Model and swimwear designer, Alicia Rountree shares her guide to island life in her home of Mauritius.
Not one to rest on her laurels, Rountree has many accolades. Based between London, New York, and her childhood home of Mauritius, she has modelled since the age of 17 – launching her own sustainable swimwear brand, ALICIA SWIM, in 2019. With a strong eye for aesthetics, she hand-paints all the prints, and even fronts the model campaigns for ALICIA SWIM herself; we couldn’t think of a better ambassador.
In her new coffee-table book, Fresh Island Style with New-York publisher, Rizzoli, she delves into her island-living lifestyle, providing tips on timeless, casual entertaining, as well as integrated health for everyday. We caught up with Alicia to discuss her go-to tips on making the most of Mauritius – kitted out in ALICIA SWIM, of course.
The best time to visit Mauritius is…
Anytime! It never gets cold and the winter here can also be so beautiful too. During the winter months (June-August) the sugar canes are in full bloom, and the sea glistens silver. The most humid months are usually January and February, where there’s also a chance of cyclonic weather.
Our first pitstop should be…
Definitely the market in Mahébourg! It’s 10 minutes from the airport and that’s usually the first place I stop by to get a Dholl Puri (a savoury pancake made out of Dal, with vegetable curry inside). I truly dream about this street food snack when I am away. The second pit stop is a jump in the ocean to get rid of jet lag, wearing ALICIA SWIM of course.
Your favourite hotel to check-in at is…
Any of the Lux* hotels.
For an early morning workout head to…
Paddle boarding at sunrise, or waterski, never neglecting sun protection. My favourite clean choice is Saltee’s range! We are currently collaborating on an exciting project together, so stay tuned…
Where should we go for breakfast?
Your hotel will have the best breakfast: it usually consists of fresh tropical fruit and basically whatever your heart desires. Don’t forget to ask for a fresh coconut!
How about for a long, lazy lunch?
Restaurant le Chamarel : it has stunning views, great Mauritian food, and you can go see the waterfall nearby before or afterwards.
And for dinner with friends?
The Rum Shed at Shanti Maurice hotel.
A must try spot for date night is…
A sundowner at The Bay in Tamarin is romantic and low key. I wear one of ALICIA SWIM turbans to elevate any look instantly.
Your favourite restaurant in town?
Budget: I always go for street food. You can get a mix of Creole, Indian, and Chinese, it’s all so delicious! You will see little tents and trucks all over the island while driving around.
Blow out: Le Morne, the Blue Marlin restaurant at the Paradis hotel is a very good restaurant in Mauritius.
Where should we head post-dinner?
Star-gazing and midnight walk on the beach to end the day.
The drink to order at the bar…
Anything with rum! Mauritius is known to have great rum cocktails.
The best place to treat yourself?
The Spa at Shanti Maurice for an Ayurvedic experience.
The best place for people watching…
I’d say any five-star hotel for celebrities on holiday, and markets to mingle with locals for an authentic experience.
The cultural spot to rave about…
Nou Le Morne is a place for concerts, danc,e and art expos.
For great shopping head to…
Port Louis Market for local shopping and Bagatelle for more commercial shopping.
The one place only locals know about…
Eau Blue is a secret waterfall, that’s surprisingly easy to get to.
View this post on Instagram
For a change of pace try…
Go to the south of the island, Le Souffleur is beautiful. The south of the island is very wild and more untouched. You will see a rougher sea and volcanic rocks.
Great day trips include…
You can go and swim with dolphins (and whales if you are lucky) leaving from Tamarin. Another great day trip is to visit the three islands of the North. Wanderlust Wave is a great company that can take you there easily.
Where should we go for the best views?
If you want to go hiking, Le Morne mountain is amazing. It’s a hard hike, so best to do it with a guide. Views from the top are picturesque. A less difficult hike is Le Pouce mountain.
View this post on Instagram
A book to read before we go (or while we’re there)?
My coffee table book! Fresh Island Style, by Rizzoli. You will get lots of tips and beautiful pictures of Mauritius as well as get a feeling of the lifestyle.
How should we spend the final day of our trip?
The water is amazing at Pointe d’Esny and Blue Bay, that is more towards the south of the island. Swimming there is great, you can go by car or take a boat there. If you are in a boat it’s fun to go to Île aux Flamants: it’s a little dreamy island sand bank in the middle of the ocean.
What’s your Mauritius secret?
Sunset horse riding in many parts of the island! You can go underwater with the horse at Le Morne, and in Riambel. It’s incredible and relaxing at sunset as well.
In a word, Mauritius is…