One&Only Le Saint Géran
One resort that is hard to leave is the final destination on the trip — the storied One&Only Le Saint Géran. Greeted by fragrant urns of frangipani, this is a turbo resort with an immaculate clinetele. A hum from the sky reveals an advancing helicopter, ferrying in new guests from the airport. Over bottles of Perrier Jouët, a triovof soigné French diners graze at one of the (exceptional) quinoa tuna watermelon and avocado lunch bowls. One of the gentlemen tinkles with no less than five Cartier love bracelets and his feet are tastefully shod invseal-grey Hermès sandals.
Thoughtfulness abounds throughout the resort: suites have Polaroid cameras for guests to use during their stay; Le Carré lounge is kitted out with computers and homemade cookies, as well as tomes suchas Vogue 100 and Book of Tides. The fitness complex is next level. With three tennis courts, two (seemingly always popular) Padel courts and a photogenic outdoor gym “sculpture” by Spanish brand MyEquilibria, it excels. There are two studios, including spinning and boxing, plus a teens club, One Tribe, with table tennis and a pool table.
A sense of balance is restored in the resort’s excellent One&Only spa, where a hot stones massage using ESPA oil is deeply relaxing and what feels like a year’s aches and pains are unleashed by the masterly Vinesh with a Thai massage in the Neroli room. The shop is also one of the most tempting possible. Sundowner-ready kimono coats from Kisshoten are particularly covetable, as are Mini Rodini baby clothes and Bobbies shoes. But it is not buying frocks one comes for, but mainly the beach. The 2km-long stretch is combed daily and furnished with gnome-hat shaped umbrellas. “Do not disturb” or “Service Please” flags allow for some serious sand-based slumbering. There can be a keen wind, but the immaculate swimming pools with cabanas provide shadier dwelling.
As part of the $60m refurb, the rooms and suites are also the perfect siesta spot. Linen panels embellished with lotus flowers hang above the bed; Abahna room fragrance leaves a lingering scent of white grapefruit and a wooden fan adds a fin de siècle grace. One of the biggest downfalls of even the newest hotels is the lack of bedside charging points, yet this is dealt with efficiently with multiple USBs. Bathrooms are spacious with easy-to-navigate Hansgrohe showers,and the hotel’s investment in premium brands is evident with stylish Luigi Bormioli toothbrush glasses.
Under the watchful eye of the culinary team, food is masterful. Breakfast is a feast that caters to every diet and whim. There are copious treats including homemade granola, burrata salad, shakshuka, marlin carpaccio and hearty seafood makhani. Spinach, mango and beetroot juice sets you up for the day making lunch optional. If you can manage the food by the beach, the crunch bowls are out of this world.
Evening brings out the heels, jewels and dresses, although a stretchy number is needed for the steak restaurant, Flame. With foie gras and poached pears on the menu and the most delicately cooked wagyu, the potato dauphinoise with comté seems the height of decadence — and tastes like it too. More restrained are the tuna tacos at Asian restaurant Tapasake. A saunter back to the room past chirruping frogs welcoming in the night and life is fully restored again.