After experiencing typical UK weather since arriving from my last trip to Seychelles, the only place I wanted to be was back in the Indian Ocean. Fast forward a few weeks and here I am, back in Mauritius. The last time I was here in October, I stayed more towards the North and East of the island, so this time around I was lucky enough to experience the South in Bel Ombre.
After a long-haul flight and a 40-minute car journey, we arrived at the beautiful Heritage Le Telfair under the Heritage Resorts umbrella. Driving through the gates, you enter a grand driveway framed by tropical greens, to bring you to the front of the hotel. First thoughts: this place looks like a dreamland. In fact, that was my whole thought throughout the entire stay. As you enter the main reception you can directly see through the main grounds of the hotel, with the view of the koi pond, main pool and the ocean. The hotel itself actually went through a whole 3-month renovation project recently and you can see how pristine everything still looks with its elegant French colonial-style architecture.
Upon check-in, we sat down with our refresher welcome drink and were greeted by our lovely butler, Yanick, who was our point of contact for the week ahead. He escorted us around the main grounds and took us to our Beachfront Suite. The suite included a very large four-poster bed draped with curtains, a dedicated lounge area, a freestanding bathtub and an incredible balcony with a view that overlooked the sea. Our suite number 505, also caught the morning sun which for me, is a big thumbs up.
A quick refresh and change later, and we were out in the sun having a walk around the resort. Something about this resort makes you walk slow (and I mean that in a good way). Every corner of this place is so beautiful and peaceful, with picturesque hammocks between the palms. Even in the evenings, the resort is illuminated with soft lights and you can see the reflections in the river. The first day was very much used to gather our bearings, soak up the sun and enjoy an Italian dinner at Kuzini, located in the other hotel Heritage Awali. Both hotels are connected, which allows you to explore restaurants and services in between.
The next day, we were in for perhaps one of the most romantic settings I have experienced. I felt as though I went back in time or that I was living through a Bridgerton-esque scene at Le Château de Bel Ombre. Our butler, Yanick, picked us up, and we drove through the expansive golf course of Heritage on our way to our lunch at the Château. Here, we saw the enchanting set-up of where we would be experiencing our delightful 5-course lunch. Our table was placed by the pond with ducks, and beside us, we had a picnic blanket and cushions laid out on the grass. Before we began the feast, we took a tour of the stunning gardens and a peek inside the 19th Century Presidential Suite filled with Venetian chandeliers and fine woodwork. If you visit any of the Heritage hotels, I'd recommend you set aside an afternoon just to experience this place. Also, do say "Hi" to the tortoises that are residents here and belong to the CEO.
The rest of the day included plenty of beach time as we waited for dinner at the Pan-Asian restaurant, Gin'ja. I chose the creamy and aromatic 'Lobster Laksa', whilst my friend decided to go for the Whole Lobster, which came with what I call a mini-fire show at the table. Only a day and a half here, and we could already tell that when it comes to quality of food, Heritage does not disappoint.
Sunday started off with a very light breakfast at Annabella's, followed by a yoga class at the Wellness Sanctuary. As someone who is also a qualified Vinyasa and Ashtanga Yoga teacher, usually, I'm quite particular about where I practice. This was by far one of the best Ashtanga classes I have done within a hotel. The instructor really knew everything about the practice and set a good pace for me and the other yogi's within the class. It was challenging but it was what I needed that day.
That particular day, unfortunately, we experienced heavy showers. Although usually, this would dampen the mood, it surprisingly turned out to be such a fun day. We spent that afternoon at C Beach Club. A trendy beach-lifestyle concept with music, loungers and located near the water sports activity centre. Vashim, welcomed and invited us in to experience yet another gourmet adventure filled with delicacies. The brunch buffet included an array of international delights as well as local Mauritian food, with food carts placed around the club. I can't tell you how many plates we ate today, but everything we had was filled with flavour. We then took some time to have drinks at the bar, which shortly turned into a rum-tasting session (because you can't go to Mauritius and not have rum).
