Travel Snob’s Guide to The Maldives: Things to do in the Maldives

The Maldives is a slice of paradise, located just Southwest of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. Known for its captivating crystal clear waters and idyllic white sand beaches, a thousand coral reefs link together to make up the 1,200 small, beautiful islands in the Maldives. Synonymous with once-in-a-lifetime luxury, romance and complete tranquility, it’s easy to see why the islands making up the Maldives are regulars on the top bucket list destinations.

But there’s more to the Maldives than just luxury ocean bungalows, turquoise shores and white sand beaches.

Old Friday Mosque

If you do happen to venture out of the many luxury resorts in the Maldives, then why not visit the oldest mosque in the country? Dating back from 1656, the beautiful structure is made from intricately chiseled coral stone and decorated in Quranic script and lacquer and woodcarvings. The mosque was built on the foundations of an old temple that faced west towards the setting sun, not northwest towards Mecca.

Visitors wanting to peep inside are required to seek permission from an official of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, but if you are respectful and well dressed they will give you permission to enter the mosque on the spot.

Diving in the Maldives Reefs 

You cannot go to the Maldives without diving into those crystal waters. These idyllic coral islands rank amongst best dive destinations in the world, giving you views of up to 50 meters (in good weather conditions!) The warm water temperatures all year-round make diving in the Maldives.

To see Maldives local wildlife, North Male Atoll is home to the Lion’s Head and Wattaru Kandu diving sites, where you can see reef sharks as well as stingrays, garden eels and manta rays. In South Male Atoll, Hukrueli and Maaya Thila are the perfect places to see white-tip sharks, turtles, zebra morays and the elusive guitar shark.

See the Stars – and Sea, Sparkle!

The beach is not just for daytime activities – when in the Maldives take a trip to the nearest beach at night to discover Noctiluca Scintillans. Not sure what this is? No, it’s not some rare disease you can pick up on the island! Commonly known as sea tinkle, Noctiluca Scintillans is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the ocean. Bioluminescent algae wash onto the beaches of the island, leaving a scattering of neon stars on the sand. You will need to see it to believe it!

Want to experience the serenity and beauty of The Maldives in 2017? The Travel Snob can help. Call 07990 018018 or contact david@thetravelsnob.com for further information.

Holiday Help: Travel Issues You May Face Part 2

Lose Your Passport

This is a traveller’s worst nightmare; you open up your hand luggage and rummage through your pockets only to find you’re passport has disappeared somewhere between the airport and your hotel. Whether it’s been stolen or just simply lost, then it’s important that you act now! Before you go running back to the airport, quickly check your bag, suitcases and surroundings to avoid any embarrassment. You never know it could have slipped your gaze and be hiding at the bottom of your luggage or around the hotel room somewhere!

Should your passport actually go missing, then it’s time to contact your embassy and the police.

Illness or Injury on Holiday

Being ill or injured is bad enough when you’re on home turf, but in an unfamiliar foreign country where you often can’t speak the language, it can be incredibly daunting (and could be costly!)

To save yourself the huge costs of medical care, be sure to buy travel and health insurance before you go. Your travel insurance should cover any assistance you may require in the event of an injury or sudden illness i.e. A&E and medication costs.

Make sure to research your destination before you jet off. Find out if you can drink the tap water and whether you need vaccinations or any malaria treatments, along with what you will need to bring with you. It’s important to bring your own medication if you need it and a small first aid kit for any minor injuries.

In the event of an actual emergency, your tour operator or accommodation will point you in the direction of the nearest hospital or dentist. Depending on where you are on the globe, the medical staff should speak English, but in the case they don’t, find a translator; in person or over the phone.

Jet Lag is Ruining The Holiday

Anyone who flies regularly will understand – and have to deal with – the annoyance that is jet lag. While, supposed cures do exist; here are some remedies I’ve found work for me.

Firstly, avoid drinking too much alcohol and caffeine and eating too much fat and salt. These substances in particular will leave you dehydrated and make you feel more lethargic.

Also, set your watch on the plane to the time of your destination. If you’re travelling to that country over night, be sure to sleep on the plane and feel refreshed when you arrive in daylight. If you’re travelling during the day then avoid taking any naps on the plane to prepare you for your arrival into the country.

When you feel tired during the day, try and stop yourself from falling asleep. Going for a walk, taking a shower or taking a trip to the beach can help to keep you awake as well as resetting your internal clock.

If disaster strikes while you are on your holiday, you can count on David! When you book a holiday with David, you will be able to available to catch him on his mobile 24/7. Whether you’re booking a holiday or got a travel issue, get in touch on 07990 018018.

Travel Snob’s Best Hotels in Mauritius

As you know, I travel as much as I possibly can – usually I go “under cover’ with no mention of being a Travel Agent until I check out – I want to see how my guests will be treated.  Its quite funny to watch a Hotel General Managers face when I tell them I am a Travel Agent.

