A few days after his Gold Logie triumph, Grant Denyer, his wife Chezzi, and their 2 daughters, Scout and Sailor, escaped to Mauritius for a well-deserved family holiday at Club Med La Plantation d'Albion. We chatted to Chezzi to get the inside scoop on their Mauritian getaway and gathered a few travel tips and adorable family snaps along the way!
1. What attracted you to a holiday in Mauritius?
Grant I and have always had Mauritius on our list of must see places. I’ve known a few people who have travelled there over the years and they have always said it was incredible. With its French history and rich local culture, we thought it would be an ideal location to visit with the kids. Also it’s incredibly exotic and tropical; and considering the winter weather in Bathurst (minus 5 the morning we arrived home) why wouldn’t you want to go to somewhere as warm and sunny as Mauritius!
2. What’s on your packing list when travelling to an exotic destination like Mauritius?
Because Grant and I had the Logies a few nights before we left for Mauritius, and things were so hectic preparing for that, I was really relieved that we didn’t need an extensive packing list to head to Mauritius.. Also that really is a big plus when travelling to Club Med - they ensure they have you covered if you forget to pack something..
First thing I got out and dusted the cob webs off was our swimmers. And a few spare pairs for the girls and their goggles. I wanted to pack light so put in two dresses for them to wear to dinner one night, a few t-shirts which they could wear to kids club, a few pairs of shorts, one light jumper or jacket for them each, and p.j’s (a sleep suit for Scout). For Grant and I, I packed two nice dressier options for us to wear to have a special dinner together, and the rest was very causal! One thing I remembered to pack was a small bag for each of the girls to take to Kids Club each. I learnt that the first time we went to Club Med.
3. Describe Club Med La Plantation d’Albion in 3 words:
Tropical 🌴 | Restorative 🔋 | Fun 😂
4. Describe your typical day at the resort:
The girls would wake and would be hungry straight away… So we would all get up and would head outside to have our breakfast beside the pool. We had a fabulous butler named Sandy in the villa and the girls were obsessed by him. They would follow him around for the first hour while Grant and I would try to wake up, asking him if he had children, if he had a girlfriend, if he liked dogs and ice cream. Sandy put together the most extraordinary breakfast, and we would all sit down to enjoy it together. This was such a beautiful way to start the day. Then we would get dressed and call for a buggy to take us to the main resort.
Most days we would head straight to the beach until Kids Club or Mini Club opened up. On the beach, we would go for a gentle walk and collect shells, or just play in the sand for a while with the girls. We would head up to Mini Club as Sailor wanted to go every single minute of every day and night, however Scout wasn’t as convinced. She would go every second day.
On the days when we were kidless we would really try to live it up. We would go for a walk around the resort, or we would go to Archery or play tennis, then we would head over to have a luxurious long lunch followed by some cocktails by the pool.
Some afternoons we would hear back to the villa and have an hours nap, and in the afternoon we would head to the spa for some relaxation treatments which was heaven! We then met up with the girls and would join in the afternoon activities with Mini Club and the kids.
We would all head back to the Villa to bath and get ready for dinner.
Some nights the girls would do activities with Mini Club where they would be fed dinner too, so Grant and I could have a date night! We would meet up with the kids again about 9ish. We had a few really lovely and romantic dinners with the kids enjoying their time with Mini Club. And some nights the Mini Club put on shows for the parents. It’s just such a great experience!
5. Did you enjoy your experience in the luxury private villa, why?
The luxury private villa was just absolute heaven. When we first arrived at the villa, Grant thought it was the lobby for the entire resort it was so grand and flash. And it was so private. We felt like we were on our own tropical island it was so private, which suited us perfectly at this point. It’s not like anything I have ever experienced before. It was just so special. Both the girls had their own room and extravagant bathrooms in separate wings of the villa. We also had Sandy on call 24/7 and that was wonderful to know, as he really helped us find out feet and discover some unknown parts of Mauritius. Sandy would arrive about an hour before breakfast each morning and you wouldn’t hear a thing, he would just be working away in the kitchen and you’d start to smell delicious fresh croissants being made before you knew he was there.
