June 19, 2017

5 unlikely reasons to take a family holiday in Mauritius

Ami Kapilevich went on holiday to Victoria Beachcomber Resort & Spa in Mauritius with his wife and two sons. He returned with a few reasons why every family should consider a family holiday on the island.

(Spoiler alert: It has nothing to do with the beautiful beaches)

Making memories for life in Mauritius: Michelle Kapilevich with sons Max (3) and Cameron (11) 

1. The build-up

“Dad, my fidget spinner broke!”

“Next month you won’t need a fidget spinner, you’ll be on a beach in Mauritius.”

“Mom, I lost the Playstation controller again!”

“A week from now it will be the furthest thing from your mind because you will be in the hotel pool.”

“My boss just dumped a whole bunch of work on me.”

“That’s okay, darling. By the time she gets through half of them you’ll be sipping a cocktail in the shade of a palm tree.”

Cocktails under palm trees on Victoria Resort's beaches – definitely worth counting down to
Your holiday in Mauritius starts long before you actually go there. We have a family tradition to remind one another a few times each week leading up to the holiday that there’s a good time in store. Family life can be tough, but the prospect of a luxurious holiday together is a great way to see the silver lining in life’s speed bumps and boosting morale. Milk it for all it’s worth!

2. Sense of adventure 

My wife and I both love to travel. In fact one of the reasons why I married her was because she passed the Travel Test, which involved being stuck in snowy Zurich with no money or warm clothes. But having children quickly deprives you of any ability (or desire, for that matter) to get lost in South America or backpack through Nepal. Don’t get me wrong; we still want to travel, but not too far. We want an adventure, but we also have a three-year-old. So while we were in Mauritius, we rented a car.

Maconde view point, one of Mauritius' many road-tripping gems.                  Photo © Olga Khoroshunova\AdobeStock
While it’s perfectly understandable to spend your entire stay in a resort, after a few days of minimal activity we decided to do a bit of exploration. This became one of the highlights of our holiday. We drove to Port Louis, where we did a bit of gift shopping at the Waterfront, and then made our way north to Grand Baie and the beautiful public beaches in the northeast. The kids were excited by the exotic architecture and new brands of chocolate bars. The energy in the car was fantastic.

“When was the last time something as simple as driving around was so entertaining?” I asked my wife. And for a brief moment sitting next to me was that young woman I fell in love with in Zurich.

3. Easy rhythms

Mealtimes are the heartbeat of a resort, and buffets symbolise the easy combination of routine and freedom that a holiday in Mauritius is all about. As the residents gather in the central restaurant three times a day, you soon fall into a daily rhythm.

As a young journalist I once spent three days at a silent Zen Buddhist retreat in the countryside, and the thing that struck me most was how strictly the daily routine was enforced. Mealtimes, chores, meditation – all happened like clockwork. When I mentioned this to the master of the retreat, he replied: “The strict routine frees your mind. You don’t have to worry about what happens when. This allows you to stop thinking.”

Relax and slip into the resort restaurant routine, Mauritian style
In this way, a buffet is quite Zen. You don’t need to worry about where or when you are going to eat, so you can just swan around like a serene monk, gravitating to the restaurant at regular intervals but not crippled by the weight of expectation and formality of an a la carte excursion.

A Beachcomber buffet is also perfect for kids.

Any parent will tell you that taking children to restaurants is more often a stressful rather than pleasant activity (we don’t go to Spur for the well-priced steaks). And whether you are an active person or prefer to spend your days on a recliner, one thing is for certain: after a day of running between the beach and the pool, your kids are going to be ravenous. So it’s a good thing that you can get an emergency plate of food in front of them even before your drinks arrive.

4. Like fish to water

Our first son, Cameron, was five years old when we brought him on holiday to Mauritius. He learned to swim on that holiday after we replaced his water wings with flippers. The transition was easy; he had always loved the water.

Unlike his brother.

Max was three years old when we took him and Cameron, now 11, to Mauritius, and we didn’t really know what to expect. Max was never particularly fond of swimming. He’d wade in his plastic playpool at home and cling to your neck if you were swimming, but he would never put his head under water to the point where even washing his hair in the bath was a challenge.

Young Max grows his fish tail in Victoria's expansive swimming pool
By the end of our holiday Max was leaping off my shoulders into the deep end of Victoria’s large pool without any water wings on!

One thing that my experience with both my sons has taught me is that if you put a child in water they will take to it naturally. One moment they’re dipping their toes in, the next they’re doing underwater summersaults. The transformation is remarkable. A week in Mauritius is worth a year of swimming lessons.

5. New friends

On our third day at Victoria we noticed that the same couple were sitting next to us at our spot near the shallow splash pool. They also had two boys and were South African. In the week that followed, we went from nodding acquaintances to extended chats. Towards the end of the holiday, our children were following the Malcolm and Tamlyn Jewell and their two children to the beach.

Poolside play: the great social leveller
It’s easy to make friends at a resort because even though it’s an elite experience, it’s also a great leveller while you’re there. Back home, I am a humble writer and Malcolm is a hugely successful actuary but in Mauritius we were both just two dads keeping an eye on the kids round the pool. Our friendship, such as it is, was started on the purest of reasons.

We look forward to keeping up with the Jewells.

Why choose Beachcomber?

We chose the four-star superior Victoria Beachcomber Resort & Spa because we have two children, one of whom is only three years old, and the resort is particularly child-friendly. It is also hugely popular among South Africans, so you are sure to spend time with like-minded, easy-going people and maybe even make some new friends along the way.

Another bonus is that Beachcomber offers you free access to any of its other resorts on the island, so if you feel like a change of scenery you can hop in a taxi, and your all-inclusive package is valid at Beachcomber's other four-star resorts on the island too.

On that note, the all-inclusive package is a lifesaver if you have ravenous kids en-tow. Without it, your budget is likely to be blown in the blink of a few poolside drinks.

Victoria Beachcomber Resort & Spa's location. No further words needed.

Go here with Sure

Visit Victoria Beachcomber Resort & Spa for R16,520 pps for a five-night package, or search for more Beachcomber packages here. You can also check with your nearest Sure Travel agency for special offers, and remember to ask about Beachcomber's Early Booking Bonus (valid on payments made in full 30 days in advance).


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