The last time I strolled into the Lanesborough hotel, I was early; this time I was late. “Very poor show, old chap,” said a nagging voice in my head. The ladies who were waiting to greet me at the launch evening for the The St. Regis Mauritius Resort said they thought I might have been lost in action. This wasn’t far from the truth, but thankfully no shots were fired, nor scotch spilt. A blessing, I’m sure you’ll agree – certainly when it comes to the scotch.
I hold the Lanesborough very dear to my heart, as I had probably the single most delicious dining experience of my life here thanks to the notable hand of Heinz Beck and his ‘one night only’ tasting menu. In the spirit of continuity there he was again, although this time only on screen introducing one of the dishes he had designed to pay homage to the highest culinary arts. With Beck playing Butch to Atul Kochhar’s Sundance, we were given a taste of what the guests staying at the The St. Regis Mauritius Resort can look forward to. And look forward they can. If you are going to fly a flag hard and fast on the battlefield of luxury hotels you had better be prepared to do it right, with aplomb and without compromise. Do it right is exactly what General Manager Bernard de Villèle and his crack squad have done – at least if one is to believe the passion and energy in the room, and if one does not then the vital statistics read like a top trump of Top Trumps.
Located off the South West coast of the Indian Ocean, approximately 230 kilometres from Reunion Island and 860 kilometres from Madagascar, you will find Mauritius. The hotel occupies what is described locally as the most prestigious beach front on the island.
Beachfront villas nestle in the shadow of Le Morne Mountain, Executive Chef Olivier Belliard joins acclaimed Indian chef Atul Kochhar in one of the many restaurants within the hotel’s realm of fine dining, the Iridium Spa offers the most delicious treatments, the refined 1904 bar brings the St. Regis legacy and the original construction of the Manor House to the fore – this is where I would have to encamp myself – a library worthy of any Cluedo player, with conservatory and unrivalled library collection and of course the customary butler service that we have all come to see as the hallmark of St Regis.
With a heritage dating back to 1904, the 30 years’ experience of Bernard and a location to rival all others, this is surely the pinnacle of luxury and exoticism for the well-heeled traveller. We will find out and let you know.
I nod to the pre-recorded Heinz Beck, smile and chat with the fellow industry luminaries and sit back to enjoy the jazz, champagne and lobster. I then picture this on a sun-soaked terrace with a butler asking if my scotch glass is full enough. I’m pretty sure it would be.
The St Regis Mauritius is open for bookings now. For more information and rates, visit the website.