LUX* Grand Gaube, Mauritius: Soothes My Resort Anxiety
LUX* Grand Gaube, Mauritius: Soothes My Resort Anxiety
LUX* Grand Gaube, MU, Coastal Road, Grand Gaube 30617, Mauritius. 8 days, Junior Suite, Bed & Breakfast
Superb, equipped hotel with everything you need for a week or more
Great location near Château de Labourdonnais, Cap Malheureux & more
The Cinema with live sports games and movies is inspired
One of the best hotel gyms I've ever seen
Peaceful managing to be kid-friendly but adult-friendly too with dedicated areas
Friendly, knowledgeable, experienced staff
One of the furthest hotels from the airport
Hotel could feature a great local cuisine restaurant on site
LUX* Grande Gaube: “Welcome to Paradise”
The LUX* Grand Gaube should have this sign posted at the entrance in beachy, boho, whitewashed, distressed wood (with the original paintbrushes) in keeping with the carefully curated Kate Hoppen design hotel and resort. Mauritius makes the spectacular effortless and ubiquitous. Mauritius is an aspirational location and, so, it is easy for hotels to just fall back on the magnificence of their surroundings. The true challenge is how can they enhance it (sustainably) for the benefit of their guests?
LUX* Grand Gaube is design-forward but channels that Coco Chanel maxim to take one thing off before walking out the door. LUX* is cool, it’s breezy, acknowledges the Mauritian colonial heritage falling short of being contrived (or insensitive). The dramatic airy entrance and oversized chandeliers frame the first sight of one of its private beaches. LUX* offers the kind of idyllic welcome and setting that lured you all the way to pristine Mauritius in the first place.
It is easy to wax lyrical about the LUX* Grand Gaube’s charms. The sprawling resort offers the usual suspects which I will turn to shortly. However, there are novel features like a full-screen cinema playing everything from movies to live sports. I enjoyed cold drinks watching Liverpool see off Norwich with Mrs EatGoSee. The tropical-modern Palm Bar offers a shaded panoramic view of the Indian Ocean and LUX* private beaches. Design quirks like the nostalgic British red telephone box offer free long-distance calls and Instagram moments. Casual knitted yarn hammocks are lazily draped between palm trees throughout the property.
Our flight from Dubai to Mauritius is a surprising six and a half hours, nearly the same flight time to the UK and Western Europe. There was an additional 90-minute drive from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (the national airport in Mauritius). The check-in is effortless. We are ushered to a tranquil wicker sofa area then further soothed with cool drinks and cheerful but efficient staff. The helpful staff ushered us towards our terraced Junior Suite.
LUX* Grand Gaube: Our Junior Suite
The marshmallow-soft bedding absorbs your travel weariness. A 55 inch flat-panel TV and well-stocked mini-bar help disentangle the jet lag. If your restoration is not yet complete, a tropical-modern style bathroom with muted monochrome floors stretches towards the floor-to-ceiling windows. The far wall houses more tropical foliage and natural light flooding in (yes, it is private). A giant, free-standing bathtub (big enough for two) and plenty of local, mango and papaya-fragranced toiletries. A discrete, generous rain shower is hot and stocked with local, spiced toiletries. This is what we now call: bathroom goals. I am deeply envious and would love something like this at home.
A small hallway features his and hers wardrobes with plenty of storage. The WiFi is fast and available throughout the hotel but we needed to disconnect/reconnect each time we moved around the large resort – a small observation. Who cares, you are in Mauritius and Instagram can wait.
1 LUX* Grand Gaube: the Restaurants
There is table service on the beach for food and drinks. The Banyan area also has a pool complete with lounge chairs and beds adjacent to a Rum Shack, Creole Smoke House restaurant and BB’s burgers.
Overall, Bodrum Blue, Creole Smoke House and Beach Rouge stood out. F&B is an area where resorts often fall down and dilute the supposed budget proposition. Sure, there are package levels here at LUX* Grand Gaube. I do not begrudge this. Value tiers enable visitors to opt-in at the price and package they want. This does not stop you from buying into specific activities or options while you are here. The LUX* feels luxurious without being pompous or try-hard. LUX* Grand Gaube finds that sweet spot between being upmarket but not alienating.
Alas, INTI is very hyped and does not deliver to that level, but, the INTI bar is well worth checking out.
Where could LUX* Grand Gaube improve in their F&B offerings? I see a missed trick here to offer a pop-up or dedicated local food option to allow visitors to really sample and experience Mauritian food. This could be a dedicated night featuring star dishes offering visitors the opportunity to learn about not just food but also the rich, cultural Mauritian history. I mentioned that resorts can sanitize their offerings where the local culture is not easily identified. LUX* Grand Gaube flirts at the fringes with the Creole Smoke House. Still, I would applaud a more concerted effort to deep-dive into Mauritian food with passion.
There is a dizzying amount of activities available at LUX* Grand Gaube. This is perfect if you like to stay in a resort for long periods of time and do not want to leave. There are multiple water activities on-site, excursions, cinemas that play movies and sports events, champagne sabre (thank you, Rebecca, for this awesome experience), multiple cocktail and wine bars etc. The hotel staff also have handy guides with a wide selection of off-site opportunities that are in the area with contacts nearby. I harboured some marginal concern that we would run out of things to do but we ended up leaving the LUX* after 8 days hardly touching the options.
TIP: there is a helpful walking tour each morning of the hotel after breakfast to get to know the services and grounds. This will answer any questions about what to do each day, whether you are DINKS or a family on vacation.
As sunset draws close, we join free aperitivo nights sinking Aperol Spritz and Mai Tais. I know I am not running through an itemised list of activities, but, there is just simply so much available here for adults or kids. And this leads to an important point: the resort is child-friendly, but, it is also adult-friendly. There is a separate Banyan beach area which is adults only. Mrs EatGoSee and I do not fly 1000s of miles to sit around someone’s (badly behaved) child so we really appreciate this deliberate demarcation for adult-focused areas.
Gym, Spa and Wellness
The gym is impressively stocked with equipment, treadmills, cross-trainers, rowers, free weights, a smith machine, towels, water, TVs, headphones etc. There is no excuse not to work out. It faces a few tennis courts available to guests. There is a separate stretching area where classes are available.
We went to the LUX* Spa twice. You do not need an appointment as there is a quiet pool area with three different pools at different temperatures available. You can lie here quietly sipping water flavoured with herbs, cucumbers and whatever else that imagine each day. However, you should get a massage. Both my Thai and Balinese massage come highly recommend.
The LUX* location is 1.5 hours away from the southern airport. Transfers are available. LUX* is about 45 mins to an hour away from the usual suspects. This may sound ‘remote’ but I enjoyed the drives through sugarcane fields and hilly areas. The hotel is able to arrange for rental cars (they helped us out a lot).
You do have some impressive sites much closer namely the Chateau du Labourdonnais and its La Table du Chateau restaurant (booking recommended). There are however some excellent remote beaches free from the usual tourists with a more local crowd. We met local people, ate in local restaurants outside the hotel and walked safely in local areas. I would come back to this part of the island again.
Staff and services
There are too many people to mention but the staff here are awesome and really take the time to make your stay perfect. Vishnu is the king of gins, friendly and engaging. Mervin looked after us on the beach with drinks and a sense of humour. The concierge Homesh was our saviour when our rental car company failed us. He also arranged for sailing tours to nearby islands. Rebecca made the evening with our sabrage course. You can comfortably rely on the team here if you are someone you wants to get to the hotel and then figure the rest out later.