Club Med has been a beloved institution for French holidaymakers for decades, offering premium all-inclusive family and adult-only holidays across the globe. Jill Nash takes a trip to Mauritius with her family to explore what it has to offer.
One of Africa’s most loved destinations and located in the middle of the magical Indian Ocean, Mauritius seems to offer everything – from luxurious resorts and perfect white beaches to clear waters for snorkelling and feasts of fresh seafood. It also has a myriad of UNESCO World Heritage sites, world-class golf courses and mountain trekking for those who don’t want to lounge around on a beach all day.
One of the key aspects for families is that, despite the rather long flight (which can be broken up by a stop-over in Dubai), there is only a three-hour time difference between Mauritius and the UK, which makes adjusting easy for children. There are also plenty of educational aspects, as Mauritius has a rich and varied history, mixed Creole heritage and a natural environment to explore.
Club Med La Plantation D’Albion offers children the opportunity to try scuba diving, paddle boarding and daily island sightseeing on a speed boat. There are also plenty of other exciting activities for children to try, such as the expertly run trapeze school and archery, meaning that they will never be bored. The resort is perfect for parents seeking R+R whilst their children are kept active and busy in the kids’ club, learning French as they go. If you want to explore with your children, there are plenty of excursions offered (there is an on-site office to help you plan), including an organised family boat trip on which you can swim with wild dolphins, or a glass-bottomed boat ride, which runs twice daily at 12noon and 4.30pm. It’s an island of discovery under the sea and great for spotting and learning about the local marine life, which includes clown fish, trigger fish and snappers – the whole family will love it.
The resort itself is set is a lush 21-hectare resort and feels more like a nature reserve than a hotel resort. Wonderful wildlife and exotic vegetation shape the landscape, and the natural beach spots with swirling riverbeds change the scenery every hour with the tide. The stunning infinity pools (there are separate ones for families and adults) offer the relaxing spots where you can enjoy a cocktail – why not, it’s all-inclusive after all.
If you manage to get time by yourself, the Zen-like Cinq Mondes Spa is world-class. The expert therapists offer a comprehensive spa menu in treatment rooms with stunning sea-views. The relaxation area is perched on the cliff over the Indian Ocean, serving teas and fresh fruit… post-treatment, you won’t want to move.
All the rooms and suites have a balcony or a terrace, but if you are with little ones, make sure you request for interconnecting. The Club Deluxe rooms are generously sized and include a useful sitting area and ginormous bathrooms, the latter complete with freestanding roll-top baths and double sinks. The design has a traditional Mauritian feel – natural wooden floors, brightly decorated textiles and large floor-to-ceiling glass doors looking onto the gardens or sea. Nice additions include the complimentary minibar, fluffy bathrobes and turn-down service. You probably won’t be spending much time in your room, but if you do prefer some privacy, there is room service for breakfast (complimentary), which makes it easier than rushing out to the restaurant first thing in the morning when the children are hungry, and there’s a good choice of movies on demand for when it’s time to wind down.
Drink & Dine
The Le Banian Bar (located in the main building) is where you will probably spend most evenings before and after dinner. They serve complimentarydrinks throughout the day, and after 6pm, they serve chilled Champagne. The bar is next to the main swimming pool and the La Distillerie restaurant, where you can enjoy a variety of themed dinners, from Italian to sushi. This service is buffet style, which makes it easy to select food for picky eaters, and the variety and quality is outstanding. If you have the children, make sure you get a table near the tempting buffet itself, as you’ll be up and down every minute.
Every evening there is a theme, so make sure you pack a variety of outfits to join in the fun (but if you forget, there is always an on-site boutique to help you with those last-minute panic buys). Typically, there is White Night and a Mauritian Night, where the children do get costumes and dance around the restaurant. The children will love the themed entertainment, from the poolside fire shows to the Michael Jackson Thriller tribute. The most popular is the trapeze show, where the highly trained trapeze artists show off their skills on the high ropes.
There is no shortage of eccentric evening entertainment, but if its peace and quiet you are looking for, you can opt to dine at Le Phare restaurant, where there’s table service and an à la carte menu – still included in your package. Although it caters for children, this restaurant is quieter and specialises in local Mauritian cuisine and Asian dishes. The views are stunning, but make sure you book in advance, as it’s very popular.
To unwind at the end of the day, head to the beach bar, where you can grab a sundown drink with sand in your toes, sitting in the tropical paradise.
If you are looking for all-inclusive, hassle-free yet adventurous family escape, La Plantation D’Albion Club Med scores highly. The best part is the quality of holiday, which offers exceptional value for money.
For more information visit:
Call: 020 3892 8030
Rates: from £1,105pp