The architecture, landscaping and interiors of the St. Regis Mauritius Resort draw simultaneously on St. Regis’s traditional design hallmarks and the local heritage and regional aesthetics of Mauritius.
Internationally renowned architects, Stauch Vorster, and interior designer, Trevor Julius of dsgn, drew their aesthetic inspiration from the romance of Mauritius’s colonial past, and the regional specificity of the resort’s address. It lies in the shadow of the world heritage site of Le Morne Mountain on the Southwest tip of the island, flanked by a lagoon and a mile-long white beach.
The architects and decorators sought to capture the distinctive character of the location by recreating the structure and ambience of a Victorian sugar-baron’s manor house and historical estate, a reference to the deep heritage of the sugar industry on the subtropical island. The legacy of colonial romance, refinement and education left by such Victorian renaissance men chimes perfectly with the St. Regis vision of the art of living.
The colonial style of the buildings speaks to a sense of place and authenticity. The high volumes of the rooms, vast terraces and colonnades, especially in the manor house, convey the grace of the era without being ostentatious. It also enhances the impression that guests are arriving at a private residence rather than at an impersonal hotel reception. In keeping with the St. Regis values of personalised experiences and discretion, the architecture eschews public areas and standardised administrative spaces. Instead of a formal reception, the arrival point greets guests with a spectacular view along a colonnade, prioritising the experiential over the procedural. A butler facilitates an intimate and personal welcome.
The rest of the resort is configured around the manor house, where the restaurants, bar, ballrooms and other facilities such as a library and conservatory can be found. Its grounds resemble a rambling estate, where the spa, pool, additional restaurants, guest suites and a villa are thoughtfully positioned.
The architecture of the manor house and other buildings, such as the boathouse, have been conceived as altered originals, deliberately conjuring the passage of time. The impression of individual history is sustained through every aspect of the detailing. The furnishings have all been carefully collected – no two pieces are the same. It is as if the owner of the manor house personally sourced artefacts from countries associated with Mauritius’s complex and compelling colonial past, taking in French, Eastern, British and Indian influences and curating an eclectic stylistic exploration of the island’s cultural heritage.
Many of the interior finishes are bespoke designs, created specifically for particular rooms in the manor house. Toiles and wallpapers reference historical events and central moments in Mauritian history, or aspects of the regional flora, or even details from historical sketchbooks. Each of the six restaurants is uniquely appointed and draws on a particular aspect of Mauritian heritage for its cuisine and interior design, and the bar is adorned with a signature mural, a St. Regis trademark.
The guest suites have been subtly designed for the utmost comfort, and to allow guests to fully appreciate the proximity of the beach and spectacular ocean views. The suites have a strong inside-outside aspect and generous terraces. The façades slide away allowing the rooms to stretch seamlessly into the terrace.
The interiors continue the theme of colonial romance, with carefully curated furnishings, natural materials and a neutral tone-on-tone palette. The only departure is the self-contained villa: its preference for a more contemporary design language emphasises its distinction from the manor house, and creates a slight tension between the classic building and its contemporary furnishings.
The overwhelming impression the resort architecture creates is of a home away from home, with a patina of romance that perfectly embodies the St. Regis experience.