Heritage Awali Golf and Spa Resort in Mauritius comes complete with all-inclusive luxury and unspoiled scenery. But would it make for the perfect family escape? In fact it was more than perfect as Rochelle Streater and her kids recently found out.
Mauritius has long been on my bucket list of places to visit. So, having had this trip delayed once due to Covid, the excitement was already amped up as we boarded our flight to Mauritius and Heritage Awali Golf & Spa Resort.
Flying long haul with a one-year-old and six-year-old is always daunting. Luckily our youngest had her own seat, a stash of colouring books and a trusty iPad! What’s more, flying with Air France meant the changeover was in France. This let the kids settle down into the overnight sleep for the majority of the journey, which made the trip easier.
The private transfer to Heritage Awali is bliss with kids
On arrival in Mauritius, we were picked up from the airport by a Heritage Awali private car, which had WiFi and water at the ready. We were then whisked 45 minutes away to the all-inclusive five-star resort. Our driver even took the time to explain the different landmarks and areas as we passed, sharing insight into the rich (and sometimes dark) history that surrounds the island.
As we pulled up to Heritage Awali, our new home for the holiday, we were not disappointed. It completely lived up to Mauritius’ slogan, ‘Paradise on Earth’.
A smooth check-in and delicious Mauritian mocktails
We were greeted by traditional drumming and then led down a walkway surrounded by beautiful pools with amazing tropical fish. Huge entrance doors opened up to give you a breathtaking view not only of the amazing reception hall, but straight out to the infinity pool and then the sea, ensuring guests are totally blown away from the start.
Check-in was quick and efficient. Perhaps made even easier by some delicious Mauritian special mocktails. Then we were given a guided tour en-route to our room which was on the first floor next to the beach. As it overlooked the sea, views did not disappoint either.
Our spacious family room caused a bit of excitement
Our family room featured a bedroom for the kids as well as a separate bedroom for adults.
A highlight for us was the walk-in wardrobe plus double sink and freestanding bath. And it wasn’t just us boring adults who felt excited. The kids started to unpack their clothes there and then. I didn’t have the heart to tell them their wardrobe was actually the normal-sized one in the other room!
If you like sunsets you’ll love the family room’s full-length balcony
The accommodation also had a balcony stretching the length of the room, giving us enough space for a table and chairs and a lounge area. It was also the perfect angle to watch the sun set over the sea every night, which was simply stunning.
Plus, the mini bar which was stocked up each day with treats for the kids was free of charge; another nice touch.
Kids can splash around in their own pool at Heritage Awali
Of course, the children were eager to get swimming so we made our way down to the family pool. There are two pools in the resort. One is adults-only and the other is for families. Although as the latter was heated, it was definitely the most popular!
Every day around 4pm Zenzi Bar served tea which usually consisted of pancakes, ice cream and fruit. However, you could also order other light meals if preferred. But, as you can imagine, we had no complaints on the pancake front. Zenzi Bar was also the central area in the evening, showcasing live band entertainment and cocktail evenings.
Heritage Awali features five fabulous restaurants
There are five other restaurants at Heritage Awali. Savana is the international buffet, where breakfast is served. This was brilliant for families as it offered a range of different cuisines as well as kid-friendly favourites.
Italian restaurant Kazini, is where we had dinner on our first night. Located by the beach, it’s beautifully decorated inside with candles and floor-to-ceiling windows. The food is amazing and we were also able to sample some of their beautifully paired wine.
Le boma is an open-air African Campfire restaurant, and adults-only Zafarani, serves Indian cuisine.
For a change, stroll down the beach for dinner at Le Telfair
As well as the restaurants on the Heritage Awali site, guests also have the opportunity to eat at Awali’s sister hotel, Le Telfair. It’s only a five-minute walk down the beach or a two-minute drive in the resort shuttle.
We visited two restaurants at Le Telfair during our stay, our favourite being Gin’ja which offers pan-Asian cuisine and overlooks the lagoon. This joint is stunning, with food to match.
Le Palmier was also beautiful but not as kid-friendly. Although that could have just been on the night we visited as the honeymooning couples definitely didn’t appreciate the epic tantrum my youngest threw over the last bread roll.
