Lux Resorts is launching a new brand, Salt, and the first property is set to open in November on the east coast of Mauritius. The 59-bedroom Salt of Palmar is designed to add a humanistic approach to hospitality for the “culturally curious traveller”, and to connect guests to locals and their way of life.

Salt guests will be immersed into Mauritian life, with the opportunity to connect directly with locals via Skill Swap, where they exchange their time, talent and skills to the local people. Guests of Salt can also join local suppliers and see their work or passion, from pottery to early morning fishing to coaching the local football team or basket weaving.

The hotel concept hopes to make every day about learning, and the hotel’s local team and network of experts will show guests how they do things; guests can help out on the resort’s Salt farm, learn how to cook Mauritian chicken curry with the hotel’s chefs, or master the maravanne rattle and moutia drum.

The Salt Equilibrium spa will include a salt room, five treatment rooms and a team of local therapists offering a pick and mix of salt-based treatments to energise, relax, detoxify and rejuvenate.

The hotel helps to create a community of shared interests for guests, as they come together for The Sunrise Run Club, sunrise salutations on the beach, meditation at Brahmakumari, dawn photography tours, hike & bike, yoga at the Salt Farm Shala and more.

“When deciding on the location for our very first Salt hotel, it had to be Mauritius,” said Paul Jones, Salt’s creator and CEO of The Lux Collective. “An exotic, volcanic beauty drenched in history and modern culture, Mauritius has much to offer beyond its picture-perfect beaches, and its people are some of the most welcoming and passionate I have ever met. It’s a destination ripe for exploration too often overlooked by those who think it’s just for lazing on a beach. Salt of Palmar will be a gateway for discovering the real Mauritius, designed to disrupt those preconceived notions and attract a different type of traveller to the island.”

The Salt of Palmar building was originally designed in 2005 by Mauritian architect Maurice Giraud. Its 59 bedrooms are being transformed by Mauritian architect Jean Francois Adam in collaboration with French designer Camille Walala.

Known for her bold tribal pop style, Walala scoured the island for inspiration and talent to cherry-pick the best local craftspeople to design bespoke pieces for the project to create a space that introduces a fresh, playful design concept.

Chefs at the resort are members of Slow Food International, and committed towards “good, clean and fair food”, and the resort also adheres to Slow Food Travel, which promotes ecotourism and provides guests a culinary journey focussed on stories, traditions, flavours and craftsmanship.

The food philosophy will be fresh, local, homemade, seasonal and zero waste, and a team of all-Mauritian chefs will design the daily-changing menus around whatever the farmers, fishermen and growers bring in that day.

The Salt Farm – Run in conjunction with Island Bio, a local NGO dedicated to empowering those in need via skill-building programmes and training in agro-culture – will cultivate hydroponic fruit and vegetables, will supply most of the produce for the restaurants.

The hotel will also run regular beach clean ups, a farming school and ongoing training sessions for the community, all of which are open to guest participation.

“Salt of Palmar is Mauritius’ most exciting new opening, but not just for visitors,” said general manager Raj Reedoy. “Stripping out the formalities between guests and team members, the hotel has already brought together a diverse community of local people who feel so proud to be part of a Mauritian-run hotel that will truly champion the culture and heritage of their country. We are looking forward to opening the doors to the very best of Mauritius for our guests.”

Lux operates four resorts in Mauritius and Reunion Island, as well as two in China and a new resort in Bodrum, Turkey. It has resorts in development in Vietnam, the UAE and Italy, and plans to operate 20 resorts by 2020.