Ian Manley took his family for a five-day stay at Outrigger Resort & Spa in Mauritius. Here he tells us all about his trip…
For a couple of winters now, Mauritius has been our alternative to the Cape winter. With two young kids, a dislike for long flights and no Swiss bank account, my wife Lise and I love a six-hour trip to Ile de Maurice. The weather is mild, and it’s one of the few destinations where the rand can still play ball.
We were invited to visit the Outrigger Resort & Spa, a new hotel brand, joining many competitor beach resorts. Outrigger is named after the Hawaiian canoe (think Hawaii Five-O), and was founded in 1967 by Roy and Estelle Kelley in Waikiki. They now run 36 Outrigger destinations, mostly in Hawaii, Asia, Australia and Oceania. Locally, it’s an unfamiliar name, but it’s worth checking out.
The family- and couple-friendly resort is in a south-west area called Bel Ombre. We were spoiled with bright-and-breezy, modern family room – right on the beach. It was perfect for us: A master bedroom with king size bed, an adjoining kids’ room with bunk beds, and a bath big enough for a baby whale! The main restaurant, the Mercado has a fresh Bali-like feel. As with all resorts of this nature, this is the dining room where both dinner and breakfast are served, but the space maintains some intimacy. There’s even a section for the kids, hosted by ever-friendly child sitters. When in the mood for a couples-only soiree, book a table at The Plantation Club. Regretfully, we never did experience this swanky venue, but I did poke my nose in and it looked fab. Like moths to a light, we found ourselves having long lunches at the very cool Willie’s Rum and Crab Shack on the beach, where we happily crunched our way through buckets of langoustine.
The main pool arena has everything a luxury resort should, with some fabulous daybeds to disappear into when the weather gets too much. The children loved the kids’ pool and mini super tube, located in the same area as part of the Coral Kids Club. Those who’d prefer to escape the chattering happy families can head to a secluded pool with the same private day beds and its own serviced pool bar, close to the beach.
Lise and I both tried out the Navasana Spa. It was quiet when we were there but I guess guests want to be outside in the sun. Still, the most striking element of the resort is the staff. Outrigger’s team is fantastic and all exude a genuine and natural sense to assist in every way.
Thompsons is offering a special seven-night package at R17 497 per person sharing (excluding airport taxes). Until 30 September, get return flights to Mauritius on Air Mauritius from Johannesburg, approximate airline taxes, hotel transfers, accommodation in a Deluxe Sea View room, breakfast and dinner daily. Enquire about free flights and special children’s rates.
Call Thompsons on 0117707677.
Images: Supplied, Outrigger Mauritius