The villa had a sparkling plunge pool however I have to admit the water wasn’t warm enough for us to swim in unfortunately. Whilst Mauritius is tropical and warm, we didn’t realise we were visiting in winter until we arrived, but the beach was warm and lovely and really salty to swim in, the villa pool was just too cold unfortunately.
One thing you notice too while staying in the villa is the exceptional service you get all around the resort. The villa have their own exclusive buggy’s for travelling to and from the main resort and these come at lighting speed.
On the days that the girls stayed with us, we would hang out in the villa and have afternoon tea or aperitifs around the pool on the glorious day bed. The girls thought this was so special - crêpes with real melted chocolate on a luxurious day bed in our own private outdoor setting.
6. Tell us about your girls’ experience in Kids Club
Sailor loved everything she did at Mini Club or Kids Club. She had tried her hand at trapeze while we were at Cherating Beach last year, and so was keen to improve on what she learnt back then. And she nailed it first go. She was so proud of herself that she was able to do swing up so high and turn around and then swing upside down and finish with a somersault onto the mat. I think this was a highlight of her trip!
Sailor nailing the trapeze before we leave Mauritius.. : The Mini Club activities for kids are insane here at Mauritius. Each day they get to practice things like this trapeze act. It’s something she tried at @clubmedcherating last year, but really got into it while at @clubmedalbion. : She even finished with a backflip! Really proud of her pushing herself outside her comfort zone. She has loved kids club so much she tells me she doesn’t ever want to leave. : #creatingmemories #clubmedinsider #clubmedmauritius #clubmedalbion
The other thing that really stands out is the fabulous shows that Club Med put on with the Kids Club. Our first night there Sailor was up on the stage in a Moana show that the kids had rehearsed during the day for. Scout also got to do a dance and thought she was so special. They have full costumes and makeup too. And the shows are fully choreographed and loved by all the parents watching in the audience. Even Daddy Grant got to play a part in the Daddy daughter dance.
Overall I think what we love about Club Med the most is that the kids have such a phenomenal experience. Sailor learnt French words, she participated in specifically designed group activities for her age, she learnt about different cultures, she swam, painted, played dress ups, met friends from around the world. In fact she has so much fun she cried when we said we were leaving. She made three really good friends from South Africa and Perth that we’re staying in touch with.
7. What is your favourite thing about Mauritius and why?
Mauritius feels untouched. It’s not spoilt or overpopulated like other holiday destinations we have been to. There’s a real sincerity amongst the locals. There is also really rich culture, and Club Med definitely allows that to shine through. Mauritius is surrounded by volcanic rock and we loved getting out of the resort and visiting different parts on day excursions. Our favourite took us down south to visit the local zoo and the girls got to feed the giant tortoises and the baby tortoises. This was an incredible experience. There were so many and they were just gorgeous. We also went to little shopping villages and got to buy some local arts and craft which was really interesting. Especially seeing how they weave baskets. We got to see sugar cane and the produce created from the sugar cane which was more interesting for Grant and I than the girls. And we visited some temples and religious statues which was very intriguing. We bought a lot of gifts for family and friends because the Mauritian products were so unique, we had to purchase another bag to fit everything in to come home.
8. Would you recommend Club Med La Plantation d’Albion and Albion Villas to others and why?
Without a doubt I would recommend Club Med La Plantation d’Albion and Albion Villas for a wonderful holiday. I think it caters so well for all different types of holidays depending on the person or family. If you want to relax, it’s perfect. There’s plenty of nice quiet spots near the beach or private beaches for you to lay and read.
