Heritage Awali

Rating: 

A five star African-style all-inclusive family resort in the beautiful south

One of the best value all-inclusive packages for families on the island, this resort has a safe sandy beach, oodles of activities, and a unique baby club.

Information & Facts

Accessibility

There is one specially-equipped deluxe room for disabled guests. Although there are no lifts to reach rooms on the second and third floor, all public areas are wheelchair accessible.

Activities / Excursions Outside the Resort

The resort organises a full day trip along the west coast by catamaran to see the dolphins, with a BBQ lunch on board (Rs3000/£66.50 adults, Rs1500/£33.20 children (3-11 years)) and can also arrange an excellent electric bike adventure (www.electrobikemauritius.com) along the south coast (minimum height 1.47 metres – around ten year old) with lunch in a village home (where kids can learn to cook rotis) for Rs2, 860/£63 per person.

Those on Premium AI get free entrance to the ‘geological marvel’, the Seven Coloured Earths of Chamarel, Mauritius’ most visited attraction and a three course set menu at nearby Chamarel Restaurant (transport is not provided).

A child’s car seat can be requested on reservation.

Best Bits for Kids

Food glorious food all day including wood-fired pizza, crepes and an ice cream parlour, oodles of activities at the kids club from picnics to bike tours, and a spa treatment with the family.

Best Bits for Parents

An all-inclusive package with everything provided for the kids, so there’s some ‘me’ time for parents from treatments in the tranquil spa to paddle boarding, gourmet dining and dancing under the stars, the baby club and Heritage Nature Reserve.

Best Family Beaches

Heritage Awali lies on a safe southern beach with a sandy bottom, which gradually slopes into deeper water. A short walk away is the small, but fine, swimming beach at Heritage C Beach Club, with a kitesurfing school. The nearest, best public beach is the white sand Le Morne Beach, a half hour drive west, which stretches 4kms along the Le Morne Peninsula.

Digital Detox / Digital Overload

Although with an educative focus, Timomo there’s a TV room, with DVDs and movies and Playstations for Timomo Kids (6-11). The separate teens club has a Wii and Nintendo. In-room, there’s payable video on demand, an interactive satellite TV and free WiFi throughout the resort. Deluxe Beachfront rooms have an ipod docking station.

Endorsement Quote

Describing itself as ‘The best 5 star all-inclusive in Mauritius’, this well-established family-friendly resort has anticipated every need, from the changing table and nappy bin in the public toilets to an app allowing parents to send messages to staff.

Families are relaxed and comfortable here, with babies cuddled and cooed at by friendly, helpful staff, and plenty of activities, other children to play with and a safe beach. V.I. Kids (3-11 years) receive a welcome mocktail, and room gifts (a Timomo & Friends t-shirt and cap) on arrival.

Family Traveller's Recommended Family Rooms

Of the deluxe rooms, numbers 3-4000 are poolside, with a sea view, 6000 are close to the kids club, 7000 are beachfront and 8000 are near the adult pool and bar.

Six deluxe beachfront rooms and two senior beachfront suites on the ground floor, have direct beach access, making them ideal for families with young children. A special adventure lies in store for families who book a ground floor senior beachfront suite or there villa, as turn down includes a tipi set up in the garden with a torch, milk and cookies – a surprise when kids get back from dinner.

Food & Drink

Heritage Awali is one of the best five star all-inclusives on the island, with unlimited French Champagne and imported brands included. The basic all-inclusive package allows families to dine in four restaurants – three of them a la carte (must be booked in advance), and a further two with selected items only, meaning there’s plenty of choice and four bars are included, and one kids menu throughout. There’s always somewhere to eat and drink, with Danish pastries served late morning (10.30am-noon), and crepes in the Zenzibar lounge bar at tea time (4-6pm), and the minibar (with one daily refill) is stocked with soft drinks, water, juices, wine and local beer and snacks. Families can get a picnic box if out for the day (book 24 hours in advance).

Perks for premium all-inclusive include a bubbles breakfast on the beach, lobster dinner at Infinity Blue, an African dinner experience at Boma, dinner at the steakhouse and a picnic lunch in the Awali endemic garden.

There’s a menu of homemade purees to choose from for babies, made to order and delivered in room or to Timomo Baby Club (all included). Many children take their meals at the kids club (included in AI packages).

Dietary requirements are catered for, with vegetarian and gluten free menus on request. Although relaxed by day, smart casuals are expected in all bars and restaurants from 6pm, with long trousers or tailored shorts, collared shirts and closed shoes for men.

