The five-star Heritage Le Telfair Resort and Spa had a refurbishment in 2017. The suites have been upgraded, and there is now a baby club on offer – one of the few resorts in Mauritius that offers this service. We took our four year old and one year old there to try it out. Was it worth the trip? Here’s our Heritage Le Telfair review.
Hot and tired with somewhat sullen children we arrived at Heritage Le Telfair’s entrance and were met by Daffy Duck. We were also met by our dedicated butler, who had nailed that cartoon duck’s voice, and cheered up our tots no end. Even better, he handed over a cool flannel and freshly-squeezed juice. And relax. I think we would do just fine here.
Rooms at Heritage Le Telfair
After our novel welcome, we were shown our suite. We had booked a senior suite, which has a separate living area (essential with small children when you want to relax and not sit in silence in the dark after 7pm), outdoor shower, huge bathroom with a beautiful tiled floor and bedroom with king-size four poster bed. Outside was a ground floor balcony overlooking the garden, sea and pool. I could feel myself unravelling just looking around the amazing villa.
The suites have the same feel as the exterior of the resort – smart but relaxed and calm, light and airy. I had some serious interiors inspo there – rooms were all white with furniture in natural materials to soften the look. Wooden blinds and a chunky rattan rug on the floor. Wicker chairs and floaty muslin draped over the four poster bed. A pop of colour in the floor-length wall hangings brightened the living room.
Heritage Le Telfair Resort
Heritage Le Telfair sits grandly on the Citronniers River amaongst tropical gardens in the southwest of Mauritius at Bel Ombre, more wild and rugged than the north, but complete with those picture perfect tropical beaches we can’t get enough of. The combined sound of bird song, plam trees rustling in the gentle breeze and the Indian Ocean waves calms the mind.
The Indian Ocean is a mere 10 metres away from the resort. We could see it from our suite. Some suites have beachfront access. The shallow water here is ideal for children to splash around in and watch the tiny silver coral fish dart about. Palm trees and parasols provide ample shade.
The architecture here is inspired by colonial plantation houses. All wood panelling and shutters and painted in soothing white and cream colours. Very farrow and ball. Villas are complemented by lush green bushes dotted with egg-yolk yellow frangipane flowers. Delicate white butterflies flit about – the most movement you’ll see here.
Not only is the resort beautiful, it also tries to maintain eco standards. It is part of a coastal protection strategy in Bel Ombre and has a green key eco-label, which is a standard of excellence in environmental responsibility and ethical operation. Right up our street! I find it hard finding ethical AND family-friendly places, so it’s always a reward when I do.
Pools at Heritage Le Telfair
Outside, the main pool is large. There is no shallow end but there are some clever shallow areas around sunloungers which were perfect for our two littleys, and for us, as we could sit back and chill out while they played around us. The hotel has some nice touches like we’d get ice-cold bottles of water along with a lemon-scented flannel as we chilled out, saving us having to get up and walk anywhere. The pool is flanked by a small snack bar and beyond that, the stunning Indian Ocean. Happy days.
A five minute stroll away (that’s the fastest speed we ever got to) is the C Beach Club, which caters more for families during the day. The pool there is graduated with a shallow end. We never bothered heading here though, as the main pool and the beach provided more than what we wanted. Guests of Le Telfair can also use all the facilities of the neighbouring resort Heritage Awali. There’s two pools to use here too, one is heated.
Food and drink at Heritage Le Telfair
We booked half board, so basically loaded up on breakfast late morning, and again in the evening. Occasionally we bought lunch from one of the many choices of restaurant available. The breakfast was fab. It was always a buffet, and the range of food on offer was huge. Pancakes and chocolate sauce (winner with the kids), big fry up, tropical fruit and yogurt.
Evenings we had the choice of Annabella’s (which is the main restaurant and closest to us) and the C Beach Club. If we ate at any of the other restaurants, we’d have to fork out. Annabella’s keeps the colonial theme going with a breezy open pavilion and old fashioned overhead fans. The C Beach Club was more chilled out, sometimes they had live music and cocktails were always a pull to wander over there instead.
