Swimming pools, spa, private beach with watersports facilities, kids club, access to Belle Mare Plage Hotel’s golf course, gym, playground, beach volleyball, mini golf, tennis courts, library, DVD library, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD and CD player, iPod dock, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities.
Spacious and luxurious, the suites and villas are decorated in earthy spice tones, with colourful Mauritian textiles and large comfortable beds decked in soft linens. All bathrooms have a bath tub and separate shower, some of which are outdoors, in a private enclosure. Junior Suite on Stilts are built over the lake, with a deck overlooking the water and incredible sunset views. Family Beach Villas have their own heated private pool and a romantic outdoor bath; some are set right on the beach, with a stretch of white sand that will feel like your very own. If you’re really celebrating, then go for the 350sq m Princely Suite, which comes with two pools, three terraces, a private garden and, best of all, your very own villa master to attend to your every need.
The main pool stretches between the thatch-roofed central pavilion and the edge of the beach, weaving between the dining areas and terraces and flanked by four-poster sunloungers dotted around its edges. Nestled further in the grounds, the second more secluded pool is slate-lined and surrounded by decking. Cushioned teak loungers and matching parasols are lined up around the edges; languid guests can set up camp on the surrounding grass in the welcome shade of palm-trees.
Don't forget your bargaining skills: Port Louis’ bazaar is the place to stock up on spices and sarongs. Bring plenty of insect repellent if you’re planning on exploring inland Mauritius.
In-room manicures and pedicures are available – get beach-ready feet with treatments for healthy nails, anti-ageing rituals and chip-proof polish.
Under-6s stay in parents' bed for free; extra beds for children aged seven to 12 are €110 a night on the B&B rate or €145 a night on a half board basis. Over-12s are considered adults. Babysitting is available, from €12 an hour.
Active juniors and tweens.
Family Suites have been cleverly designed with little ones in mind: children have their own bedroom with bunk beds and bathroom equipped with steps up to the sink; two of them are right on the beach.
On its own patch of shaded lush garden, free kids’ club Les Petits Princes (open 9am–9pm) is a tropical playground for kids aged 4–11, with supervised indoor and outdoor activities daily (10am–7.30pm). Outside, there are swings, slides, a treehouse, trampolines and a safety-fenced shallow swimming pool for free play; inside the club’s thatched huts, little Smiths will find gaming, internet and Mauritian arts and crafts stations. There’s no need to book ahead: children can join at any time to make friends and take part in relays and tag games, crab and frog hunts, pizza- and ice-cream-making workshops, or to try their hand at nail art or hair braiding. Over-8s can venture out onto – and into – the water with water skiing and glass-bottom boat trips, as well as scuba diving initiations in the pool.
The long, wide stretch of white-sand beach runs the width of the hotel and the waters are placid, with no current and only light winds in certain seasons. Waterskiing, windsurfing, kayaks, sailing, pedalos and snorkelling are all free. Activities and excursions organised by the kids club vary throughout the year – check the timetable on arrival to see what’s on offer. The hotel organises trips to the local wildlife and bird park, where visitors can walk with lions and tigers (and expert big-cat handlers, of course).
Children have free run of the resort’s two pools, but they’re not supervised – you can watch your little ones from the comfort of the sunloungers dotted around. Swimming aids are available.
Children are welcome anytime at the restaurants, though the grown-up atmosphere at Barachois is more suited to over-10s. Highchairs are available, and a thoughtful children’s menu is available. Order vegetable and fruit purées and yoghurt for the babes; there’s a range of tempting starters and mains for older children, such as pick-your-own-toppings thin-crust pizzas and calzone, fish goujons or croque monsieur. Afternoon goûter is a feast of fruit cake, chocolate pancakes and fruit platters, and sweet-toothed little Smiths will be spoiled with chocolate cake, fruit tarts and crème brûlée.
Qualified babysitters from the kids club team are available from €12 an hour (minimum six hours); book three days in advance.
No need to pack
Baby maths, changing mats, potties and bathroom steps are available at the hotel. The boutique stocks swim nappies, baby wipes and child-friendly snacks; minimarts are a short drive away for any other essentials.
To ease your arrival after a long flight with squirmy little ones, book access to the airport’s Arrival Premium Lounge: you’ll be greeted at your plane’s doorstep, fast-tracked through immigration, and set up in a comfortable lounge with drinks and snacks, a bathroom and a kids’ play area while your bags are retrieved and you complete customs formalities (family access from €165).