With a final size of 2500 hectares, this lush hills-to-sea landscape evolved into the prestigious properties of Heritage le Telfair, Heritage the Villas and Heritage Awali.
Domaine de Bel Ombre sits in the south of Mauritius, a naturally beautiful and sparsely populated region. It was mentioned as early as 1773 by French author Jacques Henri de Saint-Pierre in his novel Paul & Virginie however we follow its history from 1816 when it was acquired by lucky Irishman Charles Edward Telfair, who referred to it as ‘the little Eden of Bel Ombre’
One lump or two?
Charles Edward Telfair was a naturalist and botanist, so predictably he planted orchards and vegetables which remained until his death in 1833. It changed several times but finally in 1910 was bought by a group who founded the Compagnie Sucriére and planted a whole load of sugar cane!
Giving it up
So just before the turn of the new century the land that had given so bountifully over the years was now to form the foundations of a premier tourist destination. With a final size of 2500 hectares, this lush hills-to-sea landscape evolved into the prestigious properties of Heritage le Telfair, Heritage the Villas and Heritage Awali.
Keeping the detail
As visitors flocked to enjoy the luxurious five-star accommodation along with all the trappings that accompany it – spas, sports and the like you may expect its heritage to be lost. Not so! Several aspects remain even if they are in a rather different setting.
Le Chateau de Bel Ombre
Time could have stopped completely in this elegant 19th century mansion that was in fact the former home of our green-fingered Charles Telfair. He picked his home well – and today it still enjoys glorious countryside and sea views but there is the added bonus of fairway aspects too. The house now operates as an exclusive, gourmet restaurant – for adults only. Its typical colonial style complete with large covered verandas, high ceilings, old prints and paintings pay tribute to the buildings’ fascinating heritage.
Frédérica Nature Reserve
Perhaps Charles Telfair would have approved of use of the land to devote to a nature reserve; here visitors can explore nature as well as try their hand at quad biking, segway riding, trekking and pool swimming. It is here you will be able to spot monkeys, parakeets and wild boars – going about their business in their natural habitat; the absence of sugar cane is surely a undoubtedly a blessing for some!
The old plantation sugar mill can still be seen as you wander the grounds – not far from the beach it is preserved at the Place du Moulin
Bunkers and big bucks
Home to the Mauritius Open, the Heritage Golf Club course is a beautiful ocean-edged, rolling course finding itself perfectly at home in the Domaine de Bel Ombre. The exciting new competition held over four days offers a prize purse of one million Euros – the highest fund ever paid for a Mauritian golf tournament. We’ve no doubt that entrepreneurial spirits of the past will admire the ambition shown in this sort of venture.
History may have passed into the past but we like to see it present into the present in some form! Heritage Resorts has thoughtfully achieved this at these beautifully crafted five-star properties.