Three spots, three styles and three ways to spend your next vacation in Mauritius. American hotel giant Marriott – which owns around twenty labels and over 8,000 establishments around the world – offers all types of housing, according to your taste.
For Mauritius, no need for discussions: straight to the beach and the clear lagoon. Marriott marks its presence on three (beach)fronts: first at Pointe aux Piments, north of the Island, with the iconic 5-star hotel Le Méridien, just renovated for €50 million. Then at Balaclava, next to the capital Port Louis on the western coast with The Westin. Lastly, the ever so chic JW Marriott hotel stands at the foot of the iconic, 555-m tall Le Morne which overlooks one of the world’s most beautiful peninsulas.
Le Méridien: a place in heaven
French travellers may remember Le Méridien as the waterfront flagship of Air France Hotels. While it did set out on a new journey, the hotel has kept all its prestige. This luxury ship takes you on a lazy yet incredible rest cruise with its 261 suites of at least 60 square metres, most of which have a sea view, its 4 restaurants, spa, amazing kids club and every water sport or activity you expect from a vacation.
And the heavenly landscape is the cherry on top. Besides, the Nirvana wing of the hotel – 51 suites – is a reserved area for adults, with its very own pool and restaurant. The estate is so vast that it never becomes stuffy. Especially with Pointe aux Piments close by – only 10 minutes by foot – and its public beach, fishermen, hindu temple, many boutiques and the art gallery, which offer a truly immersive experience of local life.
Pros: The smiling and caring staff, the fine cuisine from breakfast to dinner, the buffets and the food at the Zoli Mamzel, the kids club, the pools, and the relaxed atmosphere. And the free internet.
Cons: The beach is great but it is hard to enjoy a swim with so many stones (bring your slippers), the abundant seaweed and the low water levels. Fortunately, the pools are a nice alternative.
Who? Couples looking for some peace and quiet (Nirvana wing) and families.
Le Méridien, Pointe aux Piments, double rooms for €400 to €500 a night, breakfast included. Phone: 00 230 204 33 33. www.marriott.com
The Westin: a whole new world
The Westin is a change in philosophy. This hotel includes 190 suites, ranging from 63 to 195 square feet and equipped to receive toddlers. It holds Californian values with the fitness complex open 24/7, the state-of-the-art spa, the QR codes replacing physical menus (bring your phone), the truly organic food and vegetables from the garden, the high-flying mattress for optimum comfort, the optional everyday change of sheets, and the smoking ban – except at a small area at the beach…
Even the Mormon Bible in the bedside table drawer, which you’re free to take home. The Westin stands for a healthy, fitness, lifestyle vacation. Four restaurants, two bars, a kids club, two beautiful swimming pools and everything fitness – running, biking, water aerobics, etc. – are on the cards.
Pros: The overall atmosphere, the peace and quiet, the company, the night events, the refined cuisine, the smiling, caring and available staff. The pools and the free wifi.
Cons: Yes to the beach but no to the many stones by the seaside which make it difficult to enjoy a swim (bring your slippers), no to the seaweed and the low sea levels no matter the tide. And no to the pressure to keep fit.
Who? Couples and families in need of a peaceful and revitalising break.
The Westin, Turtle Bay, suite for €300 to €500 a night, breakfast included, outside the year-end holiday period. Phone: 00 230 204 14 00. www.marriott.com
JW Marriott: the beach
You are in for a shock. The beach view at the JW Marriott is jaw-dropping. The fine sand of the limitless, endless beach is licked away by the crystal-clear water of the ocean.
No time to wait, dive in for a divine swim. The establishment definitely deserves its 5+ stars. It reaches new levels of chic with the experienced staff, incredible cuisine, areas beyond measure and 169 suites of at least 65 square metres and their seaview balconies. Splendid break and selfies are guaranteed.
Many facilities are available such as five restaurants including a spectacular Japanese place, a spa, a kids club, a fully equipped gym, a giant pool and a smaller pool, and every possible water sport.
Let’s not forget the beach. We will never get tired of this endless strip of sand where loungers get lost in the distance, offering the best feeling of intimacy. A button on the leg of the parasol allows you to call for a waiter. A Spritz? A glass? A coconut? Cheers!
Pros: The beach, the caring staff, the fine cuisine and various high-flying menus, the peace and quiet. The pleasant one-story houses – 4 rooms each – which blend into the green landscape. Le Morne as the overall background. The free internet connection.
Cons: Prepare your wallet: excellence is expensive.
Who? Well-off couples in search of some peace and quiet. Families are welcome to enjoy this very high-end break.
JW Marriott, Le Morne, double rooms at €1,000 to €1,500 a night depending on the time period (not the year-end holiday season), full board for two. Phone: 00 230 403 90 00. www.marriott.com
Daily flights departing from Paris with Air Mauritius. Flight: 11 hours and 15 minutes. 2 hours of jetlag (noon in France and 2 p.m. in Mauritius). Approximately more than €800 in economy class and from €3,000 to €4,000 in business class for a round trip. Phone: 0890 710 315. www.airmauritius.com
For a week’s vacation with favourable prices including flights, transportation and housing, book with the operators of Marriott hotels in Mauritius like Kuoni (www.kuoni.com) and more.