Travel - Birthday Paradise in Mauritius at the Maradiva

January 20, 2015

I'm writing this as it's pouring with rain outside, and cold on this January morning. Can I be beamed back to Mauritius please? Those blue skies and the white sand, so so heavenly. Ben took me to Mauritius as a Birthday treat back in 2012 and I've loved looking back at the photos to write this blog post, if you'd like to see.. A week of pure paradise. 

When Mark Twain visited Mauritius in 1896, he came away saying that 'God first made Mauritius and from it, he created Paradise'. When arriving at the airport, you're greeted with a banner saying 'Welcome to Paradise'. You get the idea, Mauritius is beautiful. I was surprised, on my trip to Jamaica recently when discussing travel that hardly any Americans had even heard of Mauritius. I guess it's a long flight and when they have the Caribbean and Hawaii on their doorsteps they don't need to look further afield. It's an island in the Indian Ocean, off of the coast of Africa with beautiful beaches. It takes about 12 hours to fly there which is longer than the Caribbean for a week away but there's no jet lag which is a real bonus. The people are incredible and the food truly delicious, a unique mix of Creole, European and Indian with lots of fresh seafood. Because it's one large island compared to an archipelago like the Caribbean Islands, The Seychelles or The Maldives you get a lot of wolrd class resorts competing and therefore tend to be a lot better value than the above. Sure, it is by no means cheap for a luxury resort but there are many more deals and packages to be had, all inclusive etc which work out a lot better value for money than the Caribbean/Seychelles/Maldives. Price aside, it's a beautiful place and we're returning this May {on the other side of the island this time} for a week of sunshine and relaxation. It was also home to the Dodo, the country's national symbol now it's extinct.

We stayed at The Maradiva Villas Resort on the West side of the island at Flic en Flac. we liked the style of an all villa hotel to give privacy whilst still enjoying the resort's pool, private beach, spa and restaurants and it had been highly recommended by a few different people to us. It certainly didn't disappoint being one of the Leading Hotels of the World. I would recommend it in a flash to anyone. We were tempted to go back this year but thought it would be nice to try somewhere different on a different part of the island this time. 

We had a private plunge pool with an outdoor day bed and covered outdoor lounge where we'd come back from the pool or beach and read all afternoon. We laughed at the size of the villa, at the time we were living in Maida Vale and it was about twice the size of our tiny one bed flat! Real luxury. 

The doors at the foot of the bed opened up to this view, super heavenly to wake up to. 

We drove across the island from the airport to get to the hotel, driving past sugar cane plantations and mountains. Maybe this time we'll see more of the island, Port Louis the capital is meant to be a bustling city and there's a famous botanical garden and hidden beaches. But sometimes when it's hot and you've gone away for just a week you just want to chill out doing nothing. Hopefully we'll explore more this time as I'm sure it's beautiful. 

We went exploring along the beach on our first afternoon, the beach is sheltered by Tamarin Bay and reef, meaning the water so calm everyday. You can see mountains across the crescent shaped bay. 

It wouldn't be paradise without frangipani flowers, my favourites. 

Most of our days were spent by the pool in the morning followed by the beach for a while in the afternoon and then back at our villa until dinner. The infinity pool looked out over the beach and bay, I love the reflections of the palm trees in this photo. 

Going just outside of the Easter holidays, the resort was fairly quiet which was perfect. There's a bar overlooking the beach but this isn't the kind of place to come for the nightlife. As you may have noticed by now, we're not real party animals so I tend to choose quieter places to stay at. 

The sunsets are known for being incredible. we had a few cloudy evenings so only saw a couple but the ones we did see were pretty special. 

I loved these starry lanterns by our plunge pool which were lit up at night. It always surprises me how dark it suddenly gets when you're near the equator after sunset. 

We went kayaking one afternoon as it clouded over, the sun was really strong and being March we hadn't had much exposure yet so I think we would have fried if we'd gone when the sun was out fully. 

I loved this jetty over the lagoon and the colours of the sky in this photo, we were waiting for a sunset which was a bit too cloudy for the pinks and oranges of our previous evening, but the clouds and blue were just as mesmerising. 

We set our camera onto self timer and propped it up to take some photos, the selfie stick wasn't around in 2012 ;)

The food was probably the best we've ever eaten on holiday, it was honestly like being in a top London restaurant every night. We were on half board so had a big buffet breakfast late each morning and then were too hot to eat much for the rest of the day. Waiters would come around with fruit on the beach for you and there were cakes and fruit delivered to your room each afternoon if you did get hungry. There were three restaurants in the evening and we ate at all of them. Fresh seafood by the beach at one of them, Indian spiced fish under lanterns with live music at another and our favourite was a Japanese teppanyaki grill with sushi and theatrical flames. 

We took a couple of complimentary yoga classes at the spa just in case we needed to de stress anymore than we had already sunbathing on the beach or taking a swim.. 

On our last full day before coming home, it was my Birthday! Ben made me a card out of coral on the beach and I came back to a cake and some fizz left in our room {far too big for just the two of us to eat but we gave it our best try!}. 

That evening, Ben had arranged a special dinner by our pool with a private waiter. We chose our favourite food, sushi for starters, fish for my main and steak for Ben followed by yummy puddings. 

A perfect end to a heavenly week. 

Now I'm dreaming of sunshine!! Have you got any holiday plans for this year? Now is the time to plan them with this cold wet weather, wanderlust at it's finest.

You can find out more about the Maradiva here if you're interested, it would definitely be a honeymoon worthy place. A lot of people mix up a couple of resorts in Mauritius for a two centre break. Or you could combine it with an African safari! Oh how I love talking travel. 

R <3 xx 

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