It’s evident that the main restaurant Savana was designed with families in mind, when the first view is of families gathered around a communal table at the entrance, with table mats designed for colouring in. Families can sit inside its pillared space with glass to ceiling doors, overlooking the sea or on a balcony under Bedouin-style canvas right beside the beach. The buffet breakfast includes a cold buffet and a la carte hot dish, and hot chocolate with real chocolate, made to order in front of young guests. A wide selection of international cuisine is offered at the themed evening buffet.

Amafrooty offers a la carte salads and sandwiches and a buffet at lunchtime, and a wood-fired pizza in front of the beach is on the lunchtime menu at Infinity Blue, an open-sided beachside restaurant, which offers a la carte dining under thatch, around a largely seafood based menu. It has a gala dinner with fine dining every Friday (kids can order a la carte). Also included in all-inclusive packages is lunch and dinner at the chilled Heritage C Beach Club (selected items only), all decked out in turquoise and white, and with a the lovely small infinity pool to keep young children happy at the centre.

Other dinner options include Italian restaurant, Kuizini, where the chef can tailor make kids pasta dishes, adult only Zafarani offering Indian dinners in intimate surrounds for an evening without the kids, and al fresco African-style BBQ restaurant, Boma held two evenings a week (with supplement for AI guests) with an African show and bonfire. AI guests can also get lunch and dinner at Heritage C Beach Club 

There’s beach service from 11am to 5pom, and kids can pop to the ice cream parlour at Amafrooty in the afternoons, and order a freshly cut coconut to drink at Coco Shack on the beach.

Bars include Zenzibar lounge bar, open all day and sundowners are at the Infinity Blue Cocktail Bar or Coco Shack, on the beach, and Heritage C Beach Club.

There are a total of 12 restaurants and eight bars across Heritage Resorts – the others at the resorts’ five star sister hotel next door - and AI guests at Heritage Awali can dine in all of them, subject to availability, for a supplement.

Getting There

The resort is forty minutes private transfer or taxi ride from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport.

Hotel Shop

The Blue Earth Boutique sell pampers nappies (including swimming nappies), Bledina formula milk and baby food, baby wipes, mosquito spray, and plastic beach toys.

Hotel Vibe

The Swahili word Awali means a ‘return to the source’, and Heritage Awali reflects the island’s African heritage, from its architecture and décor to its laid back vibe. Think African masks on the walls, animal prints in the bedrooms and African food and dancing at the Boma restaurant. It’s a large resort, with good facilities and plenty to do, but staff still have time to coo and cuddle babies.

Kids Clubs

Located between Heritage Awali and Heritage Le Telfair resorts, Timomo & Friends kids club, caters for children from 36 months to 11 years. ‘Ti’ means small in the local Creole language, and ‘momo’ is a nickname for Mauritius. The kids club concept is based around Timomo, a bird who goes in search of treasure, the other side of the rainbow (symbolising multicultural Mauritius), and makes new friends around the island.

Timomo has three spaces dedicated to different age groups: Timomo baby club (0-3 years, Mini Timomo (3-6 years old) and Kids Timomo (6-11 years old).

The Timomo baby club is unique on the island and complimentary for those on AI packages. Open from 8.30am to 4pm, and best booked 24 hours in advance, it caters for ‘V.I. Babies’ from birth to 35 months (the youngest hosted was 3 weeks old) in a dedicated baby corner, a separate building furnished with a changing table, sink and baby tub, beds, secure zones with toys and play mats, a fridge, bottle warmer, bottle sterliser, high chairs and push chair. The staff – six baby nurses trained in childcare and first aid - focus on sensory activities, swimming and building sandcastles outdoors and crafts, fingerprint/footprint, cards for parents etc.

Mini Timomo and Kids Timomo are both open from 8.30am to 11pm, and have educational toys (including musical instruments), fun activities and a large outdoor play area for ‘V.I.Kids’ with climbing wall, swings, slides, rocking horses etc, and a secured, supervised pool. There’s also an auditorium to prepare and host shows, a TV room, and an eating corner.

During their holiday, kids will learn about the domaine, the islands’ endemic plants, the lagoon and its coral and shellfish and Mauritian culture. There are fitness classes for kids such as aqua aerobics, and stretching, and sports sessions include golf/tennis/badminton initiation and archery.  The most loved activities at Kids Timomo are a picnic in the garden of Heritage the Chateau (payable), a fancy dress rainbow evening, the mini golf, ropes and Tyrolean at Heritage C Beach Club, sega dance class, hair braiding and mini tatoo. There are also crab hunts on the beach, arts and crafts activities, and games, and trips to the infinity pool at Heritage C Beach Club.

