An unbeatable price for paradise: A review of the Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa

Dec 7, 2021

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Mauritius is a small island in the Indian Ocean and home to a handful of affordably priced points hotels, something that’s hard to find in many far-flung luxury destinations like Bora Bora or the Maldives.

One of those reasonably-priced options is the Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa, located in the western part of the island, flush against the sea with breathtaking views of the mountains in the distance.

The hotel got a refresh in 2014, and built a new swimming pool and updated roughly 100 rooms. Some of those refreshes were apparent when walking throughout the property during my three-night stay in early November. Unfortunately, the rooms themselves didn’t feel at all redone — and if you’re traveling thousands of miles to relax — could use a significant overhaul.

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(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

Booking details

Hotels in Mauritius can be pricey. As one of the most exclusive destinations on the planet, hotels can generally charge what they want — and guests will still come.

It seems like the Hilton catered to those wanting a brand-name experience on a budget. A couple of weeks before arrival, we booked my three-night stay for just $300 a night. This rate was the half-board package, which included breakfast and dinner. I didn’t get a significant deal or book an anomaly — rates through the middle of 2022 are hovering around $200. So if you’re a budget traveler who wants to stay with a familiar, branded hotel, this Hilton is a solid choice.

The cash rates are pretty decent, so I would advise booking with cash instead of points. But after doing a cursory search of award availability, the cheapest rates for this property fall between May and September 2022, where rooms are as low as 55,000 points per night. (Hilton did away with its award chart, so prices are dynamic and are subject to change.)

I earned 22,478 Hilton Honors points for my stay, which are worth $134, according to TPG’s latest valuations.

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Getting there

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

The Hilton Mauritius is located in Flic-en-Flac, a village on the west coast of Mauritius, about an hour’s drive from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International (MRU) Airport. This is partly why I chose to visit the island instead of the Maldives, as it doesn’t require a separate seaplane or boat transfer to get to the hotel.

The ride, while long, is gorgeously scenic and takes you through the center of the island.

The hotel pre-arranged my ride a few days before arrival, and my very kind driver, Kishan Chucky, was waiting in the terminal when I arrived. The transfer cost $50, plus a $2.50 surcharge for using my credit card. It was explained to me that, “due to the pandemic,” the windows must be rolled down during taxi rides, so air conditioning wasn’t permitted.

Kishan explained the history of Mauritius during the drive to the resort, pointing out several historical and cultural landmarks. We had a fascinating chat about travel and how our two countries handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

Check-in

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

After well over 24 hours of travel from New York City, an hour wait at the airport for immigration and an hour’s drive, I just wanted to be off of my feet, and I looked like it when I arrived for check-in. Fortunately, the process was a breeze.

An employee handled my suitcase and backpack while another led me to the check-in area to sit down and take a load off. While looking up my itinerary, I was treated to a refreshing beverage. I handed over my credit card information while the check-in agent thanked me for being a Hilton Gold member and explained the hotel’s features, like the breakfast and spa hours.

All travelers to Mauritius, vaccinated or not, must complete a COVID-19 test upon arrival at their hotel. If the test is negative, vaccinated travelers are free to explore the island. So while I was waiting for my room to be ready, I went to take care of my test. COVID-19 testing can vary depending on the test you’re taking and where you’re taking it. This one was a dreaded brain swab, and I briefly teared up from how painful it was.

Fortunately, after getting my negative results, I was free to explore, so I decided to head back to check-in to wait for my room assignment.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

The front desk worker apologized profusely, as my room still wasn’t ready, but offered a complimentary drink from the bar as a friendly gesture. While I was pretty tired, it was relaxing to sit at the bar overlooking the ocean and marvel at the fact that I was finally in one of my dream destinations.

Standout features

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)
  • Great location, just steps from the beach.
  • Affordable rates, brand familiarity in the Hilton Honors portfolio.
  • Several restaurants and bars with varying cuisines. Guests can try everything from Thai to American to Mauritian cuisine.
  • A fantastic, helpful staff was always on-hand to greet guests with a smile, answer questions and take orders.
  • Gorgeous infinity pool centrally located by the bar and beach.

