Amelia, Founder of Auree Jewellery, reveals her top tips for visiting Mauritius and what jewellery to pack from their collection inspired by this beautiful island. Auree Jewellery is not for hiding away in a safe but to wear, enjoy and love, whether at home or on a tropical beach far away.
So speaking of tropical beaches…close your eyes and imagine being on a white sandy beach. The sound of palm trees swishing in the warm breeze, a rum cocktail in one hand and turquoise water as far as the eye can see. If you like the sound of this, Mauritius will appeal to you (as long as a 12 hour flight doesn’t put you off). You can flop on a beach without moving – or you can use your hotel as a base to explore. But as always, that’s the big question – where should you stay?
Recently reopened after a refurbishment, this is a hotel that is pretty hard to beat. Whatever you can imagine wanting, it’s here – including a pop up Pancake and Ice Cream parlour every afternoon (who doesn’t secretly want a Nutella Crépe around 4 o’clock?). Darling little Colonial suites dotted amongst the lush gardens and designed with everything you could possibly need (including, of course, Nespresso machines and a walk in wardrobe). If you have opted to take a child with you, they provide all the kit (and we mean ALL – prams, sterilisers, high chairs.. the list goes on).
There are six restaurants to choose from – all with a great variety and something to appeal to everyone. From fresh grilled fish on the beach to some serious tasting menus (and by that, we mean serious: picture ten courses involving lobster).
Right on the beach, the water is as warm as a bath and wonderfully shallow for children – or for lounging in to read the latest William Boyd. It has three beautiful pools – all with loungers, huge sun umbrellas and naturally, waiter service. They also have a fabulous Spa that rivals some of the best we have ever tried. The massages and facials were exceptional – and the Spa itself has a feel of escaping to some undiscovered tropical corner. Calm, tranquil and with a dangerously tempting treatment list. If we were not by the pool or on the beach, this is where you’d find us.
While it was easy to not leave our new found haven, if you are the sort of person who gets itchy feet after a few days gazing at the view, then there are so many things to do. Our favourites included visiting one of the old tea factories, going out in a glass bottomed boat to see the coral and dinner at the Chateau de Bel Ombre.
The original Grand Dame of Mauritius, Le Saint Géran, has been the last word in luxury since it opened over 40 years ago – and is still considered by many to be the best hotel in Mauritius. It’s easy to see why. This sprawling resort set around its own private lagoon has over 143 rooms, and is perfectly catered for families of all ages, with plenty of space to relax, and activities to entertain.
Their gleaming new spa and fitness centre is perfect for recharging and some serious relaxation. Opt for their signature treatment of a coconut and papaya scrub followed by a full body massage, which is so good it has even been known to persuade spa-virgin husbands to don a pair of paper pants.
After all that pampering, relax by the pool with a good book, or enjoy a yoga class, whilst adventurous husbands can set off on the various fishing, diving and snorkelling trips. Children are really well looked after at the dedicated Club One area (free for over-3’s), where they enjoy a fun-packed schedule of daily activities, splash in their own private pool, and even practise a bit of horticulture.
With five restaurants, there are endless menu options and every type of cuisine is catered for. At Prime, the contemporary grill, we recommend the tenderest Japanese wagyu beef and local crayfish the size of lobsters, while at Tapasake, the pan-Asian restaurant perched on stilts over the lagoon, the crispy chicken wings with miso powder and Kobe beef are sensational.
But obviously the best part of all is the in-house artisanal bakery serving home-made cakes, chocolate and ice cream all day long. This is literally heaven for children and adults alike (there is even a specially built mini ice cream parlour next to the pool – just the right height for little faces to lean over and pick their flavour). If the sweet treats are too much (is there such a thing?), you can wash it all down with Oliver the barman’s infamous ‘Dodo’ cocktail
If you can tear yourself away from the resort, the local area is really worth exploring. Hop on one of the hotel’s bicycles and take a guided trip to the nearby town of Poste de Flacq. Or, if you are feeling energetic, you can take a hike up the waterfalls and gorges of the nearby nature reserves – the views are breathtaking.
What jewellery to pack?
The Sunday Times described Auree as the ultimate Beach Candy; but these are the key pieces we recommend squeezing into your suitcase.
Inspired by a small, sunny village in Mauritius, our Moka Shell Pendants are your new summer essential. The beaches are filled with these beautiful Cowrie Shells, so why not be wearing one whilst collecting some.
Dreaming of Mauritius… yes we’d like to be there too. Here is the next best thing…our Sotisse necklace which combines warm 18ct yellow gold vermeil with pretty natural gemstones.
Inspired by one of the most scenic and unspoilt areas in Mauritius, these Savanne stud earrings are never happier than when taken on holiday somewhere sunny. You won’t regret investing in these. We can promise that.