05 Jun InterContinental Mauritius Resort Balaclava Fort: ‘We provide guests with the sensation of being at home’
The InterContinental Mauritius Resort Balaclava Fort has a singular location, combining tradition and luxury with blue waters and golden sands at an emblematic resort in Mauritius. Resuinsa speaks to managers at the resort to find out more about this paradise island destination and how our linens help improve guest experience.
What makes your hotel be unique?
Some of the unique features of the resort are the Scenic location in private Balaclava bay on the north-west coast between Port Louis and Grand Bay. All 210 rooms facing the Indian Ocean & very close proximity to the ocean. Unique A la carte dines around concept across all resort restaurants (3 courses). 40 Two Bedroom Ocean Facing family rooms with the main guestroom and a separate bedroom for kids and your privacy. All resort infinity pools heated during winter months. More than 50 blissful therapies at SPA InterContinental. Daily evening live shows and entertainment themed buffets and swim-up bar. Largest Ballroom in Mauritius with direct access to the beach. Private Sugar Island for bespoke functions, weddings, and proposals. Relax with the pleasing sound of the waves across the resort and watch one of the best sunsets in Mauritius. Our team that will always go an extra mile to delight you
How would you describe luxury?
For over 70 years, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has been the doorway to luxury travel as it should be. We’re here to connect you to places you’re visiting. And, through our knowledge, experience, and connections, we open up new perspectives so you can discover new stories and create your own.
Your luxury starts on Mauritius’s Ville Valio private beach. An island of abundant beauty and history. We welcome you to experience the InterContinental Life where tradition meets luxury and blue water meet golden sands. Gazing out over a turquoise lagoon, InterContinental Mauritius Resort Balaclava Fort enjoys a spectacular natural setting. Surrounded by verdant gardens of native trees and flowers, our luxurious accommodation is complemented by intuitive, heartfelt service and thoughtful, luxury amenities.
What do you recommend the guests visit in your city?
The Essence of Mauritius: Its People. Europe, Africa, India, and China… The whole world on one island! It is often referred to as the ‘Continent-Island’ due to its diverse cultures and ethnicities, and Mauritians pride themselves on being able to live in harmony and respect the different religions and ethnic groups represented here.
The striking natural beauty and diversity of Mauritius are reflected in the warmth of its people. The richness of their culture and heritage binds them together. The Mauritian smile is genuine and the people are well known for their hospitality and warmth. You will always feel welcome in this friendly country.
The best way to meet the locals is on public beaches, or in the shops and market places on weekends and public holidays. Going on guided tours with locals or adventure companies are great ways to discover Mauritius and the history and culture of its people. Discover their fun side by partying the night away at one of the many nightclubs or parties on the beach!
Mingling in Port Louis
In 1735 the French governor Mahé de La Bourdonnais made Port Louis a key harbor in this part of the ocean. Today, it is the island’s capital city and is worth a visit to see why Mauritius is hailed for its economic achievement. The best place to park is in the Caudan Waterfront, from where you can easily walk around the city, by far the busiest place in Mauritius during the day. Feast your eyes on the colorful fruit and vegetable market, and let your senses be awakened by the scent of oriental spices in China Town with its restaurants serving delicious dishes. Enjoy walking along the old cobbled streets and seeing the original colonial houses and buildings that make this city so unique and interesting. Discover the museums and monuments, and do some shopping in the hundreds of shops selling everything from fabrics, to jewelry, to world-famous clothing brands, there really is something for everyone!
To top off your day, take a drive to the Champ de Mars, the oldest horse-racing course in the southern hemisphere. Or if you want a beautiful view of the whole of Port Louis, visit the Citadelle, an old fort that once guarded the harbor against enemy attack and from local rebellion. For another stunning view, take a walk up the steps of the church of Marie Reine de la Paix, on the side of Signal Mountain.
