Salt of Palmar

Belle Mare, Mauritius
Book from GBP Book from £77 per night

Salt of Palmar

Belle Mare, Mauritius

An adults-only eco-resort with psychedelic design, a commendable community focus, farm-to-fork food and a unique skill swap programme

An adults-only eco-resort with psychedelic design, a commendable community focus, farm-to-fork food and a unique skill swap programme

This is the antidote to a traditional resort. But don't worry, it's still got everything on your tropical island wish list: soft white sand lapped by crystal-clear water, a dreamy pool and toes-in-the-sand beach bar, an open-air restaurant serving delicious local food, and a decadent salt-themed spa. Plus 59 funky, eco-friendly rooms inspired by the bold colours of the island – sunset pink, azure blue, lush green.

But at adult-only boutique hotel Salt, the resort model has been shaken up and modernised. It's geared towards 'culturally curious' travellers. There are plenty of spaces and opportunities for R&R, but guests are also encouraged to get out and about, to explore the island and meet Mauritian people (the in-room guidebook written by locals gives plenty of handy pointers). Yes, you can go kayaking and waterskiing, but you can also head out at dawn with Kishor, a local fisherman. Listen to Mauritian sega music live in the bar in the evening, then learn the dance moves the next day. A romantic table for two under the stars? No problem. But why not have supper (and homemade flavoured rum) in the home of a local Mauritian family? The idea is to connect, not to zone out. This is the future of travel: sustainable, local, transformational, but wonderfully indulgent too.

Highs

  • It's right on the beach, and from some of the rooms you can reach out and almost touch the sand
  • Sustainability is at its core. No single-use plastics (bottles of filtered water are supplied in-room and in the restaurant) and rooms have eco-friendly features
  • The staff, the 'Salt Shakers', are wonderful – always happy and helpful
  • The food is fabulous – fruit, leaves and vegetables come from 100% organic farms, and all diets are catered for (there's an extensive vegan menu)
  • Authentic curated experiences and an innovate skill swap platform to introduce guests to local Mauritian people as well as the island

Lows

  • The actual building, based on a Moroccan riad, was an existing hotel and does look a little dated
  • Note that beds in twin rooms are very close together, and the in-room showers don't have doors - not ideal for friends
  • Some of the Garden Rooms have views out over the car park
  • Not for those after a fly-and-flop tropical island experience
  • No kids under 16 allowed

Best time to go

Mauritius has a subtropical climate, which means year-round sunshine and warm temperatures. The best time to go is from May to December when it's generally dry and sunny. Cyclones can roll in from the ocean during January and February and it's hot and humid until April.

Our top tips

Do join in – you'll get so much out of meeting the locals. Some of the most common skill swap experiences include cookery, pottery or soap-making, but you can do pretty much anything. Staff are extremely well-connected so chances are they'll be able to find a local with your desired talent. And if you've got a skill of your own to share, do!

Great for...

Beach
Eco
Foodie
Romantic
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 59 rooms
  • Restaurant and bars
  • Over 16s only
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Laundry service
  • Convertible cars to borrow
Room:

Rooms

There are 59 rooms, all with balconies and in-room ensuite shower bathrooms (no doors). The interiors, with their bold geometric patterns, are the creation of French designer Camille Walala and reflect the vibrant colours of this Indian Ocean island. There are no TVs, just shelves of books and a Roberts Radio. But there is high-tech gadgetry: you access your room and resort activities via an app and digital key on your phone. Rooms are split into Garden View, Seaview, Pool Plus (bigger), Bang on Beach and Best on Beach (with an outdoor terrace and loungers).

All are extremely eco-friendly. Bathrobes are unbleached organic cotton, the toiletries (including a scrumptious salt scrub) are locally made and paraben-free, the Carpe Diem beds were designed by a Swedish chiropractor and made from organic cotton, yoga mats are crafted from recycled materials, and you get recycled plastic beach baskets. Those in the Pool Plus and Best on Beach rooms get a complimentary water bottle. You'll also find lovely little extras like cinnamon slippers and Moringa tea. There are no sewing kits – but if you need a quick fix they'll do it for free in the shop.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Hairdryer
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Tuck into an acai bowl for breakfast with banana, berries, roasted coconut and homemade granola. For lunch, how about raw vegan tacos with beet balls and avocado salsa? For dinner, try the hotel's signature dish, a traditional Mauritian chicken curry – which you can learn how to make. There are complimentary cookery, bread-making and mixology sessions.

Salt is part of the Slow Food movement, supporting small-scale producers and farmers. The food in the restaurant is seasonal and local – they aim to source all the ingredients from within a 10km radius. One of their catchphrases is 'farming it not flying it.' There's no breakfast buffet to limit food waste - everything is made fresh to order. There's an in-house bakery, they smoke their own charcuterie, and all dietary requirements can be catered for.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Simply laze poolside. There's a sun cream station with chilled slices of Aloe Vera for burns and a box of stylish wooden reading glasses for guests who've forgotten their specs
  • Get active. Watersports include kayaking, water-skiing, diving and surfing. Land activities include cycling (pedal and electric bikes available to rent), horse riding, beach volleyball, sunrise run clubs or sunset swim clubs
  • Go for a guided hike up in the mountains and through the island's tangled forest
  • Take a street food tour in the capital Port Louis.
  • Join in a game of football with a local team or go kite-flying with local villagers
  • Greet the day with a sun salutation or relax in the spa, chilling in the signature halotherapy salt room
  • The wellness coach can provide a holistic mindfulness experience including a detoxifying, plant-based lunch, a facial, and nature bathing in Bras D’Eau forest
  • Curl up with a book in the library, which is stocked with 300 carefully curated books, mostly by Mauritian writers

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Football
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Walking tours
  • Watersports
  • Well being
  • Yoga

Kids

This is a grown-up retreat. Only guests aged 16 and over are allowed.

Kid Friendly:

Location

The resort, right on the palm-tree fringed shore at Palmar, is on the east coast of Mauritius, about an hour's drive from the airport.

By Air:
Fly into Mauritius airport (47km).

From the airport:
Airport transfers can be arranged, or you could hire a car and drive if you want to explore the island. The journey takes approximately one hour, and there's valet parking available at the hotel.

More details will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport 47.0 km MRU

Other:

  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 2.3 km
  • Restaurant 1.7 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

8/10
Room
9/10
Food
9/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

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Rates for Salt of Palmar

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