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Review: the Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa, Mauritius

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This is our review of the Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa in Balaclava, Mauritius.

For our second stop, in between the Sofitel Mauritius L’Imperial in Flic-en-Flac (review here) and the Le Meridien Ile Maurice (review) we headed up the west coast, beyond the capital of Port Louis and on to Balaclava, to Westin Turtle Bay. Marriott provided a two night stay for review purposes.

I had an enjoyable stay at the new Westin London City (review here), the first Westin in the UK, so I was looking forward to staying at the Westin Turtle Bay. The Westin brand is the most wellness-focussed of the Marriott brands with six brand pillars: Eat Well, Sleep Well, Move Well, Work Well, Play Well, Feel Well.

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius oceanfront

The hotel website is here.

Our article on how to use air miles to get from the UK to Mauritius is here.

Where is the Westin Mauritius?

Just south of Turtle Bay, this part of the coast is packed with resorts, one next to the other. You have the Westin, Oberoi, Le Meridien, Angsana, an InterContinental and more.

The Westin is at the southern tip of Turtle Bay beach, about 15km from the more touristy Grand Baie. It is about 45 – 60 minutes from Mauritius Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, the main airport on the island.

Arriving at Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius

Opened in 2014, the Westin Turtle Bay has cleverly been built with a remarkable old banyan tree at its centre, which makes for an impressive entrance:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius banyan tree

At the heart of the resort are the main hotel facilities, including several of the restaurants, overlooking the bay:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius lobby

As with most hotels in Mauritius these public areas are partially open to the elements and offer a lovely indoor-outdoor hybrid. Behind the lobby are a series of large, attractive ponds that gently terrace down towards the sea:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius 2

They style of the Westin Turtle Bay is modern and sophisticated, with the unusual triangular roof line and glass railings providing a fresh take on the more typical thatched roof resorts you’ll find on Mauritius. The grounds are lushly planted:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius landscaping

First up is a welcome drink and hot towel (in the winter at least!) whilst you check in:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius welcome drink

Check in was quick and easy and my Marriott Bonvoy status was acknowledged.

Rooms at Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius

I was fortunate enough to be upgraded on arrival to a junior suite. These are allegedly 124 square meters, although I assume that includes the incredible spacious terrace which about doubles the footprint.

Our room was on the first floor, up a stairs. Fortunately the luggage was carried by the hotel staff!

Immediately as you enter is a short corridor with a recessed alcove containing the mini bar, Illy coffee machine and fully stocked mini fridge:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius coffee

If you are on an all-inclusive package this is all free and replenished once a day. Two half bottles of wine are included, plus two cans of the local Phoenix lager.

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius minibar

This little corridor then opens onto the room, with the king bed front and centre:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius bedroom

USB-A, USB-C and a universal mains plug are available on both sides of the bed:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius bedside

At the foot of the bed is a two-person sofa and coffee table:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius sofa

You then have a large flat screen TV in the corner:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius TV

…. with a large desk on the opposite side:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius desk

Behind the bed is an open plan bathroom, with an open window in the wall above the headboard:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius bathroom sinks

The bathroom is pleasingly symmetrical. It features two sinks. On either side you also have two larger wardrobes, with safe, ironing board, umbrella etc.

In the centre of the bathroom is large free-standing bathtub, with bath salts supplied. Either side of this is the toilet and shower, in separate glass-framed cubicles.

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius bath

Note that the glass isn’t fully frosted, featuring more of an intermittent patter, which is particularly odd on the toilet side! There are no doors or curtains separating the bathroom from the bedroom either, so it is extremely open, particularly with the window above the bed.

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius shower

Toiletries are Westin branded in these medium-sized refillable bottles:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius toiletries

Only the soap bar was ‘Heavenly Spa’ branded.

That’s the room. There is a vast terrace accessible via the French doors, with a hanging chair, sofa and two sun loungers:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius terrace

The terrace gets plenty of direct sunshine during the day (the area by the sun loungers is uncovered) but it also has spectacular views, particularly at sunset:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius view

It is definitely one of the nicest balconies or outdoor spaces I have had in a hotel.

Unlike the resort, the rooms are arguably more traditionally styled, with dark wood, pale stone and beige tones. Not super-modern, but not outmoded either.

Pool, beach and spa at Westin Mauritius

There are two pools at the Westin Turtle Bay, but neither of them are heated. There is the vast, family-friendly pool on the left hand side of the central building:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius main pool

It is gigantic with plenty of loungers spaced very generously around it. You certainly aren’t on top of other guests here.

The main pool also laps right up to the edge of three of the restaurants – Fusion, Kangan and Mystique.

