After being successful at Seapoint Boutique Hotel located in the north of the island, Sea Resorts Hotels now manages Calodyne-sur-Mer Hotel and carried out renovations of the building’s installation with a 100% modern Mauritian inspiration. Welcome to Seaview Calodyne Lifestyle Resort.

This could be a typical “before and after” story… But it would skip the amazing work carried out to transform what was known as Calodyne-sur-Mer into a pleasant four stars hotel where interior design matches the environment. A work focused on shapes rather than the background. The managing contract was granted to the Sea Resorts group having as Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, George Ayoub, and as Chief Operations Officer & General Manager, Navind Greedharee. They wished to stick to the new title “Lifestyle”. A smart choice which aimed at getting closer to their clients by offering them a high-quality experience in a cosy space with 82 bedrooms, where 30 of them are family bedrooms.
For an essential touch of modernity, they hired designer Mario Guillot after discovering his connections, like Kas Poz restaurant, at Ébène. “I instantly loved his style, even if I knew that this style would need to be adjusted to the building”, says George Ayoub.
On the very first meeting, they obtained some advice and developed the concept. The theme is based on the “Mauritian soul, but without any show-off or exaggeration”. Some small touch does remind us of the “Mauritian way of life”. With significant images but not clichéd one. With smiling faces, local colours…

This is how Mario Guillot’s signature (he is still a beginner in hotel renovation) has many particularities: his inspirations come from all the aspects of the “Mauritian lifestyle”: the colours of our flag, street food hawkers, shop storefronts, posters placed on “Défense d’afficher” signs. In two months, the different hotel spaces are dressed with modern designs. Raw timber, veneer, repainted surfaces, primary colours. New furniture is manufactured for the hotel, “inspired from everything that we found in the Mauritian culture”, according to Mario Guillot.
George Ayoub and Mario Guillot’s ambition is to encourage visitors, with the use of a poster, a photo or a food display, to ask questions and try exploring the island.

« THE HEIGHT AVAILABLE UNDER THE CEILING IS PERFECT TO SHOWCASE THE FOUR COLOURS OF OUR FLAG”

Red, blue, yellow and green… They are like a guideline for the designer. Using faces of our fellow citizens in perspective and offering a lovely contrast with the striking midnight blue background.  This colour choice is made possible with the dimension of the wall and the natural light source.

What is the link between a newspaper’s front page, pictures of our iconic national figure Kaya, power switches and Grand-Gaube beach? They all foster the designer’s creativity and here it reveals his artistic sensibility inspired by serigraphy.

Another surprise: the furniture. From the couch to the armchair with perfect geometrical shapes are of vibrant colours. In the middle, a coffee table with an indication of the proximity of the beach. Mario Guillot summarises this smart choice as “Positive energy!”

The asymmetrical shelf serves as a widescreen, almost hiding the pool table. The designer aims at showcasing further the modernity: very thick veneer, where some planks still have their unvarnished look while others are of dazzling shades. “When I use veneer, I love showing the side which is eye-catching when polished”, points out the designer. “When using wood, it is better that the material remains as close as possible to its natural state”. In this cosy living room, coffee tables are also like original partitions. Their smooth surfaces are decorated with palm tree leaves which brings a tropical touch.

Clients shall love the touch of humour in the painting of simple but meaningful words on the cushions. “Soleil” (sun) and “brise” (breeze) make us think of “Bonheur” (happiness). This shall give energy; planted in fine sand, the direction pole will make you go crazy! “Bar”, “spa”, “Coin de mire” and… “Joy” or “Paradise”!

“FOLKLORIC, THESE ATYPICAL POSTERS BEAUTIFULLY DRESS THE LOUNGE CORNER WALL”

How to dress walls in an original way? How to bring the local touch that is essential to the hotel’s theme which aims at reviving the island’s folklore.
Mario Guillot here used a selection of posters coming from our cities and towns.

These prints pay tributes to architects who are typographers creating banners and posters to bait clients for shops or factories… “These banners are all around us, but we hardly pay attention to them. In fact, there is an interesting typo work here”, says the designer.

The bar corner is painted in a lovely coral shade to charm stiff drinks lovers… This colour is contrasted with the look of the inferior section covered with metal sheets fairly damaged by time and recycled. Another element which is eye-catching: asymmetrical suspensions hoisting a dodo print.

Primary colours bring us back to a cheerful and dynamic universe which smells like childhood. Couches with refined lines are of the same vibrant colours. The designer indicates that it is an ideal compromise to have a grey waxed concrete floor, for a sophisticated touch. There are also coffee tables of pastel colours and bar stools with a rough finish.

Below, the restaurant offers what every client looks for: the Seaview and north islands landscapes. For this space, George Ayoub and Navind Greedharee wished for comfortable, contemporary and colourful furniture.
It is worth noting that our flag colours are featured next to the tables with a natural finish and white legs. A small cafeteria vibe warms the design. Mario Guillot explains: “By associating tonic colours with natural wood, I wanted to create a nice energy.” The design changed in à la carte restaurant, it is now more focused on furniture of homogenous colours – azur, navy blue and turquoise – and refined tableware.

The rum bottle, wax or sardine boxes are vital elements of the Mauritian culture. They are here considered as “pop art” icons like was the Campbell soup box back in the 60s, Mario Guillot reminds us. This make us think of Andy Warhol and of his particular way to play with daily objects.

The white drawer, like this one which is found in the restaurant’s kitchen, is a fun version of storage furniture. The tableware and the cutleries are well kept and very discreet.

Here we are immersed in the smelly universe of Port-louis with its welcoming shop windows and its tasty dishes. Foods like “Macatia coco” and “gâteau piment” are there. The only difficulty encountered by the designer when realising these food stands was to avoid creating an artisanal atmosphere.

The cinema poster was redesigned by playing with the words and colours. “This brings me back to my childhood”, says the designer. It is the case for many other Mauritians… La mélodie du bonheur (The sound of music) remains one of the best piece of Mario Guillot’s collection.

Sparkling white walls, accessories in blue and green shades: a sea breeze prevails in the familial apartment. There are a thousand prints inspired from the ocean; they are particularly found on bed scarves or paintings. The style is like a beach chic (due to the cerused surfaces and lacquered rattan furniture) and also a marine style, with stripped cushions and a range of deep blue shades. The designer says that he used more classical colours for the bedrooms.

Wood shavings frame the mirror and thin branches dresses the ceiling: this spa booth is based on natural materials to provide a relaxing atmosphere. An unusual painting is found above the wash basins. Cerused wood, starfish and corals are merged together. However, there are not real, it is actually a piece manufactured from resin and clay by Sharanaz Subratty.

Please be silent in the space entrance! It is a quiet world where neutral coulours and rounded shapes match the calmness. Even the decorative board contributes to this resting environment with “Relax” as message.

Source : Magazine Lacase No 46
Article : Christine DECOSTA
Photos : Jean-Noël AH KEE