With year-round sunshine, clean and safe seas and plenty to explore, Mauritius has become hugely popular with families and children of all ages. Overnight flights with only three to four hours’ time difference means minimal jetlag and all-inclusive luxury resorts make family travel stress-free. The island’s world-class choice of hotels and fabulous beaches will keep young ones entertained.
Mauritius has some of the largest hotels and resorts in the Indian Ocean, with most offering fantastic facilities for families. These ranging from baby conveniences such as push chairs, high chairs and baby baths – and even pre-ordered milk, wipes and nappies in room on arrival – to free kids’ and teens’ clubs, sports academies and creative kids’ menus.
Even the most luxurious, romantic resorts are now offering incredible kids’ clubs with a staggering range of creative boredom busters. Shanti Maurice offers outdoor activities like sand sculpting, while Trou aux Biches Resort & Spa offer excursions to the nearby aquarium. The One&Only Le St Géran (oneandonlyresorts.com) has an extensive KidsOnly programme including golf, tennis and Tai Chi, an exclusive children’s menu by Annabel Karmel and a junior spa for pampered tweens, with Skin Sparkle facials for girls and Get Muddy face treatments for boys. The Hobbit Village Kids’ Club at Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita (fourseasons.com/mauritius) has an amphitheater and bakery for the younger traveler, while teens can sip cocktails and spin some tunes in the DJ booth at their Karokan Teens’ Club. Activities at the Kite Flyers Club at St. Regis Mauritius Resort (stregismauritius.com), which has a children’s kitchen corner and kid’s swimming pool, range from beach bonfires and kite-making to guided excursions to the zoo and sugarcane museum, cooking classes and horse riding.
Older children can try out the water sports on offer across the island, enjoy the popular Le Waterpark (tourism-mauritius.mu) or sign up to one of the popular golf and tennis academies. Long Beach offers five-a-side football, sailing and a climbing wall, as well as tennis, swimming clubs and a teen nightclub. While the Cool Teens Club at Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort (heritageresorts.mu) has free golf lessons, nature park excursions, crab hunting and beach parties.
For expecting parents Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita presents its dedicated luxury babymoon packages, with a choice of the Pregnancy Relaxation Massage and the Pregnancy Body Balancing Massage. The pregnancy massages are available to women in their second and third trimester and these mums-to-be can opt for further pampering by adapting existing treatments from the overwater Spa’s menu, with all therapists having been trained by world-class maternity massage experts. For women in their first trimester, choices include a wide range of renewing facials, manicures and pedicures, as well as the newly launched and deeply relaxing Vaishaly Experience.
For those who prefer to self-cater, new family offerings are springing up across the island, with Heritage Villas, Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita and Constance Belle Mare Plage all offering three- to four-bedroom family villas.
Family excursions range from a dolphin-watching catamaran trip in Tamarin Bay to discovery days at Frédérica Nature Reserve (lavanille-reserve.com) or the privately owned island of Ile aux Cerfs (tourism-mauritius.mu). Here, families have the opportunity to discover the diversity of the flora and fauna on a tailor-made Family Discover Tour. It consists of a drive through the reserve including the possibility of swimming at the waterfall and a fresh water fishing adventure from RS 4750 for a family of five (approx. £88). Many hotels offer guided cycle safaris to Creole villages and complimentary bicycles – there’s even a fleet of mopeds at Shanti Maurice. The Maritim Mauritius has horse riding on site as well as an animal farm and tortoise park.
Away from the hotels there are plenty of activities in Mauritius for families to participate in. Young children will love the daily feeding sessions at the Mauritius Aquarium (mauritiusaquarium.com) and nursing a baby Aldabra tortoise or crocodile at animal breeding park Les Vanille Reserve des Mascareignes (lavanille-reserve.com). Children can spot African animals on a mini-safari, walk with lions in the wild or take a new tree-top zipline adventure, at Casela Nature & Leisure Park (caselapark.com). Many of the other nature parks Yanature offer hikes around acres of reserves and waterfalls with the opportunity to see the indigenous flora and fauna and array of animals that inhabit the park. For those more adventurous, go quad-biking in eco-parks such as Frédérica Nature Reserve (domainedebelmore.mu) or Domaine L’Etoile (tourism-mauritius.mu), with child-sized quad bikes, or delve into the island’s history at interactive museum, L’Adventure du Sucre.