SALT of Palmar, the first hotel in a new sub-brand from The Lux Collective, has opened in Mauritius with an identity by London branding agency, & SMITH.
Having previously delivered the overarching identity for sister brand LUX Resorts & Hotels, & SMITH had to create something that would appeal to a younger generation – one that would "celebrate the undiscovered beauty of destinations where travellers may hold preconceived ideas or would traditionally stay within the confines of a resort rather than exploring the local area".
In response to the brief, & SMITH introduced the name SALT, reflecting the brand’s mission to bring out the true flavour of a location and enhance everything it touches. This forms the basis of the brand identity which has been rolled out across all digital and print touchpoints along the guest journey.
To fully capture the natural energy and beauty of Mauritius – beyond the white sandy beaches and retouched photos usually associated with the destination – & SMITH worked with local photographer and editor Paul Choy to explore the island and learn directly from the source.
Inviting guests to continue this journey of exploration, the agency created the island’s first guidebook called ‘This is Mauritius’. Working in close collaboration with locals, the illustrated book is full of tips and advice for discovering the island’s hidden gems, including maps of where to go in Port Louis, the best sunrise spots, or where to listen to live music.
Back at the hotel, every element of the SALT experience is rooted in the island culture, from the handwoven baskets in each room created by a local craftswoman to the curated menus of seasonal produce and the opportunity to visit a house near the resort to learn how to make rum the Mauritian way.
Meanwhile, at the heart of the SALT identity is a brand-wide commitment to sustainability. In addition to prioritising fair trade, organic and non-toxic produce, and limiting energy use, waste and emissions, every SALT hotel will have its own farm to provide guests with menus designed around what is in season and nothing more.
"Traditionally travel was about experience, not staying inside the gates of a resort," says Rachel Smith, Creative Partner, & SMITH.
"For Mauritius, the common perception is endless images of white sandy beaches under cloudless blue skies, perfect for honeymooners drinking cocktails or having dinner for two on the beach. From our past visits to the island, we knew the island had so much more to offer and could attract a different audience."
Rachel adds: "It’s bursting with vibrant experiences – from brightly coloured houses to bustling markets and the most amazing street food culture. Also, the waterfalls and greenery of the inland are just as beautiful as the beaches.
"There are so many reasons to step outside the resort and explore Mauritius, so we wanted to create an identity that captured the vitality and depth of the island, and invited travellers to explore on their own."