Two amazing weeks in Mauritius
2022 marks my 50th year alive, and turning half a century needs celebrating big time! On a slow winter afternoon, I spontaneously bought a trip to Mauritius with a return date just days before my actual birthday and party. The 9th of May, I boarded Emirates flight EK158 from Arlanda, destination Dubai, with a transfer to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in Mauritius. To my delight, my favorite person in the world, J, decided to tag along!
We had booked our stay at Constance Belle Mare Plage, a 5-star luxury resort on the east coast. The resort is located along the coast, on a 2 km-long white sandy beach known for having some of the softest and whitest sand on the island. The hotel’s beach is protected by an offshore coral reef, which makes this an ideal place for swimming, water sports, and snorkeling. We had a nice enough suite overlooking the ocean and opted for half-board rather than all-inclusive. Anyway. Guests at this resort enjoy free green fees on the two adjacent golf courses, The Links and The Legend. And, of course, this is why we chose Belle Mare Plage in the first place, not the hotel itself. This was to be a trip focused on golf, relaxing in a deck chair, and enjoying food and wine without all the hassle of cooking or doing the dishes. I’d heard great things about the cuisine, which is said to be a blend of African, Indian, and Western flavors. Sounded awesome! However, the food at most of Belle Mare’s restaurants was well below par. Only the sushi place, The Blu Bar, delivers. We resorted to leaving the hotel a couple of nights and visiting a local Chinese restaurant—Chinese Gourmet—and that was a very pleasant experience. My first Peking Duck, for example. And then there were the cockroaches…
Overall, we had a great time — we met some nice people, went to the local market, relaxed, and enjoyed our own wine selection from the supermarket (the prices at the hotel were perhaps a little too high…). But the best part is that we played an enormous amount of golf (for me)! And the courses were amazing! Well-kept, friendly staff, and beautiful surroundings. I have never experienced anything like it, I must admit. During our stay, we played almost every day: The Legend, The Links, and Ile aux Cerfs.
The Legend was the closest of them, within walking distance. It is set within a heavily wooded, former deer hunting reserve. Water hazards threaten many of the holes, and I lost quite a few balls. The fairways were often quite wide and are said to be forgiving, but being such a newbie to golf, everything feels tricky. The coolest hole on this course was by far the 17th par 3, which plays across an inlet on the seafront at Bras Requin Bay to a large undulating green surrounded by bunkers. Yellow and white tees were much more exposed to the water than the ladies’ tee, but it was still cool enough. And I made a few pars on this one! Even better, I made my first ever par on a par-5 hole! It was hole 6—a dogleg right with water protecting the right-hand side of the fairway. Yay! Facts: designed by Hugh Baiocchi in 1994 Par 72, 6018 m.
The Links was my favorite of the two belonging to the resort. The course features rolling terrain with cool black volcanic rocks piled high to form pyramid-like structures. Although there were fewer water hazards than in The Legend, you still lost a few balls in the volcanic rock formations. I had no particular favorite hole on this course; I liked them all, and I especially loved the rolling, undulating terrain. From my score cards, I can see I had at least one decent round here—for my capacity, that is. Facts: designed by Rodney Wright and Peter Alliss in 2002, Par 72. 5942 m.
Ile aux Cerfs
Ile aux Cerfs (Bernhard Langer Signature Course) claims to have one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world, and although I haven’t played too many yet, I can surely vouch for its beauty! Ile aux Cerfs is a small island reached by a jetty from Pointe Maurice, and on this tiny island is an 18-hole championship golf course designed by two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer. All 19 holes (yes, the 18th hole comes with an optional, extra-challenging green) have ocean views, some with glimpses across clearings through the trees, others by actually coming close to the shore. The green fee was quite steep, but Ile aux Cerfs has been recognized as the No. 1 of the Top-20 golf courses to play once in your lifetime by Golf World magazine. And the experience was worth it, in my book! My game, however, was not worth the money, but I made par on a few of the shorter holes. Facts: designed by Bernhard Langer in 2003. Par 72. 6476 m.
It’s unlikely I’ll ever go back to Mauritius—there are so many places to see in the world, and so many courses to play. )I’m glad I did, and I loved spending all of my time with J and trying something new with him. Time to start planning the next trip! But first, enjoy summer in Sweden. There are numerous golf courses at home as well.