Welcome to the Turquoise Travel Diaries, a collection of interviews, stories, and excerpts from our fabulous team, as they travel around the world. Here at Turquoise, we pride ourselves on unrivalled knowledge of the destinations in which we specialise, so that we can provide honest, expert advice to all our guests and fellow travellers. This week, Indian Ocean specialist Amy Schulz fell completely in love with SALT of Palmar, an environmentally friendly hotel in Mauritius.
We are now all making a conscious effort to live a more sustainable life and protect the precious world we live in, which can often be very challenging when travelling. SALT of Palmar is a pioneering property in Mauritius that does just that. I was fortunate enough to visit SALT and discover more about its unique concept and how it has implemented sustainability and zero plastic throughout the hotel. The focus is on its love for the beautiful island and all of the products the hotel uses, from the food to the bed linen, are locally sourced so they can give back to the community. You won’t find any single-use plastics here!
There’s no check-in desk when you arrive, either. Instead, there’s a cosy living area with a wall stocked with books showcasing the best of Mauritian literature, so you can read up on the island’s rich heritage, culture, cuisine and nature the island has to offer. As you take a seat and relax with a welcome drink, you’ll complete check-in with an iPad to save wasting paper. Each check-in starts with a five-minute meditation ritual to kick-start your relaxing stay and every check-out is finished with a five-minute salt aura ritual to end your stay. You’ll also be given an aluminium water bottle for you to keep, which you can fill up at many of the water stations throughout the hotel.
The hotel’s boutique shop is filled with beautiful items that are sourced from local suppliers, from handmade beach bags to beautifully crafted pottery. It’s very relaxed at the boutique and there’s no cashier – instead, you scan the items yourself and charge them to your room. For every yoga mat purchased, a tree will be planted on the island.
The SALT bakery has a daily selection of fresh handmade bread and there are always samples to try – the mango bread was particularly delicious! The coffee beans have been home-roasted, and you can enjoy a coffee and socialise in a relaxed setting overlooking the pool. All meals served are à la carte and designed to be shared. The produce is so fresh and the menu shows you exactly where on the island it has come from and the flavours are sensational. The pottery in the restaurant has been handcrafted by local potter Janine, who has made 950 pieces for the hotel’s restaurant.
There are three bars here, too: a rooftop bar, a pool bar and a beach bar. All of the cocktails they serve tell a story and the mixologists are so creative, helping you create your own cocktails to enjoy while you look out onto the beautiful Indian Ocean.
The sustainability flows into the rooms, where all the bathroom amenities are in refillable dispensers and are all natural, paraben-free and locally made. Loofahs and cotton pads are 100% organic and earbuds, combs and toothbrushes are made from bamboo. Everything is packaged in paper and printed with soy ink. Bed linen is made from organic cotton, as are the towels. Even the bathrobes are made from unbleached organic cotton, made from fabric produced by coffee grounds and slippers with rubber soles gently massage the pressure points on your feet. Yoga mats and blocks are placed in every room and are made from natural rubber. It’s an eco-friendly paradise!
Head to SALT’s spa where every treatment start with a 15-minute salt foot scrub with your favourite essential oils, followed by 15 minutes of relaxation in the halotherapy salt room – relax and breathe deeply while the salt vapour cleanses you and reduces stress and muscle tension. Of course, it goes without saying that all the products used in your treatment are made from 100% natural and locally sourced ingredients.
SALT of Palmar is a place with so much passion for the island and they are so keen to share that with you. In your room you’ll find a local guidebook written by locals, where you can discover the very best of Mauritius. You can hire a Mini Cooper convertible from the hotel, enter the GPS coordinates provided in the guidebook and go and explore this incredible island! The hotel also hold a skillswap classes, where you can share your skills or learn a new one. They really do encourage you to broaden your horizons and take home more than just a tan.