A Swimwear Designer’s Little Black Book

A Swimwear Designer’s Little Black Book

Born and raised in Mauritius, swimwear designer Alicia Rountree knows a thing or two about holidays. Travelling the world with her luxe label Alicia Swim, she’s more than qualified to share her little black book – and she’s got the Instagram account to prove it. From the under-the-radar destinations you need to know to her favourite place for street food, here are a few recommendations to bookmark.
Photography: Instagram.com/AliciaRountree

Best Destination For A Beach Break

Hotel des Pêcheurs on Cavallo island. I spent a week there last summer. I loved that there’s not much to do other than enjoy the sea, the beach, the food and relax.

Best Beach In The World

I’m biased but I would say somewhere in Mauritius. The beaches in the Seychelles – surrounded by big white rocks - are pretty spectacular too.

Most romantic Destination

Santorini. I went once with a friend, and it was so romantic, with the most insane sunsets… but I was single at the time so it was a little depressing!

Best For A City Break

Paris. Because you can walk everywhere and visit all the museums for free – I like going to Musée Picasso, Le Grand and Petit Palais, as there’s always a new exhibition and something to see. I love to stop at a café and walk along the Seine in Spring when the blossoms are out. For a hotel, La Réserve has to be one of the best in the world.

The Trip I’m Most Excited For

Namibia, for safari. I have never been but I have always dreamed about going.


Best Off-The-Beaten-Track Recommendation

Rodrigues. It’s a very small island that belongs to Mauritius – it’s a short flight away and so peaceful. If you don’t want to be disturbed, this is the place to go – you won’t cross anybody on a beach. I like to stay at the Tekoma hotel.

Best Affordable Hotel

Maison 140 in Beverly Hills. The location is great; the rooms are tiny, but the beds are so comfortable, I have had some of my best night’s sleep there.

Best City Hotels

For New York I like the Mercer Hotel, mainly because I stayed there for the first time when I went to NYC a few years ago. I was supposed to stay a few days and ended up staying a month. In LA, I like the London Hotel because the rooms are huge and in London,the spa at the Bulgari hotel makes it the place to stay.

Under-The-Radar Mauritius Spot

There are so many – the best you have to hike to. My favorites are Eau Bleu (easy to get to) and Les Sept Cascades, meaning seven waterfalls – it’s a long hike but so worth it. It’s best to get a guide to take you. Cascade Leon is less well known and it has a hidden swing for jumping in the water.

Best Food In Mauritius

The food stalls around the Island create local street food that makes my mouth water just thinking about it. I love Dholl puri which is a savory chickpea pancake filled with vegetarian curry and chutneys. My favorite location for these is the Market in Mahebourg.


The Ultimate Foody Destination

You can’t beat Italy. Pasta, pasta and more pasta. I love a simple spaghetti pomodoro. In Italy, wherever you go, even if it’s a tiny restaurant in the middle of nowhere, it will be amazing. The quality of the olive oil and the old school way they cook means the food is always delicious.

Best Pool In The World

The pool outside Icebergs restaurant in Sydney – the water just crashes in from the ocean.

My Beauty Travel Essentials

A hand cream because my hands dry up really quickly on flights, rose water spray to keep me feeling fresh, and lots of water.

Favourite Sun Protection

I like to use Pratima Skincare suncream on my face – it’s all natural and silky – and Institiut Estederm on my body. They aren’t greasy, protect my skin and give me a subtle tan without burning. Being in Mauritius regularly, it’s essential to have good quality sun protection. 

Go To Destination For A Facial

La Mer facial at Harrods in London, you genuinely look years younger when you leave room. 


Best Destination For A Massage

I’m a little obsessed with Thai massages. I once went on a detox week to Buchinger in Spain where I had the best massage of my life - it really felt like it made a difference to my wellbeing. 

Favourite Swimwear Brand

Obviously, I now only wear my swimwear brand Alicia Swim, but before I launched I always liked Fella’s textured suits and classic pieces by Eres.

Favourite Summer Accessories Brand

A Piedi have really stylish sandals. And Soleil Bazaar for beach bags. They are handmade in Mauritius and designed by greatest friend from school.

Favourite Boutique In The World

Hard but I think I have to say Montaigne Market in Paris because I would like to go home with everything they sell. They have a sister store in St Barth’s, which is incredible for summer dressing.

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