Monday, 7 May 2018

Dreaming Of Mauritius

When it comes to booking a far-flung holiday as a parent of young children, what would you say is your main concern?

For me, it's knowing that the experience is going to be straight forward and the accommodation as family friendly as possible. Nothing fills me with dread and fear more than the nerves of heading off on a holiday on the other side of the world, feeling unsure about how suitable the property you're about to call home for the next two weeks is going to be.

I don't think I truly realised the impact that an unsuitable property would have on a holiday as a parent until we experienced it ourselves. We booked a holiday chalet shortly after our youngest son was born as a family bonding experience, and it ended up being the trip from hell - there were stairs all over the place with no baby safety gates available, there were unsafe blind cords on the windows, and no safety locks on the upstairs windows at all - we managed to stay for one night before I'd had enough of living in fear of something awful happening! We headed back home feeling sorry for ourselves but luckily we'd only been a couple of hours away from home.

If this had happened on a far flung holiday abroad, we would have been stuck with it - and since that experience, I've been so cautious about where and how we book our holidays.

Lately we've been talking over potential future honeymoon destinations, and Mauritius has come up as a possibility.

Just 20 degrees south of the equator, Mauritius - with it's white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters - is truly an island of dreams. From days spent dolphin spotting, to visiting the seven coloured sands of Chamarel - it really is an extra special destination.

And what really appeals to us is that there's plenty to keep the children entertained too - a visit to the Sugar Factory would be an absolute must, and the Crocodile & Giant Tortoise Nature Park Reserve would make for an amazing day out too I'm sure. Then there's Grand Bassin, a natural lake within an extinct volcano crater. According to mythology, the water here is sourced from the Ganges river in India and taking a dip during the Shivratri festival is considered auspicious. The lake is also home to a 108 feet tall statue of Lord Shiva,the second largest statue in the world!

But as amazing as a holiday to Mauritius sounds, our main concern has been finding a suitable villa to accommodate us. I recently came across a company called who's selection of villas in Mauritius looked pretty impressive, but I wanted to find out more about how they operate.

Villa-Finder has been in operation for 6 years, and looks after over 1,000 villas in Bali, Phuket, Sri Lanka and Mauritius and unlike many travel companies - they are meticulous about the standard of property they offer  on their website.

Each and every villa listed is inspected by Villa Finder before being listed on its site to ensure that it meets their high standard, and reassuringly they are re-inspected at frequent intervals to ensure the standard is maintained.

Once a villa request is made through the website, rather than simply receiving electronic confirmation and simply hoping that your needs and requests are going to be met - you are called by one of their travel consultants who will go through your holiday details with you to understand your needs and desires when it comes to your vacation. This is of particular importance where families are concerned, as the Travel consultant will discuss the number and ages of children coming and go through any specific requirements from safety gates and high chairs, to pool safety fences and and car seats. This alone would be such a huge weight off my mind when making a booking.

And this human touch to your booking experience doesn't stop once the payment changes hands either, after you've booked you'll be given access to the Guest Relations team who are on hand to assist with any little extras you may require to make your holiday extra special - whether it's arranging airport transfers or car hire, or booking a masseuse or a special dinner - they are on hand to make things as easy and fuss-free for you as possible.

Villa-Finder offer a fantastic selection of villas in Mauritius at incredibly affordable prices, infact this particular one in Black River has caught my eye - there's a kids club nearby which would be ideal for us, and does a honeymoon destination get more beautiful than this?!

I'm so pleased to have found a company that truly take all of the stress out of booking a family villa holiday, and what's more - one that wants to give something back too! Villa Finder have pledged to plant a tree in Sumatra, Indonesia for every booking made. Meaning that our booking would be contributing something good to the environment too.

Have you visited Mauritius? Is it somewhere you'd consider with your family? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
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