Mauritius: Boasting a rich HeritageMay, 2012
Mickey Walker's first trip to Mauritius saw her fall in love with the island
IF, like me, your ideal holiday includes the following aspects, the five-star Heritage Le Telfair Golf and Spa in Mauritius is perfect!
I look for guaranteed warmth, a hotel that offers delicious food in a variety of settings, spacious and very comfortable accommodation and excellent service.
I also want a stunning course just a couple of minutes away plus the option of lazing on the beach or by the pool or doing something altogether more adventurous like quad-biking.
Having days away is also ideal – such as to a nearby nature reserve or learning more about the local culture.
Some pampering at an award-winning spa and some retail therapy is also very, very tempting – and I have found the perfect hotel to enjoy all of these aspects.
In February I had the pleasure of escaping the worst of the British winter for a couple of weeks; all I needed to do was go to Heathrow to board the 12-hour direct flight to the island with Air Mauritius.
All the seats had their own TV screens and we were well fed and looked after by the friendly Mauritian staff.
There are twice-weekly flights from Heathrow, one overnight and one during the daytime, and with the island being just four hours ahead of the UK, it didn’t take us long to adjust to local time.
On our arrival, the whole process of getting through immigration, collecting our luggage and meeting the ground agents responsible for our transfer to the Heritage Le Telfair hotel was seamless.
Mauritius is in the process of building a larger, more modern airport at its current site, which will be ready within the next year.
Our transfer to the hotel, which is situated in the unspoilt and underdeveloped south-west side of the island, took 45 minutes, with our friendly and well-informed driver educating us as to the history and culture of the island.
Just six years old and designed by the South African architect Peter Matkovich, it offers options for every level of golfer. Mauritius itself is quite mountainous, and that, added to the fact that it is an island does mean that it has quite high rainfall.
On the journey to the hotel, I was struck by how lush it was everywhere, and how refreshingly underdeveloped the south-west side of the island was.
One of the main industries on the island is the production of sugar cane, much of which is made into rum.
The Heritage Le Telfair, like every resort on the island, makes a lot of rum-based cocktails which I have first-hand experience of and can recommend!
As you would expect there is a lot of fish on the menu, all caught fresh on the day.
Although most meats are on the menu a lot are expensive as they have to be imported.
You are far more likely to see chicken and fish in abundance, but what I love most is eating tropical fruits that have probably been picked within hours rather than having been transported halfway across the world.
The taste of fresh mangoes, papayas and pineapples grown locally is totally different than the ones we get from the supermarkets in the UK.
As always happens when you visit any new destination, you subsequently hear from others who have also been there.
Mauritius seems to be one of those destinations that no one has a bad word to say about. I’ve heard of people returning there year after year, and I believe that as more top-quality courses are being built, it will increasingly be a very popular destination for golfers.
Currently the island boasts 14 courses, most of which are genuinely of a championship standard. For a course that literally has everything, you can’t beat the Heritage.
Just six years old and designed by the South African architect Peter Matkovich, it offers options for every level of golfer.
Most fairways are generously wide, and a vast array of tees offer a course ranging in distance from just over 5,000 to over 7,000 yards.
The greens are undulating in places, probably the most severe being that at the 4th, which sits up on a plateau and is very wide from left to right, but very shallow from front to back.
It is one of the best conditioned courses that you will ever play on, and has the most stunning views down to the ocean as well as the Bel Ombre mountains in the background.
There is some water to negotiate, but that’s to be expected. I can honestly say that it is one of the best all-round courses that I’ve ever played.
So, if you’re looking for a fabulous golf destination then I cannot recommend Mauritius strongly enough. It has everything that you could wish for and then a little bit more.
Elegant Golf Resorts
Mickey’s trip was arranged by Elegant Golf Resorts who specialise in holidays to Mauritius, as well as golf destinations around the world. Stays at The Heritage Le Telfair and Heritage Awali hotels include complimentary golf.
Prices start from about €1,500 for a week including flights depending on your package and the time of year.
www.elegantgolfresorts.com 0208 421 7019