Lux Belle Mare

Rating: 

Chilled family-friendly five star on the east coast’s loveliest beach 

LUX’s most innovative, and family-friendly, resort, is luxurious but unfussy, with a hands on general manager, gourmet food and fun extras.

Information & Facts

Accessibility

There are two specially-equipped rooms for families with special needs, close to reception, have a grip rail in the en-suite bathroom, hand rail in the shower. Several suites on upper floors, have lift access. All public areas are wheelchair accessible.

Activities / Excursions Outside the Resort

Families can rent funky red Martone bicycles with automatic gears and a map to explore (RS250/approx £5pp per hour) or take a twice weekly guided bike tour to Flacq (minimum age 8 years; Rs495pp/approx £10) which takes in the Brahma Kumaris temple, the fish auction at fishing village Trou d’Eau Douce, and tasting gateaux piments (deep fried chilli cakes) and vanilla tea at a street stall. LUX* Belle Mare offers a half-day wellbeing safari to Domaine de L'Etoile, which includes a nature walk, meditation and yoga sessions, laughter therapy and breathing exercises.

Best Bits for Kids

Homemade ice cream poolside, the daily hunt for ‘message in a bottle’ hidden around the resort (finders get perks and free gifts), cinema paradiso with popcorn near the beach and family bike rides.

Best Bits for Parents

Exclusive sunrise breakfasts and sunset dinners on the beach, couples massages in the LUX* me Spa, the adult-only Flute champagne bar and dining at Amari by Vineet.

Best Family Beaches

Belle Mare Plage is one of the finest on the island, and it stretches for 10km, should families wish to explore. Further south, Palmar Beach, although not as beautiful is a bike ride away. Around a half hour drive north, Grand Baie has the island’s largest concentration of beaches, including family-friendly coves, such as Pereybere.

Digital Detox / Digital Overload

The focus at PLAY is on outdoor play but up to date digital equipment - a TV, X-box, Wii, and free WiFi - is available for rainy days. Studio 17 has a TV, iMacs and an X-box.

Endorsement Quote

Describing itself as ‘blending five-star indulgence and modern luxury with laid back island living’, this is a well-established family seaside retreat, with a relaxed, unfussy approach to luxury. Its convivial, chilled atmosphere makes it easy to make friends, and it delivers on romance, whilst ticking all the boxes for kids, with thoughtful touches which make it a cut above your average tropical hotel.

There’s an element of theatre and fun at this hotel - staff start the engine of the Rolls Royce, beside LUX* RR 1933 Food Truck so kids can clamber in and pretend to drive, the excitement of the daily hunt in the grounds for ‘message in a bottle’ (with adults and kids perks and treats stuffed inside), and kids can hang their dreams and hopes on the ‘tree of wishes’ – to win a LUX holiday – something to remind them at home when they wish they were back at Belle Mare.

LUX* Belle Mare is foodie paradise for families, with gourmet restaurants for discerning palates, and tailormade options for fussy eaters. Quality coffee in Mauritius is a rarity, so one of the biggest holiday luxuries is Café LUX*, where families in a rush can grab a coffee to go.

Family Traveller's Recommended Family Rooms

Lead in Junior suites are large enough for young families, and junior suite pool view handy for parents whose children are likely to be in the pool all day. Family junior suites suit families with teens or multigenerational families, but for the price, you could opt for a villa.

Food & Drink

Ten drinking and dining venues from street-food to intimate fine dining, means families are spoilt for choice. Kids, and big kids, love the poolside kiosk serving LUX*-made ICI ice cream in 16 tempting flavours (coconut and chocolate, trendy salted caramel and peanut and island vanilla – as well as classic strawberry and chocolate) and sorbets, in waffle cones (free on all-inclusive packages). Healthy real fruit lollies are available for toddlers.

Parents like the quality coffee and cakes from expert baristas at Café LUX* in the lobby (open 7am-10pm). Alongside LUX* Island Blend, roasted on site, are coffees from around the world – recent additions are Turkish, Indonesian and Vietnamese. A Teahouse beside the LUX* me Spa, has 88 varieties for tastings, and a Japanese tea ceremony (at extra cost).

