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Mauritius or Maldives with young children?

(17 Posts)
NickAngel Sun 21-Jun-15 10:28:35

October half term so think weather ok and FCO suggests it is relatively 'safe' there but has anyone done a twelve hour flight with young children?
Where have you stayed that you would recommend? I don't know the area at all and any experiences would be really helpful.
I'm against Maldives ( DH for) as not sure it's right to support tourism that is damaging country but is Mauritius any better?

mummymeister Sun 21-Jun-15 12:58:07

How young are your children? really the way I look at it is what do the kids want. they want a beach, they want other kids they want some other stuff to do. where that is makes no difference to them whether its a greek island or Mauritius. you on the other hand might fancy somewhere like this and want a kids club so you get some time on your own. make sure anywhere that you book has the bits that they want first and then the bits that you want second. we didn't take our little ones far afield until the eldest was almost teens because they just didn't want more than simple things we found in Cornwall, Wales, Southwold etc. a one week holiday with a 12 hour flight either end sounds like torture to me but I am probably in the minority.

Heels99 Mon 22-Jun-15 09:00:27

Hi I took my five year olds to mauritius it was fantastic we had a wonderful time. There is lots to do on the island, visit the capital, Hindu temples, rainforest, boat trips, animal parks, plantations etc etc as well as fabulous hotels we all loved it. Having breakfast in the beach whilst Dolphins swam past was fantastic.
But, the flight was not 12 hours, it was 17 hours (via dubai with a two hour changeover in dubai airport).
When you get to mauritius you realise it is in the middle of the ocean at least seven hours from Cape Town, Middle East and Australia. We went for 11 nights i wouldn't go that far for a week. We flew Emirates, you can fly air mauritius direct from UK which is quicker but the inflight service isn't very good. Although our flight was longer our kids were entertained all the way and it was an easy and comfortable journey. We had a two hour transfer at the other end. Add in travel to the airport at this end and you are looking at a lot of travel for a week.
Haven't been to Maldives as I like five star hotels and the cost of that in the Maldives is prohibitive. Journey to the Maldives is also more like 16 hours I think.
Tourism is not harming mauritius it's a major source of economy and employment along with international banking, textiles and agriculture. I think your husband means the damage to reefs etc in Maldives, there are not the same reefs in mauritius in fact snorkelling etc is poor there.
Wonderful holidsy, long journey, go for more than a week is my advice

SmileAndNod Mon 22-Jun-15 09:12:32

What a lovely decision to have to make!

Having been to both more than once (pre DC!) I would say that we would take the children to Mauritius, and wait for the Maldives until they were older and could snorkel / dive etc.

I suppose it depends on where you go, but where we stayed in the the Maldives was literally a small island with not much to do (apart from laze on the sand, swim) and I think there was more to do for little ones in Mauritius. Maldives would be wasted on my young children who are happy with any old sand / water to paddle in!

turkeyboots Mon 22-Jun-15 09:15:43

I did a ten hour flight with DS when he was three and it almost killed me. He was so excited and didn't sleep til landing, and then woke for the day at midnight. It took almost a weekfor his sleeping patterns to adjust, just in time to go home again. DD at 5 was great though, so depends how old your DC are.

BigGreenOlives Mon 22-Jun-15 09:17:00

We went to Mauritius most years when dcs were little, from dc3 being 9 months onwards. We found the people working in the hotels to be very kind & gentle. At that time you could fly direct on ba or air Mauritius & we flew whichever had the better flights. You can fly via Paris on Air France if you can't get on a direct flight from the UK, we changed in Dubai once & although emirates was better service changing plane in the middle of the night was horrible.

sparechange Mon 22-Jun-15 09:23:26

Having done both in the last 12 months, I would say it depends on what you and DH want to do and how you want to spend your days.
If you are the types to not want to leave the resort, then Maldives all the way. Most of the hotels will have private pools with the villas, so you can relax by your own pool and play with your dc if you want to, or go to the main pool and beach. But there is nowhere else to go. You can't leave the island and the restaurants are all you have.
Pick an island with a kids club to avoid the honeymooners, and you'll be fine.

Mauritius has the same quality of hotels but private pools are less common. If you want a kids club, they will also be great.
You have the option of day trips and leaving the hotel for meals, which might be a benefit if you get cabin fever. There are also things like animal parks where you can see giant tortoises etc.

The other consideration might be bugs. Both are non-malarial but Mauritius has more mozzies. Mostly because the hotel owners in the Maldives fumigate the hell out of the islands to avoid their guests getting bitten. depending on your environmental opinions, this might be a plus or minus.

