Four of our favourite places for a family holiday in Mauritius
Lying in the Indian Ocean nearly 2000km from the south-east coast of Africa, Mauritius is a wonderful, remote destination for a family holiday. With warm weather year-round, it is a brilliant place to travel for some winter sun.
Lying in the Indian Ocean nearly 2000km from the south-east coast of Africa, Mauritius is a wonderful, remote destination for a family holiday. With warm weather year-round, it is a brilliant place to travel for some winter sun. Surrounded by 150km of white-sand beaches gently lapped by warm waters, this laid-back island is a tropical playground for children.
There are so many fantastic, child-friendly hotels here that it’s very difficult to know which to choose – which, of course, is where we can help. Our experts will listen carefully to your wants and needs, and select the right one for you, as well as arranging some incredible experiences for you and your children. Whether you’d like to go whale- and dolphin-watching off the west coast, walking in the south or snorkelling over coral reefs in the east, anything is possible. Below, we reveal some of the best spots for families:
1 One&Only Le Saint Géran
It’s easy to see why families return again and again to this iconic hotel in north-eastern Mauritius. Set on a magnificent stretch of white sand on a private peninsula, it is sheltered, meaning the lagoon is calm – perfect for young swimmers and learner waterskiers. The three swimming pools are another major bonus, as is the genuine and top-notch service.
We suggest the beautiful two- to three-bedroom suites here, which are ideal for bigger families. The complimentary KidsOnly (three- to 11-year-olds) and One Tribe (11 to 17 year olds) programmes are on another level, providing all sorts of fun activities to keep your children entertained; there’s even a children’s spa. This means you can really put your feet up, unwind and indulge yourself in the excellent adults’ spa.
Le Saint Géran is well located for exploring the north of the island. For our clients staying here, we often suggest spending a day with a private guide who will take you to the capital city, Port-Louis, to learn a bit about Mauritius’s enthralling colonial history and for some shopping at Le Caudan Waterfront. Another hit with children is the National Botanical Garden in the Pamplemousse district, which is home to some enormous Aldabra tortoises, which can grow to about 260kg and live 150 years.
2 Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa
This hip and contemporary hotel, on the east coast, is large to say the least, but there are plenty of good reasons to consider it for children of all ages. It boasts five idyllic beaches and has access to two private islands just a 10-minute boat ride away: Ilot Mangénie and Ãle aux Cerfs. The former, exclusive to Le Touessrok guests, is kitted out with comfortable cabanas and private butlers, and is a wonderful bolthole. The latter is home to a Bernhard Langer-designed 18-hole championship golf course and has endless water sports on offer for older children. You can also go horse-riding here and even swim with the horses.
The T-Club welcomes four- to 11-year-olds and the Teen Club 12- to 17-year-olds, and all sorts of creative activities are possible, such as bicycling, archery, water polo, stand-up-paddle-boarding, tubing, kayaking and pedal-boating – the list goes on. The vast clubhouse is packed with fun games and water-sports equipment, and there’s even a fun treehouse complete with a shady pool. For the parents, there are amazing gastronomic and wellness experiences to be enjoyed.
The hotel is a short drive from Trou d’Eau Douce, from where we can organise a private catamaran expedition for you. Although entirely flexible, you will most likely sail along the east coast to the Grand Rivière Sud Est estuary, where you can admire the pretty waterfalls and snorkel in the turquoise lagoon or simply relax on the deck sipping refreshing drinks. A delicious lunch will be prepared and served by your own chef who will be happy to cater to your every taste.
3 LUX* Grand Gaube
This colourful, quirky retreat is one of a kind. Set among verdant gardens on the north-eastern tip of Mauritius, LUX* Grand Gaube is a charming hideaway with a mirror-like lagoon before it, two tranquil beaches and two huge swimming pools. The atmosphere here is fun and informal, which is reflected in the retro yet sophisticated decor. For food-loving families, this is a winner as you can embark on a culinary journey from South American creations to local Creole delights and Turkish flavours.
We love the family suites here and the variety of experiences available for younger children. There is a packed daily programme, including cinema viewings, beach games, crab hunting, cake decorating and painting, to name a few. Teens will be kept busy by tennis lessons, fishing, yoga initiations, water-polo matches, cycling adventures and pedalo competitions. One of our favourite things about this hotel is its characterful ice cream truck, which serves complimentary ice creams all day, which is popular with adults and children alike.
For our clients staying here, we love to book an unforgettable flight in a two-seater seaplane, which gives you the opportunity to ogle at the awe-inspiring aerial views of northern Mauritius. Words simply cannot do this justice.
4 Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort
On the opposite side of the island from the other three lies this elegant and peaceful beach retreat. Nestled in the island’s south-western corner, it has a spectacular backdrop of the majestic Le Morne mountain. If you are travelling here in Mauritius’s winter (June to September), this is a great choice, as it is more sheltered than the east. Being on the west coast, the sunsets from here are also glorious. The property’s lovely villas are ideal for families and there are five swimming pools surrounded by tropical gardens for when you tire of the beach.
Another very good reason to choose Dinarobin is if you keen to kite-surf, which tends to be popular with adventurous adults and teens. This is one of the island’s best areas for this exhilarating water sport. In addition, if a slightly more sedate sport is more your style, this might be the place for you, as there are two golf courses in the vicinity – Tamarina and Avalon. With this in mind, Dinarobin is particularly suitable for families with older children in our opinion. However, everything is available if you are travelling with tinies, from changing tables and bottle warmers to baby-sitting services and a magical kids’ club.
Given its location, Dinarobin is a convenient base for exploring the south of the island with one our specialist private guides. We can meticulously arrange everything from catamaran cruises and hikes in the nearby lush forests to dolphin-spotting jaunts. Everything is wholly tailored to you, but some of our favourite places include Grand Bassin’s sacred crater lake, which is surrounded by colourful Hindu temples; the seven-coloured earth, an extraordinary natural phenomenon that is always a hit with children; or walking in the Black River Gorges National Park, where there are fantastic child-friendly trails with picturesque views and waterfalls. We can also organise zip-lining, horseback riding or mountain-biking adventures.
In the past, we have set up fabulous picnics in stunning settings overlooking one of southern Mauritius’s most picturesque and unspoilt landscapes. For those that wish to ‘go local’, we can arrange a cooking class at a wonderful restaurant to give you a real taste of the Creole cuisine.