Mauritius has the most amazing white coral sand beaches and crystal clear lagoons, which contrast vividly with the backdrop of black volcanic mountains. It seems that Mother Nature has chosen our beaches to try out a palette of blue, white and sparkle! The best beaches are definitely worth a visit are Pereybere, Flic en Flac, Le Morne, Belle Mare, Blue Bay, and Ile aux Cerfs. A day at the beach is also a great opportunity to mingle with Mauritian families who enjoy picnicking on the beach on sunny days.
A good way to discover the differences between the North, East, South, and West, is to drive around the coast visiting the different beaches. Each region is unique and has so many treasures waiting to be discovered. The North, with its flat, sandy beaches and stunning weather, is action packed and has plenty of activities on offer. The East boasts large turquoise lagoons and is windier, especially in winter. The South with its wild, steep cliffs is a stunning part of the island that is a must-see. The West and South-West are hot and dry, perfect for surfing and kitesurfing, among other activities.
Life in Mauritius spins around the inviting warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Visitors can take advantage of this water paradise by trying out a variety of water sports and activities around the island. There are water sports galore to choose from: pedaloes, kayaks, water skis, sea karting, surfing, windsurfing, stand up paddleboarding, glass bottom boats, catamaran cruises, dolphin watching, and big game fishing… For the more adventurous among you, there are an underwater walk, submarine trips, and parasailing.
Mauritius is a well-known diving destination, and snorkeling can be done in most lagoons, where you’ll be amazed at the sea life you can see not far from the shore. In Blue Bay, a nature reserve, you can take a glass bottom boat into the reserve and then snorkel in the lagoon – an experience that you will remember forever! If kitesurfing is more your game, head for the windiest spots in the South and East all year round, and in the North at some periods of the year. Hang onto your hat!
You cannot possibly leave Mauritius without learning to dance a few Sega steps. Whether you have twinkle toes or two left feet, this vibrant local dance with its distinctive African rhythm will have your hips undulating to the beat! Each resort has its own Sega show, which is a perfect way to end an evening. The spirit of Africa resonates through the musical instruments – usually ravanne, maravanne or triangle are played, while the songs, sung in Creole, depict the Mauritian way of life. The Sega folkloric dance has been registered by UNESCO on its Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
If you want to keep moving to the beat, you can purchase a range of Sega music in all music stores around the island. This folk music will bring the tropical beat into your home and keep the Mauritian flame alive. A well-known Sega artist is Ti Frère but there are dozens to choose from, each with their unique flare. Why not buy a few, share them with your friends and teach them the Sega moves you learned in Mauritius…
Pamplemousses Botanical Garden
This is undoubtedly one of the most visited attractions in Mauritius. Created over 300 years ago by the famous French botanist Pierre Poivre, the garden is the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere and boasts a plethora of indigenous plants. See if you can spot Pierre Poivre’s statue in the gardens. Count yourself extremely fortunate if you happen to see the Talipot Palm, which blooms once every 30 to 80 years! There are also giant tortoises, Java Deer, and the spectacular water lilies. Take a break under one the many gazebos throughout the place and enjoy the tranquillity and charm of this beautiful and unique Pamplemousses botanical garden.
The 7-colored earth of Chamarel
This world-famous attraction is a unique volcanic geological phenomenon resulting in seven colors of earth swirled together to create a beautiful feature. Found in the stunning region of Chamarel, this is a treasure not to be missed. Chamarel rises 283 meters above sea level and is reached by a panoramic route, which cuts through the luxurious tropical forest surrounding it. There are many places to stop to admire the exquisite view and take photos. One of these spots is an 83-meter high waterfall. After visiting the 7-colored earth, you can take a trip to the village to see the picturesque Church of St. Anne which was built in 1876 and is a sought-after feature by visitors. This typical Mauritian village is well worth the detour for its family restaurants, and the drive back through the scenic Chamarel to Baie du Cap is magical.
