Here’s why Mauritius should be your next family vacay destination
Just a couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting breathtaking Mauritius following an invitation from the folks at Club Med. I wasn’t informed of the itinerary until about a week before take off, and let me tell you mama – as someone who loves to take charge of her own documents and day-to-day activities while abroad, I was nervous to say the least. But it turns out my worries were just that – worries. Club Med’s all-inclusive package for my 5-day stay was perfect, and I can safely say it’s such a fuss-free way for mamas to travel with the whole fam.
And if you’re wondering, nope – it’s not the Maldives! Located closer to Africa (Madagascar being its closest neighbour), Mauritius is a mountainous island with plenty of lush forests and diverse wildlife. Here are some other quick facts:
Languages: English, French, Mauritian Creole
Ethnicities: Indian, African, Chinese, French
Capital: Port Louis
Currency: Mauritian Rupee
Time difference from Singapore: 4 hours behind
Best time to visit: June – October
With a flight duration equivalent to getting to popular Singaporean tourist destinations like Melbourne, Tokyo or Dubai, the 7 hours 10 mins direct flight to Mauritius isn’t as unreachable as you think, mama! We flew via Air Mauritius, which is currently the only airline that flies direct to the island.
I got the chance to experience both Economy Class and Business Class on the flights to and fro, respectively, and while I would of course raaave about the latter, my Economy Class seat was also reasonably comfortable and plush. Although the entertainment selection wasn’t as extensive as I’d like, they did have a pretty good range of up-to-date Hollywood and French films (kiddos can appreciate Finding Dory in any language!).
Famed for their Mauritian hospitality, the full-service airline takes care of you from beginning to end with comfortable blankets, hot towels and satiating meals (with great Kosher, Hindu, pescatarian and halal meal options!). I also noticed across from me that baby cots were readily available for mamas with little ones, making it a convenient way to fly for families.
Club Med La Plantation d’Albion
Upon arriving that evening at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, we were taken to the Club Med minivan just minutes after collecting our luggage. Club Med La Plantation d’Albion was home for the next four nights, and the drive took just under an hour from the airport.
About Club Med: Founded in 1950, Club Med specialises in all-inclusive holiday packages in over 80 ‘villages’ located on five continents and over 20 countries worldwide (the closest ones to Singapore are Club Med Bintan and Club Med Bali, which you can consider if you’re pressed for time!). They aim to ensure every guest, or G.M (Gentle Members) is taken care of from the moment they land to when they depart for their next destination. The all-inclusive price includes accommodation, food and beverages, activities and use of facilities. Ala carte options such as airport transfers, excursions and premium alcoholic beverages are available at extra cost.
Akin to hotel ratings which go from 1 to 5 stars, Club Med has its own rating system called ‘tridents’, which corresponds to the different levels of comfort in each village. Club Med La Plantation d’Albion is a 5-trident resort, while Club Med La Pointe aux Canonniers in the northwest of Mauritius is 4-trident. Club Med d’Albion Villas, located within the d’Albion resort, are a class of their own, as they are properties which can be purchased starting at a cool €2,000,000 for a 4-bedroom villa.
My room was a garden-facing Club Room with a super spacious living area, bathroom (including shower, two sinks and a bath tub), a separate room for the toilet, a crazy-comfy bed and balcony, where I spent mornings birdwatching while having in-room breakfast.
Included in the package are all meals and most of the beverages at the open bar. There are three main meals at Club Med (breakfast, lunch and dinner) served in a buffet style, with two in-between meals (late breakfast and late lunch) served as snacks such as crepes and light finger food – basically, you’ll never go hungry, mama! The buffet spread is always exciting (try the vanilla French toast at breakfast and scrumptious seafood cream pasta for lunch), with booths cooking up a variety of delicious cuisines to suit everyone’s taste buds, and the best bread you’ve ever had. Little ones will love the variety of fruit, light bites, yoghurt and ice cream on offer.
They also have a gourmet restaurant, Le Phare, where we spent an evening at the gala dinner overlooking the west coast. The food is served in courses, and you can choose to have your food accompanied by white or red wine, Rosé and more.
It wouldn’t be Club Med without the super fun activities available for both adults and kiddos! I tried the flying trapeze and archery, both insanely good fun and just two of the many activities the whole fam can enjoy. Every station is manned by its own dedicated G.Os (Gentle Organisers, which is what they call their staff), who are always there to make sure you’re participating safely. Here’s a list of what you can take part in at d’Albion at no extra cost:
The main pool facing the open bar is where Aquadynamic and other water activities are held, with the table tennis tables nearby and plenty of sheltered sofas to lounge on. For a quieter sunbathing sesh, check out the aptly named Zen pool, where kiddos are not allowed. The infinity pool is the perfect place to relax with a nearby bar and snack station for when you get peckish while lounging.
