Pros

  • Elegant and intimate boutique hotel on the northwest coast of Grand Baie
  • All rooms are one-of-a-kind, with espresso machines and outdoor showers in most
  • Slender beach with loungers, palapas, and water sports
  • Two lovely garden pools shaded by palms; excellent drinks at the pool bar
  • Elegant restaurant with multiple dining areas and a fancy French/Mauritian menu
  • Nightly three-course dinner cruises in the bay, aboard a restored 1929 boat
  • Seafood restaurant set amid 19th-century ruins on Flat Island
  • Small spa with 25-seat steam room, whirlpool, and outdoor treatment area
  • Free taxi boat takes guests around Grand Baie
  • Super-personalized service; 24-hour reception
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
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Cons

  • Pools and beach area are smallish (befitting the property's size)
  • No all-inclusive package (a pro for most guests)
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Bottom Line

The upscale 20 Degres Sud Hotel is a boutique resort at the edge of Grand Baie, in the quiet neighborhood of Pointe aux Canonniers. No two of the 36 rooms are identical, but all are gracefully outfitted with elegant decor and amenities such as flat-screen TVs, coffee- or espresso-makers, and semi-open bathrooms with separate showers and claw-foot tubs. About half have beautiful views of the bay. The on-site restaurant provides excellent dining in a refined atmosphere, and guests can also book a three-course dinner cruise aboard the hotel's vintage boat or a seafood meal at the hotel's off-site, open-air restaurant, located on Flat Island. Note that children under 13 are not allowed. Paradise Cove Boutique Hotel (also adult-only), an 11-minute drive to the east of Grand Baie, is the only Mauritian hotel that can truly compare, though its rooms aren't as special as the ones here.

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Amenities

  • Cribs
  • Internet
  • Jacuzzi
  • Pool
  • Spa

Things You Should Know About 20 Degrees Sud

Also Known As

  • Boutique Hotel 20 Sud

Address

Coastal Road, Pointe Malartic, Mauritius

Website

Oyster Hotel Review

20 Degrees Sud

Scene

A wonderfully classy yet homey boutique hotel for well-heeled adults

Compared to other properties on Mauritius, 20 Degres Sud Hotel is truly one of a kind. It's one of the island's only true high-end boutiques, with every aspect well thought-out and genuinely excellent. Even the front entrance -- heavy carved-wood double doors tucked into a stone wall and blanketed by greenery -- is a beautiful and discreet work of art perfectly representing the experience ahead. Guests cross through those doors and enter the property's lovely courtyard filled with flowers and tall palms, with a peaceful, two-part pool, separated by a small wooden bridge and framed by wood terraces. The hotel's open pool bar and indoor/outdoor lounge face one another from across the smaller of the two pools, and all around are 20 Degres' simple, old-fashioned thatch-roof cottages. A handful of guests can be seen dipping their feet in the pool, having a cocktail at the pool bar, or curled up on the round oversize wicker chairs. Inside, you might find a few more guests peering at tropical fish in a big aquarium, chatting quietly, or playing board games in one of the two libraries, where ambient music ranges from jazz to Moby. Leather seating, wood furniture, and antiques, like a set of scales in the library are found throughout.

The ambience is unfailingly calm and quiet, partially due to the hotel's age and group policies (no kids under 13, and no groups larger than eight) and rates packages (bed-and-breakfast, half-board, and full-board are all available, but no all-inclusives). Most of the guests are honeymooners or retired couples -- many of whom return to the hotel year after year -- from France, the U.K., Switzerland, and Belgium (20 Degres is owned by a Belgian family). A week-long, half-board stay is average.

In 2017, the hotel closed for a two-month refurbishment. New air-conditioning units and TVs were installed in the rooms, and entry-level rooms were extended to make more space. An additional suite, a fitness room, a beach bar, and a wine cellar (similar to the one at Paradise Cove) were all added. 

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Location

Off a quiet road in Pointe aux Canonniers, by Grand Baie Beach

This property is located on a quiet and narrow street on the northwest corner of Grand Baie, in the Pointe aux Canonniers neighborhood. Full of bars, shops, and restaurants, Grand Baie is the most tourist-heavy spot in Mauritius, but 20 Degres' northwest location along the bay is well removed from the area's development. A car is necessary to see the island's top sites: Le Morne Brabant, a UNESCO Heritage Site, is a 90-minute drive to the south. On the way there or back, be sure to visit Black River Gorges National Park and the foodie village of Chamarel (both about an hour-and-20-minute drive from the hotel). The drive to and from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport also takes an hour and 20 minutes.

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Rooms

One-of-a-kind rooms that look and feel straight out of a graceful colonial-era bungalow

The property's 36 cottage-like rooms -- divided into four categories -- are among the most beautiful, elegant, and well-thought-out on the island. Each unit is unique, with white and wood the main stylistic elements. Antique decorative touches, like bronze compasses or binoculars from 1920s, mingle with gracious furnishings (by upscale Belgian brand Flamant), such as canopy beds, wooden desks, caned chairs, linen couches, and leather armchairs. Turndown service is performed nightly. 

The entry-level Charm Rooms look out onto the pool and garden of coconut trees, while all other units -- nine Beachfront Rooms, two Suites, and five 970-square-feet Austral Suites, offer stunning views of the bay. Every unit comes with a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, an espresso machine (coffee machines in the Charm Rooms), kettle, and safe. Minibars are stocked with bottled water, sodas, wine, beer, and chocolate. All rooms feature outdoor space; larger units have both a front balcony and a back garden or terrace.

