Anniversary celebrations at Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

Marking anniversary celebrations with a luxury holiday means you’re looking for more than elegant, spacious accommodation and luxe facilities, you want an entire experience that will last a lifetime.

Wedding celebrations at Constance Ephelia (1988)

Helen & Ken’s wedding (1988)

Twenty-fifth wedding anniversary

When Helen and Ken Smith returned to the Seychelles where they’d married 25 years ago to celebrate their anniversary at Constance Ephélia, they discovered that a warm welcome and excellent service were what memories are really made of.

Helen tells us, ‘We did a lot of research on which hotel to stay at as it was such a special occasion and read lots of reviews and then decided to choose Constance Ephélia. The resort looked so beautiful sitting between 2 beaches, it seemed to have everything on our wish list and more.’

Return to the Seychelles

It was the first time they’d returned to the Seychelles since their wedding and expectation was running high but when they arrived at Ephélia they realised they had nothing to worry about.

‘We honestly couldn’t have asked for anything better to celebrate this special occasion,’ Helen says. ‘We booked a junior suite and the location was stunning, next to the beach and whilst we sat on our balcony we could hear the waves lapping onto the shore…

‘We spent our days chilling by the pool and beach, playing lots of tennis, we went exploring to deserted beaches and also went kayaking a few times – brilliant.’

A 25th wedding anniversary at Constance Ephelia

Returning to the Seychelles for their 25th wedding anniversary

First class service at Constance

But for Helen and Ken it was the special attention paid to them by the staff that really made the holiday perfect. ‘The hotel was beautiful and far exceeded our expectations, comfort, location, choice of restaurants but it’s the staff that are the icing on the cake. They made it so very extra special, they genuinely go out of their way to ensure that you are having the best time.’

Helen cites the example of Chantal, Sales Manager at Ephélia who greeted them on their arrival at Ephélia and went out of her way to make their holiday especially memorable.

‘She arranged for us to have breakfast on the beach which was a fantastic experience, we had champagne delivered to our room, gifts on our bed, it honestly just went on and on, so very lovely. Then, just when we though it couldn’t get any better, they arranged for us to spend our last 2 nights in a hillside villa. Wow, wow, wow – unbelievable – we just kept shaking our heads at how lucky we were.’

‘We have bored everyone to death with our stories and we are sure that some people don’t actually believe what Ephélia and their staff did for us. It was incredible.’

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Luxury spa experience in the Seychelles

Step into the quiet sanctuary of the Spa Village at Constance Ephélia and discover the latest treatments from Spa de Constance and Shiseido Spa.

Spa at Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

Spa at Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

At Ephélia, you can blend a holiday of luxury living with a 5* pampering spa experience to help tackle stress, anxiety and poor digestion leaving you feeling reinvigorated and ready to face the world again.

Our spa therapists will design a program of body and skincare treatments around your specific needs.

Shiseido and Spa de Constance

Shiseido specialise in Eastern-inspired skincare treatments while at Spa de Constance you can choose from an extensive menu of massages including hot stone, aromatherapy and shiatsu, through to body scrubs and clay wraps, a full range of beauty treatments and early morning yoga and meditation on the beach.

Special spa promotion in July

During July 2013, you can treat yourself to a Mystic Sea Ceremony as part of a special month-long promotion.

The 90-minute treatment will help prepare your skin for the sunshine of the Seychelles. The sea salt therapy will relieve your skin from heat and sun damage while the coconut oil massage will restore your body’s natural glow.

To book this special offer, visit our Spa Village during your stay or talk to our guest relations manager.

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  • Take a look at the full list of spa and beauty treatments at Constance Ephélia
  • Discover the Top 10 spa treatments available at all our Constance Hotels and Resorts
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    The Moray Eel – love them or loathe them?

    Marine biologist and guest blogger Robin Aiello takes a look at the much maligned Moray Eel in this month’s creature feature.

    The Moray Eel

    The Moray Eel

    Robin will be returning to Constance Halaveli in September 2013, to run further dive courses and talks following her hugely popular visit earlier in the year.

    You either love moray eels, or fear them.

    Over the years moray eels have gained an unearned reputation as an aggressive, ferocious animal. In truth, however, they are reclusive and shy, preferring to flee or hide from divers by pulling into reef crevices.

    How the moray breathes

    Despite their long, snake-like appearance, moray eels are fish – not snakes. And like all fish, they need to have fresh seawater pass over their gills to breath. But, since morays are relatively sedentary fish, hiding in ambush to catch prey like crabs, octopus and fish, they have developed another way to ‘breathe’ – they gulp water by opening and closing their mouths. Many people misinterpret this behaviour as ferocious and a sign of aggression – but it is merely the eel’s way of breathing.

