Giant gingerbread house at Constance Halaveli

Christmas preparations are well under way at Constance Halaveli, and this year we’ve got a gigantic treat in store.

Gingerbread house at Constance Halaveli

Gingerbread house at Constance Halaveli

Our carpenters have taken on the enormous task of building the dream gingerbread house for our Culinary Team.

The shell of the house has been carefully crafted to provide a solid base for the weight of the specially made gingerbread. 

Watch this space

Every week we’ll provide a progress report on how the gingerbread house is shaping up before the big unveiling at Christmas. 

Don’t miss the other photos on our Constance Facebook page.

Send us photos of your gingerbread creations

Have you ever made a gingerbread house? Don’t be shy because we’d love to see photos of your creations. You can post your photos to the Constance Facebook page.

Interview with Bruno Le Gac, Corporate Executive Chef at Constance Hotels

Bruno Le Gac is our Corporate Executive Chef at Constance Hotels Experience.

Bruno Le Gac

Bruno Le Gac

Bruno’s passion for his work stems from a great love of food, and his career has taken him around the globe.

1.    Why did you decide to become a chef?

Like many people, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do when I was a teenager. But I knew I wanted to be independent, earn my own money and enjoy freedom. I also loved to eat and go to restaurants with my parents.

One summer, I spent a month in a restaurant to earn a bit of cash. I was cleaning dishes, peeling vegetables, all that nice stuff…

One day during service time, the kitchen brigade was in such a rush that the chef called me. He put a kitchen hat on my head, tied an apron around my waist and showed me how to place the garnish on the plates.

Strangely enough, at the end of this particular day I knew what I wanted to do in life. I guess I was love struck by the job. I dropped conventional studies and started an apprenticeship. And I’ve never regretted my decision.

2. How did your career get going in the early days?

I started travelling at quite a young age, and I was only 20 when I got my first job abroad, in California. I chose not to come back to France, and instead decided to discover different countries and cultures.

3. What 5 things have influenced your success?

Delicious fresh food at Constance Hotels Experience

Delicious fresh food at Constance Hotels

A combination of factors have been key to the development of my career.

1. I’m lucky to have a fantastic wife. She’s always been very supportive, patient and she has also been able to put me back on track when needed.

2. Lots of work and dedication. A true passion for the job.

3. Self motivation. It’s important to wake up every morning and strive to do better than the day before.

4. I believe I’ve made the right career choices at the right time. One has to provoke his destiny and not wait for things to happen.

5. I’ve been lucky to meet and work with incredible people, who gave me their trust and support.

My current job is completely different from what I was doing before. But I love it even more – it opens so many doors. I’m having a blast!

4. What qualities do you think an aspiring chef needs to make it in the business?

Chefs working in a Constance Hotels kitchen

Chefs hard at work at Constance

 I’d say self motivation and a willingness to work hard, as well as a genuine passion for what you’re doing.

When I started you needed to get ready the first couple of years to wake up very early in the morning, work long hours, do more cleaning than cooking, cut your fingers, burn your arms, stink when you get back home and never say no to your chef.

Work, learn, remember, apply. Think fast, act fast. Then you’ll know if you’re made for the job or not.

Once all of these things are no longer a problem to you, you’ll start really enjoying what your job is and you’ll be on the right track.

After that, it’s all about finding your own style and ways of doing things.

Fortunately things are now very different and the working conditions in the kitchen are getting better and better. It will always remain a fascinating but fairly hard job.

5. How do you see food trends developing in the luxury hotel market?  

There’s a move to create more healthy options on the menu, more ‘custom made’ menus, lighter portions, luxury snacking for lunch. And more than ever: lighter, purer plates made out of quality products. High class modern pastry is also a big draw right now.

We’re going to see even more personality in the food. So called ‘hotel food’ is disappearing and this is good news. And there’ll be even more symbiosis between food, service and wine. Guests are looking for a global experience.

The mix of clientele is also changing. We need to anticipate and propose things that will surprise and delight our European guests but also Asian and Middle Eastern to name two.

6. What and where was the best meal you’ve ever had?

If I say ‘my Mum’s food’ it will sound very conventional! Let me think… I don’t have one best meal that stands out. Instead, I like to remember dozens of great food experiences that vary with the context, the place, the people I was with.