Drawbacks

  • Extremely dated rooms. This won’t be a deal-breaker for all, but I’m a traveler who enjoys spending equal amounts of time in the room and outside of it.
  • Well-intentioned, but slow service. Drink orders could take as long as 20 minutes.
  • Rocky beach overrun with seaweed. This isn’t the hotel’s fault, as I experienced the same at another property I visited. But it was pretty unsightly.

The vibe

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

Mauritius had reopened for travel just weeks before I visited, and the first thing I noticed was how genuinely happy the staff was to welcome me to their home.

Americans have pretty distinct accents, and you can point them out anywhere you travel. So several staffers stopped me during my stay to ask how I’d learned about Mauritius and to tell my friends and family to visit as well.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

The hotel wasn’t too crowded, and most guests, including myself, preferred to spend much of the day lazing in beach chairs close to the ocean or by the bar. There were several wedding and engagement parties, so aside from the soundtrack of calm waves lapping the shore, there were also speakers blasting “Here Comes the Bride.” As a solo traveler, it made for a funny juxtaposition, but Mauritius is known as an under-the-radar honeymoon destination.

From the time I arrived until I departed, I experienced an abundance of warm, Mauritian hospitality. From servers pointing out the best Mauritian dishes to eat to staffers giving me some friendly reminders to wear shoes on the beach if possible (there’s a lot of sharp coral!), I found the vibe incredibly laid-back yet personable.

The room

Initially constructed in 2000, the property features 193 rooms and suites, with some having direct access to the beach. Each section of the hotel is either two or three stories, with a handful of rooms in each section. My section was closest to the central check-in and restaurant areas, which made walking to and from breakfast and dinner a breeze.

As I briefly noted above, I found the rooms pretty dated — they reminded me of a 1990s-era beach timeshare. This isn’t a deal-breaker for some travelers, particularly if you spend most of your time outside the room and only come indoors to shower and sleep.

That isn’t how I travel, as I plan trips around resting. I’d been flying for well over 24 hours and planned to spend the day of my arrival and part of the next sleeping or lounging around in the room. In a hotel room that’s bright and airy, this is a relaxing way to start a trip. But I found the room rather dark, with wood (or wood-like material) covering virtually every angle of the suite, and in sore need of a paint job.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

I booked the King Family Suite, a solid option with a ton of space if traveling as a family or a couple.

When you enter, you’re greeted with a small hallway, with an adjacent bathroom on one side and a mini-bar area on the other. Like many properties, the Hilton did away with its in-room mini-bar, but you could order snacks and drinks to your room at your leisure.

Moving into the living room, a small, brown couch, along with two chairs, a nightstand and a table, took up most of the room. These could use an update and didn’t look modern at all. For such a beautiful property with a stunning backdrop of mountain and ocean, it seems the decor in the rooms were put together haphazardly.

My room featured two full bathrooms, with both featuring a shower and one with a full bathtub. The tile made the bathroom look rather drab, with tan coloring reminiscent of an office building or doctor’s office. As I didn’t book an accessible room, there was no surprise that my first-floor room wasn’t particularly accessible, but there was one handrail in the master bathtub.

If you’re traveling as a couple or with family, the suite I stayed in had an incredibly long vanity, so it didn’t feel like you’d be intruding on someone’s space. The water pressure was excellent throughout the stay, even when taking showers early in the morning or late at night.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

The hotel-size toiletries were from Crabtree & Evelyn in a lavender scent and included body wash, conditioner and shampoo.

Similar to TPG’s shower test, I always check the back of the shampoo and conditioner bottles to see if I can even use the products on my natural, texturized hair. I’ve written previously about hotel shampoo and conditioner, which often isn’t suitable for travelers who don’t have stick-straight hair, and this product was no different.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

Closer to the patio, a small wooden table and chairs seemed a bit more modern but didn’t match the darker-colored wood found in the bathroom, living room and bedroom.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

The bedroom was enormous — anything bigger than a shoebox is when you live in New York — and pretty bright despite the dark colors throughout. I was happy to see a cute “welcome” sign laid out on the bed, along with a Hilton Mauritius hat to stay cool outside in the heat.

