On the edge of a tranquil lagoon at the southern tip of the island of Mauritius is the Domaine de Bel Ombre, 2,500 hectares of former sugar plantation that is the home of Heritage Resort.
French colonial meets tribal African village in this luxurious five-star resort where guests are treated to fine dining, wellness packages and, of course, golf.
But this isn’t your archetypal golfing holiday. Unlike more conventional golf resorts that consist of golf, golf, golf and a handful of paltry, almost tokenistic amusements, Heritage Resort is a complete five-star all-inclusive holiday that just happens to have a multi-award winning golf course right inside its copious domain.
At the centre of the 18-hole championship course is a par 3 course which is perfect for beginners and families. Each guest has free access to buggies and can leave their clubs with the concierge for the duration of their stay. There is even an option to rent clubs if you don’t fancy taking yours along.
On first sight of the clubhouse’s modest portico the first thing that hits you is a distinct lack of ceremony (at least in comparison to the resort at large). That is, until you ascend the steps into the lobby and get a tantalising glimpse through the bar out onto the course.
The scene that greets you is reminiscent of an African nature reserve, with expansive plains and semi-distant mountains which is in distinct contrast from the beach scene which you left a mere five minutes earlier.
The course was designed by architect and ex-European Tour pro Peter Matkovich, whose trademark style is to craft timeless tracks that maintain the character of the landscape by letting the natural surroundings influence the design.
The result is golf holes that look as if they carelessly meander across the landscape but have in fact been skilfully crafted. An incredible amount of thought has gone into every outcome of every shot, with hazards placed with deliberate precision.
From the vantage point of the opening tee shot it becomes clear that this will be a challenging course. The opening hole is a long par 4 uphill hole and sets a suitably formidable precedent for what’s ahead.
The wide open spaces allow you to see, in one heady glance, everything that is to come. Water hazards litter the landscape as well as a generous sprinkling of bunkers. Most of the tees are on high elevations which allow you a clear line of sight to the pin, but make it very difficult to judge the distance due to a couple of yards loss on carry distance. Needless to say, I miscalculated more than a few shots.
The thing that really makes the unlimited green fees worthwhile is the constant change in wind direction. There may only be a light breeze on the fairways of the Heritage Golf Course, but the unpredictability of the wind makes each round a whole new experience.
On top of the overwhelming amount of activities on offer at the Heritage Resort, they also have the Federica Nature Reserve. Here you have the option of trekking the area, travelling around by quad bike or, as we did, have a guided tour on the 4×4 safari.
The nature reserve covers 1,300 hectares of the Domain de Bel Ombre and holds many treasures of Mauritian biodiversity.
For the more adventurous and hydrophilic guests, the boathouse is an essential visit whilst in the resort. Activities on offer include kite surfing, pedal boats, paddle boarding, water-skiing, wakeboarding, dolphin watching, glass bottom boat trips and snorkelling.
There is a mouth-watering array of dining options at the resort with cuisine ranging from Mauritian to Japanese to French.
Our particular favourite was Zafarani, the Indian restaurant at Awali, which made the most delicious curries we have ever tasted.
Our stay at the Heritage Resort demonstrated that it’s possible to combine a world-class golfing getaway with all of the usual trappings of a family holiday experience.
The resort is unique in that you can have an action-packed five-star inclusive holiday with or without the golf – although you’d be mad to give up those unlimited green fees – and have more than enough activities to occupy you throughout your stay.
The spa at Heritage
Heritage Awali and Heritage Le Telfair each boast their own spa in distinct styles that mirror the character of their respective hotels. The spa at Awali, like the hotel that surrounds it, is designed to look like an African village; the various treatment rooms housed in thatched, wooden huts. Meanwhile, the Seven Colours Le Telfair maintains the traditional look and feel of the 19th-century sugar plantation, providing a sense of refinement and sophistication.
Though the style and environment differ in each spa, the ethos remains the same – as well as the treatments on offer. The philosophy behind Seven Colours is that each individual has their own requirements for well-being and these can be uncovered through a consultation. This dedication to bespoke treatments is what makes each visit unique.
The Seven Colours spa is a sensory experience with aromas and colours chosen based on your personal consultation. The substantial menu of soothing offerings include various massages, facials scrubs and masks as well as specific treatments for golfers including a range of “fit for golf” massages.
Facilities include a sauna, vitality pool, hairdresser, manicure and pedicure parlour, steam baths and indoor and outdoor treatment rooms.
Thanks to the appointment of a wellness coordinator and osteopath, guests now also have the option to have their golf swing analysed and any issues in their technique that could be down to physiology can be diagnosed and treated at the Seven Colours Spa.
This is incredibly useful if you have a particular problem with your golf and you aren’t sure if is down to poor technique or a physical anomaly.
Find out more
- For the best prices on stays at Heritage Resort, visit heritageresorts.mu
- Heritage Le Telfair is just reopening following staff training, renovation work and the renewal of the rooms and services offered.
- Heritage Golf Club will be opening a second course in 2018.