    Their elongated, serpentine shape allows these fish to swim through the complex reef framework of nooks and crannies. To avoid getting cut and scraped by sharp coral, they produce huge amounts of mucus to coat their smooth, scaleless skin.

    Marine biologist, Robin Aiello

    Marine biologist, Robin Aiello

    How moray eels catch their prey

    When you look at the head of a moray eel their ‘beady’ little eyes seem disproportionately small. In fact, morays have very poor eyesight, and are nearly blind. So how do they find their food? By following their nose. They have a highly developed sense of smell and large tubular nostrils for smelling prey. They also have very good hearing, which helps them to hunt.

    But what I personally think is the most amazing thing about morays eels is how they catch and eat their prey. In addition to several rows of razor sharp teeth, these fish have a unique weapon that, so far, scientists have not found in any other animal – a second set of jaws!

    These jaws, called pharyngeal jaws, lie inside the fish’s throat, and when the mouth is opened to attack, they are propelled forward into the mouth to grasp the prey. As the mouth closes again, they pull back into the throat, taking the prey with them! How weird and amazing is that?

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    A Luxury Travel Blog describes Tsarabanjina as an ‘idyllic castaway island’

    Craig Burkinshaw recently discovered the charms of Tsarabanjina, writing on A Luxury Travel Blog this week that this Constance gem is a ‘particular favourite’.

    Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

    Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

    In a piece in which Craig describes the resort as one of the few offering luxury accommodation and service in the beautiful setting of Madagascar, he goes on to celebrate the tiny private island’s stunning natural setting and exceptional diving and snorkeling opportunities.

    Founder of Audley Travel, Craig praises the resort’s laidback charm:

    ‘A charming feature is that the island has its own time zone, Tsarabanjina time. An hour different to mainland Madagascar, this is done to make the most of the daylight and only adds to the remote feeling of the island and resort.’

    Craig goes on to extol the virtues of the fresh, sumptuous food and indulgent spa treatments on offer. Describing the accommodation Craig admires the use of natural woods and Malagasy crafts to create a comfortable environment with ‘plenty of luxurious touches’.

    Craig sums up, ‘Overall Constance Tsarabanjina has the perfect combination of Robinson Crusoe escapism and a healthy dose of luxury.’

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    Top tips for food and wine pairing

    Matching the perfect wine with the perfect food to bring out the subtle, distinctive flavours of both is a delicate skill.

    Chablis, “Terroir de Courgis”

    Chablis, “Terroir de Courgis”

    Here Constance Halaveli sommelier Cedric Jacobs selects his favourite wines and, with the help of executive chef at Halaveli Holger Joost, pairs them with a selection of delectable dishes.

    1. Chablis, “Terroir de Courgis”, Patrick Piuze, 2010, France, Burgundy

    I will always remember the first time I tasted this wine, I was in Bordeaux in 2011 for a famous wine exposition and a friend of Jerome Faure brought a few bottles from this producer to be blind-tasted. When the results came back, it was like I was back in school with my lecturer warning me that Chablis can be confused with wine from the Loire Valley due to the proximity of Terroir.

    Courgis is the western city of the Chablis appellation and very close to Pouilly Fumé – a total confusion, yet an incredible discovery.

    100 per cent Chardonnay – The hint of gunflint, citrus & exotic fruit and minerality could confuse the drinker with a Sauvignon Blanc. Showing an amazing purity in the mouth, a juicy, rich mineral wine with a perfect respect of the fruit.

    Food Pairing:

    Some time ago, the executive chef prepared prawns in 3 textures (seared, sous vide and tartar) served with mango salsa for me to taste. This would have been the perfect wine to drink to respect both of the wine and dish.

    Chef Pairing:

    Tiger Prawns in 3 textures (seared, sous vide and tartar) with mango and palm heart salsa curry emulsion.

    VDP des Bouches du Rhône, Villa Minna

    VDP des Bouches du Rhône, Villa Minna

    2. VDP des Bouches du Rhône, Villa Minna, Red, 2007, France, Provence

    This wine comes from the commune of Saint Cannat, a few kilometres from Aix-en-Provence and neighbour of the small village I am from, Ventabren. I discovered the wine from Jean Paul Luc 8 years ago when I started my sommelier formation. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy to bring to the middle of the Indian Ocean. Eventually, the wines arrived and my love for them did not change at all.