Several pieces of artwork brightened up the space considerably, though they were the few pops of color in the room.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

I got a chuckle out of a warning that travelers might find a gecko in their rooms.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

Hilton has been promoting its CleanStay initiative during the pandemic, so high-touch items like remotes and light switches are sanitized before your stay. As we’ve written in the past, it’s a nice gesture, but as COVID-19 is an airborne disease, I’m not sure how much this helps.

Food and drink

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

The Hilton really, and I mean really, shined in its food and drink options. The property is home to a handful of restaurants and, thanks to the rate I booked, breakfast and dinner were included. All-inclusive options are essential in places like Mauritius, where the city center can be a hike and food options close early.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

Breakfast and dinner are served at La Pomme d’Amour, the hotel’s main restaurant which overlooks the ocean and lagoon. It’s a breathtaking scene: imagine tucking into your eggs while listening to the waves crash onto the shore, fish swimming just feet away from you in the lagoon.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

You can find a healthy mix of western and Mauritian Creole cuisine here: pancakes and bacon, as well as various curry and fish dishes. I tried the American dinner one day, which was decent, and then switched it up and tried curry goat and seafood pasta another day.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

The signature restaurant is Ginger Thai. You usually need a reservation to visit, but I managed to squeeze during a lull in service while recovering from jetlag.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

It’s an incredibly romantic vibe, especially if you’re here for a honeymoon or anniversary — I saw several wedding parties taking photos here. The restaurant has two sections, with indoor seating and a pavilion surrounded on three sides by a small pond and lush greenery. The food is traditional Thai cuisine and reminded me of the last time I was in Phuket.

I had the beef and rice, a spicy dish that paired well with a glass of wine and the sticky rice I had for dessert.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

Rounding out the hotel’s restaurants is Les Coquillages, an eclectic blend of French and Mauritian Creole. It’s the closest dining spot to the beach and another option for travelers looking for a more romantic scene than the main dining restaurant.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

If you’re a drinker — and even if you aren’t — the hotel has several bars scattered across the resort and most offered reasonably priced happy hour specials, some starting as early as 3 p.m.

Guests don’t actually have to go to the bar (unless you want to take a walk) as attendants were consistently on hand to take drink and snack orders. I’m not a big drinker, so I stuck with a mimosa and a Mai Thai and received my drinks within 10 minutes of placing my order.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

Finally, mask compliance here is strict — a worker immediately stopped me when I had approached the buffet line and forgotten my mask — and with good reason. Tourism is essential to the island’s livelihood, and it can’t afford a coronavirus-related shutdown. Most residents are vaccinated, and tourists must be vaccinated if they want to avoid a mandatory quarantine.

Amenities and service

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

The Hilton Mauritius offers several daily activities for guests. Many of the activities are complimentary, such as non-motorized water activities like paddleboarding.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

It’s a hotel that caters to several kinds of travelers: those who are content to laze by the beach or pool and those who want to be more adventurous while on vacation. During check-in, an employee told me the activities would be posted online each day.

Perhaps the most stunning feature is the gorgeous landscaped pool nestled between the main entrance and the bar area. I found the small bridges between each pool area a really great idea, as guests didn’t have to traverse the entire length of the pool to get to and from the beach or bar.

(Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

I saw several pool attendants leading guests in what looked like a “jazzercize” in the pool, which looked fun.

Overall impression

I enjoyed the view, the beach (even though it was pretty rocky) and, most of all, the fantastic food and warm service. The staff at the Hilton Mauritius went out of their way to make sure guests were comfortable and well-taken care of, and it was evident that they have a lot of pride in the property.

Where the Hilton could stand to improve is in its “hard product,” the room. The room is a huge selling point for some travelers, and unfortunately, it’s incredibly dated for this property.

However, if you’re a traveler who simply loves to find a good deal (especially at a branded resort abroad), you can’t go wrong with the Hilton, as it’s hundreds of dollars cheaper than several nearby resorts. And the genuinely warm and friendly hospitality, as well as the diverse food options, make it an attractive choice for bargain-hunters.

All photos by the author

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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