Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 15 November 2019

Executive travel: top business hotel in Mauritius leaves room for R&R

Hilton Mauritius has some of the best sunset views on the island

The Hilton Mauritius offers a wealth of business and leisure orientated options. Courtesy Hilton
The Hilton Mauritius offers a wealth of business and leisure orientated options. Courtesy Hilton

When China’s President Xi Jinping stayed in Mauritius on a state visit last year his delegation took over the entire Hilton, confirming its status as the island’s leading business hotel.

The Presidential Suite was slightly modified for this VIP but otherwise, the 193-room resort hotel was able to cope with the special Chinese delegation with its extensive existing business facilities and not much retrofitting.

When I visited, the arrival of the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, was imminent and around a quarter of guests were reckoned to be staying on business, although the hotel admits it is often hard to discern exactly who is who. Guests can't help but combine a business trip with relaxation that includes some of the best sunset viewing points on the island, a beachfront location and two swimming pools; the seawater infinity pool with bar is for adults only.

There is a golf course available 10 minutes away for those in search of an active leisure pursuit that can be mixed with business, too. Complimentary activities include a glass-bottomed boat to see the nearby coral reef, a dolphin viewing cruise, snorkelling, windsurfing, stand-up paddle boarding or even waterskiing.

Corporate and government guests have their own small but perfectly arranged conference centre with a ballroom for up to 350, complete with a large breakout room and a spacious terrace for al fresco receptions. An international travel organisation was hosting an event there when I looked around the door.

It is complemented by two meeting rooms that can be combined to seat 55, and a separate boardroom for 12. A marquee for 150 guests can also be arranged on the lawn in the attractive gardens that surround the resort with a winding pool of coy carp at its centre.

I found the staff attentive and alert in handling a diverse guest list in French, English and the local Mauritian Creole. The appearance of a boutique resort hotel is deceptive, and there is a lot of professionalism on display here.

Recently renovated rooms are fine for business use with a 1.5-metre wide desk and a total of nine power outlets for square-pin and continental plugs. The internet offered 5 Mpbs and connected instantly for free via my Hilton Honors password.

The King deluxe room I stayed in was good value at Dh1,040, without the half or full board package that many guests take. There’s a small computer room with four Lenovo Microsoft PCs, and a printer, by the reception area.

Room service is reasonable with a club sandwich costing Dh62 and Angus beef burger Dh69; a litre of still water is Dh17 and a coke Dh19. When my air conditioning seemed rather noisy on the first night a technician was quickly dispatched to explain how to use it.

Opened in 2001, and renovated in 2014, the property spreads out along a prime oceanfront and both rooms and restaurants benefit from amazing sunsets.

Restaurants partly reflect the French colonial heritage of this island, even though they were replaced by the British more than 200 years ago. Les Coquillages right on the edge of the beach has a French chef with nouvelle cuisine under the stars at night, and typical beach snacks at lunchtime.

La Pomme d’Amour is a themed, all-day dining buffet restaurant with traditional spicy Mauritian touches for dinner, while Ginger Thai is the hotel’s signature restaurant with a long menu of traditional Thai cuisine. Both of these restaurants have extensive al fresco terraces, and all ask for smart casual dress in the evenings.

To keep fit from 5.30am onward, there is a daylight-filled LifeFitness gym with five cycling, two steppers and two jogging machines and three tennis courts. I also took the free hike to a neighbouring beach and a guided cycle tour of the local area.

For a less arduous experience, try the luxurious spa downstairs with its expert therapists, elegant teak interior, relaxing zen garden and private cabin with a whirlpool.

Updated: April 22, 2019 04:13 PM

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