Relax, recuperate, revive and rejuvenate’ are the four Rs of advice offered on the welcome card from the general manager. Sign me up…
Nestled on Turtle Bay in the Northwest of the island, The Oberoi is just 15 km from the capital Port Louis and protected by a mountain range, it’s sheltered from strong winds that sometimes whip across the island.
Styled as a typical Mauritian village and set over twenty acres, its pathways weave through the lush, sub-tropical gardens leading up to the thatched roofs of the rooms and villas (71 only). I thought I would never remember where mine was located, but the flow of the resort soon captured me and each time I ventured out, I easily found my way back to my pavilion.
The property and its facilities are extremely well laid out, with the reception, two of the restaurants, and the bar being the central hub of the resort; all things lead on from here. Water is all around and at times, all you can hear is the ocean and the ornate water features and fountains which are spread throughout the walkways and public areas.
The hotel offers a ‘Touching Senses’ programme for you to partake in various activities during your stay. These are complimentary and include sculpture classes, stargazing, cooking classes, Hindu mythology talks, nature walks, painting classes, and wine tasting. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and learn something new if you ever, for a moment, start to tire of relaxing in the sunshine.
The Oberoi ethos is about exceeding guests’ expectations through dedicated service. The staff are the property’s greatest assets, without a doubt, and while this is not an ultra-modern property—it doesn’t offer you all the mod cons for example–it does provide traditional, authentic accommodation, excellent restaurants, a wealth of activities, and some of the best service I have ever experienced in the region.
- Daily breakfast for two
- Served in the restaurant
- Room upgrade upon arrival
- Subject to availability
- Dining experience
- One dinner for two people once during stay, excluding alcohol, taxes and gratuities
- Early check-in / Late check-out
- Subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
Exclusive benefits may vary by hotel or hotel group. Exclusive benefits apply when booking the Best Available Rate and are not combinable with any hotel offers or special packages unless stated.
- Detailed Review +
- Facts & Amenities +
I arrived in the evening, in the middle of a downpour and feeling a little jaded, I was immediately greeted by a staff member who escorted me to the welcome pavilion overlooking the large lake. I was offered a cold towel and while I relaxed and enjoyed my virgin mojito, I chatted to a member of the management team who welcomed me. She escorted me to my pavilion, where a very quick check-in was completed and I was given a brief overview of the facilities—much appreciated after a long day of travelling. I liked the relaxed, informal check-in; it set the mood for the rest of my stay.
Rooms and suites
My luxury pavilion was spacious at 70m² (753ft²) and felt light and airy as soon as I walked in.
The four-poster bed was the focal point of the room, and there was a sofa, a chair, a table, and a small desk, should I have felt the need to work. It was nicely laid out, and there was a mix of African wood carvings, vases and Mauritian rattan furnishings. However, it did feel slightly dated. I understand that the hotel wants to remain traditional and authentic, but things like light switches, mirrors and rugs would benefit from a refurb.
Double doors led out onto the terrace and let in some wonderful, natural light the next morning. My terrace had two full-size sun loungers and a table and chairs, surrounded by a low wall and hedges for privacy. To the front of the terrace, there was an opening with access onto the grass and the pathways, and on, straight past your neighbour’s terrace. So, if you’re looking for complete seclusion, then book the villas with a private pool as these have a wall surrounding them and are completely private.
A charming touch was the little nod to the location at Turtle Bay, with black and white pictures of turtles in the room and the ‘privacy please’ door hanger, a wooden, hand-carved turtle.
The mini-bar was fully stocked and a Nespresso machine available.
The in-room technology is pretty basic, so do not expect the latest gadgets and mod cons. A perfectly adequate iPad docking station was located bedside, and the TV had the standard UK news and sports channels available with a connection to Netflix too. A DVD player completed the viewing options, and DVDs are available from the concierge who will deliver them to your room for an impromptu movie night, old school.
The bathroom wasn’t the largest but was well laid out. It had a lovely marble sunken bath that looked out onto a private walled garden with a separate shower. Bright and light, a single vanity unit was fine for all my bits and pieces, but I did wonder if ‘I’ had been ‘we’ whether there would have been enough space for both. A large mirror hung above the sink, and there was also a small illuminated mirror and a powerful hairdryer. I did feel, however, that the dark wood vanity unit made the bathroom feel a little dated.
The toiletries were branded Forest Essentials, specially blended for Oberoi Hotels in 50ml bottles which were replenished daily.
