Spotlight on Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Off the North West coast of Madagascar lies the volcanic Mitsio Archipelago, home to the beautiful island of Tsarabanjina.

Beach at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Beach at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Constance Tsarabanjina affords you a different type of luxury. You’ve got everything you could want from a tropical island get-away – white sandy beaches, lush vegetation, coral reefs – but its utter seclusion and tranquility give it the edge. This is a place to down tools and immerse yourself in the laid-back vibe and restful atmosphere.

Lose yourself to the quiet sound of the sea, enjoy a massage on one of the 3 delightful beaches, fish for your supper, watch the sunset from your beach bungalow while enjoying a cold glass of something, or simply lie back in your hammock and take it all in.

Wildlife on Tsarabanjina

Fish off Tsarabanjina

Waters are brimming with sealife

If you’re up for an adventure, there’s loads to do. The island and waters around Tsarabanjina are brimming with wildlife and sea creatures.

Tsarabanjina is home to many rare birds including the famous flycatcher of Madagascar, sea eagles and kingfishers.

A biologist has even come across the tiniest chameleon in the world – it barely exceeds 1 centimetre in length when fully grown.

Activities on offer

Sunset at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Sunset at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Scuba diving is a major draw here. The dive team take both beginners and qualified divers to the awe-inspiring Les Quatre Frères on the North West side of Tsarabanjina. These small islets are renowned as world-class diving sites, as well as being home to many nesting birds.

Other activities – most free of charge –  include snorkelling, water skiing, tennis, volleyball, petanque, guided walks around the island, massage and fishing trips. Catamarans and kayaks are also available for guests to freely use during their stay.

Beach bungalows

Beach bungalow

Gloriously laid back bungalows on the beach

The 25 thatched roof bungalows are set amidst trees and palms, overlooking the sea and beach just 20-30 yards from the shore.

Each comes with a private terrace, main bedroom equipped with fans and bathroom with shower.

Dining at Tsarabanjina

The restaurant is perched in the mezzanine above the bar, and overlooks the wide expanse of sea below. You can also enjoy cocktails and sundowners at the bar, where you can pad about bare foot on the fine sand floor.

Bar at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Bar at Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Seafood doesn’t come much fresher or tastier than at Tsarabanjina. And if you love lobster, this is the place to come. Read our article about dining on lobster on the rocks.

Share your stories of Tsarabanjina

If you’ve been to Tsarabanjina, we’d love to hear about your experience. You can get in contact with us via Twitter, post photos to Facebook or use the comments section below.

 

The spirit of the Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival

The European chef and the island cook sharing their passion

The European chef and the island cook sharing their passion

Bruno Le Gac, our corporate chef and a key mastermind behind the Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival,  gives an insight into the history behind the remarkable event, now entering its 7th year.

The Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival takes place in March, and is a major event for everyone at Constance Hotels Experience.

It started 6 years ago with an idea – to honour the legacy of the great chef Bernard Loiseau, and propose something that he would be proud of.

The spirit of the festival

When we first had the idea, we didn’t know what or how we would do it… but we knew that we wanted to create something true, sincere, with spirit. Not just a business event, but a festival with soul.

The European chefs coaching the island cooks for the competition

The European chefs coaching the island cooks for the competition

We wanted it to be an event that would showcase our passion for food and the human values that we cherish.

As I always say, several brains work better than one and the result of this great team work has progressively turned into reality.

The concept for a festival in which we could share our passion and knowledge was born.

Mrs Dominique Loiseau immediately gave us all her support and allowed us to name the event after her late husband.

Chef Patrick Bertron, Loiseau’s protége, has been sensational since day one.

Michelin star chefs join cooks from the Indian Ocean

We wanted to put the spotlight on the people that we never see. The way the festival works is that we put together 6 Michelin star rated European chefs with 6 young cooks from our kitchens.

European chef and island cook prepare for competition day

Feel the tension in the kitchen, competition day is near...

During the festival, they train together for 3 days to create 2 dishes of their own making. Then on the day of the competition, the European chefs are not allowed in the kitchen. In the spirit of Loiseau’s legacy, it’s about sharing, it’s about training and it’s about transmission.

We showcase the best of the produce and culinary wonders of Mauritius and the Indian Ocean. One of the basic rules of the competition is to use local produce and spices as much as possible. I believe that after 6 years we have pretty much seen everything that you could possibly make with fresh heart of palmtree!

What we’ve achieved so far

To date, we’ve managed to create a high profile event that exudes warmth and humanity. Those who were present at the first festival immediately felt that something very special had happened during the week. And the spirit keeps on building up every year…

We wanted this to be an elegant event that represents the image of our hotels. Our partners responded with equal enthusiasm – it’s not every day of the week that you get to drink magnums of Amour de DeutzChampagne…

The festival in 2012

I am extremely proud of Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival, and so are all of the great people who have participated, who shared their time, hard work and passion.

