OUT OF OFFICE | HOTEL & VENUE REVIEW
Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort - Living out the Charms of Yesteryear
‘Heritage’ makes me think of something left behind by a father or another family member. In the case of Heritage Le Telfair resorts, it is about much more than just heritage. It is about the best of the past being the essence of enjoyment today and, for those who have not yet experienced it, something substantial to look forward to.
The famous naturalist, Charles Telfair, gave his name to the Domaine de Bel Ombre Heritage resort that is situated on the Indian Ocean and nestled against the pristine and unspoilt beaches of Bel Ombre. I do believe it was like a vision for him when he set eyes on Bel Ombre, whether looking from the sea or from the land. It is really paradise. Add some creativity to the vision and you have what one now experiences at the Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort.
The mission of the Heritage resorts is to create authentic moments, and that is exactly what we experienced. Throughout our stay, respect and integrity were the order of the day. Each and every one of the 1 450 employees went out of their way to ensure we were satisfied.
What Did We Experience?Perhaps I should take a step back and say that our accommodation was never ‘confirmed’, probably due to the ‘blue-yonder traffic’ out there. So, the day before we were to arrive, I called to find out what time we might book in and where exactly we would be staying. Our reservation for six people could not be found. Since my motto is, ‘If there’s a problem, it needs to be solved’, I got in touch with Geraldine, who was off duty at the time, and told her of our problem. To cut a long story short, our reservation had indeed never been confirmed and they were fully booked. Geraldine, however, made the problem go away and we were accommodated in one of the luxury villas on the golf course with our own butler to boot. Is that not what excellent service and going the extra mile means?Heritage resorts are really an attack on all of the senses, especially the sense of seeing the beauty of the turquoise-blue sea with its breakers at some distance from the lovely unspoilt beaches with their palm trees, lagoons, lush green vegetation and forests. In between you will find the loveliest architectural flow of typical Mauritian buildings that embody yesteryear as well as the present. You cannot help but want to bask in the sun, with a light tropical breeze lightly cooling you while sipping on yet other interesting and tasty cocktails.Cavendish Bar & Lounge is the ideal venue to enjoy an aperitif, local rum or a tasty treat in a relaxed piano-bar atmosphere with an excellent selection of cigars and a wide variety of teas. While there, try your hand at the snooker table in the adjoining library.A stroll on the beaches is a must in order to take in the splendour of the sea, the aroma of the island and the peacefulness of the resort. Even when you are in your ocean-facing room, you have a lovely unspoilt view of this unique paradise.Not one for the sand and sea? Don’t worry; you can relax at one of the two swimming pools, one of which is heated, while being pampered by the staff. But who can relax while being pampered with the kids still around? Well that, too, is catered for.Too much of the delicious cuisine and drinks can leave you, well, how shall I say this, a bit on the heavy side! So, even if you have overindulged in one of the 11 exotic restaurants – which is very easy since you can interact with those in the open teppanyaki kitchens – you can participate in the range of free land and water-sport activities for both young and old. Try your skills at the 18- hole, par 72 golf course nestled on the slopes with the 50 beautiful, luxury and fully equipped villas spread throughout the golf estate. No, don’t worry, you have an exclusive golf cart to take you anywhere within the 2 500-hectare estate.Too much of an effort? Then I suggest you and your partner get pampered by visiting a spa or wellness lounge at any one of the 11 hotels where the professional staff awaits you in order to serve and to pamper. There is also a vitality hydrotherapy pool; just to ensure you have not neglected any other health issues before your return home.Speaking of spas, Seven Colours is an original Mauritian brand of spas and cosmetics based on a personalised approach where the energy of colours form the essence and tap into the richness of nature, while essential oils form the basis of these unique creations.At the Timomo & Friends Kids Club, which is open from 08:30 until 23:30, they really look after the health and wellbeing of all kids between the ages of 2 and 11. Under the close supervision of a specialist member of the staff, they go on tours, hunt for crabs, play in the club pool, create their first works of art, and much more. Teenagers are also entertained by way of special programmes and activities. They have a choice of excursions and a multitude of activities appropriate for their age.Talking to management gave us an insight into not only what the resort’s values are, but also what it takes to be a responsible employer: seeing to the wellbeing of employees and their families. Since 2007, the resort has partnered with Reef Conservation in its projects to protect marine life and the environment using three schools that support vulnerable children. A self-sufficient vegetable garden feeding 30 needy families has also been added to these projects. Empowerment is close to the heart of Heritage Resorts and has been ongoing for several years now. Two major projects under way are Plankton, the first community waste-recycling unit on the island, and Coquille Bonheur, a nursery for families suffering hardships.
