Tuesday, April 5, 2011

WE HAVE JUST BEEN TO MAURITIUS, part 15, Heritage Le Telfair

In a fresh focus on the southern coast, Heritage Le Telfair has been totally refurbished, offering 158 guest rooms and suites, with butler service to all suites. Meanwhile Heritage Golf & Spa Resort featured in our golf brochure has become Heritage Awali, adjoining Le Telfair on the same former sugar plantation in Domain Bel Ombre.

These golf resorts lie between a sandy beach, turquoise lagoon and the green expanses of the Heritage golf course, framed by mountains. Nearby is a private nature reserve with rainforest and dry bush, to be introduced into the Heritage Le Telfair experience. Also new to the experience is the Seven Colours Spa, concentrating on Mauritian and African elements, with a full programme to inspire better living. (Former spa was run by Six Senses.)

As you step into the lobby of Heritage Le Telfair Spa & Golf Resort you feel freshness, and fantasy. It is built like a plantation house of yesteryear, using old and burnished floorboards. But the carved wooden walls, painted pure white, are too perfect to be old.

You look down at the perfect symmetry of a fountain and water canal, to the lagoon, encircled by coral reef. Adjoining is a lobby lounge of new chic contemporary furniture – borrowing from an age of grace.

The main restaurant, with a fresh Mauritian chic, is Annabellas. Beside the beach is the pavilion style Pan Asian restaurant Gin’ja,offering fine dining in the evening, with an informal lunch experience extended to some small (spindly) tables laid out on the sand.

We had lunch at Gin’ja twice. The first time on a tour with Air Mauritius we were presented with a very exciting starter – a long plank (5 metres?) strewn with every imaginable kind of sushi, taking advantage of the fresh seafood of Mauritius.

Further there is a fine dining restaurant up by the golf course (5 minutes). This elegant old-style Le Château de Bel Ombre restaurant spills out to tables under an ancient tree, with golf course views. Down at the seaside by the swimming pool is bar Palmier. Further restaurants are available at Heritage Awali.

A new beach club lies just over the river from Heritage Le Telfair: snorkeling, waterskiing and various other watersports included, but supplement for scuba diving, catamaran sailing, kitesurfing etc.

The rooms have an elegant traditional feel with dark timber floors and fresh pale colours.

We also inspected one of the new roomy villas right on the Heritage golf course – Villas Valriche. Nice fresh feel, big barbecues by private pools – with three or four bedrooms. 5 minutes to the beach club at Heritage Le Telfair by golf buggy.

Breakfast included at posh Le Château restaurant nearby.

The golf club also has a restaurant – plus there are restaurants at both Heritage resorts on the shore. The whole area feels very new and open still. One can see the sea in the distance, but the gardens need time and water. Free internet and daily cleaning and concierge service.

Our snapshots below are of a 3-bedroom villa at Valriche.

Fully equipped kitchen below interleads with a spacious lounge and dining room with plenty of space for a big family.

Pool of the 3-bedroom villa shown below has comfy sunbeds and a very ample barbecue to please meat eaters who like poolside grilling.

45 minutes by car from Mauritius International Airport.

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