If you want full Adrenalin and activity, they’ve got you covered with golf, tennis, archery, trapeze and circus skills plus also they have water sports and an extensive range of aerobics and fitness classes too. If you want to have spa treatments looking over the magnificent ocean view you can. They have a great gym.. apparently haha! No, I did see it and it looked full of equipment to tickle your fitness fancy. If you’re more like us, and want to take time out, this Club Med is perfect because it’s not overpopulated like other resorts. As with all Club Med’s you have incredible spreads for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you pay for the level of inclusiveness you want before you leave so there’s no surprises. You can have a trillion cocktails each day if you wish, and you never have to pay a thing while you’re there so there’s no worry about going over your budget. You have plenty of GO’s available to help. You have a fully stocked shop with anything and everything you might need or want on hand. A great excursion office covering some really interesting excursions like walking with Lions, exploring a deep sea submarine, atv tours around the island, cultural trips, deep sea fishing etc...
everyone who worked at this Club Med loved it, and this love shone through in all our dealings.
There’s not a lot of Australians at this Club Med either, well there wasn’t when we were there. So you really feel like you’re on the other side of the planet.
9. What was the highlight of your trip?
The highlight of our trip was definitely swimming with the Dolphins. This was incredible. We had asked at the excursion office about something we could all do as a family, and we decided to go with this one. It sounded fun, but we had no idea what we were in for until we got out into the ocean on our boat with another 10 people from the resort. And then in the water we saw a pod of Dolphins swimming towards us and we were told to jump out. So Grant and I holding our girls with life vests and floaties on, jumped out into the water and watched and felt the pod of Dolphins swim right up to us and around us. It was amazing. I was able to see them underwater for a bit, however the girls just watched from above the water. It was such a special moment. Grant and I kept looking at each other as we realised this was a once in a lifetime experience.
We’ve had one of THE MOST incredible experiences of our lives today. We got to swim with Dolphins off the Mauritius coast. Just unbelievable to be in the water swimming alongside these magnificent creatures. : As we headed out to sea in the little boat, we were all a little apprehensive (note Sailor’s face in picture 1), but as soon as we saw the Dolphins gliding through the water, we all relaxed. : Thank you to @clubmedalbion for organising this magnificent trip for us today. : This is something we will never forget.. : @clubmed #clubmedinsider #clubmedalbion #mauritius #swimwiththedolphins🐬 #clubmedmauritius #clubmed
10. How do you ensure you spend time with your family but also have time for yourself (and as a couple) while on holiday?
I think Club Med has this covered. As mentioned above, we were able to spend quality time together at points and then Grant and I could spend quality time alone without the kids all because of Kids Club and the activities provided by Club Med. We chose to put our girls into kids club every second day (Sailor fought us on this though) so we could spend time together as a family, which is rare with our work situation at the moment, but it also allowed us a break from the kids which is also important on holiday.
11. What are your top tips for travelling with a family?
Just relax. Try to savour everything. Every moment together. If you have a long flight with little kids take plenty of things to try keep them occupied and entertained with. Books, things to draw on and with, video games if you have them, iPads with movies, plus things for kids to chew on when you’re descending on the plane. Also If you’re travelling to another time zone and you have little kids, be prepared for some bumps. We weren’t even contemplating jet lag until it hit, so we weren’t prepared at all and it was exhausting when we got home and the kids wouldn’t sleep for 5 days.
12. This is your second Club Med holiday as a family. What keeps you coming back?
They say that Club Med is addictive and I have to attest it is. We can’t get enough of the whole experience. It’s not just one thing, it’s the collective that makes it so great for us. And as our kids get a little bigger, we want to try out even more Club Meds because they are fantastic holidays and you can feel like you’ve had a month off just in a week.
I love the fact that they’re easy more than anything. That everything had been thought of for you, and you just need to turn up and decide each day how you want to spend your time. There’s no worries about being bored as there’s heaps to do. There’s no stress about blowing the budget accidentally because it’s all inclusive. There’s a mix of activities to cater for everyone. The kids have a blast with kids club. The adults get to try different meals from around the world and you come back at least 3 kilos heavier each time you visit, which just shows you how much you enjoy yourself. It’s also safe and you feel supported and welcomed by all the staff.
13. Which Club Med resort would you love to go to next?
Without the children - I would LOVE to go to the Maldives because it looks sensational!
With the kids - I would love to try maybe a ski Club Med next or I think there’s one opening up in Vietnam soon? That’s definitely on my list of places to see with the family. My girls would also love to go to France now they can say some French words, so who knows!!!