As a go-to place for families, plenty of Club Med resorts offer babysitting services and a Kids Club!
Baby Club Med – 4 to 23 months
Petit Club Med – 2 to 3 years
Mini Club Med – 4 to 10 years
Club Med Passworld & Juniors’ Club Med – 11 to 17 years
At La Plantation d’Albion, Petit and Mini Club Med are on hand to take your tiny tykes in for the day. Kiddos are separated into their respective age groups with dedicated rooms. Meals, activities and nap times (for the younger ones) are all included, and little ones who miss their parents anytime during the day can take a break with them between 5pm to 7pm before rejoining the Mini Club for dinner. They will then be released to their parents again at 9pm to mark the end of the day.
While everything within Club Med will keep you occupied for days, it’s always a great idea to explore the area you’re in. Club Med’s excursions are carefully curated and available at additional cost at the Discovery Centre. They include a guide, lunch and drinks for full day tours, admission to sites included in the itinerary and bottled water throughout the day. We were taken on the Alternative Mauritius 1-day excursion to discover Mauritius’ beautiful natural sites and historical landmarks.
One of the highlights of the tour were Domaine des Aubineaux/Aubineaux Colonial House — the first residence in Mauritius to have electricity. We also visited the Chamarel Rum Factory to learn about rum production, then tried our hand at making our own cocktails.
Less manicured than the Singapore Botanical Gardens – I feel that ours feels a little too perfect – the SSR Botanic Gardens is a huge land filled with a variety of trees, plants and herbs. You’ll be amazed at the cluster of towering bamboo and palm trees, and come face-to-face with nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom trees with their strong fragrances. Other stops along the tour: Grand Bassin Temple, Varange sur Morne Restaurant, Alexandra Falls and Terres des 7 Colouers.
Every night after dinner, the G.Os entertain guests with themed shows, which are pretty much the highlight of the day. My favourites had to be the Jungle Beach Party and Michael Jackson Black & White Night. The former is held on the beach, with dreamy lights accompanied by a heart-pumping fire show, a display of Mauritian dance and fun Mauritian tunes to dance to. Michael Jackson Night was jaw-dropping, as their lead dancer and choreographer, Tarik, eerily felt like the reincarnated version of the King of Pop himself. The performance was out of this world, which was then followed by an 80s-themed dance party with boogie-worthy music.
For mamas looking for some R&R after a day’s worth of activities, pamper yourself at the Spa by CINQ Mondes. Booking my spa sesh for the last day of the trip to complete my stay at Club Med was the perfect decision – the Turkish hammam (a steam room which helps detox the skin) and Balinese massage were amazing. You’ll be spoiled with tea before and after the massage, and leave refreshed and ready to head home (or not…)!
Club Med La Pointe aux Canonniers
If you’d like to get double the Club Med experience in one, mama, book a day trip to the north of Mauritius and visit Club Med La Pointe! Famous for its even more beautiful ‘quiet beach’, crystal clear water, abundance in water activities and plenty more for the kiddos, it’s well worth the trip and is a better option if you’re on a tighter budget. I especially loved the Kids Club which is a lot bigger than the one at d’Albion, and so much more colourful!
Club Med App
To keep up with all the activities, dress codes and facilities in the resort, download the Club Med app available on the App Store, mama! It contains everything you need to know about every Club Med resort without you having to call reception.
Some other things to note:
WiFi: Works very well in the rooms but a bit spotty in the common areas. However I had no problems just disconnecting from my phone while I was out and just keeping updated online at the end of the day.
Power Socket: Similar to the round 2-pin plugs used in Indonesia. You can purchase one from the Club Med Boutique.
SIM Card: A few of my travel mates tried looking for SIM cards to have Internet access while we were out on the excursion, but it seems nano SIM cards aren’t found very easily. The smallest they usually go is micro.
All in all, I think Mauritius is an amazing place to visit (and a good starter to step foot on African soil). My trip was considered a short one, so if I were to ever come back I’d love to hike up some cool mountains, try out one of the famous ziplines and chill out by the beach. In the meantime, do me a solid and do those things for me in Mauritius with the fam, mama!
Thank you Club Med and Air Mauritius for hosting me! To book your perfect all-inclusive family holiday, visit www.clubmed.com.sg