LUX Grand Gaube

Rating: 

Five star laid back luxury resort on a secluded peninsula in the far north 

Recently-reimagined by talented British designer, Kelly Hoppen, this secluded resort oozes understated timeless glamour, yet feels like home from home, with a large golden sand swimming bay, great food and oodles of activities.

Information & Facts

Accessibility

All ground floor rooms are accessible, two specially adapted for those with special needs, and four second floor junior suites beside the lift have ramps for wheelchair access. There’s a toilet with baby changing near the cinema and The Palm Court restaurant.

Activities / Excursions Outside the Resort

The best family day out is a private trip in the resorts’ pirogue (traditional wooden fishing boat) to the pristine Northern Islands (seasonal), with snorkelling and a gourmet picnic or BBQ lunch on board. Another option is a trip down the west coast to swim with dolphins, with with snorkelling, and a BBQ lunch on Ile aux Benitiers (Clam Island).

The resort organises trips to 19th-century Château Labourdonnais twice weekly, with a mini train around the property, fruit picking in the orchard (dragon fruit, mandarin, mangos, lychees) and rum tasting for grown-ups.

Helicopter trips on new generation four to six seater Corail Helicopters, can be arranged, and guests may see turtles swimming over the coral gardens on trips on the resorts own two seater seaplane, over the north coast.

Other nearby family-friendly excursions include the Blue Safari mini-submarine, with glass sides to view the magical underwater world, and the Mauritius Aquarium for fish feeding and for older kids to identify the undersea creatures seen on snorkelling trips (also organised from the kids club).

Best Bits for Kids

ICI homemade ice cream in exotic flavours; cinema paradiso with popcorn on bean bags under the stars; fun activities at the kids club from The Cake Boss to eye-balling a turtle at the Mauritius aquarium.

Best Bits for Parents

LUX’s eclectic retro-chic style and chilled out vibe, the wide range of gourmet experiences, from intimate dining at INTI to a family mezze at Bodrum Blue or lounging on bean bags at sundown to Ibiza-style tunes at Beach Rouge; cinema paradiso on bean bags under the stars.

Best Family Beaches

The hotel’s main golden sand beach is on a curved bay in a calm sheltered lagoon, is the best for swimming. A second cove in the Banyan area is adult-only, and opposite the adult-only rooms, crabs cling to a mangrove fringe.

It’s a ten minute drive to the family-friendly beaches surrounding Grand Baie, including the cove of Pereybere, a favourite, with handy restaurants, snack stalls and bars, and a few non-motorised watersports (payable). Go on a weekday as it gets packed at weekends.

Around a twenty minute drive south, is Mont Choisy, which with nearly 2km of white sand, is the longest and most beautiful public beach in the north, with a sandy bottom for swimming. It’s also a popular spot for waterskiing and wakeboarding, so can be busy with boats at weekends.  

This hotel is within reach of the northern islands, with one of the island’s best snorkelling spots beside Coin de Mire for confident swimmers, and pristine islands for swimming and snorkelling, on a day trip by catamaran or speedboat (see above).

Digital Detox / Digital Overload

The kids club has games consoles, and a TV showing films on a rainy day, and free WiFi throughout the resort. There is an indoor and outdoor cinema, which screen family-friendly films.

Endorsement Quote

Families are now discovering what was once mainly the preserve of couples, and they’re liking it. Greeted by the stunning view of the sea through the glamorous lobby on arrival, the reimagined rooms are light, bright and beautiful, and the main curve of golden sand beach is perfect for youngsters to potter and to swim.

LUX* understand that happy kids mean happy parents, and simple luxury for kids is ordering an exotic-flavoured homemade ice cream from a custom-designed white mini by the beach the daily hunt for the ‘message in a bottle’ (stuffed with kids and adults treats). There are oodles of imaginative things to do here, from fishing on the jetty or crab hunting in the mangrove to creating recycled art and learning to film with a go pro, or drone. Kids can even go ‘Gouzou’ spotting – looking for the original hand-painted illustrations of the witty character by French street artist Jace, dotted around the resort.

Families can hang out in double hammocks on the lawn and giant colourful bean bags on the beach, or on giant inflatable pink flamingo water toys in the pool and lagoon.Then there are trips by seaplane, an underwater safari by mini submarine in nearby Grand Baie or heading to the pristine northern islands by pirogue (traditional wooden fishing boat), with hot pink towels, snorkelling equipment and a gourmet picnic. I, like you will, hung my dreams on the ‘Tree of Wishes’ – hoping to win a trip back.