You'll have a great time at either, but it depends how much time you want to spend outside the room or hotel.

AugustaGloop Mon 22-Jun-15 09:31:02

We wet to Mauritius when DC were 4 and 5 and had a great time. Planning to go back! We flew direct and there is not much of a time difference, which made it easier. We chose night flights both ways (which I am not sure is currently possible). I agree with the suggestion of going for 10 days rather than 7 if you can.

We went to Maldives pre DC. The journey was definitely worse, because of the time difference and also because of the need to get the sea plane to the specific island (I had assumed the sea plane would be more like a normal airport transfer, i.e we would get off the plane and it would be waiting) but it was more like an internal flight with scheduled departure time etc. which meant a lot of waiting around when we are already tired form the journey There was also not that much to do on the island we went to if children that are too young for snorkelling. On the other hand, we chose an island suitable for adults not for DC. I understand that there are larger, more child friendly islands, eg if you choose one closer to the airport with a boat transfer rather than sea plane, that will be easier. Larger islands also have more to do.

In summary, I wold go for Mauritius but if you go for the Maldives you will need to chose your resort carefully.

sparechange Mon 22-Jun-15 10:03:28

We had a speedboat transfer when we went to the Maldives, and it was no different to a taxi transfer. They were waiting for us when we came through immigration, straight onto the boat with a cold towel and drink and then 45 mins later we were at the hotel.
Might be worth looking at places in the atolls closer to Male to avoid a seaplane?

cathcustard Mon 22-Jun-15 17:45:05

BA fly direct to Mauritius, much more comfortable than Air Mauritius. We've taken out DC 5 times to different hotels and we all loved it.
12 hours is really dull but it's a means to an end.

Have only been to the Maldives pre DC so a totally different sort of holiday.

ihatethecold Mon 22-Jun-15 18:04:15

where did you stay Cathcustard?
we are thinking of going next august with a 16 and 12 yr old.
our friends stay at the Maritim but its a bit expensive for us because we want 2 rooms.
i think we will stay on the west coast as I've heard its less windy.

Heels99 Mon 22-Jun-15 18:16:07

We stayed maritim it was lovely although no teens there

NickAngel Mon 22-Jun-15 19:30:01

Thank you, really helpful replies and much appreciated. Our DC like to be by a pool with other children to make friends with and play with. Or a beach to play on or going out on short trips but mainly the pool.
TBH I think we're better off looking at canaries as shorter flights and a hotel based around pools with other kids to chat to night be better for them.

Hersetta427 Mon 22-Jun-15 22:19:29

We took dd to the Maldives when she was 3.9. She coped well with the direct ba flight as we had built her up from 5 hr flights. She had an amazing time. She was sitting in the shallows one day with small baby sharks swimming around her.

The island we went to was reasonably small but did have a kids club which mostly dd was the only child in. They took her to feed the turtles in their nursery and then had ice cream !

We would love to take her again now she can snorkel but she has a 3 yr old brother so may not be able to afford it anymore.

Trickydecision Mon 22-Jun-15 22:25:48

Another vote for the Maritim, certainly for adults, but I don't remember seeing many children there. On the other hand it is a beautiful island with loads to see. Our grandchildren adored the Maldives, they loved playing in the sea and snorkelling, and there is the bonus of it being a very safe environment for kids as there is strict control on access to the resort islands. BA still run direct flights from November to March, though not much help for you, NickAngel in October half term.

I don't think it is accurate to say that most Maldives villas have their own pool, certainly not the ones we have stayed at. Sparechange you obviously stayed at a posher one than those we aspire to!

NickAngel, the best place to get sound advice on the Maldives if you do decide on it is on the Trip Advisor Maldives forum, there are lots of very friendly and knowledgeable people there who will be delighted to advise you.

Personally, I would not want to go to either Mauritius or the Maldives for seven days, the long flights are so exhausting and worse if not direct. The Canaries might be a very sensible choice until you can get away for a longer period.

ScottishDiblet Tue 23-Jun-15 10:05:22

We went to the Maldives on our honeymoon and had an incredible time. It was perfect and I can't wait to go back there. I think our daughter would love it - warm sea, amazing fishes and beaches etc. but, that said, it's just too far for now - the flight is just too much plus jet lag. We recently went to Tenerife which is a four hour flight (which, frankly, was long enough grin) and we had a ball. We stayed at the Abama which is very child friendly and we had the best time ever! We had previously been a bit snooty about Canary Islands but honestly it was perfect. Plus no time difference!

ipadmad Sun 28-Jun-15 20:51:55

No comparison between Mauritius and Maldives for me. Maldives wins hands down.

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