Imagine if you could stay in a hotel that not only offers a perfect luxury beach island experience, but also satisfies your need to travel on the good. A healthier, more humanistic approach to hospitality? Well this is what the SALT of Palmar, a new luxury resort in Mauritius promises its guests. I was intrigued by the concept of sustainable travel. Supporting local communities, but at the same time recognizing the strong connections between people, plate and planet, and the fact that our food choices have a major impact on the health of the environment and our guests. SALT is part of that new Slow Food Travel movement which promotes ecotourism while providing all its guests a culinary journey, full of stories, traditions, flavors, and craftsmanship.
As a curious traveler, I didn’t need more convincing than this. I packed my summer beach gear and boarded an Air Mauritius flight from Johannesburg, South Africa to discover the concept for myself.
Travel To Mauritius
The island of Mauritius is known for having some of the best beaches and weather the world over. A popular destination particularly among global travelers, it’s situated in the Indian Ocean, an 11.5-hour flight from Europe, 9.5-hours from Asia, 6.5-hours from Perth and 4-hours from South Africa. The national airline Air Mauritius has multiple routes across the globe offering island seekers easy access to the jewel in the Indian Ocean crown.
Mauritius really is more than just a stunning beach location. It’s home to an incredibly unique community formed of African, Indian, French and Chinese cultures with a deep cultural history and humble heritage. The island is an experience of colors, stories, customs, sounds, and flavors that form a brilliant, heady mix.
My trip from Johannesburg South Africa to the island was easy enough. The island itself is small, but admittedly it took us about an hour to get from the airport to the hotel by transfer.
Entering the hotel felt different to other luxury hotels I’ve experienced. Most telling is, there is no reception desk. You arrive straight into a lobby which is bright and uncluttered and has this kind of breezy island feel to it. The entrance looks through to the swimming pool and ocean beyond and the colors blend inside and out. Camille Walala, a globally renowned artist and designer, whose murals adorn buildings all over the world was commissioned to design the hotel’s interiors. Her love of color and nature is evident immediately.
The hotel is run off the SALT app which you download onto your phone upon arrival. Staff are on hand to show you how – and it is really simple. The app sets alerts and scheduling so it acts as a virtual concierge service. The hotel is set around a long clear swimming pool and is right on the beach. And when I say right on the beach, I don’t mean 20 meters away, I mean, it’s right there and the Indian Ocean practically surrounds the property. I’m tempted to just drop my bags and go put my feet in the ocean.
With the app downloaded and keys in hand, I was shown to my room to change for drinks on the roof top terrace followed by dinner.
The bedrooms continue along the same theme of simplicity I experienced in the main entrance, with a touch of luxury. Decorated in light breezy hues, my room has a distinctive feeling of calm about it. Perhaps that’s because there is a clear absence of electronic equipment. There’s no buzzing TV set to distract me from the beautiful nature, just a neat hardly visible portable music center (it’s disguised as a retro radio), a curated book shelf with books and a healthy stock of coffee, water and some interesting wholesome snacks.
So, there is no television here, but there is Wi-Fi of course. I’ve already started using my SALT app and I can see we are going to become best buddies already.
Where to start at SALT?
There are so many things to do, and not enough time.
The salt room in the spa, a massage, beauty treatments, etc.
Yoga on the beach
Stand Up Paddle fitness activities
A vegan cooking lesson in the kitchen
Early morning runs
Sunrise and sunset walks
A tour of a village community
A food tour in the capital
And so, the list continues. I can see I will be spoiled for choice. Or, I actually could do nothing, but eat healthy food and rest. That’s not quite my style, but for others this may be a perfect option. The beauty about SALT is that you can plan to do nothing other than lie on the beach or by the pool and indulge in delicious healthy food and exotic drinks, including the many healthy Kombucha variations I had read about.
The sun is beginning to set down over the Indian Ocean and the night is just a perfect temperature, warm and balmy. It’s a gentle, blissful sight and I’m looking forward to getting some salt get under my skin over the next few days.
Interested in reading more about this unique travel destination? Then follow my posts on www.LongevityLive.com as I share my daily food, cultural and fitness adventures at SALT of Palmar.