Best of the Best 2013: Resorts: The St. Regis Mauritius Resort

Opened in November on Mauritius’s exclusive Le Morne peninsula, the St. Regis Mauritius Resort (+230.403.9000, www.stregis.com) sits at the foot of the dramatic Le Morne Brabant Mountain (a UNESCO World Heritage site) overlooking a breezy lagoon known for kitesurfing. More private estate than hotel, the St. Regis revolves around a colonial-style manor house with a library, a tea garden, two pools, a spa with 12 treatment suites, and restaurants that include a fine-dining venue by the Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar. The manor house also contains a few of the St. Regis’s 172 guest rooms, though the resort’s top accommodations are the beachfront suites secreted away in two-story pavilions overlooking the Indian Ocean. St. Regis butlers can help guests enjoy the adjacent ocean, arranging everything from diving and snorkeling excursions to kitesurfing lessons. ($475–$1,750)