afternoons and long, lingering dinners. The most active thing we did that week was to take a boat ride out to an uninhabited island for more lazing on a white-sand beach, with palms swaying gently in the breeze overhead.
And yes, we were genuinely happy to see the kids again – we missed them. But we’ve now got a picture of that island beach hanging in the kitchen, and when wet muddy boots are trampled across the carpet after football practice, a quick gaze reminds us that true serenity does indeed exist.