The 2012 edition will be even more intense and fascinating… watch this space for more news of next year’s unmissable festival.

Weekly round up: 26 September – 2 October 2011

Watersports with Constance Hotels

Watersports with Constance Hotels

This weekly feature offers a round-up of the content on our blog from the past week, in case you missed anything.

Split into categories, it’s another way for you to easily find the posts of value to you.

Special offers

News and events

Competition

  • Weird Wildlife photo competition
    Friday 30 September is the last day of our great competition. Seize your chance to enter or check out the photos we’ve been sent so far.

Culinary

  • Fish and seafood soup
    Want to create some of our chefs’ amazing dishes yourself at home? Every Friday, we post some of the most amazing, delicious and popular recipes online.

Inspiration

Spa and sports

Recipe: Creole fish and seafood soup

Evening on the beach at Constance Halaveli

Evening on the beach at Constance Halaveli

There’s something wonderfully exotic about this fish soup – the spices give it the special Creole flavour. Ideal for a weekend meal, it’s simple to prepare and cooking time is under an hour.

Serves 4:
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 firm fleshed white fish fillets, about 80g each
  • 4 large prawn tails, shelled
  • 4 small cleaned squid
  • 2 spiny lobsters, about 500g each
  • 200g potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the broth

  • 1 fish head (red snapper)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 5 small or 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 coriander roots
  • 4 coriander leaves
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 4 curry leaves
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 10cl dry white wine
  • 1.5 litre fish stock
  • 20g butter
  • salt and pepper

Finishing touch

  • garlic croutons

1. Make the broth: peel and chop the onion and garlic. Peel the carrots. Dice carrots, celery and fennel bulb. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and slit the red chilli lengthwise.
2. Fry the onion, carrots, celery, fennel, chopped ginger, garlic, tomatoes and chilli in the olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the fish head, turmeric, coriander roots, thyme, curry leaves and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and let it brown for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce by 1/3. Add the fish stock, bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes.
3. Strain the broth through a fine sieve and keep warm.
4. Pan-fry the fish and the prawn tails separately in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
5. Poach the squid and the spiny lobsters for 4 to 5 minutes in boiling salted water, then throw them into iced water to cool them. Drain, shell the lobsters and slice their tails.
6. Peel the potatoes and boil them for 12 minutes. Slice them into rounds.
7. Shortly before serving, coarsely chop the coriander leaves. Correct seasoning and, using a hand blender, emulsify the broth with the butter.
8. In a soup tureen, arrange the fish, shellfish, potatoes and cover with the hot broth. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve with garlic croutons on the side.

You can purchase the Constance Prince Maurice recipe book from our online store - it includes 50 of our favourite recipes.

 

A day in the life of a spa trainer

Ajay Kishtoo, spa trainer, Le Prince Maurice

Ajay Kishtoo

Ajay Kishtoo’s working day as a spa trainer is varied and exciting. Here’s a look at a typical day for Ajay at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius.

I wake up at 6am and have a light breakfast. I have to be ready to catch the hotel bus by 7am. Once I arrive at the hotel, I check the schedule for the day, help the therapists with the set up and organise training with the staff.

Launching a new treatment

Today, I’ve got a long day ahead of me as we’re finalising the last assessment for a new treatment we’ll be offering – Fusion Massage. Fusion full body massage is inspired by occidental and oriental massages like Thai, shiatsu and Swedish.

The treatment launches tomorrow, and we have to make sure that all our therapists understand the benefits of the treatment and are able to use the different movements confidently.  

Massage at Spa de Constance

Massage at Spa de Constance

Before we launch a new treatment, our therapists and receptionists experience the massage themselves so they really understand what they’re selling.

My inspiration

It was my mother who inspired me to get into this type of work. She has a real gift for healing people who suffer from back pain. She’s never trained formally but she’s helped so many people during her life.

Seeing my mother doing something that makes her so happy has inspired me and my brothers. We used to pretend to do massage on each other. Little did we know that later in life we’d develop a real passion for our work as therapists. Together, we’ve created a school for youngsters who want to train in this type of work.

What I really love about my job

What I really love about my job is the notion that I’m sharing my knowledge with people but also learning from others. All therapists have slightly different techniques and views, and it’s good to take these on board and to share our thoughts with each other.

I enjoy every moment of my day in the spa – particularly the sharing, and seeing the satisfaction of a client after their treatment.

Special offer: Tropical escape to Constance Halaveli

Inside a water villa at HalaveliInside a water villa at Halaveli

If you’re hankering after a last minute escape to a tropical paradise, we’re offering an excellent 20% off at Constance Halaveli, if you stay a minimum of 7 nights.

The offer is valid for stay until 15 October, and cannot be combined with any other special offer.

Find out more about this great deal to Constance Halaveli, including terms and conditions.