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius kangan pool

The second pool is on the other side of the hotel, by the last wing of the property. This is the adults-only ‘Whisper’ pool and straddles another beautiful banyan tree:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius adult pool (2)

It is a bit of a trek but well worth it for the peace and quiet. It’s also far smaller scale.

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius adult pool

There’s only one oddity about the pools. There’s no towel stand. You have to bring your own special pool towel from the room, as I discovered too late. The only reason I can think to do this is to stop people stealing towels, but it’s very odd and a little bit frustrating.

The Westin’s one drawback is that it doesn’t have a full beach. It perches just at the edge of Turtle Bay beach, and whilst it has a few stretches of sand the majority of the resort’s coastline is not particularly beachy. Here is the small beach in front of the adult’s only pool, which admittedly connects to the larger sandy beach of the bay:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius beach

There is also little cove by the main pool, although it isn’t as attractive.

The lack of a ‘proper’ hotel beach (although all beaches in Mauritius are public) might have contributed to the fact that the Westin seems to attract fewer families, espeically with younger children. Whilst they’re still around, you’ll find far more at the Sofitel or at Le Meridien (review to follow) just next door.

I wasn’t complaining – the hotel felt more sophisticated and adult as a result, which suited me just fine.

The hotel also features a typical Westin Heavenly Spa and gym, although I didn’t visit these.

Restaurants at Westin Turtle Beach

There are five restaurants at the Westin.

Seasonal Tastes

Seasonal Tastes is the main buffet restaurant in the resort, located in the main building. This is where breakfast and dinner is served and features a well designed buffet around a central island:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius breakfast buffet

At breakfast this includes an omelette and egg station, freshly made crepes and waffles, a salad bar, fruit, yoghurt as well as a hot selection comprising of Indian and Western cuisine. If you’re celebrating South African sparkling wine is also available.

The egg station will even make you an eggs royale:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius eggs royale

I was impressed at dinner. The night we went, after failing to secure a reservation at Kangan, tiny oysters were on offer:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius Seasonal Tastes oyster

…. as was sea urchin and an all-you-can-eat prawn grill.

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius dinner buffet prawns

You also had various pre-cooked options including a lamb dish, duck and various curries, as well as a salad bar and gelato dessert station.

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius dinner buffet

As far as buffets go it wasn’t half bad – and certainly the best breakfast I had of all three hotels I stayed at.

Beach Grill

Beach Grill is right next to the adults-only pool and sits (you guessed it!) right on the beach. This is where various themed nights are hosted, including a 4-course prawn dinner which we enjoyed.

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius beach grill

The food here was delicious and beautifully presented. The plates often looked like a botanical drawing with various coloured pastes and sauces as well as edible flowers and herbs. Here is the prawn cocktail starter:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius prawn cocktail

Followed by the large tiger prawn main:

Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius prawn night

…. and finished off with a delicious pineapple and coconut dessert:

Westin Turtle Bay dessert

Kangan

Kangkan is a popular Indian restaurant by the main pool. This was our first choice on our second date but we didn’t reserve in time and it was fully booked, unfortunately, so it’s worth booking this one in advance.

Fusion

Next to Kangan is Fusion, a sushi restaurant. Unless you’re on an all-inclusive package, expect to pay a supplement at Fusion.

Mystique

On the other side of Fusion, and straddling the beach is Mystique. This has more of a beach club atmosphere and is a great place for sundowners, with a DJ in the evenings plus a more Southeast Asian menu.

Half board, full board or all inclusive?

The different options are a little confusing, so here is what I have been told by the hotel. Note that Fusion is the only restaurant not included in any of the packages, although you can get 1000MUR meal credit if you wish to dine there.

  • Half Board includes breakfast at Seasonal Tastes and dinner at Seasonal Tastes, Mystique and Kangan. Fusion requires a supplement, although you do get meal credit.
  • Full Board includes breakfast at Seasonal Tastes and lunch at Mystique or Beach Grill. Dinner at Seasonal Taste, Mystique and Kangan. Once again, dining at Fusion requires paying a supplement.
  • All Inclusive includes breakfast at Seasonal Tastes, lunch at Mystique or Beach Grill and dinner at any of the restaurants except Fusion, where you have to pay a supplement. You’ll also get afternoon tea at the Retreat Bar and ice cream at the pool, with packed lunches also available if you’re exploring the surrounding area. Local beers, wines and a selection of cocktails are also included, as is the fully stocked mini bar which is replenished once per day.
Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius

Conclusion

Despite its lack of a proper beach the Westin Turtle Bay Mauritius suited me best of the three resorts I visited. I really liked the design and landscaping of the resort which was modern and sophisticated whilst still embracing the island’s heritage.

