There is a voice that doesn’t speak words. Listen. And the more your go within the less you go without.
Le Touessrok is a name that you simply whisper; a name that needs no major introduction or fanfare. For those in the know, Le Touessrok has been standing aloof, in a class of its own.
Over a quarter of a century ago (yes I am that old), I was fortunate enough to stay for a few cherished days at this refined resort and placed it very firmly on a pedestal. With an invitation to revisit, I was left with mixed emotions.
Like reacquainting with a first love, I had a teenage excitement matched with a butterfly-like fear that the shimmer and sparkle may have worn thin over the years; tarnished over time. A fear born from witnessing the luxury-hospitality bar being continually raised higher and higher, perhaps leaving Le Touessrok teetering on that pedestal, if not left in pieces on the floor.
Arriving back at Le Touessrok, there is no formal reception, just a very relaxed and respectful greeting, as if welcoming you back to your own personal private paradise. This refined resort is matched by staff who appear to have just stepped off a catwalk or a film set. Whilst the check-in formalities are arranged, a wonderfully fragrant mocktail was served and our bags miraculously whisked away and the new pace of life firmly set on ‘go slow’.
On cue, our hotel ambassador arrived, looking like a dashing young Johnny Depp. Jessen proudly showed us around this sophisticated resort, which is positioned along the untouched eastern coast of Mauritius on tranquil, uncrowded, world-class beaches. It’s this unique position and its Shangri La parentage that means guests are promised an unrivalled standard of privacy and personalisation, in an atmosphere of refined island luxury.
Our deluxe suite in the Frangipani Wing was spacious and beautifully thoughtful, with every element shouting out the highest design and creature-comfort credentials. The materials used are graceful and empathetic to the glorious view across the lagoon that dominates the space.
The womb-like bath rests on a raised platform, allowing guests to soak in the tub whilst soaking up the dreamy views. The lower level of the room hosting a luscious king size bed that also faces out across the small terrace to the lagoon beyond. The perfect place to sip a glass of something chilled, watching the mesmerising view.
As expected of the Shangri La group, the resort’s facilities and culinary offerings are at the top of their game. Four restaurants deliver a wonderful breadth of culinary experiences, catering to all tastes. Kushi offers sushi, sashimi and wagyu beef, as well a personal chef who cooks at your table on the yakiniku rrill. Safran, run by internationally acclaimed chef Ramesh Bundi, creates arguably the best Indian dishes served in the Indian Ocean. Then there is the extensive international buffet with a welcomed Asian twist at Le Bazar. But perhaps an unexpected hero was the Republik Bar & Grill, that not only serves up delicious charcoal fired Mediterrean grills, it also hosts the daily sunset happy hour – a super chilled part of the day when the glamour-set congregate to watch the sun go down in a Ibiza-esque, beach-party vibe, sipping on cocktails, curled up on sunken beach booths, listening to a musical cocktail of the latest DJ hits, the crackling fire pits and soporific lapping waves.
Another highlight is the resorts two off-shore private islands, accessed by regular boat shuttles. How very James Bond! Ilot Mangénie features its own beach club and on-island butlers, and Ile aux Cerfs, hosts a spectacular 18-hole championship golf course, designed by the famous pro-golfer Bernhard Langer, as well as offering a wide choice of water-sports. The waters are so clear that snorkelling is a must to witness the abundance of sea life that thrives in this area.
If you’re travelling with little people, rest assured the resort is totally geared for all ages from toddlers to teens, so you can relax knowing that you can park them before your take your pampered booty to the beach and hail a cocktail from the Segway mounted beach tender. Or alternatively, sashay your way to the Chi Spa for a whole new level of personal attention.
Needless to say, if you can drag yourself away from the horizontal, there is an activity programme that made me rather giddy. The resort can arrange day trips to suit all interests across the island too. Why not take a speedboat to see the local waterfalls or swim with the dolphins. Mauritius is teaming with nature, and getting up-close-and-personal is one of the greatest gifts of this exotic destination.
So, after another few days, 25 years later, what’s the verdict?
A massive sigh of relief. I am still enamoured with my first love, and this immaculate resort still deserves its position on the pedestal. Le Touessrok has aged beautifully, improving with age, a place to be treasured for her richness and rarity.
Of course, I’d be happy to revisit again in another 25 years, just to see how we’re both doing. Le Touessrok, shall we make that a date?