Mauritius: why we went all-inclusive (and loved it)

This post is a little late. A year late, to be exact. But you know when you’ve taken so many photos that opening the ominously-titled “Unsorted Mauritius Pics” folder makes your laptop implode, and forces you to kill yourself? Yes. That.

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However, I finally manned up and did it, people. I went through 1,987 photos and no one died. Instead, I was reminded of the absolutely glorious time we had in Mauritius last year, and realised I need to share the memories of our all-inclusive family holiday with the world. By world, I mean you, mom.

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As touristy as it is, a package holiday is a beach bum’s dream come true. For more hours than I’m proud of, I lay so completely still on my deck chair that everyone thought I was sleeping and kept talking about me behind my back. I only moved my arm to receive cocktails from the waiter. And I have zero regrets about all the chill time because I have never, EVER felt so completely relaxed. Even though I initially voted for a DIY Airbnb-style trip, it turns out that all-inclusive = the ultimate zen. I was sold from day one.

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You’ll be happy to note, though, that I did extricate myself from the deck chair’s embrace a few times to see what the rest of the island had to offer. Our first day trip: Marche de Flacq.

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Excuse my baby sister while she models the hell out of the iconic coconut-sip photo. We all know it’s impossible to smile and drink at the same time, Laura. We spent a morning at the market haggling over pashminas and spices, and I’d totally recommend stopping by if you’re interested in seeing how locals live and shop (and if you’re looking for fresh vanilla pods at decent prices.)

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You can’t go to Mauritius and not paraglide from the back of a speedboat. Or so I am told. In a stroke of excellent luck, we actually got the paragliding for free, as well as a catamaran day trip to Île aux Cerfs, which was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. We visited waterfalls, deserted beaches, and had a fish braai on the back of the boat, while jamming to seggae (a fusion of local sega and reggae) and drinking potent rum cocktails. Usually, the catamaran trip will cost about R2000 per person, plus an extra R1000 for the paragliding – but due to a mix up with our hotel rooms, they gave it all to us for nothing. Bless.

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Our luck didn’t stop there. After 3 brilliant nights at the super cute Friday Attitude resort, they asked us if we’d like to be upgraded to their million-star sister hotel on the other side of the island, because obviously a catamaran trip and paragliding wasn’t enough to apologise for putting all three sisters in one room. (As if we haven’t bunked together on every family holiday since I stopped being an only child). And that’s how we ended up at Ravenala Attitude, with a fistful of complimentary spa treatment vouchers and the wide eyes of people who usually don’t stay in hotels they can’t pronounce.

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As much as I loved Friday Attitude and its wild and wonderful snorkelling beach, the Ravenala was a whole new level of luxury. I was tempted to go back to being one with my deck chair the whole time because we were waited on hand and foot. However, I made some time for watersports, because the best thing about taking an all-inclusive package in Mauritius is that you eat your body weight in delicious food every single day. And it’s gotta be worked off somehow.

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Nothing a spot of SUPing and wakeboarding couldn’t fix, right? I’m ashamed to admit that we also took part in the pool club’s water aerobics classes. It consisted of a very tanned, very blonde man bouncing up and down on the side of the pool, shouting encouraging things like LUNGE DEEEEEPER and blasting 90s pop from a boom box. My personal favourite form of exercise, however, was snorkelling, and I came home with an unfortunate glow on the entire back side of my body to prove it.

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To summarise: when you go to Mauritius – and you really should – don’t worry too much about trying to avoid the cliche of taking an all-inclusive package. It’s a cliche for a reason, and the level of relaxation you’ll achieve will be worth every moment you feel like a cringey tourist.


All-inclusive travel tips:

  1. Make some time to get out of your resort and see the island, of course, but other than that, simply lie belly up on the beach and soak in everything you’ve pre-paid for. (Which really is everything, minus a catamaran trip and paragliding excursion, if you’re into that.)
  2.  Do consider the Attitude group for your stay. They have a selection of hotels that cater to every desire; whether you’re looking for a family-friendly holiday or something more glam. I love that it’s a socially conscious brand that curates authentic experiences for guests, and the service we received at both hotels was impeccable.
  3. Take me with you.

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