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TOURISM | One&Only Resorts



African Business Network

O N E & O N LY

ining ultra-luxury at the first 5-star hotel in Mauritius

TOURISM | One&Only Resorts

Tucked away in a pristine private peninsula on the Northeastern coast of Mauritius lies One&Only Le Saint Géran. This high-end resort has maintained pride of place at this secluded spot on the island for 42 years, since renowned property magnate Sol Kerzner was first enthralled by the natural beauty of the area and recognised its potential to captivate future guests in much the same way. However, the key to success in longevity has always been to move with the times, and this message has not been lost on One&Only. The international luxury hotel brand pushed forward with nine months of renovation at the resort and officially re-opened in December 2017. ABN finds out how One&Only Le Saint Géran is redefining ultra-luxury for its guests. The multi million-dollar investment in the resort’s redevelopment has been a truly extensive process, with major improvements made to almost every element of the resort, all of which serve to elevate the overall guest

the 143 guest rooms, suites and Villa One


incorporating a contemporary beach-inspired

The return of a legend

design while maintaining the retreat’s muchloved exterior colonial architecture.

The resort’s transformation involves a completely re-designed range of

Furthermore, a dynamic selection of fresh

accommodation options with each of

culinary experiences will greet the eyes and

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taste buds of guests at One&Only Le Saint

we define ultra-luxury, we worked on

Géran, who can also expect to reap the

accommodation,” says One&Only Le Saint

rewards of several re-imagined public spaces

Géran’s general manager Charles de

at the resort, from a state-of-the-art new spa


to exclusive children and teens play zones. “We’ve really stripped down the resort, “In terms of improvement and where

keeping the structure but creating 20 less

TOURISM | One&Only Resorts

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rooms and having 20 additional suites.

A lot of thought has also gone into the

We beautifully redesigned two and three-

development of the resort’s five restaurants.

bedroom suites with up to 50 interconnecting

The average length of stay at the hotel is very

rooms because we have a lot of families that

long, so the One&Only team aimed to ensure

stay here.

that guests are spoilt for choice in terms of culinary experiences.

“We’ve also redesigned Villa One, which is our villa at the resort,” de Foucault continues. “We

The resort appointed a Michelin star chef to

utilised a designer from South Africa who has

lead its new culinary programme (the only

sophistically blended African expertise with

Michelin star chef in the Indian Ocean), and

local art. We found that Africa offers really

launched the jewel of its dining offerings -

beautiful craft materials which furnish our

the Tapasake restaurant, a contemporary


pan-Asian tapas eatery located in idyllic surroundings overlooking the lagoon.

TOURISM | One&Only Resorts

Left: Charles de Foucault – general manager Le Saint Géran resort Centre: The Honourable Marie Joseph Noël-Etienne Ghislain SINATAMBOU, MP - Minister of Social Security, Reform Institutions and Environment, and Sustainable Development in Mauritius Right: Philippe Zuber - CEO One&Only Resorts

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“We’ve also created a lot of new family-

Deep-rooted history

orientated experiences, notably at la Pointe

Looking back to One&Only’s roots in

with its family pool and two others spread

Mauritius, Le Saint Géran was first formed in

across the resort to please all our guests.”

the mind of Sol Kerzner back in 1972 when the island, in all its beauty, fanned out below

Furthermore, the hotel’s energy centre

him from the vantage of a helicopter.

for adults and children alike is Club One. Facilities include an indoor-outdoor gym, a

“He was flying over the island in the

group cycle and TRX room and a mind and

helicopter and he saw the area and said ‘this

body room which has been dubbed the soul

is where I want to put my hotel’ because the

studio. One&Only Le Saint Géran also provide

magic was there,” reveals de Foucault.

three tennis courts, two padel courts and a multi-use playing field.

“The magic of the beach, the magic of the

TOURISM | One&Only Resorts

“He [Sol Kerzner] was flying over the island in the helicopter and he saw the area and said ‘this is where I want to put my hotel’ because the magic was there” Charles de Foucault, general manager One&Only Le Saint Géran

African Business Network lagoon, the point where nobody can disturb you from either side. He just said we can create magic here and magic he did create.” The resort was built not long after Kerzner’s aerial epiphany and quickly became the benchmark development not just for hotels on the island, but for the entire nation’s budding tourism sector. In the years and decades since the arrival of the resort on the Eastern coast, the national tourism sector has evolved from a small-scale local trade to an internationally acclaimed holiday destination that is typified by 5-star resorts and luxurious experiences. Although today Mauritius boasts a wide range of star-studded resorts, this was not always the case and One&Only proudly claims to have produced the first 5-star hotel on the island. This is something that de Foucault believes was a key driver of growth in the tourism sector, particularly in shaping Mauritius’ reputation as a luxury holiday hub. “I have to say that we spearheaded this process [of tourism growth] in the early days. More recently in 2005 Mauritius went on a mission to get 2 million arrivals a year by 2017 and this created lots of further investment in 2006.” Having weathered the storm of the global financial crisis (GFC), Mauritius recorded around 1.3 million tourist arrivals in 2016,

TOURISM | One&Only Resorts

which although below the pre-GFC target, represented an 11% rise on the previous year.

50 years of independence It is somewhat fitting that One&Only Le Saint Géran’s grand reopening has arrived in time for a major milestone in the history of Mauritius.

While the presence of luxury hotels such as One&Only Le Saint Géran continues to attract On March 12th 2018, Mauritians across high-end visitors, de Foucault also highlights

the island will celebrate 50 years of

the importance of the island’s infrastructural

independence, and as the resort has shared

developments over the last decade.

42 of those post-colonial years and played a key role in the island’s socio-economic

“The infrastructure is excellent I must say,

development, it will take great pleasure in

I’m impressed by the roads, the power, the

joining the festivities.

water. Everything in Mauritius is ready to handle the type of volume that was laid out

“We wanted to ensure that we had our

in 2005.”

festivities without taking the magic date of March 12th, because that day is for the Mauritians, it’s not for us. So on the 13th

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One&Only Le Saint Géran will throw its

For instance, exciting plans to launch

opening party, with key public officials and

a private homes initiative was recently

the prime minister in attendance.

announced, where a selection of two to sixbedroom villas will become available to buy

“The resort will be open, but it is just a chance

from the first quarter of 2018 and will be

to say thank you and gives us the perfect

ready by 2020.

excuse for a party.” Beyond this new offering, the resort will While renovations to the historic resort have

continue to strive for excellence only in its

only just been completed, One&Only Le Saint

ultra-modern, ultra-luxurious surroundings.

Géran has pledged to not stand still and will continue to find ways of improving the guest experience.

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ABN | One & Only Resorts  
ABN | One & Only Resorts