Golf holidays: Why you should visit marvellous MauritiusSeptember, 2013 Equipment
This glorious spot in the Indian Ocean does the archetypal beach and golf resort holiday better than anywhere else on earth
I certainly can’t improve on the description Mark Twain gave to Mauritius.
“You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first and then heaven was copied after Mauritius,” wrote the fabled American author.
Clear the grounds of the airport – a gloriously hassle-free experience in itself, despite it having echoes of a bygone age with a feeling or good-natured chaos – and you are immediately surrounded by breathtaking scenes, whether classic beach views or lush green forests inland.
Dotted within this idyllic landscape are a collection of luxury hotels which, square mile for square mile, must rival anywhere else in the world.
Grouped in little pockets at various points on the island’s coast, at times you cannot travel for more than a minute without driving past an entrance to a chic resort.
British holidaymakers make up a good proportion of visitors to Mauritius, returning year after year (estimated at 100,000 annually) to enjoy more hot sun, crystal-clear sea, gorgeous white sand and first-class service.
The latter is an under-rated aspect of the island’s attractions; its multicultural mix – Indian, Creoles, Chinese and French – combines to give the Mauritians the perfect temperament for hotel staff, being easy going, friendly and achingly keen to help in any respect.
The British have come to Mauritius for centuries and remnants of the colonial era remain in the tea plantations and the reassuring law which sees driving on the left.
The link extends to golf. In 1902 Royal Navy officers formed the Gymkhana Golf Club. It remains today and their course not surprisingly offers the best-value on the island. You also get to lap up the atmosphere of their clubhouse, which is amusingly reminiscent of a British pub.
Le Touessrok is the most famous resort, and with good reason. It boasts a stunning island course as well as one of the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’. It’s certainly worth a tour inland to play (it’s near Vacoas) and break up the regular fun you will be having on your resort’s course.
Le Touessrok is the most famous resort, and with good reason. It boasts a stunning island course as well as one of the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’.
Not a bad combination.
The course is reached via a small boat from a jetty next to the hotel and straightaway there is something special about the experience.
Once on ‘Ile aux Cerfs’ – island of deer – you play a course combining predictably sensational ocean views with some serious woodland action.
The density of trees means you must hit it straight – it was designed by Bernhard Langer – to thoroughly enjoy the round; this is no time for bravado.
Back on the mainland, five-star Le Touessrok is frequented by celebrities and the rich but is by no means unaccessible to you or I.
Shop around for deals – and consider going outside of our winter when the weather is actually more settled, and you can enjoy the holiday of a lifetime.
Like the golf course, the layout of the hotel is pretty special, with a central hub spreading out into the ocean through a series of bridges and paths. It is here the bedrooms are found, perched on the edge of the crystal clear Indian Ocean…
There are lots of alternatives too, starting with Belle Mare Plage, which has two courses, the Legend and the Links.
Or try the Ernie Els course (on a peninsula jutting into the ocean) at Four Seasons Anahita or the quirky nine-holer at Le Telfair. Paradis on Le Morne Peninsula is special and Tamarina offers fabulous mountain and sea views.
Finally, Golf du Château’s inland course at the Heritage Resort is terrific.