I’m sure you have seen via my Instagram spamming that we were in beautiful Mauritius on holiday last week. I thought I would write a post with all the details of why we picked there, how we booked and of course information on the hotel. So please keep reading if you would like the lowdown on our trip of dreams.
When & Where?
We decided in January we wanted a bit of winter sun before the end of my husbands holiday year (end of March). We are also really in the mindset of enjoying as many trips as possible outside of school holidays, believe it or not Bella will be starting school in Sept 2020). We looked at some options back in November / December but held out thinking there is always a deal to be done when it comes to holidays in January. Knowing that I was pregnant we were quite limited for choice as Zika has now spread far and wide across the globe and is of course a risk if for you and your partner if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant (you can find out more here and of course speak to your doctor). Dubai was an obvious choice, but we have both spent so much time there in the last five years we weren’t ‘eeek, yay excited’ about it (don’t get me wrong we both LOVE Dubai and know it will be a holiday choice for us as a family for years to come but we fancied something different and more tropical). We nearly booked the Seychelles but a few agents told us that the Seychelles is still seen as more ‘exclusive’ than Mauritius and therefore you are naturally going to pay more for it. In other words you get more for your money in terms of hotel standards and service in Mauritius. This holiday was all about a treat and chilling so we looked at Mauritius. We narrowed it down to a few hotels and we went with the Four Seasons, the brand has an indisputable reputation* plus a couple of agents told us that as a brand they are known as the ‘best in the world’ for their kids clubs and baby sitting etc. SOLD. Another highly respected agent said the Four Seasons all day long for service. Sooooo the Four Seasons it was!
(* I use trip advisor avidly when booking a hotel and I didn’t know this until recently but you can filter the reviews to different subjects - ‘kids club’ was the one I was most interested in. I always take it with a pinch of salt though, one person gave the hotel a one star review because it took an hour for someone to collect their plates after room service and they had to wait ten minutes in their villa for their bags to be bought to the room after check in - I mean get over yourself. I am also always look at pictures people have tagged at the resort on Instagram as you get a better representation than the hotel’s official page).
We booked the trip through BA holidays as we 100% wanted direct flights and half board (all inclusive wasted on me as a preggo) so it came out as the best deal. We ‘ummed and ahhed’ about flight times and decided on two night flights. Last summer I did 6 flights with Bella and hands down the best flight was the one I thought would be worst - the one that took off at 11pm aka the night flight. She slept the whole flight and let me tell you entertaining a toddler that is wide awake on a plane is up there with one of the most challenging things ever. So we booked a flight leaving London at 8.30pm and then returning leaving Mauritius at 9pm. We didn’t get much sleep but the gamble paid off. She slept about 9 hours on the way out and about 10 and a half on the way home, the crew were laughing when the lights were on and everyone had got off the plane and Bella was STILL asleep! The thought of doing a day flight and entertaining Bella for 12 hours is pretty horrific.
Arrival / Service
Where to start? In terms of the service and friendliness of the staff I can hands down say it is the best place we have ever stayed. The thing that made it for us was how they all treated Bella. We pulled up to reception in the car from the airport and Hema from the front desk was waiting for us and as soon as the car door opened her and two other ladies were saying ‘hello Bella, hello princess!’ just amazing. Every member of staff would remember our names and always say hello to Bella. Safe to say we were impressed from the get go. One night there was a huge downpour and we woke up to dripping on our terrace from the roof above. Phil found it a bit irritating in the early hours so called reception to ask if someone could take a look. Anyway they fixed it immediately, the front desk manager came find us on the beach to apologise to us personally and then when we got home from dinner that night we had a hand written card with an apology with a bottle of champagne and a box of macaroons - unbelievable!
Nothing was too much for the staff and I have become very found of Mauritian people after this trip.
Step into our palace, and yes all of this was ours!
All the rooms in the resort have pools in them and we had booked a one bed villa with plunge pool. After check in we were driven to our room by golf buggy and when we pulled up it became very apparent we had received quite a momentous upgrade. We could see the villa was enormous. Inside it turned out it had two enormous bedrooms and bathrooms, two outdoor showers, an enormous living area with a kitchen and we had a much bigger pool and garden. We were stunned, what an absolute treat!
This is what we booked which let’s be honest would have probably been one of the nicest hotel rooms we’d ever stayed in, floor plan below
And this is what we ended up in, I KNOW! No joke I think the floor plan is bigger than the house we live in.
These images are obviously from the big villa but the standard of furniture and decor is constant throughout all rooms.
View from the master bathroom into the master bedroom
Walk in wardrobe in master suite
Bedroom two (which also had a huge bathroom and outdoor shower).
Beaches / Pools
There are two beaches at the Four seasons, one called the ‘quiet beach’ and one of the other side of the resort where the beach restaurant and water sports are located. I think I mentioned that none of the beaches were ever busy, because all rooms have pools most people seem to split their time between their room and the beach / pool.
