The One&Only Le Saint Géran has set new standards of ultra-luxury on the island of Mauritius as it welcomes guests back following a multimillion dollar investment.
With its own private peninsula – with a beachfront and calm lagoon – the One&Only Le Saint Géran has always retained a sense of exclusive seclusion. The resort’s colonial-style architecture has been faithfully preserved and incorporates stylish design references to traditional Mauritian lifestyle and architecture. To ensure it continues to showcase what its guests have come to love, the resort recently underwent a major refurbishment.
The new guest rooms feature gracious living spaces in a contemporary, timeless design while retaining a relaxed island feel. Strong focus has been placed on showcasing the magnificent views and surroundings of the resort, with muted hues of warm white marble, teak and greys being used to reflect the spectacular environment. Interior design companies, dsgn and G.A Design, worked closely with the resort team to ensure the interior design and architecture of all rooms captured the essence of Mauritius while keeping One&Only ideals in mind.
The sophisticated interiors of each guest room and suite are finished with natural materials, and bespoke furniture and locally-crafted lithographs have been selected to resonate with the environment and provide an idyll of understated style.
Illumina Lighting South Africa, the lighting company involved with the project with their head office in Cape Town, worked closely with dsgn Dubai and G.A Design London. “The brief specified warm metallic,” says Conrad Wagener of Illumina, “and the designers outlined the ‘look-and-feel’ of the lighting they wanted to achieve. Our position was to explain what was practically possible from a manufacturing time-line and cost perspective”.
Illumina manufactured more than 2500 units for the guest rooms for dsgn and a number of the public open spaces, the latter of which were designed by G.A Design. Each space had its own requirements. Lumen output levels were specified by internationally acclaimed Bo Steiber Lighting Design, and Illumina sourced and supplied the correct LED and battery technology to meet the needs of the backup lighting specifications provided by the electrical contractor, in the event of a loss of electrical power at the hotel.
“Quite a lot of focus was on the colour temperature of the lights,” says Wagener. “Softer hues were installed into areas of rest and relaxation while white light was used in areas where food was displayed, including the breakfast station food displays as well as in the commercial and retail centres. (All lamps and LED drivers had to be compatible with the Helvar dimming system in the living and dining areas.) The Colonade, a triple volume area which runs from the main entrance of the hotel towards the outside pavilion next to the beach, looks spectacular. Rich tones and bronze colours were implemented to give this area an enchanting glow at night. We are also especially happy with the units we manufactured for the Prime restaurant as well as the Provedor restaurant, which showcases our abilities with regards to manufacturing with glass.”
Ultimately, the manner in which the lights come together to complement the spaces in which the guests move around the hotel contributed to the success of the project. “A light must become invisible, and become one with its environment, unless you require a statement piece,” says Wagener.
“The lights at Le Saint Geran are practical in design but imbue quality and style”. On the importance of lighting in a hospitality environment, Wagener says many factors are important in the design of a space. “While training in London on street lighting design it became even more apparent how we take lighting for granted and the amount of work that goes into designing a lighting scheme. Hospitality projects have numerous areas that require specific designs and the challenge is not to over-light or under-light. Incorrect lighting can cause discomfort, therefore lighting design is a very important factor to the success of any hotel, small or large.”
Every project has its unique challenges and Wagener notes that One&Only Le Saint Géran was no different. “There is no doubt that the timeframe in which we had to achieve design approval before manufacturing could start was a challenge. Both dsgn and G.A Design were committed to the timelines but were firm on finding the best result for the client. We learned a lot from the teams we had the privilege of working with. December, however, is not a month you want to ship goods out of China – another unique challenge. It was a pressure environment for a few months but it all came together collectively in the end,” he says.
“We are proud to be associated with prestigious brands such as Kerzner and One&Only,” says Wagener. “I personally oversaw the start of the manufacturing process in China and was present in Mauritius for the installation process, and put a lot time and effort into the project. Looking back at a challenging and rewarding project, we are always looking to learn and better our processes, and these improved processes are already being implemented in projects such as The Houghton Hotel in Sandton.” As testament to the quality of the light fittings used, Wagener notes that the company has already had hotel guests ordering fittings for their private homes in France, Belgium and Germany.
LIGHTING DESIGNERS: Bo Steiber Lighting Design
LIGHTING SUPPLIERS: Illumina