There’s something magical about a luxury honeymoon… Gazing at one another over candlelit dinners, and walks along pristine white beaches are the stuff of dreams for many couples. And it’s one that Jules, from Pondering Parenthood got to enjoy on the stunning island of Mauritius. She combined a city break in Dubai with a classic beach trip…
Over to you, Jules…
What do you look for in a holiday?
Usually, hubby and I look for a mixture of culture and relaxation in our holidays. We enjoy city breaks but with an option to have a bit of time lazing on a beach or by a pool. Locations like Venice and New York (we spent a lot of time in Central Park!) are winners for us. Food is a big deal for us, too. We like to try the local dishes but it’s usually a bit of a mission as I am gluten intolerant. Lots of research required!
Where did you go?
We went to Mauritius on our honeymoon, stopping in Dubai on the way. We had three nights in Dubai, followed by nine nights in Mauritius.
Why did you choose this destination?
Originally, I wanted to do a Californian road trip in a convertible, all the way down the coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles, but hubby wanted a more ‘traditional’ luxury beach holiday. I don’t like weather that’s too hot and sticky so Mauritius in August was perfect for me. We spent the few days we did in Dubai purely because it saved us a lot of money by having a connecting flight, and we thought it would be an interesting place to visit!
Where did you stay?
In Dubai, we stayed in the Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort and Spa. In Mauritius, we stayed at the Maradiva Villas Resort and Spa. We chose almost entirely based on the recommendations of our Kuoni travel advisor. There was a lot of trust involved as usually I research our holidays until I’m blue in the face, but with this one I wanted to just relax and trust and expert. She really got it right, too! We did make her let us read lots of Trip Advisor reviews while we were there, though!
Tell me about the accommodation…
In Dubai we stayed in a luxury city view hotel room. It was the biggest hotel room I’ve ever seen! All of the rooms in that hotel are luxury though, so you can’t really go wrong!
In Mauritius we had our own villa, with our own plunge pool and outdoor (covered) living and dining area. We could easily have lived there!
We were half-board in both hotels, but in Dubai we ended up paying extra for lunch at the hotel. As it was so hot, we didn’t want the bother of having to find somewhere to eat when hungry! We were a lot more adventurous in Mauritius and went in search of interesting lunches!
Your most memorable moment/s of the trip?
My most memorable moment of the trip was in Mauritius. We had hired a car and gone exploring. By coincidence, we met an official travel guide named Joe. He was lovely and ended up leading us around a big chunk of the island (we followed him on his motorbike), showing us places of interest and telling us all about it. We were with him for hours and paid him a bargain fee, which we had arranged in advance, so at no point did we feel like we were being ripped off. We learnt so much about Mauritius that day, and it felt like a real adventure!
Was it good value for money?
This is tricky to answer, as it did cost an arm and a leg! We have never spent anywhere near that much money on a holiday before, and I doubt we will again. But, it was our honeymoon, and it was a brilliant experience, so I think it was worth every penny.
Your top tip/s for the area?
In Mauritius, definitely hire a car. The island is small and they drive on the left too, so it’s really easy to get around. We saw so much more than we would have done if we’d just stayed in resort.
Which photo is your favourite and why?
I have two favourite photos! (And even that was a struggle to choose!)
Our tour guide, Joe, took us to the Ganga Talao, a Hindu shrine were thousands of Hindus make a pilgrimage every year. While there, the priest gave us both a blessing.
At the end of our time with Joe, he took us to an amazing café which sold traditional Mauritian curry. It was such an interesting meal and we spent the whole time talking excitedly about our adventure that morning and I love this photo of hubby with his curry and his blessing painted on his forehead!
My other favourite is this one. We were walking along the beach at sunset and I saw a couple sitting on this bench. Essentially, I offered to take their photo and then asked them to take this one of us! I think they were happy with their photo, but less happy that I kicked them off their bench!
Would you recommend to a friend?
I would absolutely recommend Mauritius to anyone as a luxury holiday destination, and would love to return there. I did joke with hubby that we needed to go back on our first wedding anniversary, but then we found out we were expecting a baby after two months of marriage, so those plans have been put on hold for the forseeable future! It was such a magical time though, I’m not sure whether a return visit would live up to expectations!