The luxurious makeover of the Belle Mare Plage Hotel is in keeping with Marc Hertrich’s and Nicolas Adnet’s original idea for this renovation project which was presented to the Contance Group Hotels & Resorts. The duo of interior designers was handed an inspiring design brief representing the idea of “getting back to one’s roots” by mixing the following ideas: breathing life back into this “Sleeping Beauty,” highlighting the plethora of architectural and historical aspects and mixing traditional local heritage with new, contemporary elements. Based on this foundation, an idea of modest luxury was born using noble materials and creating a refined but welcoming atmosphere in order to find the perfect balance between grandeur and simplicity.
Given the natural lush setting surrounding the hotel, Marc and Nicolas wanted to incorporate this exceptional natural backdrop into their design to make the interior even more extravagant by playing with transparency, light and bright tones. The duo opted for a simple layout and a strong and harmonious connection with nature and the environment. Here, black and white are dominant, but the numerous pops of blue, from the deepest to the softest shades, evoke the neighboring sea.
In addition to the overall ambiance created for each area, the design of the furniture, lights and decorative objects was specifically designed by Marc Hertrich & Nicolas Adnet for the Belle Mare Plage Hotel, in order to stay consistent with this idea of customizing as many aspects of the project as possible. Many pieces were created as either one-off items or as limited editions. With Mauritius known for their local artisan savoir-faire (carpentry, woodwork, upholstery, lighting manufacturers, etc.) and well-renowned businesses, Marc & Nicolas wanted to call upon this local talent and their know-how for this project. The rest of the development and sourcing comes from the general region of the Indian Ocean.
The decorative wooden cladding is what catches the eye in the entrance of the lobby. The beautiful sandblasted finish of the cladding alternates between white – a reference to the traditional creole hut – and black – to add a touch of style and elegance. Guiding you to the reception desk is a mosaic path made from black tortoiseshell marble. The rugs are woven from coconut fibers and dyed black. Some of the furniture in the lobby like the reception desk and couches were designed to have a round shape to soften the room and give it a modern touch. The furniture is painted with white lacquer. The chandelier also gives the room a soft touch. It is the only hand-crafted decorative object created and imported from France.
The hundreds of lacquered metal petals placed in a circular shape evoke the swirling movement of a school of fish. It twirls over a rectangular fountain in which numerous candles are placed. In the evening, the soft light from these candles is reflected throughout the room. The couches are covered with white slipcovers which bring a pristine touch to the room and enhance the seaside atmosphere. The wooden floor lamps are stained with an ebonized finish. Finally, the large decorative palm leaves in the lounge are regilded with gold leaf.
Like in the lobby, the wooden beams in the bar were kept in their natural state. The layout of the bar was completely redone to better accommodate its customers. The statuesque and ethereal features of this huge bar located in the heart of the resort truly make it one-of-a-kind. Black marble resin and dust were used in the design of this room, which draws its inspiration from the silhouette of a ship. The counter-height bar stools are made from wood and leather and are roomy and comfortable. The design of the wall lamps is largely inspired by antique lanterns. These metal and glass lamps were manufactured on the island and accent most of the public areas of the resort.
A large variety of furniture highlights the different interior and exterior areas: traditional sofas, cozy armchairs, interior swing chairs and nest-like wicker couches beside the pool. You can grab a quick bite to eat at La Caze restaurant, which looks like a restyled creole hut and is situated between the pool and the beach. White is the dominant theme throughout the restaurant: wood with a white sandblasted finish, white canvas and white curtains on the cabanas, etc. The only exception to this pristine setting is the black and white cushions decorating the white furniture. The roof of the kitchen and bar are covered by the traditional palm fronds. It’s the perfect place to dig your feet into the sand as you dig into your meal!
The Indigo restaurant is an homage to this miraculous color that perfectly evokes an exotic journey. It is joined by a bar and a dining area and its modern atmosphere harmonizes nicely with the more traditional ambiance of La Caze. It’s the new spot of the resort that acts as a lounge, seaside hangout, meeting area, outside dining area and another pool and beachfront area.
The walls are embellished in white and indigo ceramic, with the counters and sofas dressed in wooden planks painted in a beautiful indigo color with a sandblasted finish. The furniture is a combination of untreated natural wood for the table bases with white lacquered table tops, armchairs made of white woven fibers accented with a fine blue stripe, printed cotton fabric in various patterns mixing stripes and exotic flower patterns and indigo cushions for the chaise lounges.
The giant custom-made sculpture created by Sharanaz Subratty, a Mauritian artist, and designed by Studio Marc Hertrich & Nicolas Adnet, symbolizes a variety of indigo plants. It begins behind the bar and climbs all the way up to the ceiling, reaching a height of over 6 meters tall!
At the other end of the resort is the La Spiaggia restaurant, which offers a new and surprising color theme centered on various shades of red. It includes several different areas: a lounge area to have drinks, a dining area around the bar and beachside cabanas. Several elements were designed with the woven rope and the chairs and counter were designed with a classic Greek meander pattern in a nod to the restaurant’s Mediterranean cuisine.
The Blue Penny Cellar restaurant evokes the ambiance of a lavish wine cellar. It was designed with a loft/cellar feel to create an atmosphere unique to this gourmet restaurant. The walls are covered with an exquisite variety of yellow ocher stones accented with strips of vintage metal. The solid wood tables, similar to farmhouse or workbench tables, were aged and stained gray. Wine connoisseurs will be thrilled to discover the different wine tasting areas and guests can either choose to sit in the leather booths, on the extra-tall rush woven bar stools or can opt for a more private space in the raised platform dining area.
Overlooking the golf course is the restaurant. Like the clubhouse, it has a modern English club design. With reference to sophisticated sports, the oval-shaped bar/counter is upholstered in leather with a stitching similar to that of golf club bags or rugby balls. Both the wicker club chairs and wooden chairs are painted white in order to perfectly match with the new style of the Belle Mare Hotel. Green cushions freshen and liven up the room with colorful patterned stripes – as a nod to golf club ties – decorate the wooden trunks that are used as coffee tables.
All 104 Prestige Rooms were renovated and redone with an orange-hued color theme. The new prestige suites include 149 Junior Suites and 6 Deluxe Suites. They were designed with a more calm and simple decor in order to create a relaxing and soothing ambiance for guests. Exquisite materials like upholstered leather headboards, cotton print fabric with turquoise-colored patterns, ceramic bedside tables and a warm color palette all come together to create a cozy and calming atmosphere. The black and white patterns of the wicker armchairs reflect the African influences of the island. When mixed together with the other leaf motifs, these designs tell a contemporary Creole story.
The 18 Distinctive Villas were completely renovated to create sunny, refreshing beachfront retreats of calm that offer luxury with a typical Mauritian style capturing the charm of the country and its architecture; and the whole interspersed with touches of contemporary design.
The presidential villa is of an extraordinary size with more than 800 square meters surrounded by a garden and a stunning view of the beach. As with the rest of the resort, everything was specifically designed and created for this villa in order to make it completely exclusive.