27 February 2017

My 25th in Mauritius

Fun fact: my Mum and I share the same birthday. Yep - as she celebrated living on this Earth for quarter of a century, she also happened to give birth to me. Last year we agreed we wanted to celebrate me turning 25 and her turning 50 (sorry, Mumma!) with a special holiday. 

And so, our Mauritius-Dubai holiday hybrid was born. After the new year, it came around in the blink of an eye, and by February I was desperate to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin.

Mauritius is a long way away. As in, we travelled to Dubai (7 hours), had a 4 hour stopover at the airport, then travelled another 6 hours to Mauritius. We were on the move for about 20 hours, starting our journey Monday afternoon, and arriving late Tuesday morning - thanks to the time difference. We arrived, exhausted, on Valentine's Day...

We were extremely lucky with the weather. The forecast was rain every day, so I went into the holiday hoping for the best, but expecting the worst (thanks, Angela Carter). However, we were met with glorious sunshine on our first day. So I set out exploring...

After I'd documented matching my bikini to my lilo. Obvs.

We stayed at the InterContinental Balaclava Fort - the 'fort' part something to do with the reinforced beaches (lots of rocks) and the private-ish island (accessible to hotel guests, it's just a little gimmick) that curves around, so you could look back on the resort.

A view of the 'fort'

The beach *wasn't* the best - it wasn't very sandy, and rough on your feet. We had to wear flip flops up to the shore - whereas when we went out and about on a day trip there were more sandy beaches on offer. Probably best to check the beach reviews in advance if this type of thing will bother you...

It was so, so hot. Sticky hot. Even at 30 degrees (Celsius), whenever you stepped into the full sun, you could feel yourself sizzling. Covered in factor 50, I put my legs in the sun for half a day and was rewarded with severe sunburn. From then on I stayed in the shade.

The Pina Coladas helped (we were all-inclusive, the dream) and I made some friends, too.

In the evening we had a choice of 4 restaurants - the Sugar Cane bar, outside, linked to the buffet restaurant, Senso; Segala, the fish restaurant; Veda, the Indian restaurant; and Noble House, which offers Asian cuisine.

I didn't really rate the buffet restaurant, but Sugar Cane for lunch is a must. Mouth-watering paninis, pizza, pasta and burgers galore, in generous portions.

That was a tasty burger

Segala's menu changes by the day (they also offer non-seafood options, and it's written on a blackboard at the front), with a choice of starter, main and a set dessert.

A mozzarella and tomato salad with pepper relish
Fish curry with traditional pickle, rice & poppadom
Raspberry mousse

Veda, the Indian restaurant, was our favourite. You were given a choice of a meat or non-meat thali (the dream - 4 mini Indian dishes, with either fish or chicken, rice, and a ton of naan bread). We loved it so much, we booked it for our final night.

That's a good point, actually - for Segala, Veda and Noble House, you have to book a day in advance. The buffet is more casual, and Sugar Cane acts as a drop in.

The food offering at Noble House was disappointing - quite greasy, nothing special, but had by far the best situation...

It was quite stunning.

The hotel fell short on our collective birthdays. My stepdad ended up paying a fortune for a bottle of Moet, which he had to remind them to bring to our room. We really hoped that a bottle would be complimentary, as the company we'd booked with hinted that we might be upgraded - which we weren't, and the bottle wasn't.

However, it was a wonderful sight to wake up to!

We went to Segala for breakfast - you're able to order things like Eggs Benedict and a fresh full English there - and were greeted with a beautiful view.

The awkward moment you go to kiss your Mum and she's not into it...

The day passed as the previous few days had - dips in the sea, snoozing in the shade, and I did a bit of kayaking with my stepdad (watersports are included, too). I dragged my family out of our rooms to ensure we were on the beach to witness the beautiful sunset...

And we revisited Segala for a spot of cake (and more bubbles, again not complimentary) in the evening.

The cake *was* delicious, and it was pretty special spending my birthday with my Mum and family, sipping champagne and overlooking the Indian ocean. 

The birthday lacked the 'wow' factor, however - the staff seemed apathetic most days, but we thought they'd up their game for a joint 25th and 50th. It could have been better, but let's be honest, I was in Mauritius - it could also have been a lot worse...

**This is not a sponsored post! I just wanted to document a special holiday, in a special place.

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