Heritage Golf Club ambassador Marcel Siem loves Mauritius. The four-time DP World Tour winner from Germany spends his festive and New Year break at Heritage Resorts, staying at the five-star Heritage Le Telfair Golf and Wellness Resort, with his wife and two children, and utilising the range of practice facilities to prepare or the season ahead. During his time at Heritage Resorts, Marcel enjoys relaxing with his family and experiencing all that Mauritius has to offer. Here, he reveals his favourite Mauritian places and past times.
Our Second Home
Every time we arrive at Heritage Le Telfair Golf and Wellness Resort, and at Heritage Golf Club, it’s like coming back to our second home, everyone remembers you and the faces are so friendly and familiar.
Our children are 8 and 11, so the kids’ club in the resort is a place they spend a lot of time at. The kids love it and so do my wife and I – we don’t have to worry about anything, and we can all relax and chill out by the pool while the kids play.
Since we have been coming to Mauritius for many years, our children know where everything is, they go to the bar, they order a hot chocolate, they play tennis, they swim in the pool – where there’s always somebody looking after them – and so for us as parents we can really switch off and enjoy our time in the sun.
One of the most special times of day is sitting down at sunset with the kids and spending time together on the beach surrounded by the beautiful ocean and enjoying unbelievable food. There are several great restaurants to choose from, so whatever your desire you’re guaranteed an amazing meal, impeccable service, and of course, great wine!
A lot of our time during the day is spent at Heritage Golf Club, where we are also greeted with the same friendly faces and excellent service.
My kids love spending time on the golf course too. As they have grown up around the sport, they understand the rules and etiquette and don’t go running on the greens. They enjoy bringing a few clubs along with them and hitting shots when I am playing on the Le Château Golf Course or practicing on the driving range. The welcoming, easy-going atmosphere and excellent facilities make Heritage Golf Club the perfect winter practice ground for me and my family.
Swimming With Dolphins
In many parts of the world, it’s not easy to find or see dolphins in their natural habitat. But in Mauritius, the locals are very knowledgeable and actually know where and when the schools of dolphin are likely to be, so it’s quite easy to gather a group and head out on the Indian Ocean to see dolphins up close – it’s a must for anyone visiting Mauritius!
We’ve been out via the Rivière Noire (Black River) district that covers the west of the island and towards Tamarina. The locals recommend going quite early, everybody says 6 or 7 o’clock in the morning, but when we went out, it was 9 or 10 o’clock.
We were prepared with snorkels and goggles and when we dove in to begin snorkelling, there were baby dolphins playing around us, they were doing backflips in the water and my kids loved that. At the later time of the day, the dolphins are relaxed and swim right up close to you – it was an unforgettable experience.
One of my favourite activities to do on a Sunday is gather a group of friends and sail down to a hidden river along the south west coast. The river is connected to the ocean and large enough for boats and people to swim.
There’s a raised sandbank where people meet and you can stand there for hours in the shallow water. Everybody takes a boat – both large and small vessels – and you create a circle in the ocean with all the boats anchored, making sure no one hits one another.
Everyone plays music, brings a selection of food; some tapas, some ham, some cheese, a mixture of salads and enjoys a drink. Sunday is the most common day off for locals, so Sunday afternoon, just as the sun is setting, is the perfect time to be at the sandbank. It’s something that my wife and I like to do without the kids, so we can enjoy a refreshing beverage, socialise with friends and residents and everyone just has a great time.
The water can reach up to stomach height, so you can only go there on a calm day, but if you choose the right time, you can be there for hours until the tide comes in – that’s nature’s way of telling you when to go home, it truly is a hidden gem in Mauritius.
Where History Meets Beauty
At the north end of Mauritius, the opposite end to Heritage Golf Club, is Grand Baie. We’ve taken a few catamaran trips from there, including a trip to Flat Island (Île Plate) – a small and beautiful island off the north coast.
There are no residents on the island, but you can walk around and view the untouched scenery – it’s a low-lying piece of land and the waters are shallow, so it’s a popular place to go snorkelling.
We’ve also been to Île aux Phare, located off the east coast, which has an amazing old lighthouse and is a great place for people that enjoy historical landmarks.
When you’re out on the crystal blue Indian ocean, it’s very cool to look back on the main island – you see just how beautiful Mauritius is.