Organised with families in mind, restaurants and bars flank the central pool, so kids can play while adults eat and drink, and there’s a full beach service. Families can dine anywhere, with kids menus available in restaurants, although being a five star, it’s not a place to turn up in swimwear at breakfast.

Care goes into kids food presentation to make food fun – smiley potatoes is a favourite. Kids treats at breakfast include a lollipop tree to dip in chocolate, and nutella toast. Beach Rouge features a pizza with nutella and the LUX* RR 1933 Food Truck menu has a toasted Nutella sandwich.

The resort offers customised food preparation, and families meet Chef Nicolas to discuss their needs on arrival. A Veggie Heaven menu, offers vegetarian and vegan dishes inspired by island flavours. The kids club, PLAY, has its own outdoor dining area (meals at extra charge) and also offers cooking classes.

Main all-day restaurant MIXE offers a sprawling buffet breakfast to a round-the-world choice at dinnertime, and a kids daily dinner buffet section with fish fingers, a fresh pasta station with choice of sauce etc. There will be convenient buffet lunches from June, at the poolside Ibiza-style K-Bar. There’s a wood-fired pizza oven at Beach Rouge, which serves popular pasta and Mediterranean cuisine right beside the beach, should your little one need a wander.

LUX* RR 1933 Food Truck is great for swift family lunches - hamburgers and fries, wraps etc - on naturally-distressed white tables with your feet in the sand. In the evening, it transforms into a a classic American smokehouse for alfresco dinners, with meat served on a wooden board, and sides including salad in a jar (to encourage children to eat it).

Drink choices are as varied. K-Bar serves island-brewed Flying Dodo craft beer and LUX* brand Scrucap South African wines, and Frozé (a frozen Scrucap rose) and frozen mojitos on the beach. At the G&T100 Club at Beach Rouge, a gin sommelier creates blends with homemade tonics infused with herbs from the garden and there’s island rum tasting at poolside cabana, Mari Kontan, is accompanied by sega in the evenings.

In the evening, gourmet dining experiences include contemporary Chinese restaurant, Duck Laundry serves everything from dim sum to Peking duck with pancakes. Children eight years and up are welcome at the exclusive Indian, Michelin-starred chef Vineet Bhatia’s Amari by Vineet – a must. New for 2019, is a table d'hote restaurant showcasing monthly chefs.

Romantic experiences include a candlelit dinner on the beach or on a rocky offshore islet or a butler-served meal on the veranda of a historic farmhouse at the Aubergine Farm and Champagne and tapas at Flute, in a secluded sand pit on the beach.

Getting There

The resort is an hour’s private transfer or taxi ride from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport. Families can choose to arrive in style in the resorts’ BMW X5, one of the few on the island.

Hotel Shop

An all-purpose shop sells nappies, sun cream, beach toys and kids clothing; the all-day coffee shop in the lobby sells cakes.

Hotel Vibe

Fuss free and relaxed, with a chilled vibe, simple luxury at LUX* Belle Mare, is reflected in the fresh mint tea scented lobby, complimentary canapés and island rum tasting in a rustic shack by the pool. Named after French Captain John Belle Mare, who founded Belle Mare village, and redesigned in 2014 by the talented Kelly Hoppen, this resort under thatch is chic, and thoroughly modern, while maintaining the warmth of Mauritian hospitality. Service is personal, which gives it a boutiquey feel, with a hands-on General Manager, Ashish Modak cooing at babies and remembering children’s names.

Kids Clubs

The PLAY kids club team are trained and certified by UK kids specialists, Worldwide Kids, and meet families on arrival, with sweets and juice.

Open from 10am to 10pm, PLAY caters for children between 3-11 years old, dividing them into three age groups, and by language. Land based and water sports are programmed based on a daily theme – a pirate day features a treasure hunt, the Mauritian day, creole lessons and sega initiation and an ocean day featuring fishing and creating an aquarium, a sand castle competition and cooking marshmallows over a bonfire for example.

