“Respect our Coast” – Explore one of Mauritius’s Best-Preserved Lagoons with Heritage Resorts
A scientific study showed the natural lagoon bordering Heritage Resorts in southern Mauritius to be among the most pristine and well-preserved lagoons on the island. To help protect this rich yet fragile environment, the hotel group has partnered with the NGO Reef Conservation and introduced a campaign entitled “Respect our Coast”, which introduces a series of measures to ensure it will remain just as beautiful for future generations.
The two resort hotels, Heritage Awali and Heritage Le Telfair, are located on the Heritage Bel Ombre estate, a region of the island which has retained its authenticity and remained sheltered from development. Bordered on one side by a stunning mountain range and by a dazzling coastline on the other, the area has become known for its outstanding natural lagoon, white sandy beaches and stunning turquoise waters.
Heritage Bel Ombre was found to be one of the prime spots on the island for keen divers and snorkelers by the scientific research conducted in 2016, which identified no less than four separate coral reefs across the lagoon, as well as over 70 species of fish and numerous living corals. Scientists also found that the lagoon was home to many rare and endangered species, such as the sea cucumbers, the snail, the crab and the starfish. This extraordinarily rich environment was however also found to be very fragile, and the study outlined various threats to its health, particularly from human activity.
As part of the “Respect our Coast” campaign put in place to reduce those risks, the maximum speed for speedboats along the coast was for example reduced in an effort to limit damage to the corrals due to unnatural currents, and water-skiing was withdrawn from the list of activities on offer. As most traditional sunscreens were found to bleach the corals and damage the reefs, the resorts’ boutique also now offers Avene sunscreen, a mineral based sunscreen which has no impact of the environment, allowing bathers to remain protected from the sun and enjoy the beauty of the reef without damaging it.
In addition, the resorts co-designed a welcome pack with Reef Conservation, which is now in all the rooms. The Lagoon Directory informs guests how to make the most of the beautiful lagoon while ensuring its preservation. Advice is for example given on the best times to go snorkelling without damaging the reefs, with detailed tide schedules to help them organise their activities accordingly. The pack also clearly points out which local species visitors should avoid such as the Moray Eels and the Electric Rays, which could be potentially poisonous or can cause painful injuries on direct contact. Guests are also reminded not to touch the corals, as some species are so fragile they could take over a decade to recover from damage.
Keen to remain part of the Mauritian community, the resorts also run a partnership with Plankton Recycling Co-operative Society, a recycling company entirely managed by locals to recycle all the resorts’ glass waste and prevent it contributing to maritime pollution. In addition, Heritage Resorts also support Reef Conservation’s Bis Lamer Bus Tour, a project which aims to educate the children, students, and visitors on the island on the Mauritian coastline and its wildlife. The hands-on experience offers a mobile laboratory and interactive games, allowing visitors of all ages to learn more about this beautiful yet fragile environment and why it must be protected.
In additional efforts to adhere to their sustainable promise, Heritage Le Telfair has reduced the plastic packaging at the resort. Amenities can be found in recyclable boxes instead of single-use plastic materials, and products are now 100% eco-friendly and organic. Initiatives that will soon be joining the list of ecological projects include a waste management plan to reduce food waste, and a #refusethestraw project. To reduce the energy use of electricity, solar jars have been planted across both resorts. Three recycling bins (paper, aluminium and plastic) will be used to encourage hotel guests to recycle.
Many water based activities are on offer to explore the beautiful coastline in a non-invasive way such as snorkelling, diving, windsurfing, kite surfing and stand-up paddle boarding. Guests can also explore the lagoon aboard see-through, entirely transparent kayaks; a unique way to float above the fish, sea creatures and plants and see everything below. Finally, the resorts also organise regular excursions for visitors aboard glass bottom boats into the lagoon, and further afield guests can choose excursions that allow them to swim among dolphins.
Notes to Editor
About Heritage Resorts
Heritage Resorts are two five-star hotels – Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness Resort and Heritage Awali Golf & Spa Resort, set in the Heritage Bel Ombre, on the unspoilt south coast of Mauritius. The Domaine offers the ultimate combination of beach, nature, relaxation and adventure. The resort has 12 restaurants, the Heritage Nature Reserve (complete with its own wellness and adventure activities), the C Beach Club, a kids’ clubs, a babies’ corner and a teens’ club, a championship 18-hole golf course, a kitesurfing school, two spas, fitness centres and the romantic Heritage Le Chateau an 1800’s colonial French mansion now housing a fine-dining restaurant.
A seaview room suite starts from £125 per person/night based on two sharing with two children at Heritage Le Telfair. The rates include breakfast, unlimited free golf, complimentary baby club and kids club and free wifi.
For more information please visit: www.heritageresorts.mu