{HOT HOTEL} SHANTI MAURICE, A NIRA RESORT, MAURITIUS


    It was not always easy staying conscious on my visit to Shanti Maurice, but that was the goal. The Mauritius resort was hosting me on their new five-day sleep package, which promised to send me home prepared to be a champion sleeper.

    The resort sits on a long stretch of sandy beach located on the south coast of the Indian Ocean island. There are 61 suites and villas spread across the 36-acre property, each with ample space, a simple décor and massive marble bathroom. Although it was at near-full occupancy during my stay, it never felt busy as I strolled around the resort’s well-manicured tropical gardens, and my time on the sun loungers placed on the sands and around the two pools and Jacuzzi was quietly blissful.

    To start my sleep package I had a one-on-one wellness consultation, during which we discussed my general health and sleep patterns so the treatments could be tailored to my needs. Over the coming days, I had the pleasure of experiencing some very unusual treatments to help my sleep, starting with Ayurvedic Shirodhara. Ayurveda is a system of healing therapies originating in India; Shirodhara is Sanskrit for head (shiro) and flow (dhara). The treatment consists of a 30-minute, full-body massage, followed by 30 minutes of heavenly-scented oil being continuously poured on the forehead. I went into the treatment thinking it would be like water torture, but the gentle flow of oil was actually mind-numbingly euphoric and I actually found myself nodding off during the treatment.

    Other treatments included a massage using magnesium-infused oils, which is known to aid sleep. I also found the healing Reiki treatment to be an interesting and unique experience. Since my time at Shanti Maurice, Tibetan sound massage and reflexology have been added to the list of treatments.

    In addition to the private spa treatments, yoga sessions are provided to help guests achieve a better state of mind through breathing and stretching exercises. There is an open-air yoga pavilion at the resort, but my favourite session was when we took a bicycle ride to a forested area along the coast. As we practised the yogic poses amongst the trees, the sound of the wind-rustled leaves and the sea washing up onto the sand nearby was soothing as we meditated on our yoga mats.

    There was plenty more to occupy me between the yoga sessions and treatments. I took advantage of the gym and a flower-lined running track, and the hotel also offered tennis courts, bicycles and a watersports centre. There are no motorised watersports to keep the area tranquil, but you can enjoy sailing and snorkelling along the coral reef.

    And foodies need not worry as Chef Willi Reinbacher has pioneered a whole new genre of cooking he calls Aquacasian, which takes its influence from the islands across the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and Western Australia. He has refined his dishes at the resort’s Stars restaurant, but you can also enjoy truly-local cooking at La Kaze Mama, a weekly event where a Mauritian grandmother comes to the resort to demonstrate and serve family recipes in the herb garden. My favourite venue, though, had to be the Rum Shed. Built using reclaimed timber and featuring sand as flooring, this is the place to kick back and enjoy Chef Reinbacher’s streetfood-inspired menu and sample some of the 180 different rums on offer.

    After five days at the Shanti Maurice I left feeling more relaxed and ready to drift off on the flight home.

    From £480/night

    The Shanti Sleep Package starts from £2,750 for five nights and £3,660 for seven nights, based on one person staying in a Junior Ocean View Suite

    WWW.SHANTIMAURICE.COM