During the evening, we visited Le Telfair's main bar, The Cavendish. There we sipped on a few cocktails and enjoyed some live music before heading off to a Mediterranean feast at Annabella's again. Having eaten so much already from the brunch buffet, we thought having another buffet again for dinner would allow us to control our portions. With such good quality food, it's difficult not to just enjoy a bit of everything. The rain did pass in the evening, and we found ourselves back at The Cavendish listening to the incredible live musicians again.
The next morning, we were fortunate enough to be treated to much-needed Couples massage in the Seven Colors Spa of the Wellness Sanctuary. The therapist checked our concern areas and allowed us to pick a Chakra colour to set the atmosphere of the room. We chose green, which represents the heart chakra, 'Anahata' - bringing harmony, generosity and love. The massage was sensational and put me in total relaxation alongside the sounds of the palm leaves swaying and the birds singing. The pressure was firm and the therapist was able to target the knots in my upper back, typical for anyone that works on a laptop/computer. Post-massage, we entered the relaxation room to sip on some ginger tea room and take a few minutes to unwind.
By the afternoon, the weather managed to clear up. Yanick kindly helped to organise a snorkelling session for us, where we were taken out on a boat and explored the turquoise waters. Underwater was filled with so much marine life that was thriving off of the coral. The water sports activity centre also includes a range of other activities and rentals of kayaks, pedalos and snorkelling gear. I would, however, always recommend bringing your own snorkelling equipment if you plan to take a dip in the sea at your own leisure, without having to walk to C Beach Club.
As the sun started to set, we welcomed the evening with a fiery sunset that gave a beautiful golden glow to the white wood of the resort exterior. We got dressed for the evening to take a short stroll to Heritage Awali again and experience yet another new restaurant, Zafarani.
The colourful and festive atmosphere is matched by the symphony of flavours concocted for you by our Indian-born chef. - Zafarani Restaurant
For the past few years, I used to be fully vegetarian. One thing I really began to appreciate during that time, was Indian food and how flavoursome everything was. I could tell by the brightly coloured dishes, warming aromas and pillowy naan bread, chilled glass of Rosé - that we were in for a treat. The food and service made for another exceptional evening, which was then followed by another visit to The Cavendish for a few final drinks and some music.
As they say, save the best until last. Our last day included something that I have never done before... a private 4x4 Safari Tour at the Heritage Nature Reserve. We were lucky to have glorious blue skies but with the UV index being high that day, we were fortunate enough to be shaded by the 4x4 whilst enjoying the sun. This tour really allowed us to see the true beauty of Mauritius and its luscious green landscape from atop the hill. We learnt so much that day including the types of vegetation they have, the nutrient-dense soil and even had a small hike to discover a beautiful hidden waterfall that is preserved and accessed by guests of Heritage only. You could tell our tour guide loved his line of work as he was so knowledgeable in everything about Mauritius. The Nature Reserve is a great way of exploring outside of the resort and definitely something I would do again (although perhaps I'll brave the quad bikes).
Overall, I couldn't fault anything about my stay. I was impressed by the beauty and how rich the history is of Heritage hotels. I didn't really know what to expect from Heritage Le Telfair.
As I mentioned previously, I usually lean towards the more modern-minimalist style hotels, however, this place completely changed my mind and I fell in love every day with the fairytale-like scenery. The employees were all warm and welcoming, greeting us as we passed by. If you couldn't tell by this article, the food was of course a huge highlight for me. When I've stayed at resorts that offer an extensive selection of choices, it's usually easy to see where quality has been missed or the options get repetitive. However, Heritage Resorts offer such a variety, all equally at a 5-star service, that after every meal we were completely satisfied. Not only by the food itself but by the hospitality, experience and atmosphere.
There are also so many facilities to create your perfect escape here. Whether you're looking for a wellness haven getaway or an adventure, you're sure to find something. Le Telfair comes with a well-equipped gym, tennis courts and plenty of areas to relax - it never felt crowded. Would I go back again? In a heartbeat, you bet I would. I reckon next time around, I'd like to experience a stay at the sister resort Awali or perhaps even one of their exclusive Villas.
Book your next stay at Heritage Le Telfair by visiting: heritageresorts.mu
This holiday was kindly arranged by P1Communications / Heritage Resorts. All views and opinions here are as usual my own.