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By Chris Boyle


Situated on the island paradise of Mauritius, Sofitel So Mauritius is tucked away in a carefully guarded spot off Bel Ombre’s southern coast.

It’s hard to believe this 14-acre property comprised of sugar cane plantations just two years ago, though lush land- scapes of colorful gardens, sparkling beaches and the turquoise lagoon all attest to its authentically preserved surroundings. Every bit as dazzling as the views, the staff’s five-star service begins the moment guests step into the 21st century-style welcome pavilion. Beyond hibiscus-strewn paths lie an infinity pool, fitness and spa complex, and villas decorated with floral motifs. Guests are immediately free to explore the 1,706-foot stretch of white-sand beach—a personal butler will have unpacked all belongings and stored all luggage pieces before you step foot in your villa.


  • Square footage: 2,153
  • Nightly rate: About $2,105 (€1,624)
  • Suite style: Bright and airy, by Kenzo Takada

Key selling points: With a private garden, 291-square-foot pool and two external patios with showers, this villa brings guests as close to nature as luxurious living allows.

The interiors are swathed in natural light, and even the bath amenities feature the rich resources of the island. The velvet products are infused with the hotel’s signature scent, a citrusy-sweet blend of sandalwood, citronella and ylang ylang. If you man- age to tear yourself away from the beauty of the coast, com- plimentary Wi-Fi access can link you back to the real world.

Number of suites in hotel: 92


A neutral-toned haven for healing, So Spa harnesses the natural power of fruits and spices to create perfect recipes for relaxation and pampering.

Potent potions are concocted daily from on-site garden ingredients, including the Mauritian hibiscus treatments that honor the property’s floral symbol.

Signature treatments: Hibiscus Therapy, Golden Needles acupuncture facelift


Le Flamboyant: True to its name, this huge 16,000-plus open- air space is illuminated by hundreds of LED screens and sur- rounded on all sides by the lagoon and pool.

Serving up fine French and Mauritian specialties, Executive Chef Isabelle Alexandre spins local produce into the freshest of delights. Sister restaurant La Plage brings cocktails and tapas right to the beach.

Le Takamaka: Continue to enjoy Indian Ocean views post feast at this trendy bar, sipping handcrafted drinks from molecular mixologists against the beats of live DJ tracks.

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