I ate at the On The Rocks restaurant one evening where the setting was just perfect, overlooking the Indian Ocean, perched on the edge of the shoreline and adjacent to the main swimming pool. Serving lunch and dinner (weather permitting), I chose to have my evening meal here as they hold a nightly BBQ. I opted for the seafood platter: a selection of scallops, Rosenberg prawns and red snapper. Grilled to perfection, it was delicious, in a lovely setting, dimly light by fire pits and lanterns which added to the ambiance. The service was extremely personal; the staff had noted the wine I enjoyed the night before and asked if I would like the same again. As a woman dining alone in a resort, it could have been an uncomfortable evening, but I felt surrounded by friends. The head waiter also offered me some magazines to read whilst waiting for my dinner; a nice touch.
Other restaurant options
The hotel’s main restaurant is available for breakfast and dinner, and for both there is an a la carte menu. Situated on an open terrace, breakfast offers a beautiful view out over the ocean. There is an excellent choice of fruits, homemade yoghurts, cereals and freshly squeezed juices. I ordered eggs from the menu and a gorgeous glass of grapefruit juice and spent a good hour here enjoying the atmosphere.
During the evening, the restaurant takes on a different feel; torches are lit and you can enjoy the harbour lights of Port Louis in the distance. The menu offers a mix of International, Asian and Creole dishes. Undecided as always, the waiter expertly led me through the menu and recommended a delicious Indian curry with a Mauritian twist.
The service at the main restaurant for breakfast and dinner was excellent, helpful and they had a way of making me feel as if I was the only person dining there. But I was surprised to see a few cats freely roaming around the place at breakfast and dinner, although this did not seem to bother other diners at all.
The hotel is home to The Gunpowder Room, which is in fact a national monument in Mauritius dating back to the 18th century. Now a restaurant, private dining can also be arranged here and, on select evenings, a Mauritian and Japanese menu is offered.
The bar stays open until midnight, a great spot for pre or post dinner drinks. The atmosphere is extremely relaxed and there was a super band playing an acoustic session when I popped in, adding to the chilled vibe. It is an open-sided venue which is lovely during the evening as the evening breeze flows through, lit by a fantastic cast iron chandelier.
Finally, should you wish to stay in and order in-room dining, there is no extra tray charge.
Spa and wellness
I used the gym a few times and was able to enter outside the posted opening times using my key card, perfect for early risers like me. Small but with all the latest equipment and weights, there are also two tennis courts where rackets and balls are complimentary. As part of the spa schedule, they do arrange daily activities such as yoga, T’ai Chi, daily jogs, and stretching classes; details of these are left in your room for the next day.
Pool and beach
There are two pools, both designed in a Balinese style. The main pool is located close to one of the restaurants and the beach, so you have the best of both worlds and don’t have to move too far for lunch. The second pool is the adult pool, and I did spend a few hours here. It was heavenly: a beautiful infinity pool surrounded by plush comfy loungers and umbrellas, with a small section of the beach located just steps away. The pool service was excellent; cold water was delivered every hour, fruit kebabs and sorbets were a nice touch, and a general drinks service too. Magazines and newspapers were also available should you have forgotten your own.
The 600-metre beach here is not the widest or the largest in Mauritius, but it is beautifully kept and maintained and, as you would expect, the beach service is as attentive as ever. An extensive list of water sports are available from the Boathouse; they are complimentary and include water-skiing, wind-surfing and snorkelling. Parasailing and scuba diving can be arranged at cost.
I felt that the resort would mostly suit couples but, surprisingly, the hotel does offer a great kids’ club, The Hub, for children aged 4-12. During school holidays, there’s a daily programme of activities with visits to the local Aquarium and wildlife park and the club has a soft play area and fenced outside area.
Other than the great water sport activities on offer and tennis courts, teens may get a little bored. However, if they are happy to chill by the pool, enjoy the peaceful surroundings and spend time with their folks, then this hotel is ideal.
Staff and service
The staff delivered top-notch service across the board; all were friendly, helpful and attentive without being intrusive and had the knack of knowing exactly what you needed at exactly the right time. Always immaculately presented and walking tall, these people clearly loved their work.
Mostly couples young and old—Brits, French and Australians—all very relaxed and enjoying the serenity of the property. During my stay, I did not see any families with children of any age.
Sad to leave, my ennui was eased a little by a seamless check-out. My bags were collected swiftly, I paid my bill, and my transfer was reconfirmed, all with the charm and friendliness I had come to expect from the Oberoi.
How to get there
1 hour by road from Mauritius International Airport
71 Pavilions & Villas