Bags packed, Legs waxed and off I go for a long weekend getaway with my love and a group of friends to Heritage Resorts, most specifically to Heritage Awali.
I live in the north of the island and Heritage Resorts is located in the south. So I practically have to cross a COUNTRY (ok, an island but still) to reach this secluded place. Once arrived, I feel like I spent some quality time in a washing machine: Car travelling in Mauritius can be quite an experience, with its sometimes bumpy roads, occasional stray dogs and wrong-way driving on narrow two-lane roads.
The hotel made it all worthwhile though, with its beating of drums to welcome guests. It is a charming, African-inspired haven, with thatched-roof ochre blocks tucked into lush greenery facing a sandy beach. The ‘lobby’, an open-air pavilion with marble floors and Safari-style décor, offers spectacular views onto infinity pools and the Indian Ocean.
Check-in formalities done and bags hurried into the room, I cannot put on my gym attire fast enough and venture outdoors to discover the resort with my camera & smartphone. The resort, being nestled on a 2500-hectares estate named the “Domaine de Bel Ombre”, has plenty of things to see and as a keen Instagrammer and photography lover, I am literally jumping on this opportunity to shoot.
My promenade through the resort was lovely and this is how it went:
My first stop is Seven Colours Spa, the spa village of Heritage Awali. Its landscape and architecture replicate an African village with its small ochre huts and pathways. It has basins and vitality pools everywhere and these make a very peaceful sound and send tempting invitations to relax.
As i further wander through the green gardens of Heritage Awali, I arrive at the sister hotel, whose architecture is clearly inspired by the colonial past of Mauritius, the Heritage Le Telfair. My vivid imagination is set loose and I picture myself in a Jane Austen’s novel. I walk past a splendid bar with an authentic 18th century-British feel and yes, I would like some tea please.
My walk through Heritage Le Telfair, under the shades of gigantic Banyan trees, now leads me to an Oriental-style black pavilion looking on both the ocean and a river. A waiter sets a table for two on the beach. It’s heavenly.
Beside, a beautiful white bridge allows me to cross the river and brings me to what feels like, again, a complete change of scenery: after the African safari at Awali, the jump into the colonial era of Mauritius at Le Telfair, I am now at the C Beach Club, a trendy beach spot which looks fit for the rich and famous. The décor is crisp white with hints of Cyan and the magnificent pools bring different shades of blue to life. Further, I discover with glee street art by the celebrated artist ‘Mode 2’ adorning the walls of a sheltered alley.
I exit the C Beach Club by taking the golf cart route, which is almost on the main public road. Back to the ‘real’ Mauritius. After a 10-mins walk, I discover the Crown Jewel of the estate: the Heritage Golf Club. It’s green, it’s big, it’s majestic. I am not a golfer myself but I am so taken aback by the beauty of the site that I promise myself to come back the next day for a morning jog.
The last stop of my walk/photo safari is not what you would expect to find on a beach resort in Mauritius: a 19th century mansion named ‘Le Chateau de Bel Ombre’, stands grandly amidst perfectly manicured gardens, an antique fountain and recalls grand European estates.
It’s now time to go back to the hotel: it’s almost apéro time and there’s nowhere else I’d rather enjoy the sunset than at the Cocktail Bar of Infinity Blue.