The food was good and varied and buffet nights were swapped with a la carte regularly. I did find the choice of vegetarian options very limited on the a la carte nights. It was usually pasta and sauce. Not the most imaginative! I also couldn’t understand why the resort didn’t embrace it’s heritage and serve up some Mauritian cuisine. Mauritian food is supposed to be delicious, but we never experienced it, which was a shame. My son was also obsessed with the coconuts and wanted to try the water, but surprisingly it wasn’t readily available. After hunting around, we found the Coco Shack on the beach by the Awali resort, which did a good trade in coconut drinks, but nothing at Le Telfair.
My only other gripe was that evening meals were not served until 7pm, which meant dinner became a bit of an unrelaxing experience for myself, husband and two overtired toddlers. Unfortunately our baby monitor did not stretch to the main restaurant and we didn’t want to fork out for a babysitter. Eating at the C Beach Club was easier in the evening, because it wasn’t as smart as Annabella’s. A tip for others (though maybe you’d wise up to this faster than me) was to get our younger son in the pushchair afterwards so he’d fall asleep at the restaurant, and bring our oldest son so toys to play with to keep him entertained.
We loved the Cavendish Bar. I felt like a movie star there, I don’t know why! It felt really good to smarten up after a day in the sun, and kick back with a glittering white wine. The bar was fine for children too as it was so roomy. Towards the back there was a billiards and books area, which kept them busy for a while while we enjoyed some alcohol.
The kids club and baby club
We booked Heritage Le Telfair because it had a baby club. There aren’t that many resorts in Mauritius (Lux Belle Mare and Anahita have baby clubs too) that offer childcare to under threes, unless you pay extra for a babysitter, so this is a massive draw to visit this resort if you have young children.
The kids and baby club (Timono) was lovely. Inside, rooms are air conditioned. The baby club has a quiet room with a few cots for naps, and a sweet play area with plenty of toys. The kids club was bright and airy with an area with lots of squashy, colourful bean bags and teepee to hide in, a sensory room, dining area and huge outdoor playground with splash pool, scooters, climbing frame and vegetable garden.
The kids club puts on lots of different activities during the day too such as feeding the fish, making pizza and cinema nights. We travelled in March, which is very humid, so our two stayed inside a lot of the time to escape the heat. Usually the kids and baby area are separate – something we didn’t know before we travelled there – which is a shame for siblings. We were lucky as it wasn’t busy and our two just played together in the kids club.
What else did we do at Heritage Le Telfair?
The spa was inevitably sublime. Calming sounds of trickling water greet you as you enter. Inside there is a sauna and steam room to enjoy. Outdoor sits a Jacuzzi pool and sheltered loungers. The spa is fringed with palms and bright tropical flowers encourage dragonflies to join in the fun. Yoga is held on an open-air pavilion. Our yoga teacher had a Buddhaesque wide grin and extremely bendy body which put my poor can’t-touch-my-toes body to shame.
Our sons were too young for diving, or snorkelling with dolphins so we tried out the glass bottom boat trip. Though I was rather underwhelmed by ride, my four year old son loved it. We saw flashes of angel and zebra fish, along with sea urchins, clams, sea slugs and sea grass. I also spent a fun morning trekking through the resort’s Jurassic Park-like Federica Nature Reserve with some other guests and two guides.
Mauritius’ slogan is ‘beyond the beach’. Knowing this, and also booking Mauritius over the Maldives or Seychelles because of its jungle interior and wildlife, we hired a car for a few days and explored outside of our resort too. We didn’t manage any other activities as our sole aim was to relax and recharge, but if you fancy it there is a host of stuff to do including golf, tennis, gym, waterskiing, canoeing, kite surfing and diving.
Why stay at Heritage Le Telfair?
If you want understated luxury, a family-friendly environment that is still centred around adults but thoroughly welcomes kids, and want a nod to a ecofriendly resort, you can’t go wrong with Heritage Le Telfair. Just remember to ask for Daffy Duck for your butler.
Heritage Le Telfair is part of the small luxury hotels in the world. For great deals on Heritage Le Telfair visit here.
We flew with British Airways in March.