WE arrive at Salt of Palmar around midday after our visit to the Flaq market.
A foyer area with no reception provides an uninterrupted view across the pool and out to the ocean, glistening in the sunshine.
The hotel occupies a riad-style building, painted a bold peach with sunny yellows and bold monochromatic stripes, the work of artist Camille Walala.
After a swift check in and the login details to our very own custom SALT app to communicate with staff, a personable staff member takes us to the beach and conducts a short, guided ‘Inscape’ meditation with us, to ‘forget our troubles and truly immerse ourselves in our break.’
The hotel, which is the first eco-hotel in Mauritius, is unlike any other property we’ve ever stayed at and we soon learn that luxury and sustainability are certainly not mutually exclusive.
There are 59 rooms at the resort, three bars and a restaurant as well as a library with games and books – 70 per cent of which are written by local authors.
It’s one of the only hotels directly on the sand in Mauritius - a luxury enjoyed by most of the rooms.
There are Bang on Beach rooms and Best on Beach rooms - differentiated only slightly in size with a patio area and private sun bed in the best on beach rooms.
There are also larger options to accommodate families and garden view rooms that still offer glimpses of the stunning ocean below.
The resort is strictly sustainability focused, with a no single-use plastic rule and mostly, if not all, organic products within the rooms - including organic robes made of coffee bean and slippers made of cinnamon that are beautifully scented even after a day in the heat.
You won’t find a television in your room - because guests are encouraged to get out and about - but if you can’t take a break from Netflix, you can request an ipad from staff.
The Restaurant serves locally sourced, organic produce.
We’re told that we won’t find any beef on the menu because the quality isn’t up to par locally and SALT won’t import instead opting to focus on supporting local producers. However, there’s plenty of chicken, fish, pork and all the vegetables your heart desires.
The hotel encourages guests to lap up the luxury of the hotel and its surroundings but also immerse themselves in the vibrant soul of Mauritius.
On offer are experiences like enjoying a traditional Mauritian dinner at a local’s home, climbing Lion Mountain or taking a street food tour in the capital of Port Louis.
In our room, we find a travel guide written by the SALT team with an additional magazine featuring the SALT Shakers, the locals who make the carry bags made from recycled products to use during the stay, the local soap maker and the ceramic potter who makes all of the cups, plates and sugar casters for the hotel - all of whom you can meet.
We take the drink bottle we are given to use for duration of our stay, which we can fill with sparkling or still water and flavoursome fruit at two points at the hotel, and head for the Salt Equilibrium spa.
We’re greeted by therapists, offering hot tea, who ask us to select an oil for our treatment and a salt, based on what we’d like to achieve.
Once selected, we mix it, along with our cream or oil, for the massage in small ceramic pots - one of many hands-on experiences we really enjoy.
We start with a foot scrub and massage and after five minutes, we’re already feeling worlds away from any stresses or jet lag.
The salt, which is obviously the staple of the hotel’s philosophy, is invigorating.
We spend the next 30 minutes in a couple’s room being massaged into a dream-like state, before we are asked to spend 15 minutes in the hotel’s Salt therapy room.
The room, walled with Himalayan salt, is said to encourage better respiratory function.
We’re told to breathe deeply while we relax on loungers in the warm crystal glow of the salt. It’s the first time I’ve experienced halotherapy and I can attest to its incredibly energising capabilities; for the first time on our trip I feel completely wide eyed and fresh.
We wake early the next morning to wander up and down the beach.
It’s a public holiday in Mauritius, so there are a lot of locals down at the nearby beach having picnics and singing together. Other guests are doing yoga on the sand, let by the SALT fitness instructor.
We start the day with breakfast by the pool, before participating in a cooking class with the local pastry chef whose delicious daily treats are some of the very best we have ever tasted.
A patient chef helps us make our own croissants and pan au chocolate, most likely because we’ve eaten much of the hotel’s supply.
He guides us through the process and after we devour both his and our creations, he prints us the hotel’s recipe at our request.
In the afternoon, we enjoy the rooftop bar before taking part in a private mixology lesson.
The staff are joyful, laughing and joking with us and other guests as we mix our drinks.
We spend our last day by the ocean, swimming in the crystal-clear sea and reading - a simple pleasure we’ve let slip from our to-do list back home in Sydney.
I decide to take part in a spiritual experience - another guided meditation, this time in the salt therapy room, for another energy hit.
We leave sun-kissed and rested, feeling like we’ve experienced true Mauritius and with ambitions to take our sustainability learnings home to do our bit.
TIP: The people of Mauritius are very giving of their time - feel free to ask any of them about Mauritian history and diversity. We had a great lesson in Mauritian culture from our local taxi driver.