The amazing workout station above is by Italian outdoor wellness company, MyEquilibria. Its pieces are often called ‘my beast’ and you can see why. There is a power rack, in versions of stainless, that allows seven to work out concurrently, there are concrete steps, tilted for different sequences, and metal-cored pulling ropes. And more. See this-all in the grounds of LUX* Grand Baie, opening on the northern tip of Mauritius later this year. The new-build, by local architect Jean Francois Adam, has interiors by LUX*’s long-time designer, Kelly Hoppen. Girlahead spoke to hotel GM Steven Phillips, who is an experienced but still vitally enthusiastic island hand, and he sounded like a five year old with a new puppy: all 116 suites, villas and residences will be fabulous, he promised-letting slip that signature will be the 420 sq m Presidential Villa, with three bedrooms, a kitchen, space to relax and dine, a heated swimming pool, an outdoor tropical shower, sun deck, gazebo and barbecue, a private butler and your own chef. The main pool, by the way, is infinity, rooftop next to a restaurant and bar set amongst a plethora of trees and plants.
On another island, this time in the Mediterranean, Hauser & Wirth, arguably the world’s leading art gallerists, open their latest outpost this very week on Menorca, part of Spain’s Balearic islands. (And this week, too, Hauser & Wirth’s Fife Arms in Scotland’s Highlands sees its new Bertie’s Bar, with 365 back-lit whiskies, extolled at length in the Financial Times‘ influential How To Spend It magazine.) Back to islands. Menorca has a population today of under 100,000, is known for its Jewish history, and the 1756 battle of Port Mahon between the French (15,000, led by Duc de Richelieu) and the Brits (3,000, commanded by Admiral John Byng). And Mahon it is that gives its name to mayonnaise, quirkily the admirable French salad accompaniment that any even-basic food lover would choose over the ghastly philistine British version, salad cream, an experiment that should have been aborted at conception.
Anyone looking for a luxury hotel with character might want to consider Menorca’s 43-room Experimental, by the way (GM Jaime Maestre, designer Dorothée Meilichzon). Girlahead likes the sound of room number 26, which is 49.5 sq m, although Casas de Campo villas have their own pools. The hotel is named for the nearby Menorca Experimental cliff point, and you are only 15 minutes’ walk from both pebble and sandy beaches.
Duncan O’Rourke, who heads Northern Europe for Accor, does have islands in that vast territory – Girlahead thinks of islands off the north of Scotland, and Norway, and Germany’s Baltic coast. But he is not talking islands here, below. Hear what he does have to say: