Salt of Palmar

Belle Mare, Mauritius Book from Book from £98 per night

Mauritius' first 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 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.

Information provided by Salt of Palmar on 10/08/2020.

Cleaning and hygiene
Gloves and masks for staff in all relevant areas. Contactless hand sanitising stations throughout. Increased cleaning and disinfection cycles to ensure optimal hygienic standards. Daily temperature checks for everyone at all entry/exit points. All rooms between departures and arrivals remain vacant for a minimum of 24 hours. Minibars empty with a wide selection of items available upon request. Pedal bins in each guest room for safe disposal of face masks and other protective equipment. Frequent sanitisation of high-touch points areas using fogging equipment, electrostatic sprayers and wipes such as changing rooms, door handles, mirrors, hooks etc.

Common areas
Physical distancing protocols reinforced with signage and markings throughout.

Food and drink
Menus presented either via iPads sanitised after each use and/or QR Codes so guests can access our menus on their own devices. Buffet area or live cooking stations shielded with glass protection screens (buffets will be discontinued in the medium-term to respect physical distancing). Table arrangements adjusted to allow for physical distancing in all restaurants and bars. Sanitisation of tables will be carried out after each guest. Outlets are sanitised after each service.

Facilities
Sunbeds rearranged to comply with physical distancing. Cleaning and sanitisation of sunbeds after each use with Cleaned and Sanitised sign after cleaning. Frequent sanitisation of outdoor showers. Disposable face cradle, bedcover, sanitised eye pillows and disposable tissues provided for guests in spa. Therapists in disposable gowns. Treatment rooms sanitised between treatments. In changing rooms, clean towels arranged in individual lockers. Lockers and showers sanitised after each use. Seat and loungers rearranged to comply with physical distancing. Advance booking for selected time slots for gym. Cleaning and sanitisation of all gym equipment between each time slot. Indoor classes replaced by outdoor wellness classes (max 6 pax).

Policies
Flexible rebooking and cancellation policy.

Other
Trained Covid-19 Officer responsible for compliance. Doctor on call 24/7 and resident nurse available.

Highs

  • It's right on the beach, and from some of the rooms you can reach out and touch the sand
  • Sustainability is at its core. No single-use plastics (you're given an aluminium bottle to refill) 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 straight from their own farm, 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
  • Some of the Garden Rooms have views out over the car park
  • Not for those after a fly-and-flop tropical island experience

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
  • Restaurant and bars
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Laundry service
  • Convertible cars to borrow
Room:

Rooms

There are 59 rooms, all with balconies and ensuite shower bathrooms. 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, Poolside, 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. 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
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • 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. They also have a hydroponic farm five minutes down the road set up with a local NGO, Island Bio. The farm provides pesticide-free fruit and vegetables, and there's a vegetarian restaurant in one of its glasshouses.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
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.
  • 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
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Paddleboarding
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Waterskiing
  • Well being
  • Yoga

Kids

It's not specifically geared towards families, but Salt is the kind of place that makes everyone, whatever their age, feel at home. It's small, friendly, laid-back and nothing is too much trouble.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The Pool Plus and Best on Beach larger rooms can accommodate an extra bed for a child. Baby cots are available to borrow.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Cupcake and pizza-making classes
  • Swimming
  • Snorkelling
  • Paddleboarding
  • Beach volleyball

Distances:

  • Airport: One-hour drive
  • Hospital: 15-minute drive
  • Supermarket: Five-minute drive
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 1 independent review from i-escape guests

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

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