Heritage Le Telfair | Bel Ombre

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Located just twenty minutes down the road from St. Regis was our second stop of the Mauritius trip; the Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The drive along the coast gave us a chance to take in the surroundings for a few minutes; children and dogs were all playing on the sides of the road, as older fishermen waded out into the shallow lagoons angling for a Saturday catch of the day. It was great to experience some of the local culture after being a bit reclusive for the best part of two days, even if it was only from the back seat of our taxi.

As we pulled up to the gates of the Heritage Le Telfair, the friendly security guard waved us on up the long and winding driveway.  Turning the corner for one final time, we were greeted by the sight of elegant colonial architecture; an open reception area with sculpted woodwork providing a fitting centrepiece. Checking in was a breeze and, after a refreshing lemongrass mocktail, it was time to take in the surrounding grounds. It may be a “Small Luxury Hotel” but it certainly is one of the largest in the portfolio. It took a good ten minutes to walk from one side to the other, and the resort was decorated with the most incredible palm foliage.

Our room was right by the beachfront with views over the ocean. A Junior Suite, it boasted plenty of floor space, a very comfortable four-poster bed and views from the pillow out to the sea of blue. In the bathroom, a standalone bath gave us plenty of time to relax and, although it wasn’t really used, the outdoor shower was a nice touch. Storage was ample and there were plenty of seats on which to sit and relax. Overall, it was an excellent room and was the perfect base to explore from on our two-night stay.

In the rest of the resort, there was plenty of choice when it came to eating. Breakfast was served buffet-style (as is the norm in Mauritius) in Annabella’s, just a few minutes’ walk from our room. Again, there were plenty of cuisines on offer, from traditional cooked to continental breakfast. For lunch, there were a number of options, but on our second day we decided to order ahead and pick up a picnic back from reception. I would highly recommend doing this as it gives you the chance to leave the resort and explore the surrounding area. We had initially wanted to head into the nearby national park and explore the waterfalls but didn’t realise we had to book ahead. Instead, we simply headed to the seafront and kept walking up the beach, eventually finding local fisherman and a blisteringly hot secluded cove to have lunch and wine in. So typically British…

When the sun set, drinks were served in the on-site Cavendish Bar. This was probably my favourite part of the hotel; an Old Fashioned with live music and a full-size snooker table always goes down well. Quite surreal when you’re on a tiny rock in the Indian Ocean, but an amazing place to relax in the evenings. For dinner, our favourite restaurant had to be the pan-Asian Gin’ja restaurant that looked out over the ocean. The Kimchi was beautifully cooked and the atmosphere in the whole restaurant was very relaxed and grown up. Dinner here also provides a great opportunity to admire the beauty of Heritage Le Telfair at night; the stars and moon sitting above lantern-lit river, making for a beautiful midnight walk.

We didn’t get the opportunity to check it out, but the hotel also offers the only European Tour championship golf course on Mauritius too, which is a major attraction for most of the guests. Not being the most avid golf fans, we decided to skip all 18-holes and focus on the water, borrowing a sea kayak for a morning paddle. As a whole, the Heritage Le Telfair was a great place to stay, with the cocktail bar and natural scenery the real highlights for me. Just remember to grab that picnic for lunch if you want to explore some of the real Mauritius.

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