Lux* Belle Mare, Mauritius
A year on since the reopening of Lux* Belle Mare, Hamish Kilburn speaks with interior designer, Kelly Hoppen MBE and discovers her clean-line philosophy behind the project…
“A friend asked me what footwear she should bring with her. ‘Bare foot’ I said. No, really, you shouldn’t wear heals in Lux* Belle Mare, it wouldn’t be right. You have to be able to feel the soft, silk-like sand beneath your feet,” enthused multi-award winning interior designer Kelly Hoppen MBE. It didn’t take me long to grasp the personal connection between the project and the acclaimed designer.
Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the island of Mauritius is unsurprisingly well known to many as being the perfect honeymoon destination. For those guests blessed to experience the calm nature and stunning landscapes that capture unspoilt views, their life-long memories can be made in the peaceful yet modern abode, which stands as Lux*’s flagship hotel.
On the east coast, nestled adjacent to the quaint village of Belle Mare, sits the rejuvenated Lux* Belle Mare. Taking inspiration from the Island Light Concept, the resort was reopened in September 2014 and dressed in soothing whites, while vibrant bright colours add personality and warmth.
Hoppen’s signature neutral palette of white, cream, taupe and beige is blended effortlessly with small punchy accents of colours throughout, including turquoise, fuchsia, soft yellow, apple green, Chinese red, bright orange and purple, giving each room its own-rightful personality.
“Everything about the LUX* Belle Mare exudes luxury but it is about simple luxury.” says Hoppen. “What I envisioned when I designed it was matching the purity and natural beauty of the surrounding environment to its design. It was very important for me to create an effortless paradise where guests could leave their shoes and worries at the door! LUX* is also very luxurious because of the privacy that the guests experience. There really is a sense of being in one’s own private world surrounded by the bluest of skies and the whitest of sands. Luxury is not just about having the very best of everything, we live in such a busy, plugged in world that it is a luxury to connect with yourself in a beautiful space.”
Featuring one of the finest beaches on the island, it is no wonder why Hoppen suggests that barefoot is best. Each of the thatched-roofed suites and villas are blessed with premium views of the Indian ocean. Furthermore, soft linens and cottons compliment other beach-inspired textures, such as water-like lacquer surfaces, bleached wood trestle tables and tongue-and-groove bathrooms. In-room collateral has been kept to a minimum, allowing Hoppen to place more emphasis on carefully chosen and sourced artwork and objects. Hoppen says her aim is to instil a feeling of sanctuary in the 174 suites and 12 villas. She explains, “I know what I want when I go to a hotel, and it is virtually nothing – but everything there has to be clean, simple and pleasurable to the touch. This is a beachside location, so the design had to reflect the same sort of minimalist luxury that Brigitte Bardot made famous in Saint Tropez in the 60s. In fact the more I designed, the more I made it lighter and simpler – my aim was to create an uncluttered ambience to help rebalance the body and soul.”
The same philosophy can be found throughout the public areas of the hotel, most noticeably in the beachside restaurants and bar, which again are heavily themed around white wood furniture, natural linens and vibrant accent shades.
“I wanted to challenge the overly cluttered designs that are seen in so many luxury hotels nowadays. I know what I want when I go to a hotel, and it is virtually nothing… I also used splashes of colour in the LUX* Belle Mare, which may surprise a few! Of course I predominantly used my signature palette of whites, taupe and beiges but I used accents of colour that reflect the stunning colours of the island.” concludes Hoppen.
There is a distinct vibe around the hotel of East meeting West with the calm and clean whites perfectly blended with flashes of colour, leaving strong its scene of place and timeless elegance throughout the property. A year on from the reopening of Lux* Belle Mare and Hoppen’s signature style is still blended perfectly with a beautiful hotel.