Family Traveller's Recommended Family Rooms

Superior rooms and family suites stretch from the lobby to the boathouse, and face the main swimming bay across a large garden strung with hammocks. Superior rooms accommodate one child and deluxe rooms in the adult-only wing allow teens from 16 years, should families want a bit more seclusion. Junior suites, have direct beach access, so are convenient and a bit more roomy for young families, and family suites (two interconnecting) offer the most space. A family of four, seeking exclusivity and separate sleeping areas, can opt for the Ocean Villas, and blow the budget, LUX* Villa, triple the size at 300 square metres.

Food & Drink

Families can dine anywhere, with kids menus available in the resorts’ six restaurants and a comprehensive selection of baby foods (and complimentary baby puree). LUX’s brand of ‘simple luxury’ means linen napkins at breakfast, and grown-ups can get a gourmet coffee to go. Veggie Heaven items on every menu, means it’s also great for vegetarians.

The resort offers customised food preparation, and families can discuss their needs with the chef. The kids club, PLAY, has communal dining tables but also takes kids to Beach Rouge (lunch) and Palm Court (dinner) restaurants. Foodie activities at PLAY include preparing a fruit brochette (skewer), and daily sweet treats include a trip for a homemade ice cream from the van by the beach (with exotic flavours including delicious mango, and bubble gum) and pancakes with nutella, vanilla or sugar.

The Palm Court

The open-sided, tiered main restaurant with funky neon-lit food stations under a lofty boat like ceiling with silver tiled pillars, makes the buffet fun and exciting for kids. It overlooks the pool so parents can watch kids playing over a relaxed lunch (or breakfast, if they insist on swimming first thing). There’s even a cool circular indoor dining pod, for early birds.

The extensive breakfast includes a wall-long juice bar (and Kambucha elexirs for parents), Bircher muesli, fruit (including fresh coconut), and a ‘Life is Sweet’, piled with cakes. Hot options range from an Asian noodle bar, and of course, the full English. The international buffet in the evening has live cooking stations showcasing world cuisine, including a rotisserie, and of course, Mauritian specialities, and a nightly local band.

Beach Rouge

Chilled Beach Rouge, with white roof and tables set against a colourful geometric mural by Camille Walala, has a Mediterranean menu featuring seafood, sirloin and salads along with pasta dishes and wood-fired pizza by the beach. Grown-ups can keep an eye on children playing nearby at lunchtime, and candle-lit at night, they can consult the mixologists while teens hang out on coloured beanbags on the sand, while Ibiza-style tracks from Andy, the resident DJ, drift through the night air.

Bodrum Blue

The island’s only Turkish-style restaurant, Bodrum Blue, with tables on a romantic overwater terrace and wraparound ocean views, is authentic down to the glass of Turkish rosé, and children will love the mezzes and succulent kebabs. There’s also an open-air shisha terrace, for sunset or late night lazing.

Inti

At the far side of Palm Court, Inti (meaning God of the Sun) is the only South American restaurant on the island. Headed by an award-winning Argentinian chef who serves Peruvian-Argentinian fusion cuisine in intimate, authentic surrounds – from the Mexican ceramic tiles to the South American DJ, and a deck for stargazing. The taste sensation here ranges from melt in your mouth ceviche and the three meter barbecue grills, to sweet and savoury churros at the pastry bar.

In the adult only area, is BBs – Banyan and Burger Shack, understandably popular with kids, the BB shack serves gourmet burgers on naturally-distressed white tables under the trees, while the rustic Creole smokehouse, with island cuisine cooked on wood and charcoal, from charcoal-grilled giant prawns (not available in AI packages/for a supplement) to vegetables grilled whole serves lunch a deux under the sprawling banyan tree.

Café LUX*

Grown-ups can get a quality coffee and cakes at Café LUX* in the lobby (open 7am-10pm). Alongside LUX*’s own ethically sourced, locally-roasted, blended coffee, it features coffees from around the world, bar-style, on comfy lounge chairs for lingering, or, to go.

ICI

Kids, and big kids, love the homemade ICI ice cream in exotic tempting flavours (Sicilian pistachio, Madagascar vanilla, and island rum and raisin – as well as classic strawberry and chocolate), and served from a converted white mini van beachside.

