Archive for December, 2013

December 29th, 2013

Anniversary in Mauritius

We have been married over ten years now and celebrated our anniversary with a trip to a beach resort. We have visited Caribbean both on our honeymoon and five year anniversary, but this time our travel agency Helin Matkat advised to go to the Indian Ocean instead.

After much back and forth, we selected Mauritius as our destination. The original plan was to go their during the summer time (our anniversary is in August), but this was scrapped as the weather down there and up here would have been mostly the same. Instead, we went to Estonia for a short summer trip.

So, we moved our trip to December. Finnish Independence Day gave as an extra free day, so we didn’t lost that much of working and school days.

The flights were routed through Paris CDG and we packed several days worth of clothing in our carry-on baggage, as luggage has tendency to disappear in CDG. Most probably due to this precautions we had no problems with our luggage both ways. The flights were surprisingly easy considering that they were night flights both ways and our entourage (eight, five and almost two year old children) is not the easiest one. Both Air France and Air Mauritius had good service on the long-haul flights, and Finnair was also faultless service to and fro Paris.

Our hotel, Shandrani, was a few kilometers from the airport — conveniently close for transportation and inconveniently close for airplane noise. Fortunately, Mauritius is not exactly a mega-hub, so the planes were far and between.

We had superb villa with one bedroom for kids, big living room with bed for adults, and a patio facing the lagoon. The hotel was all-inclusive without any small prints; everything was included, also some motored watersports — that we didn’t try.

Food was good and sometimes even excellent, and there was plenty of it. Service was really, really friendly, and there were a lot of staff in the hotel. The only bummers were slow internet connection (90 kbps) and prohibition to take kids to sauna.

We took one day excursion from Mautourco. Dedicated minibus and driver cost around €120 for half a day, and it took us to see a Hindu holy lake, seven coloured earth, and a crocodile-turtle zoo, among others. Again, excellent service from the driver throughout the journey.

Besides that trip, we spent our time mostly at the pools or on the beaches. Boys and I played football on a couple of occasions, and also some tennis with the whole family. The kids club at the hotel took the boys to banana boat trip, tennis and golf lessons, and henna tattooing sessions. Again, all included.

We also met the founder and CEO of our travel agency. She lives in the island during Finnish winters, and visits the people the agency has sent to the island to say hello and to discuss about the trip. Very good way of getting customer feedback, and I’m sure that we will ask quotation from them next time we are going somewhere faraway.

All in all, it was very relaxing trip. No need to carry wallet, keys or mobile phone, always good weather, all food and drinks were included, and nobody needed tipping. I can warmly recommend both Mauritius and Shandrani.