Towards the end of last year, I was lucky enough to be invited on a F.A.M (Familiarisation Trip) with my Favourite Supplier – Travel2 and the Mauritius Tourist Board.   The trip involved staying in 7 different Hotels, Lunch in another 6 and visits to another 6.  Its trips like this that enable me to really recommend the right hotel for each client.  Every client is different when it comes to personal choices, wants and needs and these trips are invaluable so I get to see the rooms, the facilities, the restaurants, the locations etc of each and every hotel.

Famous for its breathtaking white, sandy beaches, crystal-clear blue waters, sugar cane plains, truly amazing people, and of course – wonderful weather. It’s easy to see why Mauritius is one of the most popular destinations among couples and families.

With both British Airways (from Gatwick) and Air Mauritius (from Heathrow) operating direct flights, and a host of other carriers flying from regional UK airports offering convenient connecting times, or enabling you to make a few days stop over (in Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Dubai) then you can tailor make a holiday around your own preferences.

Why Go?

The tropical island of Mauritius are a chance to explore Indian temples, colonial houses, botanical gardens and opportunities to spot rare birds among the soaring ebony tress, walk with majestic lions and freely swim dolphins.  Amazing crystal clear waters, palm fringed white sandy beaches and incredible sunsets – make this piece of paradise accessible to many people.

Plentiful water-sports, incredible diving sites, snorkelling, world class spas, top-flight golf courses and gourmet cuisine make it hard to the leave the variety of luxury hotels in Mauritius, but Mauritius has plenty to see and do – from the tradition French colonial houses and imaginative animal parks to nature walks, quad biking, zip-lining and horse riding – even the chance to go for a leisurely stroll – with a LION!

Mauritius can be its own wonderful singer destination, or you can soon make an amazing twin Centre Holiday, such as Mauritius and Dubai or Abu Dhabi, even do a Safari in Kenya or Tanzania then top off an amazing trip with a few days on the beach in Mauritius.  Even South Africa with its vast array of activities, then fly to Mauritius for a few days of rest before you head home.

When to Go

Mauritius has a subtropical climate which brings sunshine, blue skies and warmth for the majority of the year.  Perfect beach weather all year round.  Temperatures tend to be hotter towards the end of the year, (October through to December).  The Mountain Range in the south can get rain at any time of the year – which provide it with its lush green tropical feel, the rest of the year can see prolonged rain in January and February – but lest face it – its always going to be better weather in Mauritius than it ever will be at the same time of the year in the UK.

Where to Go

Mauritius has many amazing place to go, with hotels and amazing beaches on all its coastal lines. From opulent 5 star properties, to the more rustic 3 star properties.  Wherever you go you will find amazing beaches, clear sea and incredible hospitality from the warmest of people – who want to ensure you have the best holiday ever!

Below you will find some of my favourites from the best hotels we stayed in and visited.

Heritage Resort

The Heritage is made up of three properties; Tel fair, Awali and Heritage Villas. 

Tel fair Looking over the water, nestled in the beautiful tropical landscape of Domaine de Bel Ombre, Heritage Le Telfair is a luxurious resort right by the coast. With timeless plantation-style villas, suitable for couples and families alike, a high-class spa, 18-hole golf course, a diverse choice of restaurants, a private beach and access to a nature reserve. This resort offers guests some of the best experiences in Mauritius.  This was where I experienced the best breakfast on the Island along with the most incredible Sushi!

Traditional, colonial architecture with elegant modern touches perfectly blend together to create a relaxed atmosphere, with family-friendly and adult-only facilities and activities to keep you (and the kids) entertained!

Awali, is much more low key and less formal resort with an amazing indian Restaurant. Both the properties share the same beach, and at the far end of the beach is an incredibly cool beach club, certainly with a cool vibe about it, with cool tunes and chill out spaces to watch the sunset and just hang out.  Awali tends to be more of an all inclusive resort, where as Telfair is for people on half or full board.

Villas – perched on the hillside overlooking the spectacular Golf Course, with the pean in the distance, you are spoiled rotten here.  Each villas having its own Gold Cart to get to and from the beach or the restaurants, and of course to the Spa, The Beach Club and more importantly the gold course itself. These villas are incredible like nothing I have ever seen.   Ideal for a couple of family, or group of friends traveling out.  A family reunion is just the most perfect of settings.  With 2 – 4 bed villas all with their own pools – this could surely be a peaceful tropical sanctuary you have always dealt of.

St Regis Mauritius Resort

On the South-Western side of the Island, white coral-sand beach and the stunning backdrop of Le Morne Mountain comfort the stunning 5* St Regis Resort. Dedicated to relaxation, the serene resort creates the perfect magical setting with most suites looking out into the turquoise lagoon. At the St Regis you will feel completely at home (except on a beautiful tropical island in 30.C+ weather) with a friendly butler on standby for your every need.

