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Zilwa Attitude, Mauritius Hotel Review

The Hayes and Jarvis Blog Team March 11, 2014

Zilwa Attitude

The Zilwa Attitude Hotel, which is located close to the village of Grande Gaube in the north of Mauritius, is the first property on the island to have a Creole name – ‘Zilwa’, which means ‘islander’. 

The 214 room hotel opened its doors late last year and is touting its own unique Mauritian concept – from bedrooms with a chic rustic design and features such as Creole riddles on the walls, colourful cushions and coconut fibre rugs made by local craftsmen, to traditional toiletries such as shampoo which comes in the form of a hard soap (as that is how the locals used to wash their hair). And forget complimentary slippers; Zilwa gives each guest their own pair of DoDo flip flops which are worn by all when pottering about the resort. There are five different grades of rooms, ranging in sizes from 35-50sqm, but all have patios or balconies and views of the sea or gardens.
Unlike many hotels, guests staying at the Zilwa are encouraged to “get out” of the grounds and experience real Mauritius – they want them to visit the bustling town of Goodlands to see the Indian temple and sample local street food such as Dhal Puri (stuffed lentils in bread).
However, the hotel isn’t relying on the beauty and warmth of the island to impress its guests.  No, the property has everything someone could want from a relaxed Indian Ocean holiday.
First impressions count: Zilwa’s infinity pool and sweeping views across the sandy beach out to the crystal waters of the ocean are oh-so-pleasing to the eye.
An emerging hotel trend has appeared here, moving away from traditional reception desks – at the Zilwa, arriving guests are greeted with welcome drinks before being checked in on iPads, while sitting on comfy lounge chairs and soaking in the gorgeous view.
Cuisine is an important part of any trip and most guests staying at the Zilwa will be on an all inclusive board basis – and there’s food aplenty. On top of the international and Mauritian food served at the main buffet restaurant, there are two live cooking venues - the Chinese-Mauritian restaurant Siaw, which serves tasty dim sum, and another, Sate, offering satay dishes – plus there’s a beachside à la carte restaurant which offers the tastiest scallops, steaks and fish dishes, which can be enjoyed while listening to the cool sounds of a local Jazz band (Saturdays only).
For afternoon nibbles, a traditional snack bar, ‘Taba-J’, tempts guests with traditional pancakes as well as giving its own take on street food. Cocktails are in abundance; expect plenty of rum-laced drinks on the menu! 
Day to day, guests can of course just flop around the pool (there’s no shame in that!) or the more active can join the entertainment staff for games such as volleyball and football, or traditional Mauritian activities including rum making or learning the Creole language. 
A holiday isn’t complete without some R&R, and Zilwa ticks the boxes on this front, too. There are three swimming pools to enjoy at leisure and a plethora of watersports - I’d highly recommend trying stand-up paddle. The hotel’s spa again has rustic touches, with open-air treatment rooms and an outdoor relaxation area.
For those travelling as a family, there’s an area to entertain the children – an old ship has been revamped and moved to dry land and makes for a really fun play area. The staff also accompanies kids over to one of the hotel’s small islands (Grand Zil) for treasure hunts and other activities.
I’d thoroughly recommend this hotel. Unpack; put on the flip flops; grab a rum cocktail, sit back and soak up the Mauritian culture.