The British Psychological Society Research Digest took a stance in the debate over whether customers can be put off by being given too much choice, citing new scientific evidence that people are perfectly happy to have as many options as possible.
It’s what the people behind Mauritius’s newest five-star hotel, Long Beach, believe.
The chic hotel is on the site of that former Mauritian favourite Le Coco Beach and boasts the longest and widest stretch of sandy coastline of any Mauritian resort. This means there’s an impressive 109m2 of beach for each room with most other hotels only averaging 80m2.
The colourful (the more unkind may say garish) Le Coco Beach had become shabby and past its sell-by date. However, its site is one of the best on the island with a pristine beach and shimmering blue water reef, so a mere revamp was never going to be an option. What the developers wanted was an environmentally-friendly and contemporary “green” hotel which would also raise the benchmark for resort-style getaways.
Rooms at the luxurious Long Beach are larger than the norm. There are 255, arranged in three “crescents” with no long corridors. Every room has a view of the sea and the entire complex merges seamlessly into its beautiful natural setting and lush vegetation.
The family market has grown worldwide and so the resort has 29 family rooms and 140 interconnecting rooms which cleverly link up through a lobby and not directly into each bedroom, which helps with privacy and noise levels.
After its beach, one of the most striking aspects of Long Beach is its natural landscaping and more than 500 000 indigenous and tropical plants.
People staying in a resort don’t want to eat at the same restaurant every day. At Long Beach visitors are spoilt for choice, thanks to five restaurants which provide a great variety of eating experiences, each with its own distinct character and flavour.
Le Marché is the largest dining area with seven open kitchens and is the area where breakfast is served.
There’s also the authentic Italian restaurant Il Sapori – excellent here was the risotto cooked with porcini mushrooms and fresh asparagus, served in a large sea urchin shell and topped with succulent steamed lobster. It was a work of art and the taste was sublime.
Japanese-inspired Hasu offers a perfect combination of contemporary design and authentic cuisine. It features a central sushi, grill and yakitori bar as well as private, semi-private and à la carte dining areas.
Here deep-fried salmon norimaki was accompanied by green tea noodles flavoured with sake and bonito flakes.
Chopsticks is the resort’s modern casual Chinese restaurant, where diners can sample dishes such as shredded calamari sautéed with spring onion and served with sesame seeds and Sichuan sauce.
Tides restaurant features a wide selection of fresh fish and seafood. The cuisine is inspired by regional and local ingredients and accented with spices from around the globe.
Guests are also spoilt for choice when it comes to activities: there’s everything from tennis, gym, a putting course and a five-a-side football pitch to cycling and skating tracks and wall-climbing.
Most watersports – with the exception of PADI scuba diving, big game fishing, parasailing and catamaran sailing – are included in the price. Long Beach guests also have preferential access to the nearby Le Touessrok golf course.
Of course, guests who are bedazzled by too many options within the resort would do well to take to a beach lounger somewhere on the 700m-long and 40m-wide beach, beyond which lies the crystal-clear waters of the lagoon, sip on a cocktail and just mull life over.
For many sloths the perfect holiday contains a veritable slew of s’s – swimming, snorkelling, spa-ing and soaking up the sun, all of which are guaranteed to leave a guest feeling well and truly chilled. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
l Janine Walker was hosted by Long Beach