La ‘Vie de Château exists; we have tested it for you!
Once upon a time, there was a dream of a fairy tale, a castle and a princess that was made to come true. And yes, we will tell you about this beautiful story, which is a magical and historical incursion into the heart of the Heritage Bel Ombre estate.
Mauritius Island has unique and absolutely exotic addresses and we present you Heritage Bel Ombre’s flagship product, the magnificent Heritage Le Château, formerly known as Le Château de Bel Ombre.
We are heading south to discover one of the most magical and unconventional accommodation in Mauritius. Of course, our hotels are internationally renowned for their elegance and beachfront location. But if you want a real change of scenery, take advantage of your holidays in Mauritius to experience an exceptional and unique accommodation in Mauritius: Heritage Le Château.
We have therefore tested for you the “La Vie de Château” package which includes the dinner package (excluding drinks), the night for two on the first floor of the Château and breakfast on the terrace. A unique place to discover in Mauritius.
Quite frankly, this is the most EXTRAORDINARY place I have ever been given to visit in Mauritius. If you are eager to experience the Mauritian way of life of the 19th century, then this romantic, out of time getaway is bound to be for you!
On arriving at our destination, I was already in a state of euphoria that I rarely felt in such circumstances, due to the beauty of the place and, equally, as a result of the strong emotion that overwhelms me at the idea of living such a unique moment. Laurent, who is passionate about history, was equally dazzled by Le Château because here, the walls have a history .
So, now it’s time to share our experience with you.
A princely welcome
We checked in at Heritage Telfair Hotel, which is located on the sea side, while the Castle stands at the foot of the mountains. A hostess then drove us to Heritage Le Château in a golf cart. Indeed, no polluting vehicles are allowed in the magnificent park.
We know the area quite well because during the different electric bikes excursions which Explore Nou Zil organises for Le Morne, Chamarel and Souillac, we often make a stop in front of the castle in order to allow our guests discover the beauty of the gardens and the mansion of the 19th century.
What is called Heritage the Castle is not a typical French tropical colonial house, but it is rather a beautiful former sugar plantation style stone house built in the late 19th century by a wealthy Indian owner, which explains its Anglo-Indian architecture.
The origins of Heritage Bel Ombre, formerly known as Domaine de Bel Ombre, date back to 1765. The estate’s activity was then centred on agriculture, mainly sugar cane cultivation. The estate changed hands several times, but it was its most illustrious owner, Mr. Charles Telfair, a renowned naturalist, who left an indelible mark on the region he developed and where he lived between 1816 and 1820.
The building is composed of two levels:
The ground floor, which houses the Château’s gourmet restaurant, is open to the general public by reservation.
The first floor houses an apartment which is rented as a single and immense luxury suite.
As in all exceptional services, the Château offers the services of an appointed butler during the visitors’ stay. So we follow him up the superb spiral stone staircase to the first floor of this mansion, to discover the suite where we shall be living unforgettable moments.
The Suite, a moving historical dive
Upstairs, Kadress, the butler, informs us that it will be our home for a day. The Suit displays a discreet luxury and a mad charm, which will delight couples in search of romance and exclusivity by making them travel through time. An old-fashioned lounge with its fine woodwork and Venetian chandeliers opens onto a magnificent dining room. The private lounge is declined on a shade of blue that enhances the delicate porcelain of the Compagnie des Indes as well as the magnificent paintings and antique mirrors. The Bureau is resolutely masculine, but gives pride of place to family portraits.
The room and its boudoir, with its very feminine spirit, open onto a circular well vegetated and refreshing veranda which offers an exceptional panoramic view of the estate. Being the two of us, we really don’t walk on each other’s feet: it’s extremely vast!
The floors, walls and interior partitions are made of wood, the floors are covered with carpets, and period furniture decorates these rooms with impeccable taste and style. French architects Florent Richard et Alain-Charles Perrot, responsible for the restoration, wanted to revamp Heritage Le Château’s unique character by accentuating the Anglo-Indian style of the original building, designed by the same architect as the Treasury Building in Port-Louis, Mauritius.
A meticulous work of inventorying objects belonging to the Castle and other period objects found in other places in Mauritius has been carried out so that they can return to their original site. A plethora of works of art from this period have thus been added to the existing ones.
The delicate vanilla scents diffused in the Suite, added to the precious wood scents of the furniture, create a magical atmosphere. Chandeliers, mirrors and wallpapers further enhance this out of date atmosphere. We have such a strong sensation of well being that we have the impression of being at home (even if my house is far from being like this one). Small knick-knacks, various objects, books, comfortable sofas, everything is designed for the comfort of the guests.
We really feel like we’re ‘at home’ and therefore at ease. It feels so good there. At the same time, Heritage Le Château even seems to be inhabited; so many everyday objects are part of the setting.
Heritage Le Château In the Suite, the only concessions made to modernity are the equipment necessary to further accentuate the feeling of well-being: a Nespresso machine (very important), air conditioning, music and a kettle. Apart from that, everything is from the old days.
