VLH: A Year at a Glance
What a year 2017 has been! As we start the New Year, it now seems like the right time to reflect back on 2017, a particularly eventful year for us. Between renovations and reopenings, international events and local programs, 2017 at Veranda Leisure & Hospitality was a year like no other—a year of consolidation, building on past experiences and a shared commitment to elevate our brand to greater heights. Let’s look back on the exceptional moments that set the course for an even more exceptional 2018.
July was punctuated by the rehabilitation of Bel Ombre’s stunning beaches and lagoon, led by Professor Kerry Black, a renowned Australian coastal and hydrodynamic specialist, and Iain Watt, a Scottish marine biologist. As part of our commitment to protect our island’s heritage and natural beauty, we closed Heritage Awali’s doors for almost three weeks to be wholly dedicate ourselves to mitigating beach erosion.
This month was also abuzz with adrenaline and excitement as we returned with a second edition of the Heritage Southern Peaks Trail, the only race of its kind in the region. Amateurs, seasoned runners, families and international marathon runners gathered to take in Bel Ombre’s spectacular scenery and stroll, walk, jog or run amid the wild south’s green rolling hills and untouched, raw beauty. What first began as a picturesque marathon has earned a reputation as a challenging race for those seeking to break personal records. Participants crossed the finish line at C Beach Club, where they celebrated their success with a delicious spread.
September was a month of new beginnings for both Heritage Le Telfair and Veranda Paul et Virginie who, after three months of punctilious renovations, unveiled refreshed looks. Le Telfair was outfitted with brand new suites and a touch of contemporary elegance that lend the hotel a timeless appeal; a renewed focus on wellness, with a stunning Wellness Pavilion, and an incredible culinary journey complete the hotel’s offerings. Meanwhile, Grand Gaube saw the rise of a brand-new Couples Only hotel, Veranda Paul et Virginie: a new infinity pool, breakfast in bed and a duo massage on a floating deck make for the ideal getaway for two.
Kitesurf aficionados were treated to a thrilling event close to C Beach Club. With idyllic beaches, ideal weather and Mauritius’ only kitesurf school only a stone’s throw away, it only made sense that the TAG Heuer Kitesurf League was once again held in Bel Ombre after an extremely successful first edition. Louka Pitot and Simon Lamusse, our local world champions, were among those who competed in the action-packed event. Beyond a sizeable prize pot, the stakes are high: the winner goes on to represent Mauritius at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018.
In October, we celebrated Veranda Grand Baie’s 35 glorious years of existence, characterized by exceptional service and exceeding expectations. The special celebrations were kicked off with a lavish evening where guests and employees made merry until the wee hours of the morning. Yet another remarkable event gathered over 500 guests on our Domaine’s vast grounds: a sparkling new identity, Heritage Bel Ombre. Each property was renamed under the mother brand, with the aim of instilling a synergy among all hotels and activities across the estate. Now, they operate under one cachet and are invariably connected by a unified identity. The event also marked the reopening of Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness Resort, which was suffused with contemporary glamor and a focused attention on wellbeing. Throughout the year, Le Telfair offered guests encounters with all things wellness: a 7-day retreat with Pilates classes, massages, healthy yet delectable meals, leisure strolls in the Nature Reserve and dips in the ocean helped guests find their mental, physical and spiritual balance. The Wellness Week was made more even more noteworthy with our collaboration with Lolë, the renowned Canada-based athleisure brand.
As summer’s warm, gentle breeze crept upon us, November set the stage for the ultimate MTB race: the Southern Tropical Challenge by Heritage. Professional MTB riders—Julien Absalon, Karl Platt, Thomas Dietsch—made their way to Bel Ombre for a heightened version of the global race. As they rode through 17 properties, each featuring wild landscapes and a variety of slopes, riders were enthralled by the intricacies of the race. While the Sky to C race was created with experienced riders in mind, the Sea to C circuit was shorter and dedicated to less experienced riders. Regardless, participants were treated to Mountains, Beach and Beer—all in the same day.
We ended the year on a high note, with another outstanding edition of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, the only tri-sanctioned golf tournament in the world. Elite golfers competed for a whooping €1 million grand prize, while former Liverpool players—Ian Rush, Patrick Berger, Vladimir Smicer and Gary McAllister—kick-started the tournament with a charity game of footgolf. With an impressive group of legends from over 30 countries, the event was electrifying and riveting in equal measure.
In December, we were graced by Chef David Toutain, a Michelin-starred chef, who curated a five-course dinner melding textures, flavors and global cuisines. Diners at Heritage Le Château were embarked on a gastronomic journey, elevated with just the right pairing of wine, cementing the Château’s reputation as a can’t-miss pit stop in the South of Mauritius.
Reflecting back on 2017 grips us with enthralling anticipation of what 2018 has in store for us. We intend to make next year even more extraordinary, more special, more memorable—in true VLH fashion.
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