I met Carolyn and Steve at a travel expo in London in November 2019. Their first trip with me was originally booked to celebrate a special birthday for Carolyn in April 2020. This subsequently became October, November 2020 then October 2021.
I was beyond thrilled that they finally made it to Mauritius with their daughter Sophie and her partner Chris. They have been kind enough to share their experience...
It’s the sign of a great trip when there is a need to scroll back through photos to remind ourselves, we were actually there. So long in the build-up, particularly in this case and then whoosh, it's over!
It would have been easy to bail out and conclude that this trip was just destined not to happen but we're so glad we stuck to the original plan.
Jo did a brilliant job. Her recommendation for a small boutique hotel was spot on. The rooms were great, larger than average including excellent sized bathrooms and well appointed, near enough to everything, with a glimpse of the sea and very quiet.
Restaurants & Bars
We loved the diversity of the hotel’s restaurants - each has its own theme and a different vibe. We also ate in two of the restaurants at the Awali but concluded the quality at the Telfair was better. The Awali Infinity Blue was a particular disappointment – the restaurant has a beautiful location, great decor, sandy floor but average food.
Our favourites were the Ginja Pan Asian, located on the beach and perfect for sundowners when a fire is lit and the C Beach Club for lunch, where we enjoyed a variety of excellent fish dishes, and they host a superb weekly lobster evening for a supplement.
High quality evening canapés were served in all the bars and there was a hut serving great quality afternoon ice cream and pancakes - fantastic for children (of all ages!). The beach rum bar was equally fantastic for adults.
There are a few supplements for some food as you'd expect (foie gras, some steaks) but all very good value and the Gourmet Bliss package is a must.
Hotel staff are of course delighted to be working again. Some performed to 'island time' but always with a smile and each was an asset to the Heritage brand. We were required to have our temperature taken daily at breakfast, but it wasn't intrusive and the wearing of masks was requested at the buffet, which was fine.
Another sign of a good hotel is that when there was a problem, which of course occasionally happens, the staff were quick to acknowledge it and make amends.
It transpires that Bel Ombre is a little-known gem of a place to learn kite surfing. Our daughter said the tuition was excellent and had talked with a fellow student who travelled daily from where he was staying on the north of the island because he'd heard about it. It's apparently far quieter than Le Morne, where most people go to learn.
Although there were a couple of organised bike outings, we like to do things at our own pace so used the mountain bikes privately. Steve was delighted with the quality of the gym and its equipment; a barometer for him of a hotel’s overall standard!
Some spa facilities aren't currently available due to safety guidelines; however, one to one massage treatments are.
The beaches, sunsets and clear nights were simply sublime.
One of the most impressive things about the Heritage brand is their environmental focus. There's no single use plastic - all water bottles and dishes are glass, no plastic straws, food is grown and sourced locally wherever possible, recycling is a major focus including all food waste and a community support programme is in operation. There is visible evidence of their dedication and efforts and not just a managerial statement in a brochure.
Our only disappointment of the trip was the British Airways flights. Sadly, the food offering doesn’t reflect the new planes (777) and was the worst we have experienced. Food isn’t necessary on short haul flights but on a 12-hour long haul, at least one decent meal should be available. Once in Mauritius our private transfers were great, on time and comfortable.
On reflection, October post-pandemic was the perfect time for us to holiday in Mauritius. Our week at Le Telfair was perfect - enough people around to give the place atmosphere but access to everything was easy and trouble free. We all had a blast.
A big thank you to Jo for introducing us to the Heritage brand and a great experience. The understanding of our needs, personal touches and attention to detail, not to mention her tenacity during such a trying time, made the whole process much easier for us and was hugely appreciated.
We will certainly be recommending her to anyone we know that might need some help.
Carolyn and Steve