WORDS Tracy Greenwood
There are many reasons to love the newly imagined LUX* Hotels and Resorts Grand Gaube on the north tip of Mauritius, as Tracy Greenwood discovered first-hand.
Built around a sheltered private cove that faces north onto the Indian Ocean, LUX* Grand Gaube in Mauritius is a place of generous proportions – it is ultra-sophisticated yet blissfully informal.
I say the resort has been reimagined rather than revamped because (literally) no stone was left unturned by architect Jean-Francois Adam – a UCT graduate, no less – who was tasked with designing a contemporary space that paid homage to the comfortable tropical setting while preserving the natural setting.
Known for designing spaces with generous volumes, precise lines and an unpretentious feel, Jean-Francois is of the belief that architecture has a heart and a soul, an ethos that is evident in the way the resort hugs the sheltered cove, dipping in and out between lush pockets of horticultural magic created by renowned British landscaper Stephen Woodhams.
“Jean-Francois’s artistic talent and rational mind bring life to his designs,” says interiors maestro Kelly Hoppen, whose job it was to dress the interiors.
The Cape Town-born interior designer, who works out of London, is known for her love of tactile design and appreciation of understated glamour, concepts she included in the overall look of the resort by the bucketload.
“The natural setting and the incredible vast space were extremely inspiring. Wherever you sit, at any angle, it has to be perfect; the ergonomics are just as important as the aesthetics,” she says.
By gently layering, Kelly’s designs breathe uplifting style and soul into each space.
“I tried to fuse the Eastern principles of simplicity with the Western taste for sumptuous textures and luxurious finishes. I always start with a neutral base then complement this with accents of colour.”