Top 13 Luxury Hotels to Stay in the Indian Ocean
How do you define ‘luxury travel’? Ultimately, I have found that one person’s description is likely to be very different to another. In recent years, ‘luxury’ has become a well-worn phrase, too readily bandied about and applied to things that aren’t. That’s changing though; luxury travel is evolving and there’s a new interpretation that takes note of the shifting ways that we like to experience things and live the moment.
What does Luxury mean? My interpretation is a sense of being pampered and valued. When staying in a luxury hotel our guests must feel like they are the centre of the hotel staff’s focus. This manifests itself in the quality of the service, the excellence of the food, the comfort and size of the bed and the facilities in the bedroom and bathroom.
For some it will be a super duper, high pressure shower with unlimited hot water, delicious and expensive toiletries such as Hermes that are offered at Mai Mai or Valmont at Constance Lemuria – both ‘luxury’ hotels in The Seychelles. Or the capacity to lie in a deep big bath. A pillow menu with a turn down menu offering different fragrances to help you sleep. Fresh, daily crisp clean linen sheets, fresh flowers and a butler on tap.
Facilities also define luxury such as swimming pools, a Spa, choice of food, noise levels and staffing levels. Sea views, water sports etc. As an Indian Ocean and South Africa specialist it is not hard to recommend hotels in this Luxury bracket.
Luxury hotels now need to offer three things:
- Incredible, exceptional service that can only be found in the details.
- Wonderful, unique experiences that create a lasting impression and the desire for more.
- A sense of comfort and space in a beautiful and exceptional environment. The third point refers to the hotel/locations furnishings and feel.
Top luxury hotels in Mauritius
At the top of my list is The Royal Palm Mauritius which ticks all the boxes for me. This hotel is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and Leading Spas of the World. The Royal Palm is the most prestigious address in Mauritius. Unobtrusive service, beautiful surrounds and exquisite gastronomic restaurants. All this is offered along with a Leading Spa of the World, a comprehensive sports centre and unlimited complimentary water sports. The Royal Palm is located on the best beach-front locations in Mauritius and is within walking distance of the bustling village of Grand Baie.
Special offer for all stays during August. Royal Palm are offering a 30% discount on the room rate.
Constance Le Prince Maurice: This beautiful sophisticated and truly elegant hotel which is also a member of The Leading Hotels of the world is located on the east coast. The décor is mainly dark wood, glass and water. Unique to Mauritius it has a floating restaurant and bar and the largest wine cellar in the Indian Ocean with over 35,000 bottles. Access to the two best 18-hole golf courses in Mauritius.
Special offer of 50% discount in Junior Suites for all bookings from now until the end of September 2019.
Top luxury hotel in the Seychelles
Maia Luxury Resort & Spa: A secluded experience with private pool, stunning views, a private open bath, a surround sound Bose music system, private kitchen that is filled with drinks of your choice. If champagne is your drink that is what they will fill it with! On our arrival Andrea Boccelli was playing all around the pool & room – he is our all-time favourite! It was a delicate touch from the resort asking us what music we like through a simple form, but they made it real! This is what Maia is all about.
Top luxury hotels in the Maldives
Veela Private Island: This recent TripAdvisor review says it all: Great experience of a lifetime, the “Private” is a cornerstone of it. Veela offers the best of what it offers: a high-luxury experience on an amazing island paradise with a very personal approach to each guest looking to get away from everyone and everything else. This may not be exactly what everyone wants, the word “private” is taken very seriously. Don’t expect to meet other guests or any resort-wide activities or parties, so if you are looking to socialise, this is not the place. The idea here is you get your own little piece of paradise for you and whoever you choose to bring. However, if that is what you are looking for, then Veela takes it to perfection. The accommodation is flawless and luxurious. You will be assigned a butler who is on call to accommodate any needs you may have.
Baros: This small Island is not in the same league as Veela Private Island but by contrast this small Island is a simpler luxury experience. I would go back there in a heartbeat. Speedboat transfer where we arrived less than an hour after landing. No hanging around for seaplanes/domestic flights.
Baros has a fabulous house reef, easily accessible from the beach. Top tip visit the piano deck at sunset, a five minute boat ride away, for champagne and canapés. It was a lovely experience watching the sun set over the sea and feeling like we were in the middle of the ocean. I have stayed in really top class hotels all over the world, but Baros has something special – the staff – who genuinely care about making sure attention is paid to detail, so that guests have the best experience.
Top luxury hotels in South Africa
So much to offer and this is a totally separate blog. Bush, booze and beach experiences. South Africa really understands hospitality and has some of the very best Safari Lodges and hotels in the world. Royal Malewane or Singita are my hot tips for a Bush experience. For families Morukuru Family Lodge or Ants Nest/Hill. Booze stay in the Cape Winelands at La Residence or Angala. Beach – Birkenhead House in Hermanus. If you want a city Cape Town stay – The Silo or Ellerman House. Watch this space, I am back in Cape Town in a month!