The art of Sugar, Rum & Tea
Mauritius’s history and prosperity are linked to the sugar cane industry. Sugar cane was introduced to Mauritius by the Dutch settlers as far back as 1639, but it was the French Governor Mahé de Labourdonnais who opened the first sugar estate in 1743. Today, sugar is no longer the backbone of the island’s economy as it has been for many years past, but its by-products, such as rum, remain extremely popular. The L’Aventure du Sucre museum in Pamplemousses will give you a fascinating look at how the country’s history is intertwined with sugar. The Tea Route is also extremely popular with tourists and allows you to visit traditional tea plantations, tea factories, and museums to learn about how tea is made. Sample the delicious and unique tea blends, most notably Mauritian vanilla tea, among the world’s best! Make sure you buy some to take home.
Cultural Heritage Sites
Government House, a French colonial building built in 1738, the Port Louis Theatre steeped in history, the beautiful Central Post Office and Court of Justice buildings, and the old prison adjacent to them, all deserve a visit. Two UNESCO world heritage sites – Aapravasi Ghat and Le Morne – are well worth visiting as is the Vieux Grand Port historical route which houses several historical monuments including the Dutch landing site. If you want to take home memories other than seaside ones, we recommend you swap your flip-flops for some walking shoes, step out and enjoy the rich historical heritage of Mauritius.
It’s delicious, it’s Mauritius! Foodies will be in their element in a country that offers everything from Michelin-star chefs, fine dining, and enticing roadside snacks sold by street food vendors. The delicate ‘heart of palm’ salad is famous in Mauritius and something to try if your budget allows. Sample the ubiquitous street food: dholl puris, samosas, gateaux arouille and gateaux piments both on and off the streets of Mauritius, in the many small restaurants and takeaways (“snacks”). Visitors will soon learn that eating is extremely popular among the local population. Cultural festivals, such as the Chinatown Festival, are known to attract thousands of Mauritians for their food offerings.
How do you manage to make guests feel special in your hotel?
Not only by providing the best of product and services to our guest but also by staying in the spirit of the 4 Truth .Which are:
True attitude is about being caring, wanting to make a positive difference and building genuine connections with guests.
True confidence is about having the knowledge and skills to perform our role and providing the guests the confidence that they can trust us to help and support them during their stay.
True Listening is about focusing on what our guest is saying picking up body language that is often overlooked and understand what the guest wants and needs
True Responsiveness is about providing guests with what they need and doing so in a timely and caring manner.
What are the most important elements to have a well-dressed bed?
The most important elements to us are:
Picking a Palette – White as a primary or secondary color brings crispness to a look. White or cream used as a secondary color can also break up a “sea of color,” and as a beach resort that represents our color theme perfectly.
Texturizing for Touchability – The textures of a well-dressed bed self-inviting, gripping eyes attention and tempt the fingers.
Piling on Pillows- Layers of pillows dressed in complementary shams form an appealing cloud of comfort representing luxury in itself.
Detailing – Tiny details such as buttons on a pillow sham can make a big style statement.
Quality- As Five stars resort, we aim a lot on the quality for our not only for the comfort of our guest but for the durability of the product.
Personalizing – Each of our room come with a different personality that expresses the need of our guests.
What should table linens be like to enjoy a gastronomic experience?
Our Chefs create some of the most amazing dish on the island which is a culinary art and therefore to not distract our guest from the aesthetic beauty of the dish we prefer not to have any bright color close to the plate thus we have favors white as our table linen with a minimal color representing the restaurant theme.
Which bed linen do guests point out the most? Why?
The aim of our House Keeping team is to provide the guest a feeling of home away from their home and the bed sheets have the most success with our guest as even long after their departure they have contacted us wondering where to purchase our bed linen.
How has Resuinsa contributed to improving the stay and the experience of the guests in your establishment?
I would like to highlight the prompt delivery service for a large quantity from Resuinsa was impressive. Surely, we did have received some positive reviews not only from our guests but also from our colleague who works with Resuinsa linen on a day to day basis. Our Housekeeping team highlights how easy it is to work with Resuinsa bed sheet and it has increased their working speed significantly.
How would you describe the sensation of Resuinsa’s linens?
Fine, perfumed, bright and soft that is durable.