When I was in my teens and in university, my father always insisted on family holidays, particularly around Christmas. We would pile into the car and head to Swaziland, Durban or East London or something. Before that, I generally spent my Christmas holidays in Germany with relatives in addition to one year in the US for about three weeks. Travel is a wonderful thing. It puts life into perspective. In the last two years, I’ve been fortunate enough to get a great deal of perspective, travelling regularly for work even though, at times, it has often been for only a couple of days in each place – Las Vegas, New York, London, Zambia, Kenya, France, India …
While I am grateful for the opportunity to go to these places on press trips, one of the things that I always lament is that I am not able to experience them with my family. I’ve sat watching the Blue Man Group and flown into the Grand Canyon in a helicopter and thought of how much my son would love it. But, we haven’t had the chance to take family holidays much, until now.
I’ve always been fascinated by the Club Med model. The concept of all-inclusive can be hard to grasp in a world where there are always hidden costs. So I, obviously, jumped at the chance to not only go to Club Med at Albion in Mauritius with my family. There is so much that can be said about the experience, including:
- The Staff – The staff are extremely friendly and helpful. They put you at ease immediately and the GOs (Gentle Organisers) – you are a Gentle Member – engage constantly, including having lunch meals with you.
- The offspring – Travelling with a 2 and 6 year old can be extremely painful but Plantation D’Albion has a Petit Club (for 2 – 4 year olds) and a Mini Club (for 4 – 10 year olds). They run activities for the kids the whole day including archery, swimming, boat rides and games. After the first time, my 6 year old spent half the holiday with them. They also babysit (at a cost) in the evenings. Can book them twice a week.
- The Food – 7 food stations for every meal, you can eat at will including Asian, Italian, Mauritian, Dessert and Starters. Awesome.
- The Pool – There are two main pools, one for people with children and the Zen Pool where no under-18s are allowed. And with the spa and gym around the corner, a space for true relaxation.
- Excursions – From full day boat excursions to a bus ride to some of Mauritius’ sights such as a dormant volcano, temples and waterfalls, if you feel the need to leave the resort, there is much to do. My son and I went out on a quad bike/buggy tour through the Casela Nature Reserve. He was thrilled to be able to take pics of ostrich, zebra, warthog and other animals at close range.
- Activities – There are different activities happening on a daily basis from table tennis, archery, golf and tennis to volleyball on the beach and a show every evening.
The family just didn’t want to leave at the end of our 7 days until I committed to us taking a family holiday at least once a year and for, at least, 10 days. I’m happy to visit Plantation D’Albion every year but I’m also still negotiating for a ski holiday. I have my work cut out for me.