• TV and Heart FM radio presenter Jenni Falconer discovered a surprise around every corner when we sent her off to the paradise island of Mauritius. Here’s how she got on…

    I love presenting the Heart FM early breakfast show 6 days a week, and when I found out we were teaming up with Thomson to give our listeners holiday vouchers, I jumped at the chance to road-test one of the holidays they could spend their prize on. And, yes, I did have to pinch myself when Thomson revealed where I was going!

    I’m always looking for a holiday that combines plenty to do with the chance to relax, and it’s safe to say I found it at Sugar Beach Hotel, in Mauritius.

    Arriving In Style

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    Thomson is the only UK airline that flies direct to the island, and the 787 Dreamliner delivered me there in style. The views of the island as we were coming in to land were absolutely stunning.

    I was staying at 5-star Sugar Beach Hotel, in the resort of Flic en Flac, on the island’s west coast. The hotel’s part of Thomson’s Al la Carte collection, which means I got added extras such as private taxi transfers, 20kg of luggage and the chance to choose my seat on the plane.

    A Touch Of Luxury

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    The hotel itself was the perfect mix of laid-back and lively. There were two pools and a kilometre of white-sand beach on the doorstep, as well as plenty of activities for when I wanted to get active.

    The whole place has a plantation-style feel to it, with a grand manor house and colonial-looking villas draped in trailing plants. My room was chic and spacious, combining elegant dark-wood furniture with plush soft furnishings and a super-comfy bed. It had a real luxury feel to it.

    I started my days with a breakfast of fresh fruit and coffee in the beach-side cafe, while admiring the views of the waves washing onto the beach. It’s really important to me to stay active while I’m on holiday, so I loved being able to explore on a bike or workout in the state-of-the-art gym in the morning, before hopping into the infinity pool for a well-deserved cocktail come the afternoon.

    Island Adventures

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    I adore getting out and about and exploring new places when I’m on holiday, so I took the chance to book an excursion using the Thomson app. The sea here is so clear that I couldn’t resist a glass-bottom boat tour out to the islet of Ile des Deux Cocos. I had plenty of time to explore the islet and spotted the exotic Pink pigeon, day Gecko and Aldabra tortoise. The only downside was taking so many photos I almost filled my memory card in one day!

    After all that exploring, I knew I had to try out Aura Spa, where they believe in offering a holistic experience which leaves body, mind and soul relaxed and rejuvenated. I opted for a massage, and it was absolute bliss – there’s nothing like a spa treatment with the sounds of ocean in the background to lull you into a state of pure and utter relaxation.

    Food For Thought

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    The food at the hotel was absolutely superb, whether I was tucking into Italian-style wood-fired pizzas at Citronella’s Café at lunchtime, or freshly-caught barbecued seafood at Tide’s beachfront restaurant come evening. When I wanted to try some local dishes, I’d always head to the buffet at Mon Plaisir restaurant, when I sampled tomatoey fish rougaille and fiery Mauritian curry.

    The mark of a great holiday is coming homing relaxed and reenergised. And as the plane touched back down in the UK, that’s exactly how I felt. I’m not sure they’ll let me enter the competition to win holiday vouchers, so I’m busy saving for my return to paradise.

    Find out about the Thomson and Heart FM partnership here.

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