One of these places is the Le Telfair resort in Mauritius. While most holidaymakers head for the bustling northern part of the island, this haven is nestled peacefully at the foot of the Plaine Champagne hills in the south west.
Le Telfair is a five-star resort built on the former sugar estate of Bel Ombre, which now hosts two resorts and the Valriche Nature Reserve, which adjoins the Black River Gorges National Park.
Not only can wildlife and old sugar mill excursions into the hills be organised through the hotel; the south of the island is also where miracles of nature can be found. Of course, this is besides the coral reef just off the shore which can be experienced by glass-bottom boat or snorkelling gear.
About an hour's drive from Le Telfair lies the village of Chamarel which is home to two wonders ? the Chamarel falls and the Seven Coloured Earth. The drive in itself is an exhilarating mix of aquamarine seas, dreamy beaches and lush sugar cane lanes. The workers in the sugar cane fields give us toothy smiles which quickly spread to my friends' faces as well as my own.
Our first stop is the waterfall, which seems to fall forever. The sound of water is always reassuring and all of nature takes comfort in its abundance. For a while we are entranced.
A short drive onwards lies the natural phenomenon of sand that separates into seven colours. The sight is fenced off so that curious tourists such as us won't spoil it for everyone. It is said to be the presence of minerals that give the sand its colours and that even if you mix the colours together the sand will eventually separate. It is wonderfully stimulating to see something entirely new to my visual frame of reference.
My friend Justine takes the time to bond with the giant tortoises at the site before we head back for some more sea and sand at the Telfair. The resort is also home to a golf course, tennis courts, a gym and a 600m? pool, not to mention the array of water-sports (just in case we feel more active).
I salute this day with a yoga class under the moon in the Zen garden outside the Six Senses Spa. Then I soak in a beautiful bath full of bubbles and get ready to head out and meet the rest for dinner at one of the five restaurants available to guests at the Telfair.
Our choice, Annabella's, boasts a show kitchen, where guests can watch the creative kitchen staff whip up delights. I start with a glass of freshly squeezed pineapple juice while looking through the four course menu. The sweet, tangy flavour is something I can never resist in any tropical destination.
Although my calamari starter is disappointingly chewy, the hearty potato and leek soup that follows makes up for it. What's more, the main course of seared tuna and rosewater-flavoured pasta rice is a taste bud surprise. Full marks to the chef for this brave flavour combination that fans of Turkish delight would relish.
Fresh fruit and local vanilla tea rounds off the extended meal and soon I am resting happily under fine Egyptian cotton in my grand French colonial room, dreaming of a perfect day gone by.
For more info, visit www.letelfair.com
Follow Lize's travels on www.parisandpomegranates.blogspot.com