Ensconced amidst 60 acres of beachfront tropical gardens, a gem in a sea of
greens and blues.
In the Indian Ocean, just off the southeast coast of Madagascar, surrounded by endless beaches and azure lagoons, lies Mauritius. Here, nestled peacefully in the serenity of its own secluded peninsula, is One&Only Le Saint Géran.
Immortalised in Bernardin de Saint Pierre’s novel ‘Paul et Virginie.’
Mauritius, land of rainbows, waterfalls and shooting stars, was first sighted by Arab dhows as early as the 10th century. The Portuguese visited around 1510 before the Dutch first took possession of it in 1598, giving the island its present name in honour of their head of state, Prince Maurice of Nassau.
The Dutch introduced sugar cane which, in addition to tourism, is still one of the pillars of the Mauritian economy. The island remained an important port of call for ships en route to India and the East Indies, and a land base for pirates in the Indian Ocean.
The French took possession in 1715 renaming it “Ile de France,” and in 1735 the island began to change into a prosperous colony under the governorship of François Mahé de Labourdonnais.
The French imported labour from Africa to work on the sugar plantations, and through the African’s innate love of music and dancing the ‘sega’ was born. To the haunting rhythm of the ‘ravane’ – a goatskin drum heated on an open fire – the shaker and the triangle, the Africans expressed feelings and emotions and celebrated the rites of passage. With time, the sega evolved and remains to this day the national music and dance of Mauritius.
In 1810, the British conquered the island. The country acceded to Independence in 1968 and became a Republic in 1992, remaining a member of the Commonwealth.
Nearly five centuries after gaining independence, this jewel in the Indian Ocean has evolved into a harmonious mosaic of cultures and religions with just over 1.2 million inhabitants.
With an unrivalled level of style, choice and personalised exploration, One&Only Le Saint Géran inspires extraordinary journeys for the soul.