While at the resort you can enjoy pampering in the world-class spa, as well as watching your favourite movies in the private cinema, or taking a morning yoga class to start the day off right.

The St Regis probably had the largest stretch of beach that we saw when we were there.

The rooms are stunning all with amazing balconies or terraces, some you just step out onto the beach.

The St Regis Brand is world renowned and each one has a story to tell.  You will leave here being able to tell plenty of a wonderful time had by all at the St Regis.

Lux* Belle Mare

Set amid tropical gardens on the eastern coast the Lux* Belle Mare is a welcome resort with an array of restaurants, stunning beaches and the most incredible spa.   I loved the casual beach dining with the food trucks by the beach.  Their Ice Cream Parlour(almost a signature thing with Lux*) with regular favours along with some incredibly exotic flavours that you are bound to want to try.  I had one of the very best curries I have had before at the Amari by Vineet. This is a great resort for foodies, with other restaurants including The Duck Laundry – and a big hands up to the Beach Rouge Cafe with its cool vibe to grab a cocktail, watch the sun set and stay for the evening.

The Raveanela by Attitude

The huge lobby with vies over the pool welcome you as you arrive into this oasis.  Huge Rooms with sizeable terraces or balconies – again plenty of places to eat and drink, with its own night club open until 7 am in the morning. This is a family friendly howe however it has an area specifically for adults only, right on the shore line with dramatic ocean views and a Sushi restaurant just for you.

The pool area is huge if you are not a beach lover,

Paradise Cove

Perched up on the north coast The Paradise Cove is a couples / adults only hotel.  The minute you enter there is an air of sophistication of this small boutique hotel.  With lots of gorgeous chill out ares all with amazing views of the Indian Ocean.  All rooms are romantic with 4-poster beds and white washed walls.  Smaller than other properties, but all with that ocean boutique style.

The water surrounding the resort is crystal clear, there is a very small cove with a beach, the beach service is exquisite, if you are more find of smaller resorts that offer a person service this would well be the one for you.

Emeraude Beach by Attitude

If you are on a tighter budget or don’t enjoy 5 star luxury, then there are plenty of other options for you.  Emeraude by attitude, whilst it does not have its own beach, it is on the most spectacular stretch of palm fringed beach.  With just one restaurant you are close enough to the town to wander in and sample more local cuisines. The staff here are just as charming as in other hotel in Mauritius.

Overall much more laid back and chilled that other 5 star resorts, with smaller (nicely finished) rooms around a smaller pool – but full of charm and local culture.

Call 07990 018018 TO FIND OUT MORE about the best hotels in Mauritius.

Planning the Perfect Family Holiday with The Travel Snob

It’s the same old story; the adults want a relaxing, all inclusive holiday in Greece but the kids want a thrill-packed, adventure holiday in America. So where do you start planning that perfect summer holiday for 2017?

At the Travel Snob, I understand that organising the perfect holiday for you and your family can be difficult, especially when no one can agree on what to do on your family summer holiday. Here is my guide to planning your perfect family holiday in 2017:

Plan In Advance

Planning your holiday at least 3 months in advance will benefit you and your family. Not only will you get the best deals when booking your flights and hotels, but you will also get access to a huge range of accommodations and flights that last minute deals will not give you.

Keep It Simple

It can be tempting when you fly to your dream destination to want to pack as much as you can into your one, or two, week holiday. But it’s important you don’t give into the temptation! While you won’t see as much in your time there, you will have a less stressful time if you keep the itinerary to two or three local activities or sightseeing spots.

If the kids want to explore the area, find a local town or monument near the hotel, where you can spend the morning shopping and sightseeing before heading back to the pool in the afternoon.

Short Journeys

While a Maldives holiday or trip to Australia may seem like the perfect way to spend a summer break, picking a destination with long flight times can be a huge mistake. Not only do the kids get bored having to sit in a seat for 24 hours but you also, will find yourself desperate to get to the destination after watching all the in-flight entertainment.

Instead choose a holiday destination with a 5 hour maximum flight time. This will limit you to all the countries in Europe, including Greece and it’s islands as well as the islands in Africa.

Let a Travel Agent Handle It

If you’re too busy to book your summer holiday this year, why not let a travel agent handle the booking of everything? With your needs in mind and their expert insight into the best family holiday destinations, your travel agent will be able to sort your holiday out for you – stress free!

David Walker, at The Travel Snob is a luxury travel agent who has travelled over 5million miles, visited 112 countries amongst 100’s of hotels and 1000’s of restaurants. Therefore you can count on David to find the perfect holiday for you, in the best locations. Call 07990 018018 or for further information, visit here.