A glance at the images of the ultra luxe Le Prince Maurice on the island of Mauritius might make you think this exclusive paradise is not kid friendly. Nothing could be further from the truth. This island paradise off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean has it all, white sand beaches, turquoise waters, almost year round sunshine and the ultra posh Le Prince Maurice by Constance.
Families can enjoy ocean front villas with private pools or swoon worthy thatched roof huts perched over the water on stilts. Even the Junior Suites offer enough space for a family of four. While the parents enjoy the world-class spa or water sports in the bathtub warm ocean, children enjoy their own fun in the complimentary kids’ club. Little ones have their own village including a shallow swimming pool, mini sun loungers and trampoline all within a safe picket fenced enclave.
Kids’ camp activities include water skiing, glass bottom boat rides and island exploration. Children can learn to waterski in the shallow warm waters on a flexible beginner single board ski. The competent and careful staff will teach them the proper way to stand and hold the rope. When the child is ready, they tow them directly off the sandy beach and on to their own tiny water ski adventure. Not only is the kids’ club included, so are the private ski lessons and all of the turns they want to make around the inlet. The glass bottom boat allows young children who might not be ready to snorkel to peek below the surface of the ocean and look for tropical fish. Mauritius is almost completely encircled by a barrier coral reef and home to a variety of bright and beautiful fish, including Nemo’s clown fish.
Don’t miss at the hotel: A visit to the world class Sisley spa with a stone Buddha keeping watch over the tranquil reflecting pool and dinner at La Barachois, the floating restaurant serving up gourmet fare while the resident shark Johnny B Good swims nearby.
Casela Nature and Leisure Park allows children to meet tigers face to face and enjoy a petting zoo complete with a goat riding monkey. Grown ups and larger children can even walk with lion cubs.
Spend a morning at the nearby Flacq Market, the largest open-air market on the island. This is no tourist trap, locals come to trade spices, fish, vegetables and clothing. The atmosphere is electric, filled with sights, sounds and scents not found anywhere else. The population of Mauritius is almost 1.3 million, of which 68% are Indian, but also comprises Creole, Chinese, French, plus a smattering of English and South Africans. The island is a model of African democracy and a trip to the market is as safe for a family as a walk through your local town square.
Mauritius is the only known home of the now extinct Dodo bird. The Dodo Museum near Port Louis is a once in a lifetime experience for kids to have the best show and tell story at school, ever. Another stop for families with enough time to spare is a trip to Chamarel, the seven-colored earth. These dunes are all different colors and though you might try to mix the sand, they will always separate. There isn’t much for children to do, there are giant turtles to see, but it is an extraordinary sight and given the tiny size of the island, a great way to spend a few hours.
Below photos courtesy of Kim-Marie Evans:
Below photos courtesy of the resort:
Kim-Marie Evans is a freelance writer specializing in luxury and family travel. She has traveled the world with her four children to places as glamorous as the south of France and as challenging as Rwanda. Her work has appeared in print and online. You can find her best travel secrets on her award winning blog LuxuryTravelMom.com and at TravelingMom.com. Follow her on Twitter.