Hot Spot: Le Telfair, Mauritius

ONE of the first developments on the African island's unspoiled southern coast, this colonial-style golf and spa retreat is nestled between the Plaine Champagne Mountains and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.

Rooms: Plantation architecture, with spacious rooms and breezy terraces facing the beach, the expansive pool or the Citronnier River, which runs through the hotel's lush gardens. Basic superior rooms are excellent value for families.

Dining: Sample the Asian fusion menu at Gin'ja, where Japanese chef Hiro creates delicate parcels of scallop and pink snapper. Or indulge at the fancier Le Château de Bel Ombre, serving feather-light French fare with a Creole twist.

Amenities: Explore the hotel's nature reserve by quad-bike, cycle to nearby fishing villages or play the pristine, 18-hole championship course, (greens fees included with room). When the trade winds blow, Mauritius boasts world-class kite- and wind-surfing. Then relax with a natural treatment in the gazebo at the exquisite Six Senses spa.

Service: Friendly and obliging Mauritian staff. Ask the hotel driver, Gino, to show you the island, including the nature reserve at Ile aux Aigrettes.

(Doubles from $490 half board;