Taking a holiday in Mauritius and not staying in a beach resort is practically unheard of. Why go to an island ringed with sand if you’re not going to sit on it?
However, if you’re there on business, or you want to browse in the market, visit museums and stroll down streets full of shops and restaurants, Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel makes a great base.
This five-star hotel in Port Louis re-opened in August after a thorough revamp, but has retained the same friendly atmosphere and great facilities.
There’s a well-equipped conference centre, free wifi that extends to the bedrooms, a gym, an open-air pool and a spa. My spacious junior suite had views over the waterfront in two different directions, a huge bed, a lounge area and a stylish bathroom with toiletries by Bulgari.
The executive sixth floor has a dedicated check-in, a lounge serving light breakfasts and a day-long complementary bar and canapés. There’s a lavish executive suite too, with a separate bedroom for your PA or nanny.
For dining, try the trend-setting Yuzu, serving Asian fusion food, or cross the elegant lobby to Brasserie Chic, which offers superb seared tuna and beautifully presented desserts.
One of the nicest spots is the Post Box Bar on a terrace overlooking the waterfront, with soft, squishy couches and a sturdy old red British post box. Pick out one of the vintage-style, ready-stamped postcards to send bragging messages to friends and family.
Since it’s mainly a business hotel, Labourdonnais often has special discounts over weekends and holiday seasons.
And if you really do want a beach experience, you can hire its catamaran for the day.