Popular activities include ‘Cake Boss’, cake decorating with the chef on Friday afternoons, and cinema paradiso in the evening. There’s also water skiing, zoo yoga, recycled art workshops for kids from the ‘junk’ artist in residence at the junk art studio and photoshooting at photofanatics (9-11 years). Families are welcome to play together here. PLAY has an alfresco dining area where a lunch and dinner buffet are available (at extra cost), and cookery classes.

The teens club (12-17 years) Studio 17, open 10am to 10pm, has a cool area to hang out with pool table, table football, table tennis, board games and iMac stations. Activities on offer include DJ academy, mocktail making with the bartender, a fun casino, kite competitions, local dance and language classes, volleyball and football on the beach, beach BBQs and island excursions, as well as the trending bowfighters archery combat game (minimum 8 participants).

Location

LUX* Belle Mare is located in a landscaped tropical garden on Belle Mare Plage, celebrated for its flour-soft white sand on the islands’ east coast, with a cooling breeze in summer. On a wide stretch, with shallows and a gently sloping sea, and marked swimming zones, the beach, fringed by palm trees and casuarinas, stretches 10kms, with several family-friendly resorts, and villages, along it.

Pools

The 2, 000 square metre central pool is one of the islands’ largest, with a separate area for children, and long shallows for toddlers and there’s a splash pool at the kids club. An adults-only infinity pool is in the pipeline, close to the romantic suites.

Rooms

Kelly Hoppen’s redesign of the thatched mod-colonial sea-facing suites and villas is simple, but smart, using soothing whites with accents of tropical colour. All feature king size handcrafted LUX* Sleep Tight mattress, and bathrooms with a separate toilet, bath and shower, and a Bluetooth sound system allows families to stream their own music. The lead in junior suite, is a generous 60 square metres, a sofabed accommodating two kids up to 12 years, and family junior suites – interconnecting with a corridor inbetween. The beautiful, more spacious Ocean Suites, with a double terrace, are popular with families, and there are twelve secluded villas, with lofty ceilings, private heated pool (safety cover available) and dining pavilion, daily treats and butler service.

Spa & Pampering for Adults

The LUX* Me Spa is ahead of the pack with its own, naturally-sourced products, a tailormade approach to wellbeing, and a wellness concierge on hand to guide you. A wide range of treatments includes Shirley Page’s aromatherapy massages – with new hormone balancing treatments for women (including mothers to be) - to Balinese massage. An outside chill out area with loungers beside a large heated whirlpool, steam room and sauna is free for adults to use (9am to 8pm). Fitness programmes in the state-of-the-art Technogym are designed by exercise guru Stephen Price of London’s SP& Co, there are cookery classes and nutrition talks, and LUX* guests gather on the boardwalk every morning for sun salutations.

Spa & Wellbeing for Kids

LUX* Belle Mare is the first (and only) kids club on the island to have a dedicated kids spa treatment room (daily from 9am to 5pm), with princessy butterflies painted on the walls, a pink towel over the couch and nail polish on the shelves. Spa treatments for kids include massage (chocolate, papaya or rose), a body scrub & wrap (papaya or chocolate), kids facial (papaya, rose or sun soothing aloe vera) and kids yoga and meditation. There’s a family spa room in the LUX* Me Spa, with three treatment beds.

Sports

Complimentary watersports are waterskiing, glass bottom boat trip, snorkelling, windsurfing, kayaks, pedal boat and mini sailing, while land sports include table tennis, tennis, yoga, beach-volley, football and petanque. LUX* is the only hotel group in Mauritius to offer Teddy Tennis coaching (3- 5 and 5-7 years) every morning, there’s an on-site dive centre, and close by, Ile aux Cerfs scenic championship 18 hole golf course.

Room Service

The resort offers 24 hour room service (chargeable) includes delivery to the kids club. Kids under three years don’t pay, so complimentary baby food (puree) is delivered to your room.

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