BACKGROUND: Marriott International acquired Starwood Hotels and Resorts in 2016, creating the world’s largest hotel company. You wouldn’t know it to look at the hotel – the property didn’t change its appearance at all; the acquisition influenced only the corporate segment. Members of the old Starwood loyalty programme still earn points and rewards and have access to the SPG lounge at The Westin Turtle Bay – a quiet, comfortable, exclusive space.
WHERE IS IT? The resort sits on the beachfront of the north-west coast. It’s about an hour’s drive from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport along the highway. Incidentally, Mauritius is a four-hour flight from Johannesburg and the route is serviced by Air Mauritius and South African Airways.
ROOM FACILITIES: My ocean-view room was huge, with doors opening to a private balcony. The king-size bed sat in the middle of the room, with the really large bathroom situated behind. There was a nook for a day bed, a work desk, a sofa, a coffee table, and a large flat-screen TV. The kettle and mini-bar greeted me as I walked through the door, housed in a wooden cabinet. The bathroom was almost the same size as the bedroom, with his-and-hers basins, a free-standing bath tub, a shower, a vanity desk and loads of cupboard space. It was such a great room that, if the sea hadn’t been so close, I might have never found reason to go outside.
RESTAURANTS & BARS: There are four restaurants and two bars on the property. Kangan serves Indian cuisine; Fusion specialises in contemporary interpretation of Mauritian heritage; and Beach Grill offers alfresco dining. Seasonal Tastes is the hotel’s buffet restaurant, with extensive offerings. Choose from Chinese, Indian, pasta, fish, salad and roasts for dinner. I opted for lamb chops and salad for mains and a sliver of green tea cake and coconut Mille Feuille for dessert. I wanted to try out so many other dishes, but there just wasn’t space. The breakfast buffet was just as extensive, with fresh fruit, freshly-squeezed juice, cereal, pastries, cold meat, cheese, eggs, sausage, pancakes and f lapjacks alongside traditional Indian and Chinese dishes. I started my day with a ham and cream cheese croissant and a cappuccino.
BUSINESS & MEETING
FACILITIES: The resort offers four customisable meeting rooms, the largest of which can accommodate 200 delegates. There’s also The Westin Lawn – a private outdoor area with its own entrance that can be fully customised for banqueting functions, events and conferences for up to 400 guests. The in-house events team will turn your ideas into reality. There is also a fully-equipped business centre available day and night.
LEISURE FACILITIES: Being on the beachfront, the sea and its related sports are the most obvious leisure facilities. The hotel offers a long list of complimentary activities, including kayaking, pedalos, windsurfing, glass bottom boat rides, sailboating, snorkelling, water skiing, tennis, bocce ball, football, basketball, table tennis and badminton. There are also two swimming pools, a gym, and a spa for those guests who want a little pampering. Westin has partnered with New Balance to lend athletic shoes to guests for a small fee, so if you find yourself without yours but want to work out, you have access to a pair of good quality shoes. Included in the fee is a pair of brand-new socks which are yours to keep. The shoes are fresh and clean.
VERDICT: The Westin Turtle Bay effortlessly mixes business with pleasure, offering well-equipped meeting and conference facilities, dining options to suit just about every taste, and down-time activities for almost every interest. Staff are friendly, but professional, and will go out of their way to assist guests.