La Hacienda is situated in the historic region of Old Grand Port, the ‘cradle’ of Mauritian civilisation. The property overlooks a large bay with several river tributaries which served as the first port for Dutch colonisers who arrived in 1598. It also overlooks the sea and outer islands where the famous battle between the French and British took place in 1810. This battle was Napoleon Bonaparte’s one and only naval victory, and is recorded on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
Given this region’s long and rich history, it offers several important historical sites, such as the ruins of the Dutch (and subsequent French) fort which is now a museum, the monument of the Dutch people’s first landing, an ancient French cemetery, and other historical buildings and ruins. The oldest French sugar factory is also located at the foothill of the mountain.
The region of Old Grand Port and Lion Mountain is also valued for its spectacular natural beauty and biodiversity. It represents one of the last remaining unspoilt refuges on the island, containing a large number of native and endemic flora and fauna. La Hacienda is located next to the newly-established Ferney Valley Nature Reserve, and it also overlooks the nature reserve island of ‘Ile aux Aigrettes’. The endemic bird species of the Pink Pigeon (Columba mayeri) and Kestrel (Falco punctatus), the native White-tailed tropic bird (Phaethon lepturus) and Fruit Bat (Pteropus niger), as well as numerous other bird species can be seen on the property. Other non-native fauna include monkeys, hares, and tendrecs.
Surrounded by a large stretch of mangrove forests, the bay is also famous for its marine biodiversity. Some of the most acclaimed diving sites are situated in the bay, and the best snorkelling on the island can be found at the nearby Blue Bay Marine Park. The bay and surrounding seas are also the source of the island’s best seafood.
The nearest town in the region is Mahébourg, rich in history as the first settlement established on the island by French colonists in 1721. Today, this seafront town offers a rare historical look into the French colonial period with its ancient colonial buildings, houses, and monuments, and a Naval Museum. Browsing the town’s colourful local market at the waterfront for handicrafts, clothing and textiles, fish, and fruits and vegetables, is also a treat. This town also offers all necessary amenities, such as a post office, banks, supermarkets, and restaurants.