    A bold blend between Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Mourvèdre. The nose is crammed full of black cherry, almost kirsches, and dried fig aromas. After few minutes of aeration in the glass, violets, mixed Provençal herbs and spices are showing off. The mouth is fruitful and complex offering a beautiful freshness for a 2007 vintage showing that this wine still has guts to age even more.

    Food Pairing:

    Halaveli cheese selection – a selection of international cheeses with dried fruit, crackers & honey.

    As a typical French man I cannot refuse a piece of cheese but being in the middle of the Indian ocean I do not have access to it that easily. I discovered here a Brie from Australia, the Jindi Triple Cream, battered more than a normal one and showing an incredible complexity. I could simply spend a whole night with friends pairing these two.

    Waterkloof, Sauvignon Blanc

    Waterkloof, Sauvignon Blanc

    3. Waterkloof, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010 – South Africa, Stellenbosh

    I discovered this wine in October 2012 while visiting South Africa, more precisely the Cape Wine wine exposition in Cape Town. The first contact was with Paul Boutinot, the owner of the winery, and then his son Louis, who invited us to taste his wine.

    The Waterkloof Sauvignon Blanc is one of my ‘Coup de Coeur’ of the year for the purity that is present in this wine. A rich and complex Sauvignon Blanc offering citrus fruit, vegetal and fennel aromas on the nose for a mineral, salty, and long lasting finish – a great complexity for an easy drinking wine.

    Food Pairing:

    Halaveli Sushi and Sashimi selection with pickled ginger and soy.

    Minerality and saltiness lead me directly to products from the sea and one of my first experiences with the Waterkloof, and the most memorable, was with Japanese Food: Sushi, Sashimi, Californian Roll… This unctuous wine matched perfectly these Japanese specialties.

    4. Mullineux, “Granit”, Syrah, 2010 – South Africa, Swartland

    Like the Waterkloof, this was a discovery that happened in South Africa during my last trip. We were welcomed by Andrea and Chris Mullineux in a restaurant called “French toast” in the city of Cape Town.

    The cuvée Granit is, for me, majestic. The nose offers beautiful black berries, olive, spices and meaty aromas. On the palate, the wine is fresh, lively and spicy with an amazing fruit – the feeling of literally biting into berries. A feminine, yet complex Syrah which deserves to be aged for couple of years, but can be enjoyed right now.

    Food Pairing:

    Tuna steak and caramelized foie gras, warm salad of Shimeji, Edamame and tomato, celeriac puree.

    Living in the Maldives for the past few years, tuna, the meatiest fish of the Indian Ocean, has become one of my favourite dishes. To complement this amazing fish, The Mullineux Syrah is a perfect match, especially when the tuna steak is served with a typical olive tapenade, grilled Mediterranean vegetables and a celeriac purée.

    Barolo, Attilio Ghisolfi

    Barolo, Attilio Ghisolfi

    5. Barolo, Attilio Ghisolfi, 2005 – Italy, Piedmont

    My most recent trip was to Italy where we visited mostly the north of the country seeking out small yet amazing winemakers. I had already worked with the wines from Attilio Ghisolfi for the last 2 years (in fact, Jerome Faure discovered them during a tasting in Italy a few years back) but I wanted to meet the man behind the superb bottle.

    Cherry, balsamic, olive and chamomile all together coming to your nose for an amazing mouthful, this 100 per cent Nebbiolo is similar to a Pinot Noir but with firm Tannin – This wine from Attilio Ghisolfi, after a long and delicate aging in the cellar, shows beautiful and melted tannins, with impressive fruit – Can be kept for aging for another 10 to 15 years.

    Food Pairing:
    Angus beef tenderloin, Asian spiced spinach, truffle potato and horseradish crème.

    Red meat is the first dish that comes to my mind when having a bottle of Barolo in front of me. More exactly, a nice, juicy Angus beef tenderloin, served in its own jus with a homemade truffle potato purée and horseradish cream.

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    Wesselingh battles to Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open win

    Paul Wesselingh has won his second tournament of the season following a dramatic play-off at the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open with former MCB Champion Kevin Spurgeon.

    Paul Wesselingh

    Paul Wesselingh

    The two British golfers battled it out on the Swiss Bad Ragaz course with Spurgeon ultimately drawing level with Wesselingh forcing the pair to play extra holes. It was only a birdie on the third extra hole, the 18th, which secured the win for Wesselingh.

    Kevin Spurgeon is no stranger to dramatic battles having fought hard to win the MCB Tour Championship held in Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius, back in 2009.

    This latest win places Wesselingh at the top of the European Senior Tour Order of Merit after just four events this year.

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