Mauritius’ volcanic drama, its jungle-coated heart and white-sand beaches make it an easy contender for far-flung honeymoons. Newly-weds can hike through the lush hills, along waterfalls, keeping their eyes peeled for exotic wildlife, lean into the wine menus on Old World verandas spilling onto the beach, or simply wallow in the bath-warm Indian Ocean, with the island’s emerald peaks strutting in the distance. This paradisiacal setting hosts a series of hot ticket hotels, many of which fall under the Sunlife umbrella. These are all prime honeymoon spots, with go-slow rhythms, languid afternoons spent under the shade of palm trees and slick service that reminds couples that this is no ordinary island jaunt.
Indeed, Sunlife hotels have been welcoming haute honeymooners for almost half a century – curating extraordinary stays and ensuring any of that wedding cortisol evaporates into the salt-infused air. With island roots dating back to 1976, when their first resort la Pirogue opened its teak doors, Sunlife enjoys a legendary presence on the island, combined with a progressive outlook on how the modern luxury traveller likes to anchor themselves to their setting.
With four seafront resorts to choose from, every tribe of honeymooner is bound to find the one best suited to their far-flung ambitions. Whether it’s the thatched, barefooted forebearer, La Pirogue for an authentic Mauritian experience with gastronomic flair, Sugar Beach for a dose of tropical glamour, Long Beach for adventures à deux, or the adults-only Ambre drawing in the fly-and-flop newly weds, read on to discover your dream SunLife honeymoon in Mauritius.
For tropical glamour-seekers: Sugar Beach
Occupying over 500-metres of ivory sand on Mauritius’ west coast, Sugar Beach lures newly weds back into Old World tropical rhythms: sundowners along the beach, listening to the waves gently lap the sand; poolside cards; a game of doubles before lunch. A palm-flanked path and symmetrical gardens both frame and lead up to a grand facade in Gatsby style, with its intricate veranda detail and blush pink turrets.
The hotel’s interiors may also riff on this golden age of travel heritage (note the brooding, mahogany wood panelled bar, chequered floors and sweeping french doors spilling onto the beach), but a recent refurbishment has thrust it into the 21st century, particularly the bedrooms. Honeymooners can cocoon themselves in these fresh, blonde-wooded island hideaways – with subdued hues, modish lighting and enormous beds replete with creamy leather headboards. Wooden screens cleverly fold back to reveal seductive bathrooms where couples can enjoy a long soak before supper, while balconies (many of them spilling onto the beach) twist romantically towards the island’s legendary sunsets for cocktail hour and a game of backgammon. Of all Sugar Beach’s foodie spots, Buddha Bar is unequivocally the most romantic (and fun) – with daily plunder from Mauritius’s shores and fresh sushi can be devoured with toes in the sand. Buffet-style Le Patio and tapas-cum-pizza joint, Citronella Beach Lounge Restaurant both pose as a more laid back option, with island-chic, porous rooms leaning onto the beach.
For active, adventurous types: Long Beach
Spilling onto a long stretch of flawless sand and surrounded by acres of lush, palm-studded gardens, Long Beach occupies one of those privileged island spots honeymooners long for. And as part of Sunlife’s #ComeAlive initiative, the hotel also offers activities curated with Mauritius’ finest assets in mind, from tennis, cycling and golf (gulping in that fresh, salty air), to windsurfing, kitesurfing and snorkelling, making the most of the calm, turquoise water that teem with marine life. That is, of course, when honeymooners are not slumping into one of the hotel’s four swimming pools to cool off, or holing up in the contemporary, white-washed suites facing onto the beach. There are even premium tours to the Spice Spoon cultural market, with a cooking experience, or a guided hike to the very top of the island – one rewarded with dizzying jungle-meets-sea views.
Long Beach also knows how to throw a party, with its own hopping Bombora nightclub, and a Mediterranean-style piazza for with on stage entertainment (a boon for newlyweds looking to pair daytime relaxation with some evening energy). The former can be found with a private morning yoga class together followed by a medicinal Santé cocktail, or at Cinq Mondes spa for a couple’s massage. And those keen to offset the honeymoon hedonism with some eco-friendly choices will be bowled over by the Energy Gym, which cleverly leverages the power generated by guest’s own workouts for the hotel.
For the fly-and-floppers: Ambre
Should fly-and-flop dominate the honeymoon agenda, laid-back and lovely Ambre has mastered the Mauritian form of Dolce Far Niente, notably with its adult-only stance and idyllic beachfront setting between the villages of Belle Mare and Palmar. Newlyweds can park themselves on the sun loungers dotted around the resort’s photogenic infinity pool that appears to drift into the Indian Ocean beyond it, or sip cocktails and sample the spanking fresh exotic seafood under the thatched pergolas along the beach. This is a hotel well-versed in far-flung, grown-up hedonism, expect in-water daybeds, delicious spa treatments where therapists knead away that wedding stress using exotic oils, or seriously zen beach yoga sessions before tucking into a rewarding breakfast.
Rooms (opt for the honeymoon suite) are a white-washed, contemporary take on island life, with the pared down decor leaving the views of the Indian Ocean and surrounding tropical gardens to do the talking. Should you grow weary of the spa steam room, the lake-sized pool or the splendid simplicity of the beach (hardly likely), afternoons can be spent on Sunlife’s nearby Ile aux Cerfs golf course, finessing serves over a game of doubles on the tennis courts, paddling in double kayaks along the calm lagoon, or, after supper, slipping into the hotel’s own nightclub for a spontaneous island boogie.
For the authentics, with high food hopes: La Pirogue
If couples are after a Mauritian classic, La Pirogue is the island original, with its thatched roofs emulating the shapes of the traditional pirogue fishing boats, (in a style that feels deeply reverential to the surrounding culture and landscape) and its star-studded history, welcoming a roster of celebrities and royalty over the years. The hotel’s uniquely traditional character has been cleverly preserved amid a recent top-to-toe refurbishment, guaranteeing newlyweds those modern luxuries combined with the Robinson Crusoe charm. Occupying a coconut grove and a vast curve of sand on Mauritius’ pretty west coast, La Pirogue embodies all Mauritian idylls – the mighty Le Morne offers a dramatic backdrop and suites, pools and communal areas are skillfuly woven into the jungle.
Traditional earthy rooms that spill onto the beach, decorated with wicker and woven rugs, double as romantic hideaways – with local touches such as Mauritian bed throws. Couples can wake slowly to a rich cacophony of birdsong, snooze on the beach to the gentle wash of the Indian Ocean, or enjoy massages together as palms rustle in the breeze. It’s all surmounts to the honeymoon island cliché burnt out couples so desperately crave. Adding to this glorious cliché is beautifully-cooked fresh seafood. Foodie couples will relish the just-caught and smoked marlin, the grilled garlicky lobster and crab and the delicious combination of Mauritian street food and Creole-style dishes. Toes-in-the-sand dining underneath a cathedral-like star-studded sky is made even more memorable with a veteran live band serenading this island’s stalwart’s returning guests for decades.
Book your Mauritius Honeymoon now: yoursunlife.com
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