Around eight hours flight from Perth - four hours if you are coming from Johannesburg - the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius ticks all the tropical paradise boxes, with its beautiful beaches, superb food and an impressive range of luxury resorts. One & Only Le St Geran, located on the north-east tip of the island, was Mauritius' first luxury hotel when it opened back in the 1970s, and underwent a multi-million dollar makeover last year.
Surrounded by 24 hectares of gardens and with almost two kilometres of white-sand beaches as well as a lagoon, Le St Geran is the kind of resort you never need to leave. Guests can while away the day on the beach or by one of the pools, or head to the lagoon to arrange a broad range of water sports, from kayaks and stand-up paddle boards to water-skiing and snorkelling excursions. If you would rather stay dry, Club One has plenty of options for getting active, from a full set of gym machines to tennis courts and classes in everything from boxing to yoga. Parents can indulge in some pampering at the sleek ESPA spa, its treatment rooms set around yet another pool, while their children hang out in the kids club, where activities range from scavenger hunts to face painting, yoga, music and milkshake making.
There are two things every guest is guaranteed at Le St Geran, and the first is a water view. Half the rooms look out over the beach, while the other half have a view across the lagoon. The second thing every guest enjoys is stacks of space, with room sizes starting at 65 square metres. The light-filled rooms are decked out in tones of ivory, cream and stone, while the super-sized bathrooms are clad in marble and feature egg-shaped tubs and walk-in showers. Light sleepers should ask for a room well away from the main hub of the hotel. Live bands perform every night in the bar making it impossible for guests in the closer rooms to fall asleep until after the band knocks off at 11pm.
One of the hotel's strengths is the variety and quality of its food offerings. The centrally-located La Terrasse, offers one of the best breakfasts around. The cold selection alone is dazzling, with cereals, fruit, French cheeses, cold cuts, pastries, a dozen different types of bread (from sourdough to curry bread) and even sushi. That is before you get to the hot dishes, which range from dumplings to waffles, rosti to four different types of home-made sausages. La Terrasse's dinners are equally globetrotting. There is also an artisanal café, a relaxed beachside diner and Prime, where the specialty, steak, is served with a choice of four mustards. The menu also stretches to super-fresh seafood and even quinoa dishes. Be sure to leave room for dessert: from the mango souffle to the chocolate gold dome, there is an indulgent option for every taste. The most atmospheric venue is Tapasake, where the Asian fusion dishes range from spicy salmon tacos and ceviches tandoor foie gras and Korean barbecue.
While most guests seem content to stay within the resort's manicured confines, there are plenty of optional activities on offer, from fishing to touring the studios of local artists.
Rooms from US$974 a night. Pointe De Flacq, 230 Belle Mare, Mauritius, oneandonlyresorts.com
The terrific range of dining experiences, from a continental café to a steakhouse.
Light sleepers should avoid rooms near the bar, where bands play - loudly - until 11pm.
Ute Junker was a guest of One & Only Le St Geran.