The paradise Indian Ocean island of Mauritius is famed for its pristine, white sand beaches and calm, clear waters and has earned itself a global reputation that has made it a sought-after choice amongst affluent travellers in search of some five-star rest and relaxation.
Located off the eastern coast of Africa and nestled close to the neighbouring island of Madagascar, Mauritius is a relatively small island, at just 2,040km squared, and is home to a total population of just over 1.2 million. But beyond its swaying palm trees and luxurious five-star resorts, there is much more to it than first meets the eye, and a rich and diverse natural and cultural experience awaits.
Nevertheless, most who visit Mauritius come in search of a breath-taking beachfront base from which to explore its hidden jewels, and there’s certainly no shortage of those here. The north-eastern resort of Belle Mare is one of the island’s finest, offering up a spectacular and secluded stretch of palm-lined sand that is home to the modern and sophisticated Constance Belle Mare Plage – a stylish hotel belonging to the Constance Hotels and Resorts group, and which offers five-star beachfront luxury by the bucket-load.
Stretching along 1.2km of beachfront seclusion and tranquillity, the hotel offers up a total of seven restaurants and bars to choose from during your stay. Add to that a championship golf course, four swimming pools and a dive centre and here, you have everything you could possibly need for the perfect stay in paradise.
Set in almost 15 hectares of lush, tropical gardens, this idyllic hideaway encourages marine life conservation and supports the clean-up of the marine and coastal environment, ensuring water waste is not discharged into the ocean and working to replant coral to restore its offshore reef. So, not only can you thoroughly enjoy a relaxing stay here in breath-taking surroundings, but you can do so in the knowledge that you’re making a sustainable accommodation choice.
The hotel offers a range of different rooms and suites ranging from the 104 prestige rooms and 149 juniors all the way up to the presidential villa.
The latter is located right on the beach and offers 978 square metres of floor space, with five bedrooms and a plethora of state-of-the-art facilities including two private heated swimming pools and breath-taking ocean and garden views. A sprawling, secluded and thoroughly modern hideaway in this little slice of paradise, if you’re looking for all-out opulence and additional privacy then you’re in the right place, as this beautiful serviced villa certainly doesn’t disappoint.
There are a further eighteen pool and beach villas to choose from, as well as six deluxe suites. My beautiful prestige room, meanwhile, was equipped with plenty of luxury furnishings and amenities, with a huge and endlessly comfortable king-size bed and a spacious bathroom area featuring twin sinks, a spacious shower and a free-standing, claw-foot bath tub that I only wish I’d had the time to sink into for a long and relaxing soak.
Double glass doors opened straight out onto a private terrace facing the beach, which provided the perfect spot in which to enjoy a sunrise coffee made from the in-room Nespresso machine or a sunset glass of wine from the mini-bar, sitting back and taking it all in in a moment of peace.
Food and drink
The hotel’s impressively extensive buffet restaurant, La Citronelle, serves up a mouth-watering array of ever-changing flavours from all over the world, and was the perfect place to enjoy dinner during my one-night stay. I filled my plate with decadent dishes from Mauritius, Asia and India – but there’s plenty here to suit all tastes, including Italian pastas and pizzas, French cuisine and fresh seafood, all rustled up on live show-cooking stations by the hotel’s talented team of chefs.
An evening at La Citronnelle isn’t just about the delicious and vast range of food choices available, but the experience itself, with a stroll around this immense restaurant taking you on an international journey of sights, sounds and smells. If you’re the type who can never quite decide what you want to eat, or your travel companion has clashing tastes, then you’ll be well catered to here – it might be buffet-style, but every detail has been considered to make for a luxurious dining experience that is certain to leave you wanting to come back for more.
Guests at the hotel can choose from an impressive nine bars and restaurants in total, including the sophisticated Blue Penny Cellar – a stylish a la carte restaurant set within the depths of a wine cellar that dishes out a mouth-watering menu of ‘haute cuisine’ style plates and houses 40,000 bottles of wine from 2,300 different wineries across the globe. An excellent choice for the wine connoisseur, you’ll have no trouble finding just the right pairing for your meal here, and the restaurant’s knowledgeable team are always on hand to make the perfect recommendation.
Other foodie highlights at the Constance Belle Mare Plage include Mediterranean eatery La Spiaggia, where guests can enjoy freshly cooked and flavourful dishes out on the deck, accompanied by a glass of bubbly from the champagne trolley and stunning views of the Indian Ocean where its crystalline waves gently lap the shore.
Then, there’s the Deer House, located in the Club House of the Legend golf course, offering scenic vistas out over the greens, taking in wild java deer as they roam the land beyond freely. Here, you’ll find continental breakfasts with a Mauritian twist, alongside a variety of tasty light lunch and dinner options.
Le Swing restaurant, just next door, is another casual dining spot frequented by golfers. Add to that beachfront dining at Lakaze, light bites at the Indigo restaurant and two sophisticated bars serving up a range of cocktails, fine wines, juices, smoothies and snacks, and whatever your tastes or requirements, you can be certain you’ll be spoilt for choice.
With its two 18-hole championships golf courses, it’s perhaps little wonder that the Constance Belle Mare Plage attracts golf enthusiasts from across the globe, and also plays host to various big-name tournaments throughout the year. Offering players the chance to combine their passion with a luxurious holiday in paradise, it’s easy to see the appeal – but if a day on the green isn’t quite your cup of tea, then there are plenty of other options to keep yourself occupied when you’ve had your fill of relaxing on the beach and taking a dip in the sea (although let’s face it, in a place as breath-taking as Mauritius, it really never gets old).
If you’ve always dreamed of exploring the world beneath the waves (or in this case, the very calm waters of Belle Mare), then you can head to the on-site dive school, Blues Diving. Here, you can choose from a selection of PADI and CMAS courses, as well as private and group dives to suit all levels – including the complete beginner. If you’re already an accomplished scuba diver, then the shark pit dive won’t disappoint, and offers the chance to take in Mauritius’ colourful corals and abundant marine life in all their glory.
And if you’re travelling with children, then rest assured that they will be fully catered to at the Constance Kids’ Club, which offers a range of daily activities for youngsters aged four to 11 including swimming and pool games, arts and crafts and pizza-making.
In a nutshell
A stylish and contemporary luxury hideaway in a secluded spot, the Constance Belle Mare Plage is the perfect pick for the modern traveller, with an all-round five star experience guaranteed. Its private stretch of beach sets it apart from many of the other high-end hotels on the island, giving guests an added dose of privacy and exclusivity, and one of the most breath-taking ocean views on Mauritius.
Address: Pointe de flacq, Plage, Mauritius
Phone: +230 402 2600