Today’s family review is by Samantha, a Mum of two and member of the Mums in Beirut community. If you are not already a member you can subscribe for free here.
We chose Mauritius, for the right balance of relaxation and adventure, and for the abundance of nature both on land and at sea, yet quite child friendly. Ie: no need for extra vaccinations, short distance between hotels and airport, decent infrastructure and healthcare if ever needed etc
We flew Emirates via Dubai, the only airline where our children ages 5, and 6 and a half (I cannot get away without mentioning the ‘half’ these days) , will sit through a flight without a single “ are we there yet?”
We were quite indecisive on what areas of the island to stay at, and given that we were not huge fans of typical hotel resorts, we found it difficult to get excited about the regular hotel chain resorts… until we stumbled upon the new youthful hotel resort chain called “Lux* Hotel Resorts”
Lux* has 3 properties in Mauritius. We were going in September, which is the end of winter and beginning of summer in Mauritus, in the southern hemisphere; it was advised to stay on the South West side of the island, to avoid strong winds, and for the stunning beaches there. As we were in between seasons, and at risk of some rainy showers, the prices were more favourable and we had our fair share of sun, yet slightly cooler and more tolerable temperatures for the children.
We also liked that the South West, Le Morne area was a less developed tourist side of the island and offered stunning scenery.
We booked Lux*Le Morne for 6 days. Watch the video on Lux Le Morne and you’ll see why.
Their website talked about spontaneous surprises and described a vacation that was an experience for all the senses… they got me at the talk of removing ourselves from routine, and their little efforts to pleasantly surprise us during our stay.
I booked via Booking.com as we had left it last minute, and that’s where I found availability and lower prices for our selected dates. However Lux* have via their website holiday packages to suit all needs, and inclusive of flights, so do check that out.
We initially had plans of renting a car, going on hikes and visiting the Pamplemousses Botanical garden, and the Black River Gorges National Park, sugar and colonial plantations and many other exciting places …. Yet upon setting foot at Lux Le Morne, and listening to the extensive welcome briefing from the hotel staff, armed with the weekly activity schedule in hand… my husband and I looked at each other with a huge smile and simultaneously said “I’m not leaving this place!”. Kids had bounced back quickly from a night flight, as they had been given a gift bag and they were deciphering the kids club activity schedule.
I had submerged myself with excitement at all that was on offer in the form of daily activity schedules and workshops included in the hotel package (snorkeling boat trip, yoga, kayak, Stand Up Paddle Board, Zumba, Yoga on Water, Bike Trips to the local village etc) , and the extra paid ones: Swimming with Dolphins, Horseriding on the beach, Kitesurfing, hikes etc
I have the soundtrack of Disney’s Moana on loop in my head when I think back to Mauritius, and Mother Nature as depicted in the movie, could have easily been Le Morne mountain.
Dreamlike Palm trees line the length of the white sandy beach. Pure, soft, white sand stretched into the calm and shallow, clear sea, protecting the shore by a coral reef wall, with the Le Morne mountain’s dramatic and imposing nature as a backdrop looming over the resort, like a protective and nurturing figure.
Despite ditching our plans to explore the island and staying in the resort, we went on a long adventure and discovered ourselves within the resort and out at sea. As mothers, we sometimes loose ourself, who we are, our perspective… I found myself again , if only just for 6 days.
The people behind the Lux* resort in my opinion, are hotelier, creative and experiential immersion geniuses.
They understand that families want time together, yet parents need time alone to have non kiddie fun. They created the Kids Club, and some great mind placed baby rabbits and a giant turtle there. Our kids initially did not want to go to the Kids Club, however upon seeing baby rabbits, making pirate hats and patches and going on Pirate Treasure hunts with Paoula and Annabelle (kids club staff), they did not want to leave
Which made it a great option for them to spend time there, so that Mummy and Daddy could tackle the many water sports, workshops and activities on offer on the hotel grounds.
Daddy went Kite Surfing while mummy had a massage, I was able to sign up for a Tibetan Sound Healing & Yoga Workshop.
My husband and I had a Wellness Audit and were given some health tips and exercises to do to improve certain aspects of wellbeing , once we left the resort.
An experience of a lifetime and dream was swimming with wild dolphins in the Indian Ocean. Wild, free, dolphins, in their territory and under their conditions. I’ve never felt so close and as strong a connection with nature than I did swimming with wild dolphins, in the shadow of the Le Morne stunning surrounding nature.
The hotel kept their promise of spontaneous and whimsical surpises…. Three bottles a day would be hidden around the hotel resort, with a “message in the bottle” in them, a treasure hunt on the hotel grounds. Within each bottle you find is a surprise gift ranging from a free romantic dinner, a free boat trip to a gift of the hotel’s range of specially designed toiletries : soaps, creams, shampoos, oils etc The smells of the toiletries take us back to that magical vacation, at every shower time back home.
Pancake Oclock, 4pm was pancake time to the kids utter excitement, with a wide selection of topings.
Near Sunset time, the staff set up little bonfires on tripods on the beach, upon closer inspection, we discovered marshmallows on skewers , to grill and dipping sauces.
Fresh coconuts were readily available onsite, along with infused drinking waters to keep you hydrated.
We found a letter addressed to us, one day, on our bed, inviting us the next day to a coffee tasting and demonstration.
I signed up to a Creole cultural class, while I met new people as we sipped on a juice at the bar, we learnt that Creole was a language invented by the slaves to make sense of the French that was being spoken to them. In Mauritus their Creole is a mix of Zulu and French, and only a few years ago did it get a status as a written language where they started standardizing spelling and grammar.
The hotel has a Wishing Tree, on our last day, we placed our wish on the tree, and despite people saying you should not disclose wishes… we will admit to you that we wished to return again as a family to Lux Le Morne in Mauritus.
Our taxi arrived to take us to the airport. The hotel staff greeted us and put us on our way, but not before attaching a string bracelet with a seashell on each one of our wrists, to symbolize the lasting link we now have with the hotel and its staff… I may or may not have had to hold back tears and a gulp in my throat.
We do hope that our wish does come true… Maldives we will see you again and again, we predict.