Several rooms were redesigned during the renovation work, such as this new glass veranda at the back of the Château, designed as a tropical indoor garden, with plants and other bird cages, is a haven of freshness. The glass roof diffuses a particular light that invites us to settle down and take the time to live.
Kadress, the butler, manages the rooms and ensures that the Château runs smoothly. His goal is to offer all the possible comfort to guests so that their stay remains extraordinary. He has been working there for six years and lives in Rivière des Anguilles, in the far south.
Once the visit is over, a small glass of champagne with passion fruit is served to us. A delightful, delicious and delicate treat!
A sunset in paradise
Time goes by too quickly: the sun is starting to come down on the horizon and you already have to get ready for the evening. We need to go down quickly to the garden to watch the sunset.
What about this place as the sun gradually gives way to the moon?
The orange sun now lights up the castle and a new decor gradually sets in. This creates a new atmosphere as the lights in the castle come on one by one. Once again, it feels like a dream, so much is the beauty of the place a wonder!
A sweet nostalgia, a certain languor of the soul and body gradually invade us.
What would you like to drink, ma’am?
The same thing of course!
How can you resist the signature cocktail composed of champagne and passion fruit? It is simply… divine!
Sitting in the garden of the Castle, we enjoy our drinks while watching the sun plunge into the ocean, emitting golden darts in all directions. The colour of the sky gradually changes from light blue to orange and next to purple. Wonderful!
Gourmet stopover at Heritage le Château
It’s time for dinner. We meet some tourists on holiday in Mauritius who came to enjoy local dishes. It must be said that the menu was composed by David Toutain, Michelin-starred chef and Chef Dany Lotchoo, and is reviewed twice a year. The vast majority of the products come from Bel Ombre’s lands, which is a guarantee of quality.
I am having some more champagne with grenadine, delicious cocktail, while Laurent has set his sights on a red wine from South Africa. First of all, the sommelier revealed to Laurent all the characteristics of each wine to allow him to really choose as a fine connoisseur.
The staffs, by their careful attention, have demonstrated that they are extremely well trained and fully qualified to answer very specific questions about the drinks and dishes on the menu. A dinner by candlelight while listening to the pianist and violinist’s beautiful interpretations. What more could we ask for?
Who are the Chefs behind the Heritage Le Château map…?
It was explained to me that ‘the Chief Dany Lotchoo, a Mauritian, is in charge of the Beach Club card as well as the Heritage Le Château card. But the menu was defined, a year and a half ago, by David Toutain, who is a Michelin-starred chef. It was him, with the help of Dany Lotchoo, who created the Chateau’s signature dishes. He comes to Mauritius twice a year to compose the winter and summer maps. He uses only local products for his menus. Chef Dany Lotchoo is in charge of ensuring the smooth running of the restaurant and, at the same time, he ascertains that the preparation of the dishes is respected.’
A starry night in a Castle in Mauritius
After a good restorative night’s sleep, we are on the battlefield at 6am to make the most of our morning, before returning home to Tamarin.
It should be noted that the Suite du Château de Bel-Ombre is reserved for adults, it is a Honeymoon Suite. In other words, without our children, the place is absolutely serene!
Here, we are alone in the world, except for a few gardeners already at work, pruning the plants. We decide to go for a walk in the French gardens. Laurent is the photographer and I play the model with the beautiful dress made in Mauritius by the Mauritian company, Blue Moon, which was kindly offered to me for this morning. In case you would like to purchase items of this brand, which I recommend, please visit the Somoa Stardust store at Riverview, Black-River.
(You can also find the store on Facebook: Somoa Stardust, or on Insta: Somoa.stardust)
Laurent discovers the golf cart left at our disposal to allow us to move along the place without getting tired. We are in a mood for conquering the Heritage Bel Ombre estate. We visit the Golf course between mountains and plains and the sumptuous gardens surrounding the castle. A great time and fun.
After this beautiful escapade, we return to Heritage Le Château for a royal breakfast, extremely hearty, served by Heritage Le Telfair.
All good things having an end we are forced, after this one day escapade in time, to return to the 21st century. Here ends the fairy tale, in which Laurent and I were the main characters. It’s time to leave….
This experience is to be carried out at least once in your life. The Suite is not a hotel room; it is not an ordinary place for a holiday stay. It is a UNIQUE experience to live during your holidays in Mauritius, a moment of exceptional euphoria.
It is the perfect place to give a twist of culture to your holidays in this small Mauritian paradise.
Is Heritage Le Château accessible to Mauritians and foreign residents?
The answer is yes, of course, and several options are available:
– The “La Vie de Château” package which includes the dinner package (excluding drinks), the night for two on the first floor of the Château and breakfast on the terrace.
– It is possible to come for dinner, only on prior reservation. The main courses prices vary between Rs 1’000 and Rs 2’500.
– It is possible to come for lunch, on reservation, and take the package ‘Déjeuner Champêtre’ (Country Lunch) at Rs 1’200 (excluding drinks).
To book: 601 55 29