Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean, has all the ingredients for memorable events, especially incentives. With direct daily flights being added regularly, accessibility has never been easier, reports Simon Farnfield.
Luxury hotel group Sun Resorts has been helping organisers create memories for their guests for 40 years. It has created a portfolio of four hotel properties, with design at the centre of the offer.
Each resort has its own character and theme. Long Beach is a vibrant and chic 5* resort in the Belle Mare region on the east coast. Formally known as Coco Beach, in 2011 it was redeveloped into a 60ha contemporary resort with 1.3km of white sandy beach.
The resort is an hour’s journey from the airport, along the east coastline. It has 255 rooms, all sea facing, and five restaurants offer worldwide dining experiences. Long Beach can cater for indoor events up to 230 seated or outdoor events up to 2,500 people. There are four swimming pools and a Cinq Mondes spa, and high-quality sports facilities.
General manager Jean-Marc Ma-Poon says the resort has something for every guest, “whether they just want to relax or get active.”
Sun Resorts’ other 5* property, Sugar Beach is a plantation style complex located on the west coast in Flic en Flac. This resort has 258 rooms and given that the founders of Sun Resorts started with a sugar cane business, it is apt that their signature resort demonstrates links to this past.
Sugar Beach also has five world class restaurants and spacious grounds for staging events – up to 350 seated indoors or outdoor events for up to 1,500 persons.
GM Nicolas de Chalain explains: “Sugar Beach has hosted some of the world’s top companies including Coca Cola and the McKinsey group. Spacious grounds mean we can host small exclusive groups through to larger groups as they can benefit from double facilities and combined accommodation with our sister property La Pirogue next door, all charged to one master account.”
Indeed the four-star La Pirogue shares the same beachfront and boasts traditional architecture inspired by the famous fishing boats of Mauritius. La Pirogue has 248 rooms and suites, six world class restaurants and is able to accommodate indoor events up to 225 seated or outdoor events for up to over 1,000 persons in its large grounds.
GM Andrew Slome says: “For 40 years the sunset has been the backdrop to thousands of corporate events.”
Located on the eastern coast of Mauritius, Ambre is a four-star all-inclusive resort, proposing an adult-only concept from 16 years old and boasting a 750m white, natural, tranquil beach facing the widest lagoon, running along the sheltered bay of Palmar.
GM Clency Romeo explains: “The resort has 297 rooms and suites, three restaurants, one nightclub and offers space for indoor events up to 90 seated or outdoor for up to 100 persons.”
Located off the east coast, The Ile aux Cerfs Golf & Leisure island is one of the most visited tourist attractions of Mauritius. It has the largest lagoon, white sandy beaches, land and water experiences including an adventure park, in addition to an 18-hole, Bernhard Langer-designed par-72 championship golf course, and three restaurants.
General manager Marc Amelot tells CMW: “For groups looking for offsite activities, their next golf destination or themed events, we offer spaces for up to 1,000 persons.
“There is also the ‘new’ unique bubble style accommodation for guests to sleep under the stars with five-star service.”
Unique event spaces
Bespoke events held at Sun Resorts include a Fisherman’s Feast’ BBQ on the beach at La Pirogue, where dinner is served in a traditional fishing village setting, featuring the fresh ‘catch of the day’ fish and shellfish, through to an exclusive dinner for up to 2,500 people on the grass field at Long Beach.
Or how about a cocktail party on the lawn in front of the Manor House at Sugar Beach, or a White Celebration where Ambre can host your event in a wonderland with waiters dressed in their brightest white attire and a live band?
On the Ile Aux Cerf the tropical adventure can begin with a boat ride across the lagoon to the island. A typical Mauritian cocktail reception will see guests guided through an alley of torches to wooden thatched huts, with settings and lighting reflecting the true authenticity of the Mauritian soul.
The grand finale includes a spectacular fire performance of local musicians and dancers back on the beach.
Stunning scenery is one ingredient for a memorable time, but Sun Resorts have tailored experiences for delegates and stress their philosophy that “events are nothing without experiences”. They add that rich experiences are in great supply at the resorts.
Other experiences to win bragging rights to include enjoying the sunrise from a paddle board across the flat Indian Ocean or practising yoga on the beach?
The top chefs can also teach you how to create traditional Mauritius dishes. They will even take you to the local market to negotiate and buy the right ingredients.
Less energetic, perhaps, is learning how to make your favourite cocktails with a Sun Mixologist. And for traditional corporate post meeting experiences there is always golf – three championship golf courses and a Golf Academy are on offer. Follow it up with and lunch on their exclusive Filbustier Beach.
Top dining picks include Tides World Fish Restaurant at Sugar Beach, Magenta Seafood Restaurant at La Pirogue, Hasu Japanese Restaurant at Long Beach, La Plage Mediterranean & Mauritian cuisine at Ambre and Sands Grill at Ile aux Cerf, a Mauritian beachside dining experience.
Sun sustainability vision
Sun Resorts’ SunCare programme claimed the recent Sustainable Tourism Award at the International Conference on Digitalisation and Sustainability Tourism. Programme initiatives include 3,000sqm of solar panels, in-house water treatment plants, 100% recycled irrigation, and 25,000 LED Lights. A Sun nursery, meanwhile, grows more than 4,000 species, and there is a marine conservation project on the go.
There are no plastic straws in sight either, just sun, sugar and spice – all the elements for a great event.
CWT’s MD Meeting & Events Paul Stoddart says: “Mauritius provides the perfect stage on which to deliver the ultimate tropical island experience. Easy to get to, with a wide range of top quality hotels and resorts plus a huge range of group activities on offer in the mountains, on the beach or out at sea.
“Whether you want to dial up the luxury, excitement or culture – Mauritius has it all.”