Bars

Seven bars include the family-friendly Palm Court bar, stocked with prosecco, cider and craft beers, and where parents can have a drink in plantation-style basket chairs, while kids play in the infinity pool. Cool drinks a deux range from ‘French Kiss’ cocktails and coolers from a Vintage Citroen H van to ordering rum cocktails from the Rum Treehouse by tugging on a cabana-style rope in the adults-only Banyan area, to inspired pisco sour cocktails in the lagoon-view garden at the plush Pisco bar, with sunset sound tracked by a South American DJ. LUX* has also introduced the island’s first gin bar – G&T 100 Club – serving 100 gins from around the world, with tonics infused with cucumber to saffron, in a cabana with naturally-distressed tables by the beach, and a Tastevin experience has 300 vintages (and three sommeliers), with wines dispensed by the glass.

Getting There

The resort is a 75 minute private transfer or taxi ride from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, or a speedier, scenic 20 minute helicopter ride to the on-site helipad.

Hotel Shop

An all-purpose shop sells sun cream, beach toys and kids clothing, while the all-day coffee shop in the lobby sells cookies and cakes, to take away.

Hotel Vibe

Eclectic retro-chic meets barefoot luxury in this secluded resort, which underwent a £24 million reimagination by British designer Kelly Hoppen in 2017. With colonial-style thatched rooves, beachy whites with colour accents and cool lighting, it’s sophisticated, yet laid back, with an understated timeless glamour reflected in everything from the cool bars and eateries (with linen napkins, even at breakfast) to the furry slippers and a silky-lined dressing gowns in the beautiful rooms. LUX’s imaginative style is reflected in the brightly-coloured geometric beachside murals from Camille Walala, original hand-painted illustrations of the witty Gouzou character by French street artist Jace and activities from a plush cinema (one of only two on the island) to its own sea-plane, ready for take off, on the beach.

Kids Clubs

The PLAY kids club team are trained and certified by UK kids specialists, Worldwide Kids, and meet families on arrival, spoiling kids with sweets (under 11s) and cookies (11-17 year olds), and a gift bag (dodo teddy, hat) on arrival - and a dodo teddy for under 3s.

Open from 9am to 10pm, PLAY kids club, tucked behind the tennis courts near to the resort entrance, catering for children between 3-11 years old, is small, but with a decent-sized grassy outdoor play space, with a kiosk for activities, and plenty to do. Inside, are craft tables and a small library, and a communal table for the kids lunch and dinner buffet.

It divides kids into three age groups for activities, based on a daily theme, such as ‘Cake Boss’ (cake decorating with the chef) to crafting and t-shirt painting in the Junk Art Gallery (3-4 times a week).

Every morning, kids can hunt for ‘message in a bottle’ hidden in the grounds (two with kids treats, such as clothes, toys, souvenirs), and at night, there’s a Cinema Paradiso with bean bags, popcorn and a drink for movies under the stars. 

As there’s no pool at PLAY, kids have supervised pool time in the resorts main infinity pool, there’s ‘Teddy Tennis’ coaching (for 3s and up) and at peak times, ballet initiation in the nearby gym, and kids stretching in the playground. Complimentary trips out to the Mauritius Aquarium, include fish feeding, fish to look for when snorkelling, and eye balling a shark.

There’s a Studio 17 teens club for 12 to 17 year olds in peak season, and otherwise, tailormade activities with a teens entertainer, from a DJ Academy with Andy, the resident DJ at Beach Rouge using professional DJ consoles twice weekly to padel tennis initiation, practice on a golf driving range to bowling in Grand Baie.

A photo fanatics studio offers free workshops on phone photography three times weekly (and on request) and drone flying (chargeable) and go pros for hire and there’s a plush cinema for rainy days. Complimentary outings include bike rides to explore island life in Grand Gaube village and Cap Malheureux, Mauritius’ most northerly point, and a trip to the islands by pirogue (traditional wooden fishing boat) with snorkelling on Ile d’Ambre and a BBQ lunch on Ile aux Bernache.

Location

The resort lies on a secluded peninsula beside the quiet fishing village of Grand Gaube in the islands’ far north, just 10-minutes drive from lively Grand Baie. The main hub of the resort sits on a wide golden sand cove, overlooking the wedge-shaped Coin de Mire island, the closest and most spectacular of the northern islands. 

Pools

Of three pools, a large infinity pool (heated in winter) overlooking the sea with sun loungers, and inflatable Pink Flamingo water toys for less confident swimmers is flanked by the main restaurant and bar, Palm Court, so grown-ups can drink or dine while watching kids play in the water. A smaller adults-only pool lies beside the giant Banyan Tree at the tip of the peninsula. The outdoor pool in the spa, with high walls for privacy and a Buddha figurehead, is flanked by a cool pool, and whirlpool bath, and plenty of sun loungers on the surrounding decks for chilling.