Cool Teens of Heritage Resorts (included in Premium AI packages), based in the activity centre, caters for 12 to 17 year olds. Activities it offers include archery, roller blades, table tennis by the main pool, tennis, football, bocci ball, a pool table, mountain bike tours, DJ academy, Wii and Nintendo. There are also sega parties around a bonfire, and discovery of local instruments such as the ravanne.

Location

Heritage Resorts are set in the spacious 2500 hectare former sugar estate of Bel Ombre in the ‘beautiful south’, between a white sand beach and green hills, with a free shuttle service offered within the estate. The Heritage Nature Reserve, in the foothills of the Black River Gorges National Park, lies across the road, and the south offers a slice of authentic Mauritian life, and most of the islands’ tourist attractions.

Pools

The resort has three swimming pools including an adults only pool. The main restaurants and bar are set in and around a large central infinity pool, and a beachfront infinity pool shaped like a dodo is perfect for young children, with a shallow stretch, for toddlers. The spa has a large rectangular pool, with an eddying current.

Rooms

Heritage Awali has 161 spacious and comfortable, mostly garden view, rooms under thatch, with African-inspired orange walls. The 52 square metre deluxe rooms with a terrace or balcony, have rich dark wood furniture, tile floors, and an optional window for a view from the bathtub (with separate shower and toilet), and a pull-down sofa bed, which sleeps two children under 12 years or one teen. Larger families prefer to take interconnecting deluxe rooms (23 pairs), which can include twin beds, and a maximum three children.

Five exclusive senior beachfront suites are almost double the size, with a separate room for children, and a whirlpool bath (in the bathroom), and a spacious beachfront villa suitable for a family of four, has two en suite bedrooms, a private pool and gazebo, whirlpool bath, and a home cinema.

Spa & Pampering for Adults

Open air thatched cabanas lie in tropical gardens around a giant rectangular pool with an eddying current, in Heritage Awali’s spacious (3000 square metre) and rather beautiful, Spa Village, where Seven Colours Wellness Experiences include an African Inspiration Signature Ritual with beauty treatment and a typical African massage. There’s also a cold pool, sauna and steam for guest use. One spa treatment per adult per stay is offered to AI guests, and a treatment per day to those on Premium AI packages. Guests also have access to Heritage Le Telfair’s spa with a resident osteopath and wellness walks in the Heritage Nature Reserve.

A fitness programme includes aquagym and yoga sessions, and aerobics and cardio are also offered in the Umuzi sports and fitness centre.

Spa & Wellbeing for Kids

Heritage Awali has the most kid-friendly treatment room in a spa in Mauritius, with animal footprints on the floor, and a giraffe picture and kids handprints on the wall. Three massage tables means kids from 4 to 11 year olds can have a 30 minute Ti Massage or T Facial treatment with their parents on a family spa package and there’s an outdoor garden for kids mani and pedi, and there’s nail deco and henna tatoo. Spa staff also come to the kids club to give taster massages.

Sports

Complimentary watersports offered at the cabana nautical centre at Heritage C Beach Club are windsurfing, lasers, see-through kayaks (single and double), pedal boats, snorkelling and glass bottom boat trips. It also has complimentary daily green fees on its award-winning 18 hole championship golf course (voted ‘Best Golf Course’ in the Indian Ocean at the World Golf Awards 2017), and a 9 hole golf course (with footgolf for a fee (combining football with golf rules)) and free golf clinics. Payable golf activities include golf lessons, a night golf experience and Jack Nicklaus’ Starting New at Golf Method (SNAG) for kids from 6 to 12 years offered from the kids club.

Other free activities are darts, archery, mountain bikes, two tennis courts (racquets included), beach volleyball, beach soccer, table tennis, bocci ball and a giant chess board. Payable activities include hiking and quad biking in Heritage Nature Reserve, scuba diving, kitesurfing and daily water skiing sessions, tennis lessons and horse riding for adults and kids.

Room Service

There’s 24 hour room service available for selected food items (with tray charge of Rs300/£6.54) - with lunch available 11am-11pm. Baby puree is complimentary for AI guests, and there’s no tray charge for those on premium AI packages.

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