Mark & Stuart’s Mauritius Golf Adventure
6 amazing courses in 6 days! By Stuart Thompson – May 2016
After leaving wet and windy Northern Ireland it was nice to arrive in Mauritius on a warm and sunny Saturday morning. After a floral welcome by Mauritours who are the local company who have looked after our clients for over 15 years we took the picturesque coastal road to Belle our first stop the Belle Mare Plage Golf and Spa Resort. Upon arrival, it was the usual Mauritian welcome making you feel special from the moment you arrive until you leave. Having been to the Belle Mare Plage a few times before it was nice to see the hotel now it has undergone a minor facelift with new soft furnishings which worked in the bright and welcoming rooms. The resort as a whole hasn’t changed much at all and has everything you could want with a great beach and two fantastic golf courses. We started off on the Legend course with the first round of the Chaka Staff Challenge and Mark took advantage of a glass or two of champers on the 15th hole to boost himself after the long journey and stormed away over the last 3 holes to take an early 1-0 lead.
Golf – Legend
The course itself is a test from the 1st to the last tee box with water on nearly every hole but being a championship course that hosts a senior European tour event you have to expect a challenge! It’s a fantastic walking course, very scenic with herds of deer quietly wandering the course.
Golf – Links
A friendlier course for the higher handicaps with more open fairways and less water but not an easy course to score on as it’s tricky around the greens.
Belle Mare Plage
A fantastic all-round resort with a great beach, great service and rooms to match, if the budget fits I would recommend the Junior Suite for a little extra space.
We had a great start to the day with breakfast on the beach before heading off to visit the luxurious Le Prince Maurice, another amazing resort which as a sister hotel to the Belle Mare Plage enjoys unlimited free green fees on the Links and Legend courses. We then proceeded to the New Long Beach and Palmar resort before heading for lunch at the Four Seasons. I was very excited to see the hotel and golf course for the first time and hopefully get my first win on the island in the “Chaka match”! Although I played a solid 18 holes Mark played well on the back nine and I came out on the end of another beating: Mark 2-0!
Golf – Four Seasons
Favourite hole 4th – I fantastic long par 5, not the hardest hole on the course but you have to be careful of your shot towards the picture perfect green as a little too much to the left and the Indian Ocean will swallow up your ball. Knowing the amount of money that had been spent on building this course, I automatically started looking for faults, but in my opinion, it didn’t have any apart from the stroke index when you are playing someone! It is as I would describe as a “real holiday golf course with open fairways to allow the odd push/pull shot but it can be tricky around the greens – but suitable for all golfers of any handicap”
Le Prince Maurice
From the minute you walk into this hotel it oozes class! Everything is of high standard from restaurants to rooms along with excellent customer service. This hotel is perfect for a quiet romantic getaway.
This new hotel is very contemporary and vast. I think it is going to be perfect for families with the Piazza in the evening having restaurants with music and it offers something a little different for Mauritius.
A great little hotel with a fantastic beach and always has a good atmosphere, perfect for those on a budget or attending a wedding at Belle Mare Plage.
If your clients are looking for a hotel that has the Wow factor then this is the one! Every room is furnished to the utmost luxury and perfect for relaxing. On the downside the beach is just okay and the resort is quite big therefore a lot of walking from rooms to eateries.
Built adjacent to the Four Seasons is more of a luxury self-catering establishment with half board as an option. It is a very relaxed resort with great facilities, the tiny plunge pool on the balcony is a great touch.
After breakfast at our villa in Anahita we headed to the jetty to catch our speedboat to Ile aux Cerfs for golf at Le Touessrok. It is not every day that you get to go on a speedboat to play golf, therefore, I was looking forward to making my second trip to this wonderful course. Having played the course before we knew not to play off the black tees as it can be one of the biggest tests in golf if windy! The course hasn’t changed it is still very tricky with long carries from tee to fairway but still a must if you visit the island. After 3 days on the island I had my first win in the match to make it 2-1, Mark lost his swing early on with the tight fairways and the wind and never got it back all week – this could be the turning point ☺ After the speedboat transfer back to the jetty we headed across the island for hotel inspections around in Grand Baie.