Rooms

The 186 generous-sized open-plan rooms and suites, are set in low-rise Mediterranean-style villas around two golden sand bays – one an adults only wing with a giant, sprawling Banyan tree, pool, private beach, eateries and bars.

Clothed in Spindrift-white, with airy sea-facing balconies or terraces (some with outdoor baths or sundecks), the rooms are smart, with pale wood furniture handcrafted by local artisans elegant lighting, colour accents and geometric tiled bathrooms. Homely touches include vintage rattan, succulents in ceramic pots, and natural cotton and linen soft furnishings.

There are no standard rooms in this resort. Generously-proportioned superior rooms with accents of navy blue and a rainforest shower (but no bathtub). Same size split level deluxe rooms on the ground and first floor cluster around a secluded mangrove-fringed bay in the more private adult-only zone, and are decked in coral pink and grey, with marble bathrooms with Victorian bathtub and a large walk-in shower.

Ground floor junior suites have direct beach access, a separate dressing room and Victorian bathtub, and slightly more space for a child’s bed, second-floor ocean junior suites are aimed at romantic couples with a spacious balcony with an outdoor vintage bathtub overlooking the sea while secluded prestige junior suites, on the ground floor, have an expansive terrace, dining area and an indulgent whirlpool bath. On the ground and first floor near reception, 11 spacious family suites, added in the recent refurbishment, offer a large double sofa bed for children, two oversized bathrooms and a decked balcony or terrace.

The villas – two Ocean and one Lux* - with a private pool in landscaped gardens, and 24 hour butler service - are tucked away on the far side of the bay, but within easy reach of the hotel’s facilities.

Spa & Pampering for Adults

The redesigned futuristic LUX* Me Spa offers a tailormade approach to wellbeing, with Burwing, the wellness concierge on hand to guide you from mind, body and soul classes to Carita beauty treatments, from Shirley Page’s aromatherapy massages (with some new body oils especially for women at different stages of life from enlightened woman to mother-to-be) to traditional hot stone massage. An outside deck with sun loungers beside a turquoise pool presided over by a Buddha, flanked by a cold pools and heated whirlpool, and a steam room and sauna, are free for adults to use, and teens, from Monday to Friday.

The beauty salon next door offers Kérastase hair rituals and posh nails by Essie for women, and a signature wet shave, beard and moustache trim, while sipping a malt whiskey, at the Murdock Barber Shop for men.

This resort has one of the highest tech gyms in the Indian Ocean, with the latest Technogym equipment (guests can share their workout via Facebook, access online music, google/utube, 55 TV channels and an outdoor track). Chubby as a kid, Burwing, discovered the gym six years ago, and now a model of its transformative capabilities, uses Body Analysis to design powerful fitness programmes for guests. The ‘Mind, Body and Soul Studio’ offers 3-4 free classes a day including meditation, tai chi and yoga. An outdoor bootcamp (sprinting, swimming, push ups, workout on the beach). Mind Body Method classes (designed by Kamran Bedi) includes private pilates coaching with high tech MOTR equipment, a barre class for posture and alignment and a stretching class.

Spa & Wellbeing for Kids

The spa has special products for kids, who can get a mini massage (30/60 minutes) with deliciously fruity oils, a yummy facial and funky scrub (bubble gum, lollipop or marshmallow) (with mum or dad in the room). Beauty treatments include a fashionable Essie manicure/pedicure and a kids haircut. All of the spa’s treatments are available for teens, who can use the spa pool, hammam and sauna from Monday to Friday.

Sports

Complimentary watersports are snorkelling, glass bottom boat trips, windsurfing, stand up paddle boarding, pedalos, kayaking, water skiing, mini sails, hobie cat and aqua gym, while land sports include beach-volley, table tennis, tennis, yoga, football, bocci ball and croquet. LUX* is the only hotel group in Mauritius to offer Teddy Tennis lessons (3 to 7 years) and one of the few offering padel tennis (suitable for children from 3 years), with initiation sessions for all age groups.

Payable activities on offer are speedboat rides, scuba diving, big-game fishing, kite-surfing, tube rides, private waterskiing lessons and bike rental. There’s a complimentary golf driving range for those who want to practice their swing, and special rates offered at Mont Choisy championship golf course, a 15-minute drive away.

Room Service

The resort’s 24 hour room service (with tray charge) includes delivery to the kids club. Complimentary baby puree is delivered to your room.

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