Let’s Talk AccommodationHeritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort offers a great variety of luxury accommodation in a discreet village-design with 20 different villas of 6 or 8 rooms.There are 158 rooms and suites with beautiful sea or river views, floor-to-ceiling French windows, and private balconies or verandas. Each room is equipped with individually controlled air conditioning, an electronic safe, interactive flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a data port, a mini-bar with tea- and coffee-making facilities, and a dressing table.There is a spacious bathroom en suite with a bathtub and the bathroom is equipped with a hairdryer, electric-shaver plugs, a walk-in shower, a separate toilet, spacious dressing facilities, and bathrobes.A butler service, an iPod docking station and an espresso machine are also available for the residents of a suite.
The RestaurantsMy only problem with all of the 11 restaurants and bars was that I could not get to them all in the very limited time we spent at the resort. That said, it was an experience and a delight to visit those that we did, and they were truly a culinary experience. I believe the other restaurants would have been of equal quality and enjoyment.Gin’ja is set on a lovely stretch of white, sandy beach overlooking the lagoon with its bird life and the lovely sounds of nature. This restaurant is open for dinner and serves Pan-Asian-inspired cuisine, and, if you so wish, there is a teppanyaki experience as well.Annabella’s is the main restaurant and the ideal place to meet in a convivial atmosphere inspired by ‘the kitchen of the great house’ of Bel Ombre, and the charm of being received by Annabella, the lady of the house and the wife of Charles Telfair. Divided into four distinct spaces around an open kitchen, it has a creative, chic brasserie menu which is constantly renewed.Le Palmier overlooks the pool and the ocean and this ‘feet in the sand’ pool, beach and restaurant bar is the ideal place for those who want uninterrupted enjoyment of the sea. It offers light lunches, snacks, salads, ice creams and refreshments.C Beach Club, located on the beachfront adjacent to the Heritage Le Telfair, brings together tropical accents and cool, chic relaxation by day and night. This club includes two restaurants, a bar, a swimming pool, a boat house, an ice-cream corner, and a kids’ and a teens’ area.Le Château de Bel Ombre was built in the late 19th century and is set amidst the elegant 100-year-old gardens, the golf course and the villas. This colonial-style mansion was the heart of the Domaine de Bel Ombre. In this timeless setting, residents can enjoy breakfast and an exceptional, truly Mauritian dinner made with local products. Le Château de Bel Ombre is also ideal for weddings and other special occasions.The Heritage Golf Club House offers light meals throughout the day. The Club House is the perfect place to refuel after a round of golf or simply as a substitute for the beach!
Sports and Leisure ActivitiesSports and leisure activities are plentiful and most are free for guests.Swimming, wind surfing, Hobie Cats, canoeing and water skiing, kite-surfing, or stand up paddle are but some of the water sports in which guests can indulge.Not into water sports? Then try golfing, tennis – even in the evening, table tennis, badminton, volleyball or mountain biking. There is also a fully equipped gym, aerobic sessions, Thai Chi and yoga sessions to calm the inner being.The Heritage Golf Club golf nestles between rolling hills and a lagoon, and this spectacular championship 18-hole golf course (par 72) and the level of technique it demands make it a memorable experience for golfers, whatever their level. This course is one of the most beautiful on the island and offers a unique, panoramic view from every hole! Beginners can try the 9-hole short course as well.At the heart of the Domaine de Bel Ombre, adjacent to the Black River Gorges is the Frédérica Nature Reserve, the natural habitat of many plants, indigenous birds and animals unique to Mauritius. Visitors can observe true natural wonders in this reserve which covers more than 1 300 hectares. To explore, you have the choice of hiking, day and night safaris, VTT excursions, kids’ discovery tours and excursions on quad bikes or in SUVs (with payment of a supplementary charge).
Boutique, Weddings and ConferencesThe Blue Earth Boutique, has numerous souvenirs, beach accessories and a varied range of products to satisfy guests’ every wish.Whether for a wedding or to renew your marriage vows, Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort is the most romantic place to say “Yes”! The team will offer you a tailor-made programme, which may include a religious or civil ceremony, for your wedding . Whether on the beach or in the gardens of Le Château de Bel Ombre, the team is entirely at your disposal to organise a personalised ceremony. This was duly tried and tested by George and Candy who got engaged on the beach, where they were specifically catered for in a very romantic setting with candles, champagne and, of course, the love between them.Heritage Le Telfair is also ideal for small or medium groups and incentive trips requiring a high level of service. The Chantoiseau suite (94m2) is fully equipped for meetings and conferences. It can accommodate up to 70 people in a theatre-type layout.Well, as I have said, we did experience the most wonderful, unique and authentic moments throughout our stay, but I suggest that 10 days be set aside to really enjoy what is being lavished upon you by this great team at Heritage Le Telfair.If you want to experience this excellent and friendly resort, where the charms of yesteryear are still relevant, please do contact the Holiday Factory, as they are the exclusive sellers of the packages for Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort.