It is hard to use the term ‘too much ado about nothing’ with reference to Port Louis, in Mauritius, which, as all things that were once monarchical go, has much praising going its way. Be it as it may, the city had been already a thriving harbor as early as 1637, the date of its establishment.
Port Louis has the prestige of possessing the name of one of the famous kings in the French royalty, Louis XV. During the 17th century, the harbor became the stopover for detouring vessels that were rounding off the tip of South Africa en-route to other interests across the Indian Ocean, such as Goa, India.
Port Louis has grown exponentially, for a metropolis within an island, with a current census tally of 137 608 (2011 figures). The city vaunts the largest port in the region, thus making it the entry harbor for the myriads of tourists who flock Mauritius to view the lush attractions that the unique biodiversity of the country vaunts.
How to get around
As becomes a metropolis inside an island nation, Port Louis has no railway transportation conduit, though the government is already tendering a new train system to run to Curepipe. Currently, the urban center enjoys other surface and air means, for travel purposes. There is a dual provision of bus termini, namely the Victoria and Gare du nord stations. The first conveys passengers to the east and south of suburbia, while the second to the north. The only problem here is that the city of over a hundred thousand people enjoys a traffic gridlock and thus the reason the state is introducing a new rail facility to combat this shortcoming.
Travel: Sights & Attractions
The nature of travel in Port Louis is a nose dive into unique history where quaint antiques abound. Here is what to see first:
The Stamp Museum: This is the facility that holds two essential galleries including the Natural History and Blue Penny Museums. It is here that the sights of stamps that may rank among the antiques of the world in that niche are available.
Bonus: To finish the sightseeing experience within this vanguard of the forgotten art of collecting stamps, one can also get a glimpse of certain items of art or handicrafts that are sourced from all over the islands.
The next stop-over:
Tavellers’ Lane– This is an unforgettable establishment that is almost like a rare library. If one has ever stepped into a London museum offering rare manuscripts or even the Smithsonian Institute in New York, then here is a similar experience. From Marco Polo’s documents about Kublai Khan and his visits to Xanadu, to Khala Torabully’s writings about the Port Louis he knew during his day, the travel bug is well sorted.
A bit of Religion, too:
The St Louis Cathedral or The Jummah Mosque: The former is quite a choral place to lose oneself in a rave of historically-important spirituality, while the latter, on Royal Road, is a masterpiece of architecture, through the efforts of Indian talent. Both religious edifices are serene opposite the hub-hub that is the city without.
A Bit of the Orient too:
China Town: If China and ilk is the Shangri-la of your dreams, then China Town is that place that a recreation of the Great Wall and Terra Cotta Warriors’ country is recreated. This is a place that abounds with shopping outlets, dining venues and pharmaceutical establishments all having a dose of the Chinese in them, contemporary or ancient.
Ode to a human being now!
Corner House: People speak of the eclectic shopkeeper who holds sway at Corner House. If this writ will still be worth a penny when they finally get a successor, it will have sent its message across, that he is the most intriguing seller of fancy stationary ranging from pen to texts that one ever saw.
Finish with: Port Louis Theater, before making out of town via:
Aapravasu Ghat: This is a United Nations World Heritage site, being the landing point of human beings who had just escaped the yoke of slavery following its legal end in 1834. It is worth a visit for the humanist or just the curious prowler.
Keg & Marlin– This is the one stop that will offer an eclectic mixture of traditional dance with hit music, particularly rock. It is also the single venue where the popular sega dance by locals makes a lasting stand.
Latitude 20-With all the poignant and nostalgic details that characterize a venue that is smack with nautical themes, Latitude 20 is a hotel-and-bar par excellence. It is the right place to have a swig of beer of an evening on the waterfront.
Star Cinema-This is a destination and a half for the movie hound who likes to watch the big stars on a wide screen with projections on three sides of the interior theater. There are blockbusters that are lately out, from the world production houses, with the French language acting as the dubbing lingua franca.
Port Louis Casino– If wild imagination of the kingdom of Narnia with its lion lore is your thing, then Port Louis Casino, that ensembles a ship, with a crowning by a lion at top, is the single avenue where success at a game won’t’ be anything but fun. Blackjack and roulette are part of the offerings.
Other worthy visits include: Cinemaxx
Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel
What to know: the very appearance of Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel reminds the visitor of the French style of building chateaus, though with a posh modern outlook. It overlooks the deep waters of the Indian Ocean.
Amenities: There is a spa facility alongside an exterior swimming pool and a gymnasium with every workout instrument. The room dispensation is faultless with all the partitions coming with independent baths, iPod docking places, as well as, ample seats and flat-screen television. The gourmet is as tasty as they come, at the restaurant L’Escle, featuring international meals together with servings from Oriental sources or the Land of the Rising sun.
Room/Accommodation Info: The room dispensation at this hotel is 109. These include Deluxe, Junior Suite and Superior Room.
Bonus: The aura of an accommodation venue never become more poignant as the prospect at this hotel that presents live piano shows, at its famous Latitude 20 Degrees Bar.
Le Suffren Hotel & Marina
What to Know: For all those who like the look of civilization and quiet cosmopolitanism that characterizes ocean-front marinas, this is the one hotel to never miss while around Port Louis. As royalty would have it, it has an independent beach facing the Indian Ocean.
Amenities: The room facilities are flawless, via the agency of artistic lights that create really fantastic interior décor. Room facilitation goes a notch higher for the self-catering type for there are tea/coffee dispensers and television sets. Terrace relaxation while having all three meals of the day at the La Bousssole, is worth the visit. There is also an entertainment and cocktail facility called the Spinnaker’s Concept Bar, which also specialized in a range of gourmet, all worldly in appeal.
Room /Accommodation Info: There are 102 rooms in total, featuring Standard Double and Twin rooms.
Bonus: The international air facility of Port Louis is a fifty-kilometer drive away from Le Suffren.
Henessy Park Hotel
What to Know: The location of Henessy Park Hotel is just outside Port Louis, in Eben Cybercity, and as such, it is as cosmopolitan as they come.
Amenities: A wellness facility, brilliant room aura with the enchanting aura of light that is quite Mauritian, private bath areas and an exterior swimming pool. Lunches and buffet breakfast can be had at the Grain d’Sel, a dining facility that is local, Japanese and Western in appeal. A slice of Ireland can be had at a pub within this facility.
Room/Accommodation Info: The rooms in total are 108, featuring Junior Suite and Standard Double Room.
Bonus: whether with car or preferring transfer by taxi, the airport is thirty six minutes from Henessy.
Other worthy visits include: Cocotiers Hotel, Angsana Balaclava, Beachcomber Le Victoria Hotel, Beachcomber Le Canonnier Hotel, Le Cardinal Exclusive Resort, and a myriad more.
The proposition of security, even by way of mention is not a debate that one confronts everyday in Port Louis. A small tourist city of this magnitude never appears in the same list of crime prone cities. It is as tranquil as a resort destination, with its own financial economy and fully-fledged harbor with government supervision.
Now jet in and see whether you will not clamor to pay for another visit to the city of King Louis XV in the near future!