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John & Deonne Howden: “Le Telfair is our home away from home”

John and Deonne Howden, who were on holiday at Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort last May, say they haven’t found the same level of discretion, fine dining and golfing facilities anywhere else in Mauritius.

photos : heritage resorts image bank

“We live in a quiet place and we have visited a lot of places in our lives. To us, Heritage Le Telfair is a place where we feel at home,” says John Howden. He and his wife Deonne first came to Mauritius some 30 years ago and have been regulars at the hotel ever since it opened in 2004. “We had never been to the south of the island but the colonial-style architecture immediately appealed to us and the package that included the golf was a very reasonable one,” Deonne says. “Our first experience impressed us so much that we have come back fourteen times over the last ten years.”

The couple comes from the picturesque town of Langebaan, just over 100 kilometres from Cape Town. They were overwhelmed by the welcome they first received. “The staff knew exactly who we were when we arrived, which was wonderful because it was our first time here. There was someone waiting to greet us properly and take us through the whole resort to our suite. We were very impressed by the attention to detail. We arrived very late at night and there were fruit and snacks waiting on the table. They had realised that we wouldn’t be in time for dinner. That was a very lovely touch,” says Deonne. “Every time we have come to Heritage Le Telfair, they have always done something to recognise our loyalty and there has always been a special touch. A little something to say they appreciate the fact that we keep coming back.”

The Howdens also admit to not being very enthusiastic about buffet-style meals and are particularly fond of the fine dining available at Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort. “The food is so beautifully prepared,” smiles Deonne. Another of their personal favourites is the golf course, “It’s always immaculate. People are friendly and the service is better than what we get at golf clubs back home.” She and her husband adore the Heritage golf course to the point that, last year, she posted a review on the TripAdvisor website for golf enthusiasts and people who “prefer a hotel that is a class above”. It’s been read by some 14,000 people.

The couple enjoys its privacy. “We’ve never found any of the staff to be over-familiar.” They also have nothing but praise for the butlers. “They’ve always gone out of their way to satisfy every single request we’ve ever made.” The Howdens are planning to come back to Heritage Le Telfair in the near future with their two daughters and their families, one of which lives in Singapore and the other in Scotland. “There’s something here that gets under your skin,” John says enthusiastically. “For us now, Heritage Le Telfair is our home away from home.”

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