My partner and I, together with our 11 year old daughter, stayed at Le Telfair for two weeks in October 2013. This is the first time I've been moved to write a TripAdvisor review but we absolutely loved this hotel from start to finish and felt that the hotel and its excellent staff deserved our endorsement.
The most special mention must go to our butler, Jennifer, who worked tirelessly throughout the two weeks to make sure our stay was as relaxed as possible. To be honest, we didn’t read the brochure closely enough because it was a total surprise when we arrived to find we had our own butler, but after being looked after by Jennifer, backed up by her colleague Savilen, it’s going to be difficult staying anywhere else in future without having that level of care and attention. For example, Jennifer ensured that there was always a pleasant surprise when we returned to our suite – rose petals laid out precisely on our bed, a warm bubble bath sprinkled with petals – and it was little touches like this which made the holiday feel a very personal and special experience.
We were also really impressed with the resident manager, Stephan, who sought us out at least once every day, checking that everything was to our satisfaction, but without ever being intrusive or over-attentive.
We stayed in one of the hotel’s eight senior suites, with a separate bedroom with four-poster bed and a huge dressing area / bathroom. The lounge was large enough to easily accommodate a full-size single bed for our daughter and we enjoyed a large double balcony with views over the (mainly quiet) family pool, the beach and the sea. TV stations were limited from an English perspective but we rarely switched on the TVs anyway. WiFi in the suite was chargeable and intermittent – we really feel that a luxury hotel should be including high-quality WiFi in the package – but to be fair, there is free WiFi with a good signal in the very impressive Cavendish bar. Daily maid service was excellent.
Le Telfair has a neighbouring hotel which is part of the same chain, the Awali, which we ate at one evening when there was a buffet with traditional Mauritian cuisine. This hotel is very different to Le Telfair, with a much larger percentage of guests from the UK, while Le Telfair guests were mainly from France. The ambience is very different too – Le Telfair has beautiful architecture with a bright and airy colonial feel, while the Awali had an African feel and was much darker, with dark brown and orange colours. If buffet meals are your preference, then the Awali may be for you, but we much preferred the luxury feel of Le Telfair.
Jennifer had already arranged for us to eat at a different restaurant each night, including the Mauritian buffet at the Awali hotel. The food was excellent in each restaurant but our favourite was probably the Cyan restaurant. The only criticism we have is that on two occasions, our dinner reservation was not communicated to the restaurants; fortunately they were able to accommodate us but we heard the same complaints from other guests. The hotel really needs a computerised reservation system to eliminate these problems as they can easily spoil the luxury experience. We went for an all-inclusive package which is known locally as ‘gourmet bliss’ and we found the menus to be excellent on the whole, although some extras, such as ribs, were very expensive. The mainly South African wine was of a decent quality too.
The most impressive piece of architecture is the Cavendish bar, with its open sides and high decorated ceilings making it light and airy. Bar prices seemed reasonable, even if you stray from the all-inclusive, which we didn’t feel the need to do too often, as the ‘inclusive’ brands were fine. We enjoyed some very good musical entertainment in the evenings too.
The hotel has a shared watersports centre on the beach which offers free windsurfing, pedaloes, and kayaking. We recommend the free glass-bottom boat tours which tour the shallow lagoon, giving you a great view of the coral and tropical fish. There is a constant but not unpleasant breeze which makes it an ideal location for any type of sailing but kite surfing in particular is very popular here. The watersports centre offers (chargeable) water skiing lessons but we found better value on the beach itself between the two hotels where banana boat and inflatable sofa rides could be had, as well as private water skiing lessons – ask for Damien and Pascal. Back at the hotel, there are three pools, of which only the family pool is heated.
Overall the beach is beautiful with plenty of loungers and no evidence of lounger hijacking. We loved just watching and listening to the waves breaking on the coral reef which makes the lagoon relatively shallow and safe, although do watch out for the strong cross current. There are also sharp coral fragments so do wear beach shoes.
We had also planned to get married while out in Mauritius and both our travel company, Sovereign, and the hotel were very efficient, ensuring that everything went to plan. We were looking for a venue where we could have a simple and private ceremony. Everything was arranged for us by our wedding coordinator, Amar, who guided us through all the options, making it the stress-free experience we were looking for. We looked at potential venues in the hotel gardens and on the beach, in front of the Gin’Ja restaurant, but we decided on the grounds of Le Chateau which houses one of the hotel’s restaurants but which is closed during the day, making it the ideal location for a private ceremony. Le Chateau lies about a mile from the main resort so it was a pleasant surprise to be offered the hotel’s Range Rover as a wedding car. In the evening, we enjoyed a private BBQ on the beach, just in front of our suite, with excellent and plentiful food prepared by the hotel’s sous-chef.
All in all, a fantastic holiday with the wedding we wanted. We recommend Mauritius and in particular Le Telfair without hesitation. We hope to be back there in the not too distant future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness Resort offers a variety of luxury accommodation in a discrete village design with 20 different villas of 6 or 8 rooms. 158 rooms and suites have beautiful sea views or river views with floor to ceiling French windows, private balconies or verandas. Heritage Le Telfair is a member of Small & Luxury Hotels of the world. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Heritage Le Telfair Golf And Spa Resort
- Heritage Le Telfair Golf Hotel Bel Ombre
- Le Telfair Hotel
- Hotel Le Telfair
- Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort Mauritius/Bel Ombre