The semi-open bathrooms are a highlight. Every room features a separate shower and an old-fashioned claw-foot bathtub, and most have outdoor showers or tubs, as well. The Austral Suites have private gardens with pools (for units on the first floor) or hot tubs (for those on the second). Bathrooms come with waffle-weave bathrobes and slippers, toiletries, cotton balls, and Q-tips.

In 2017, 20 Degres renovated and extended the Charm Rooms and added one Austral Suite. Guests usually fall hard for their rooms and try to book the same ones for future trips; the hotel will try to accommodate the requests but cannot guarantee specific rooms. 

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Features

Two stone-lined pools and a host of services

There are two small but lovely freshwater pools, both lined with schist flagstones. The larger one (heated in winter) is near the entrance, between the bar and the restaurant. It has two main arms connected by a small wooden bridge. The second pool is located on a quiet edge of the property. In the middle of the second pool is a floating deck with loungers facing a wall of tropical greenery.

Inside are two libraries and two computer corners with free printing. For a fee, the hotel can arrange full-day excursions (with lunch) to Coin de Mire and Gabriel islands, as well as outings to a local Mauritian restaurant (both for a fee). The hotel provides room and laundry services (for a fee). The property's reception is open 24 hours.

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Beach

Small, but beautiful beach areas facing the lagoon

The property's three beach areas are small, but nonetheless peaceful and picturesque, with beautiful views of the water (where the bay and Indian Ocean meet). The sand is shaded by short palm trees and palapa umbrellas, and wicker loungers and cozy circular chairs for two are scattered about. Some of the beach areas are protected by raised stone sea walls. Snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, water-skiing, scuba-diving, and windsurfing are all available, as are pedal boats and Hobie cats. Sailing and speedboat cruises can take guests for picnics or snorkeling ventures, for a fee.

A free water taxi (a traditional pirogue) is available to take guests around Grand Baie. A beach bar was added as part of 20 Degres' 2017 renovation.

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All-Inclusive / Food

A welcoming restaurant and a beautifully restored boat with nightly dinner cruises

The colonial-elegant vibe of the hotel is in full display in the main room of the restaurant, with wide hardwood flooring, stone walls, white wood-plank ceilings with skylights and wooden ceiling fans, and large picture windows with rattan shades overlooking the beach and lagoon. Tables and large wicker or caned chairs are nicely spaced, and there are homey touches, like a fireplace, bookshelf, and vintage birdcage, throughout the multi-room restaurant. In the middle of the front dining room is a palm tree; the restaurant was built around the tree, and its top sticks out of an opening in the ceiling.

The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Meals are all a la carte, but buffet-style on Sundays. The Mauritian chef's regularly changing menus -- French/Mauritian lunch, fine-dining dinner -- focus on local fare with upscale twists. The restaurant is popular with guests and other travelers alike. A wine cellar was added during the 2017 renovation.

Another dining option is Lady Lisbeth, the hotel's private boat and possibly its most fascinating feature. Built in 1929 in Mauritius, Lady Lisbeth is a 56-foot teak boat that 20 Degres has beautifully restored (the restoration process involved referencing archival images from Taylor Smith Marine in Port Louis and sourcing vintage parts from a boat junkyard in India). Lady Lisbeth embarks upon dinner cruises every night, with welcome cocktails passed around as she sails around the bay and a three-course dinner served while anchored. Reservations are required for the three-hour experience, and the maximum number of dinner guests is eight. 

The hotel also maintains a special dining site on Flat Island: The Governor's House, which consists of a few tables set among open-air 19th-century stone ruins. Accessed via the hotel's private catamaran, The Governor's House has a seafood menu and a private beach.

Back on land, 20 Degres' pool bar serves excellent cocktails -- many of them incorporating local spices -- throughout the day and into the night.

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Spa

Simple and charming spa with outdoor treatment space

The spa at 20 Degres Sud Hotel is memorable, not for its size or extravagance, but for its elegant Swiss Family Robinson style. Its reception is located on the second-floor of one of the main buildings by the pool. There are four treatment rooms, two of which are doubles. Some of the rooms have back decks built around a big tree. These extensions have massage beds, umbrellas, cushioned egg chairs, and Buddhist statuary. One of the treatment rooms is accessed via a spiraling staircase, which leads to a rustic, tree-house-like space with a stack of vintage suitcases in one corner. Back on the main floor of the spa, there is a peach-tile steam room that can seat 25 people and a hot tub that can fit about two. Both of these are free to use. 

The spa offers more than 40 treatments, including hot stone and Ayurvedic massages, body scrubs with mother of pearl powder, mud wraps with royal jelly, and anti-aging facials, as well as manis, pedis, and waxing. There is also a salon for hair services, and a big back deck with loungers for post-treatment relaxation.

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Best Rates

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner

  • Airport Transportation

  • Beach

  • Cabanas

  • Cable

  • Concierge

  • Cribs

  • Dry Cleaning

  • Free Breakfast

  • Internet

  • Jacuzzi

  • Kids Allowed

  • Laundry

  • Mini Bar (with liquor)

  • Pool

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Spa

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.