Pop singer Ronan Keating discovers the chill-out charms of Mauritius with wife Storm and their toddler, Cooper
Standing on the sublime beaches of Le Morne Peninsula in Mauritius’ far southwesterly point, looking out over the peaceful waters and watching the waves crashing on the reef in the distance, I felt like I’d landed in paradise.
Over the New Year, my wife Storm and I were lucky enough to escape to Mauritius with Cooper, our energetic and always curious two-year-old, for some much-needed R&R post-Christmas madness, to stay at the luxurious and family-friendly Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa.
We arrived at the hotel slightly jaded after the long flight, but happy to see sunshine again after the dark months of winter. After a quick and easy check-in by the friendly hotel staff, the first thing we did was walk straight to the beach, because nothing feels like being on holiday more than getting sand between your toes. With Storm by my side cradling Cooper in her arms, we knew this holiday was just what we needed. A restful escape to a tropical paradise; a bit of winter sun before embracing the first chilly months of the year; and a chance to breathe before my return to the stage for the Boyzone reunion UK tour.
Some friends of ours had told us Mauritius is known for its dramatic sunsets on the island – and boy were they right. Staying in our gorgeous two- bedroom pool suite at Trou aux Biches, we loved its easy access to the white sandy beach just a stone’s throw from our door. Having spent much of my life travelling for work, I love immersing myself in nature and thanks to the hotel’s extensive 35 hectares of tropical gardens, I was really able to do this on this trip. We were also struck by how incredibly friendly and attentive the staff were to our needs, offering helpful recommendations so that we could make the most out of our precious family time together. The option of childcare for Cooper was fantastic. Being so young, he wasn’t old enough for the kids’ club, but instead we used a private nanny called Sarah who was lovely, she made us feel very confident that Coop was happy and it gave Storm and I the chance to catch up over a bottle of Rosé and a Mauritian feast (the seafood unsurprisingly was exceptional – especially the lobster) sitting under the amazing starry sky at the romantic L’Oasis restaurant.
As much as relaxing was a priority for us on this holiday, Storm and I are naturally active people, so we got stuck in to a host of activities (all water activities are complimentary throughout all Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels). We loved snorkelling, windsurfing and diving (luckily Trou aux Biches has one of the best diving centres on the island), and had the chance to explore an incredible variety of vibrant marine life in the protected reefs. Our guides were highly trained instructors that would take us through the crystal waters, making us feel at ease at all times. Feeling like I was part of Blue Planet, with David Attenborough’s hypnotic voice narrating in my ears, the reef was teeming with brightly coloured fish and delicate coral.
Obviously Cooper wasn’t old enough to join us (diving here starts at eight-years-old) but he loved splashing around in the pool or the sea when we returned to pick him up from our lovely nanny, as all little ones do. I’d love to return with him when he’s older so we can dive together.
We also played a round of golf, but a highlight as a family was going on the glass-bottomed boat together, to experience an ‘undersea walk’ where we navigated the craggy coastlines of the north part of the island and fed the fish. When Cooper’s nap time came, and our baby sitter arrived again, Storm and I treated ourselves to a pampering couples’ treatment, restoring our inner calm and pushing us even more in to holiday mode.
Mauritius definitely ticked all the boxes; stunning beaches, rich culture, vibrant cuisine and easy to travel to with the kids. In fact, staying with Beachcomber gave me back both of what Storm and I had been lacking in the last few months – time together as a couple, and time with Coop. With our feet in the sand at all times.
Seven nights half-board in a two-bedroom Family Suite at Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa, for two adults and two children (under 12), from £6,360 per family during the school summer holidays. Includes return economy flights with Emirates, various complimentary land and water sports, and private transfers in Mauritius. Departs 19 August 2019, price subject to availability.