Long, languorous days full of sunshine, powder-soft, white sandy beaches fringed by palm trees, the warm, gently lapping, azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean and accommodation that’s super luxurious but family-friendly – the Shandrani Resort & Spa, Mauritius, delivers this, and so much more that you’ll depart feeling you’ve just had the best holiday ever.
Before departure, however, there’s the small detail of arrival, with a 12-hour flight to get through. Yet, whereas usually, the prospect of flying long haul with children would fill most parents with dread, the fact that there’s only a small time difference between Mauritius and the UK (three hours in the summer, four in the winter) means there’s no jet lag to contend with.
Once there (the resort is just a short ten-minute transfer from the airport), all concerns quickly evaporate, as you take in the stunning surroundings of the Shandrani, with its wonderfully unspoilt location on the island’s south coast and set on its own private peninsula. The jaw-dropping, natural beauty of your surroundings are echoed in the resort’s wonderful layout and design, all perfectly manicured, tropical gardens (70 acres of them), with lush green grass, and buildings made of wood, stone and thatch.
The rooms themselves do not disappoint, with the Family Apartments offering everything you could need. Spacious and with all mod cons, they are stylishly decorated, with two bedrooms, each with their own bathroom, and sea-facing terraces providing access to the beach and the Blue Bay Marine Park, with its teeming sea life.
At the Shandrani, you can do as little or as much as you wish. If you simply want to lie on the beach or beside the pool, then no problem. If, however, you want to be more active, there’s plenty to keep you occupied, including golf, tennis, sailing, diving and kite surfing, to name a few of the many sports and activities on offer.
Meanwhile, children get their very own mini club, the Bob Marlin, which boasts both indoor and outdoor areas specially designed and furnished with colourful furniture and accessories. A traditional swing and a jungle gym can be found in the gardens, while inside there’s a large, airy room with different activity sections, including arts and crafts, storytelling and dressing up. All activities are done under the watchful eye of the resort’s team
of childcare experts, who are also on hand for evening babysitting duties (at a small extra cost), should you so desire.
Being an all-inclusive resort, there’s really no need to ever leave. With five restaurants and two bars, everyone’s taste can be catered to, and unlike some all-inclusive deals, at the Shandrani, you really can indulge yourself, at no extra cost. Fancy a glass of champagne? No problem. Feel like eating à la carte? Come this way. Need to raid the minibar? Help yourself. Such a policy is liberating, and creates goodwill between guests and staff, which is further enhanced by the exemplary service.
Of course, no luxury holiday would be complete without a bit of pampering, and at the Shandrani there’s not just one, but two spas. These are havens of relaxation and rejuvenation, with beautiful pools, saunas and a hammam, surrounded by hibiscus and frangipani trees.
Shandrani Resort, Mauritius, may be far away from home, but it’s a place where families will feel perfectly at ease. In fact, the only danger is that you have so much fun you’ll never want to leave.
Prices for seven nights for two adults and two children start from £5,870. For more information, visit Beachcomber
Check out the other entrants for Best family Hotel along with our UK winner The Athenaeum.