Golf – Le Touessrok
A tough course, my favourite hole is the18th, you have to drive to a postage stamp of a fairway and for your second shot from about 150 yards over mangroves to the small two-tiered green.
Great little hotel in a lively part off the island, rooms are basic but bright and clean. Perfect for couples/families looking for a resort close to shops/bars.
Across from the sister property Le Mauricia but totally different standard, some people say this is the best hotel on the island. It is very grand and the layout of the hotel is fabulous. The beach and hotel rooms are also fantastic. The rooms are very elegant but designed for the older couples.
Trou Aux Biches
Last time I saw this resort it was a building site with showrooms which were fantastic and therefore I was excited to see the finished product. Unfortunately, the resort was fairly empty and as such lacked atmosphere and when it matures it will get better.
We had a lovely drive down the coast towards the west off the island to the new Tamarina hotel, I was looking forward to seeing this one as I had heard mixed reports but wanted to create my own impression. It was a gem of a hotel, boutique style and all 50 rooms are very well appointed and are set along the bay with the restaurant overlooking the stunning beach. It is a perfect place to relax after golf or on honeymoon. After lunch, we were transferred up to the golf course for the all-important match on the Tamarina course which could see Mark in a position where he couldn’t lose, but I am pleased to say that I took the spoils again and now it was 2-2! So back to the clubhouse for Mark to reflect over a couple of beers and see where it went wrong.
Tamarina Golf Course
Set in the backdrop of the mountains this is a good course with tight fairways and some really interesting holes. I have to say my favourite hole is the 13th signature hole as the view is fantastic. On the whole, the course is again suited to all golfers but if it is windy it can be a long walk.
Day 5 Crunch time!
Heading off from the lovely Tamarina and having enjoyed the hospitality our next stop was the spectacular backdrop off Le Morne. If you know this area then you will remember that It has some of the best beaches on the island. Out first stop was Les Pavilions followed by visits to Dinarobin & Paradis and then our crunch golf match at Paradis! After a late night I was a bit worse for wear and as Mark had wisely headed to bed at a semi-sensible hour I felt Mark was quietly confident. The course itself has forgiving fairways and very little water with lush greens and with a couple of holes at the foot of the mountain, it sets a spectacular scene. Mark’s early night didn’t pay off as I was on a roll in the Chaka challenge now and leading 3-2! All set up for the last day.
Golf – Paradis
Favourite hole – 16th set on the edge of the bay the water comes into play on every shot of this par 5 and when putting on the green the views of the mountains and the ocean in the background is something else.
A fantastic hotel with a lot to offer, spacious rooms, great beach and a fantastic choice of restaurants. The spa area is excellent and I have always enjoyed excellent food here, especially the lobster.
Heritage Le Telfair
Again a superb hotel and one of my favourite hotels on the island. It is the sister hotel of the Awali but the stylish French colonial design offers something different with a touch of class.
Day 6 – winner takes all
After an early morning walk on the beach, it was off to meet Mark for breakfast, after this, we headed off on the short journey to the golf course. There we met up with our old friend, golf pro-Steven Shearer. The course is a course for golfers of all handicaps with the very well designed holes and undulating greens. Thankfully after the 18 holes I was victorious and glad to be taking home the Chaka challenge trophy. After a memorable 6 rounds, it was off to the clubhouse for lunch and a few beers in the hope that I could console Mark after losing in a 2-0 lead.
Golf – Heritage
My favourite hole is the 9th which is a risk & reward par 4 with water on each side of the fairway, if you take a driver or an iron off the tee it has to be accurate. I say risk & reward as the green is driveable.
Sadly this was the end of the trip, I hadn’t played 4 Seasons before and it was superb but Heritage in my opinion still is the finest course on the island. All in all an amazing week reinforcing my love for the island.