Regarding the main pool, the big pool boasts the iconic four seasons double palm tree setting and is pretty special and has a smaller shallower pool behind which we spent most of our time in.
All the beaches and pools have waitered service and lots of complimentary iced water (I think no matter how fancy the hotel drinking water should be complementary especially in such hot places). The service around the pools and beach was second to none, everyone was fab but Sajjhad looked after us particularly well. It’s always handy to have a baby bump to rest your iced latte on!
The resort is quite big as all the rooms are villas and spread our for privacy, you can call a buggy at any point to be driven about, we opted for the bikes to get about during the day. I was nervous at first being pregnant but it was just cycling along a path and we took it really slow. Bella absolutely loved the novelty of sitting on the front of Dada’s bike.
I mentioned how Bella was treated like the queen of the four seasons above, we felt so welcome everywhere we went and she loved talking to the staff or showing the hostesses her new dress at dinner. We had a few looks from some other guests if she was being loud but if ever she was misbehaving we obviously did something about it. Otherwise if someone is going to give us a death stare at a two year old talking enthusiastically about a fish then they need to a) book an adults only hotel and b) remember they too were once two years old.
The pool in our room provided Bella with hours of entertainment as well as the garden. We spend alot of time on the beach and around the shallower pool. We packed some swimming woggles / noodles int the golf bag so practiced lot’s of the exercises we do in Bella’s swimming lessons and it’s quite astonishing how much Bella’s swimming came on during the trip.
There is a great kids club at the four seasons, they have some indoor air con areas including a kitchen where Bella cooked pizza one day. They also have an outdoor pool and sandpit which are under cover. The kids club is complimentary to children over four, Bella is obviously two so instead we paid for a ‘baby sitting’ service were by you pay by the hour for one on one childcare. We decided we wanted Bella to stay in the kids club area, using all the facilities and mixing with the other children. She only stayed in there two hours a day and loved it (wobbly drop off to start), she had the most delightful lady called Nadia who looked after her and was just amazing with her. They made so many amazing things and Bella made some great friends there that she might play with later in the day around the pool.
Another thing we didn’t realise until we arrived is that all food and drink is complementary to under 5s. We were half board so just breakfast and dinner were included meaning we had to pay for drinks and lunch but for Bella we could order anything at any time and we didn’t have to pay.
I think Bella did struggle times with the heat, being two she doesn’t understand that when she is really hot she should just take it slowly and not be darting about like a Tasmanian devil. She was fine around the pool and beach as was in the water most of the time. She also spent the real heat of the day in the aircon kids club which was good. There were a few meals where she seems really hot and pestered and worked herself into a frenzy.
There are three restaurants to choose from in the hotel, all of which have a three course al a carte menu to choose from if you are half board (there are some things that you have to pay a supplement for like lobster etc). Our favourite was Bambou on the beach as it was an asian mix of Chinese, Mauritian and indian. We also liked that it was the most relaxed being on the beach. There is an Italian called which had a great menu and is set out over the water, they have a pizza oven and if the kids order Pizza they get to make it themselves! Finally there is Beauchamp a french restaurant which we visited and also really liked, Bella however was a bit of a devil that night so we had to take it in turns to her out a few times for ‘time out’ which put a bit of a damper on our evening. Food was delicious though.
Breakfast is served in Beachamp where there is a buffet and a menu to choose from. The buffet covered everything you could think of and I was usually quite happy with that. Phil would usually order form the menu but I was still feeling pretty ropey in the mornings so wasn’t feeling very adventurous. here is a refrigerated room with the yoghurts, cheeses etc…I just loved going in there to cool off! There is also a bakery room where you could pick up freshly baked croissants, bread, rolls and doughnuts! There was a pancake station where a lovely lady would make Bella a butterfly shaped pancake each morning, such a a lovely touch.
Ile Aux Cerfs - Private island
The fours seasons have just opened a bar and grill on a private island - what a dream. The hotel offers a complimentary boat shuttle between the hotel beach and island several times a day. We travelled over one afternoon, they even let Bella ‘drive the boat’.
Upon arrival we were completely gobsmacked by the stunning white sand and turquoise water.
Bella actually fell asleep for couple of hours (under a rainbow - i mean???) meaning we some real chilled time in paradise - what a treat. It’s worth noting that you have to wear shoes in the water due to sea urchins, there are some over there for you to borrow.
Once she woke the three of us when to the bar for a drink. As you can see there were some pretty insta worthy swings for us to sit on. Phil and I both said it was one of those real moments where the three of us sitting there was a moment you have to sit and take it in. Very special.
If you are into golf or like me have a golf crazed husband you get unlimited complimentary golf at the Anahita course if you are a resident of the hotel. If you speak to reception they will arrange and pair you up with others if you are a on your own.
If you have a golf crazed husband like me or you enjoy a round yourself you can play
So if you are still will me I think you will agree it really was a trip to remember, we hope to be lucky enough to return one day!