Port Louis, capital of Mauritius, is the only city on the island and the only place on the island with a sizable population; thus unlike elsewhere, Port Louis event values tend to serve the community. On the west coast, Port Louis contains Africa's largest port, and it enjoys the highest living standards of any African city. A business center, it is nonetheless small, breezy and attractive and even features a horse-racing course. Originally the only large building was its fort, La Citadelle, which still dominates the horizon; now, there is a spate of high rises that were built in the 1990s and more are still coming.
Named for the first prime minister of Mauritius, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU) has no direct flights from North America but has several direct ones from Europe: The airport, which is approximately 30 miles southeast of Port Louis, is talking about building a second runway.
Chief among convention venues in Port Louis (as well as all of Mauritius), the Swami Vivekananda International Conference Center is right in the middle of Port Louis and has a 35,000-square-foot convention hall and a 20,000-square-foot lobby for all events, among other spaces.
Hotel venues in Port Louis are primed and ready to host meetings, but as the city is book-ended by the resorts of Flic en Flac and Pointe aux Piments, it is not surprising if groups would not want to stay here, despite the 109-room La Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel being the island's best business hotel, with six meeting rooms and two banquet halls, including La Batisse, a former sugar warehouse. Two other options are the 100-room Le Suffren Hotel & Marina, which has one meeting room, and the 82-room Le Saint Georges, with a 100-seat conference room.
The Rivulet Terre Rouge Estuary Bird Sanctuary is almost in the middle of the city; it is an important breeding and stopover spot for many birds, common and rare, and with a visitor center, viewing platform and meeting room. Other options include the Mauritius Turf Club, which runs the Champs de Mar race course and can host events; Blue Penny Museum on the city's Cauden Waterfront, which contains two of the rarest postage stamps on Earth (bought and brought back to the island by a deep-pocketed consortium), worth millions and amid some event space; Mauritius Postal Museum, also dedicated to philately and offering gallery space; and Cauden Waterfront Complex, which has shopping, entertainment and Le Patio, an outdoor courtyard that can be roped off.
Restaurant in Port Louis perfect for groups include Lambic, which has a great beer menu, a conference room and two private dining rooms, as well as its main restaurant; La Bassoule at the aforementioned Le Suffren; and La Rose de Vents at the aforementioned La Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel. There are also two restaurants, Le Capitaine Port Louis, specializing in seafood and with a private room, and Black Steer Steakhouse, that are both part of the Cauden Waterfront Complex.