Timomo Kids Club is a child’s paradise
We were eager to try out Timomo Kids Club which has outstanding reviews. It was a child’s paradise. All the playground equipment kids could ever want or need was in place, as well as a gated paddling pool – used for an hour supervised each day. Additionally there was an indoor TV room and a dining table, along with a beautiful nursery for naps.
Our girls took to it straight away thanks to the relaxed and welcoming presence of the staff. They made us parents feel instantly at ease too. In fact, nothing we asked for was too much effort or an inconvenience.
The club also didn’t have an age restriction. This was amazing because it meant our one-year-old was able to join in certain activities at no extra cost and play with her sister. I can confirm that’s certainly not a given at most kids’ clubs.
Heritage Awali gives parents guilt-free time to chill
This freedom gave us some much-needed adult time each day to go exploring and try out activities that we couldn’t do with the kids in tow.
Child-free, we borrowed bikes from the activity centre at the front and went for a ride around Bel Ombre. Looking straight out of a holiday brochure, this beautiful area is filled with perfectly grown trees, flowers and amazingly green grass.
Soak up some island history at Le Château de Bel Ombre
Our first stop was Le Château de Bel Ombre. A 19th-century plantation house which can be hired for weddings and special occasions, Le Château also serves an amazing lunch overlooking the huge French-inspired gardens and an impressive golf course.
The house itself is steeped in history with old furniture, paintings, documents and wine still on show in the rooms. In the garden, there was even a pretty swing hanging from a 200-year-old twisted tree overlooking a stream.
Bel Ombre also houses the ruins of an old sugar cane factory. It has long been decommissioned, but still features the remains of some of the machines that would have been used. The area is also home to the World of Seashells museum, the largest of its kind on the African continent.
Chamarel Seven Coloured Earth is another must-see
Unencumbered by our little ones we also took a trip to Chamarel Seven Coloured Earth Geopark via a stunning natural waterfall. The Geopark is a small area of pretty, impressive sand dunes consisting of seven distinct colours which look almost alien in this landscape. The hues are believed to have been formed by volcanic molten rock heating and cooling over 600 million years.
The coffee shop overlooking the dunes offers some of Mauritius’ best coffee and banana cake, while Le Charmeral Restaurant is great for lunch. It is located on the edge of the mountain front affording panoramic views of the island and the prettiest of fellow diners, in the form of very colourful birds.
The menu was set and literally offered a bit of everything, which produced quite a spread. After wondering how we would ever finish all the food, we very quickly realised it was easy to do with such great cuisine and we cleared the lot.
All the fun of the Indian Ocean at C Beach Club
We chose to keep the girls in the kids’ club until 2pm so they could have lunch with their new friends, then we had the afternoon to explore as a family.
The C Beach Club was super fun. We were able to hire pedalos on the sea as well as take a glass bottom boat out to the reef where we saw some amazing tropical fish. Dolphin trips and other water sports were available too.
The Beach Club also has a great lunch and tea-area on the beach, exuding a very laid-back, chilled vibe with music and cushion areas: handy after a day of high-energy activities.
Family 4 x 4 safaris and Heritage Awali cooking classes
The kids also loved our visit to Bel Ombre Nature Reserve. Here, 4×4 African-style safari rides through the park let them see deer, bats, giant bamboo and a beautiful waterfall. The park also offers quad biking and dune buggy tours.
During our stay at Heritage Awali, we even got to try our hand at some traditional Mauritian cooking thanks to a masterclass by the hotel’s head chef on the beach.
We were taught how to cook the resort’s signature dish, chicken curry, before tucking into our masterpiece in a private cabin overlooking the sea. This was such a nice family activity and my six-year-old really enjoyed taking part. Plus I learned a trick or two as well!
All in all, Heritage Awali was the perfect place to relax and unwind. The resort is nestled among the lush, green mountains of Mauritius and the views are simply breathtaking. The staff were wonderful and accommodating and the food was absolutely incredible. We loved exploring nearby villages too as well as hiking through the forests. So overall, our trip to Heritage Awali was simply amazing.
How to plan holidays in Mauritius
How to get there
UK flights to Mauritius take from 12 hours. Direct flights are available year round.
Heritage Awali Golf & Spa Resort
Deluxe Garden View room, all-inclusive, based on 2 adults and 2 children under 12. From £294 per night.