44 years of the iconic La Pirogue !
June 03 2020
June 03 2020
June 7th 1976 - June 7th 2020: La Pirogue celebrates its 44th anniversary !
On June 7th 1976, La Pirogue cast its anchor on the fringes of a small fishing village called Flic en Flac, on the west coast of Mauritius.
Inspired by the authentic and rustic feel of the location, Dutch architect Joseph Van Melick designed a hotel resembling a fishing village, with 200 thatched bungalows built of volcanic stone.
The buildings’ iconic roofs evoke the unfurled sails of a pirogue.
Upon its launch, La Pirogue recruited 120 young women for a variety of jobs. A first in this still very traditional and male dominated industry. “The pool waitresses would be dressed in twopiece sega-style uniforms, while the wine waitresses, serving in the à la carte restaurant, would wear a more sophisticated fulllength dress.” AFRICA WOMAN N°3, FEB/MARCH 1976
1982: La Pirogue Became part of Sun Resorts Limited
The hotel was acquired by Sun Resorts Limited Group, and Sun International took over its management. The Group’s founder was the visionary Sol Kerzner, a leading figure within the hospitality sector.
1984: Marlin World’s Cup
The Marlin World Cup, one of the world’s most prestigious deep sea fishing competitions, was taken over by Joe Kentgens (La Pirogue’s first General Manager under Sun International) and Jean-Pierre Henry (a master of deep sea fishing in Mauritius).
1984: Le Canard Laqué
La Pirogue opened one of the first Peking duck restaurants on the island! An innovation at the time, as any self-respecting Mauritian now considers this Chinese culinary delicacy as a staple dish at festive dinners.
1986: Small initiatives but great results
The filao trees on the property, though typical of the Mauritian coastline, were replaced by a coconut grove for practical and aesthetic reasons. The filaos’ prickly seeds carpeted the ground and prevented the grass from growing, requiring constant maintenance. While the locals are used to walking on them, this is emphatically not the case for our guests! Always a Yes for a better environment and a healthy Flora and Fauna!
1994: The Royal Year
Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke of Edinburgh – the husband of Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom – and his son, Prince Edward, inaugurated the hotel’s two royal suites.
2003: “Quality is not just a word, it’s our Habit”
The hotel closed for 3 months, the first and only time in 30 years, to undergo major renovation work, including the construction of the current pool (the previous one was located near the restaurant) and the Coconut Café. The lobby and conference rooms were also refurbished. Some significant changes, perhaps, but always in line with La Pirogue’s architecture and DNA.
2016: 40th Anniversary of La Pirogue, under the Management of Mr Andrew Slome
Forty years later, this pioneer in the Mauritian hospitality sector is reinventing itself in order to face fresh challenges. The rooms, public areas and restaurants are being refurbished and brought up to date. Every effort will be made to preserve their authenticity and their unique Mauritian charm, which are the establishment’s timeless hallmarks that never go out of style.
2020: 44th Anniversary of La Pirogue, under the Management of Mr Andrew Slome
"For the first time in its 44 year history La Pirogue is celebrating its anniversary without any of its usual guests who frequent the hotel at this time of the year. But our legendry Mauritian spirit remains unchanged as does that of our team of dedicated associates who have not lost their smiles in spite of the challenging times we all face. Let’s hope that we can soon look forward to the return to normality and to welcoming back our customers who we so sadly miss. Long live Las Pirogue and may we celebrate together again in the coming year." Andrew Slome