The Westin definitely feels more like an adult-oriented resort, although children are still welcome. I probably wouldn’t personally bring kids here though – I would go somewhere more family friendly where I would be able to roam a bit more freely without disturbing the other guests.

The lack of a towel stand at the pools is perplexing and the resort is incredibly long and thin, which can mean walking a couple of minutes to and from the pools or restaurants.

I was especially impressed with the staff, particularly the wait-staff at Seasonal Tastes and Beach Grill who were incredibly proactive and engaged. There was a noticeable difference in service at the Westin versus the other two hotels I reviewed.

Rooms at the Westin Turtle Bay Resort and Spa start at US$281 per night in September for a standard Deluxe Room, although you can expect to pay an extra $100 or so for a Junior Suite. Points redemptions are between 42,000 and 63,000 points per night, depending on the season.

You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.


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Comments (14)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • SRF. says:

    Not particularly useful as can’t remember the exact info, but stayed here few years ago after booking directly with Marriott Vacations or similar. Wife wanted to stay at this resort but cash price was very expensive. I looked at buying it as part of a package – and adding a Sixt car rental (which used to drive to hotel and explore the island a little) literally knocked many hundreds of ££ off the price. Can’t remember amount, but remember it was a very large chunk – which then used some of the amount to upgrade to a full-board beach front suite.

    Stay still worked with a double points promo Marriot were running at time and used those extra points for British Grand Prix tickets.

  • Chas says:

    Another really enjoyable review to read. That bathroom, with the open space above the sinks, is really odd though – virtually guaranteed to wake your other half if you use the sink (sorry, basin…..) whilst they’re sleeping!

    Glad to see that they could keep you in Eggs Royale for breakfast Rhys, although from the photo it seems like you were adventurous and switched to Eggs Benedict for a change…. 😉

  • David S says:

    You keep mentioning that the pool isn’t heated in the Mauritius reviews. Are the pools cold at this time of year and what about the sea temperature? TIA

    • Rhys says:

      Fairly cold, yes, but not unbearable. Bare in mind that the winter highs are 24 ish – and it certainly cools down at night. It’s a very Al fresco culture so you’ll need a jumper or jacket for the winter evenings.

  • Novelty-Socks says:

    Looks like a great place to stay and this is a decent review. I had no idea the Weston brand values were so cringeworthy though. They’re a great way to tell me nothing at all about what to expect at their hotels…

    • Brian78 says:

      Brand values 🤢

      Marketing guff which only exists to justify pointless jobs

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    “Next to Kangan is Fusion, a sushi restaurant. Unless you’re on an all-inclusive package, expect to pay a supplement at Fusion.” but further down it says Fusion is not included in any package.

    • lumma says:

      I could be wrong but I read it as if you choose to dine there you get a 1000 rupee (about £19) credit to spend and pay for anything above that.

  • Ian McDowall says:

    I’ve stayed twice and concur completely with the article.
    We had a junior suite the 1st time and didn’t like the gap between the bathroom and bedroom at all. We gave each other time to use the facilities particularly if it was likely to be a noisy affair. Lol.
    The next time we had a beach front suite. This was fantastic.
    Both suites were near to the Beach Grill and close to nice areas on the beach under trees when it was very hot.
    The staff were all fantastic, especially at the Beach grill. We were all inclusive and so lunch was “free” every day.
    We tried the lobster evening both times which was good but incredibly expensive.
    Without a doubt the best member of staff was Kevin, he started as the pool boy and the next time he was a manager.
    I wonder if he’s still there. Super lad. Brought me many a cocktail and beer.

  • meta says:

    This was my first stay (and trip) on Avios, 8-9 years ago. Booked on Family rate and since back then it was part of SPG, it also included 50% discount on all F&B beverage.

    Seems nothing has changed in terms of design, but it is timeless kind of design. I had Grand Deluxe room, but on the ground floor. It had a smaller terrace and the room was in the Adults wing. There weren’t many guests, but they had a feet-in-sand restaurant on the beach (can’t remember the name). Unlike now, they also had sun loungers with towels set-up and pool/beach staff would come around. You could also get extra towels and they had F&B service. They had very nice picnic baskets. The beach and the sea is terrible for swimming due to corals/rocks. Indeed, the whole area and all of the hotels there have that problem. Since my partner and I had a car rental, we didn’t care and just went to North-East/Eastern parts of the island as that’s where the best beaches are.

  • Chris H says:

    We stayed here for 5 nights in 2017. Found a great price on destination2 and then got Starwood to price match it.

    Thought it was a great resort, really relaxing with beautiful setting. Our room was near the adult pool and had a private outdoor shower as well as everything else.

    Mauritius is a beautiful island and very easy to get around. We rented a car and spent a few days before this Weati stay at a cheaper place on the east coast but mostly driving around. The rum distilleries are well worth a visit and tour.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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