One of the three hotels that I stayed at during a recent visit to Reunion Island was the beautiful LUX* Saint Gilles, the only five-star hotel on Reunion Island and about an hour’s drive from the Roland Garros Airport in Sainte-Marie.
Arriving after dark on the first day, I never realised how close we were to the ocean, making it a wonderful surprise that greeted me as I threw back the glass doors first thing the next morning. I could literally step barefoot from my suite onto the lawns, and take a short walk to enter the ivory coloured sand and gently lapping waves of the sheltered L’Hermitage lagoon.
Located on the western coast of this lush volcanic island, the luxury LUX* Saint Gilles is found on 7 hectares of beautiful tropical gardens, with Creole villas set in the shade of coconut palms and filao trees.
During our stay we feasted on the delicious food and flavours that allowed us to immerse ourself into the history, the people and local produce. They included traditional Creole recipes at Le Carry’s Bar Kitchen and Orangine, one of the finer gourmet restaurants on the island, which offers a world class buffet in a gorgeous setting and is also where breakfast is served. It’s easy to see why both restaurants are popular with the local residents too.
We were out and about adventuring each day, but should you wish this is a perfect place to simply relax at the emerald-blue pool, the largest one in Reunion Island, or of course under the shade of a palm tree on the beach. They also offer tennis or volleyball.
Do sample a local rum cocktail at the beachfront bar and consider a zen yoga session in the gardens or a private in-room spa treatment. Importantly, don’t forget to visit the gift store and leave a ‘fingers crossed’ wish on the promise tree.
Accommodation is in elegant rooms that face the lagoon and is dotted throughout the fragrant gardens. Superior Rooms are on the ground floor and have a terrace while Deluxe Rooms are on the first floor with a balcony. For that extra spoiling, the Junior Suites have a separate lounge area and a spacious bathroom with oversized bathtub and there are two interconnecting Superior Rooms can also be combined to form a Family Deluxe Room.
The people of Reunion Island all seem to take health and fitness to heart, and this man on his bicycle on the beach, was no exception. We were lucky enough to spend two nights here, and my only regret is not having enough time to enjoy the resort by day. But then again there was an island to explore, and at the end of fulfilled and happy days, this was a very warm and welcoming base to return to.
A charming favourite for me were these little cushions that are placed on the beds, delivering a very important message regarding the Hotel’s Tread Lightly eco policies. A lovely touch. Imagine if each guest at every hotel, played by these rules. What a significant difference it would make to the environment.
Other facts and features include:
– The only resort to have direct access to a beach and calm swimming lagoon surrounded with a magnificent coral barrier
– Ideally located for sightseeing trips to Cilaos, the volcano, Salazie and Mafate. Scuba diving, helicopter rides and nearby two golf courses
– There are 7 conference rooms should meetings and business be your focus.
– Importantly there’s Wi-Fi access free throughout the resorts
– A fun surprise feature is the ‘ici’ ice-cream hut with fresh local flavours and home-made waffle cones baked as you wait.
– On some evenings there’s a movie screening under the stars and you can pull up a bean bag and watch, with the waves just a short distance away.
Airport transfers can be arranged, as well as a myriad of activities from a helicopter tour, sunset catamaran cruise, rum distillery visits, snorkelling, day trips and cooking classes in the hotel’s tranquil herb garden.
The Essential Details
For more information on LUX* Saint Gilles, take a look at their website and connect on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram and remember to check out their special offers. Read about my previous visit to Reunion Island.