|Courtesy Le Prince Maurice|
This low-key, romantic hotel, designed by Mauritian architect Jean-Marc Eynaud, is opulent but not ostentatious, exotic but not theme-park-y. You see that the moment you set foot in the expansive lobby, whose beamed, vaulted ceiling and colonnade of columns guide the eye to a slate blue infinity pool and the Indian Ocean beyond. Saffron and gold fabrics, evocative of the 18th-century spice trade, serve to deepen the blues. That same sweeping space and visual drama are reprised in the spa's two oversize couple's suites (below), soaring open-air spaces decorated with island and Asian artifacts like stone Buddhas and silk quilts. Even the massage tables are distinctive, made to look antique rather than ergonomic. (The trade-off is comfort, though these are well padded enough.) There are three smaller treatment rooms for Guerlain facials and one for Ayurveda. The spa also has an outpost of London's Bodydoctor gym, and in the restaurant (which is excellent, by the way, one reason the 89-room hotel is a member of Relais & Châteaux), there's a full menu of spa cuisine, developed by a nutritionist and emphasizing local produce and fish. — A.A.