Here’s a window on some of the best food experiences I’ve had:

  • A ‘vuelve la vida’ seafood cocktail in Mercado 28 in Cancun, Mexico.
  • A salad of fresh heart of palmtree in Constance Belle Mare Plage,Mauritius.
  • A splendid and surprising langoustine and raw wagyu beef in a delicate broth at Relais Bernard Loiseau this summer.
  • A perfect spaghetti al pesto at La Merenda, a small restaurant in Nice.
  • A giant chili crab in a street food shack inSingapore.
  • A plate of freshly picked organic tomatoes from my mother-in-law’s garden, with lots of olive oil from Baux de Provence and sprinkled with salt flower.
  • A tray of Oysters in Cancale,Brittany.
  • And so many many more…

 My memory is full of incredible food souvenirs. I think you got it by now… I love food!

Favourite recipes from Constance
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. You’ll find them in our culinary section.

Interview with Ashok Bhugoo, Resident Manager at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Ashok Bhugoo is our Resident Manager at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius. Recently promoted, he gives an insight into developing your career in the luxury hotel industry.

Ashok Bhugoo, Resident Manager at Le Prince Maurice

Ashok Bhugoo, Resident Manager at Le Prince Maurice

Tell us how you got into the hotel industry?

I joined the hotel industry by mere coincidence. I’d just finished school, when one of my cousins told me about a hotel in Mauritius that was starting a training course.

At the time I had no idea how hotels worked. During the training, some of us were asked to help the restaurant during breakfast service. My job was to give the guests their plates as they came into the breakfast buffet. It was my first encounter with guests at a hotel, and I really enjoyed talking to them.

I was so impressed by this first experience of guest contact – I felt like I’d found my world, and this was where I wanted to grow.

How has your career progressed through the years?

Constance Le Prince Maurice

Constance Le Prince Maurice

After working as a trainee restaurant and room service waiter for 18 months, I tried different roles including Waiter, Head Barman, and Food and Beverage Manager.

In 2002, I joined Le Prince Maurice as Food and Beverage Manager before being promoted to Executive Assistant Manager in 2007. Since September 2011, I’ve been working in my new role as Resident Manager.

Tell us about your latest job as Resident Manager at Le Prince Maurice

My role is to assist the General Manager in the day-to-day operations of the hotel. I assist all the heads of departments and give them full support.

I help to ensure our guests needs are met, and that our quality service is maintained at all times. Personal service is very important at Constance hotels, and each guest is treated as an individual.  

What qualities does someone need to make it to management level in this industry?

I’d say the main qualities are self-motivation, passion for new challenges, dedication, good customer service and leadership skills, an eye for detail, being an excellent team player, and taking a neutral stance when resolving conflict.

How are guests’ expectations changing the way services are delivered?

Guests on the beach

Guests on the beach

Constance Le Prince Maurice has a high rate of repeat guests.  Each guest expects to be treated as a unique person, and we ensure that their expectations are met and exceeded. 

We focus on the small touches – the detail – at the right time. We really look after each guest from the time they walk into our hotel until they leave. This princely touch is one the main reasons guests choose to come back here.

You must have travelled a lot with your job – where would you most like to go in the future?

My favourite place is Monaco but I’d like to visit Singapore, Thailand, Greece and New York. I also feel great spending time at home in Quatre Bornes with my family – they are my driving force.

Architecture and design at Constance Moofushi

Moofushi from the air

Moofushi from the air

Continuing our series on the architectural and design inspiration behind our luxury resorts, here’s an insight into the creativity that went into developing the thrillingly beautiful Constance Moofushi.

A pearl in the middle of the Maldives archipelago, Moofushi is situated on The Jewel Island in the South Ari Atoll.

Opened in November 2010, the island has a unique butterfly design and daring architecture that was developed by Mauritian architect Jean-Michel d’Unienville and French design team Marc Hertrich and Nicolas Adnet of Studio MHNA.

Robinson-Crusoe chic

 

At Moofushi, the focus is on offering the ultimate in bare-foot sophistication – luxury without being flashy.

On arrival by sea plane or water taxi, you can walk barefoot straight onto the sand. At the reception, the welcome desks are made of beautifully worn wood, and the chandelier of recycled glass bottles.

This restful space gives you a sense of the wonderfully quirky and stylish mood this resort exudes.

Environmental consideration

Environmental issues were key to the design. Careful consideration has been taken to preserve the environment through efficient and non-polluting materials. Think luxury and simplicity – wood, ropes, lamps in the spirit of the marine lanterns, huge trunk-like wardrobes in the villas and many other surprises.

Communal spaces and spa

Manta bar

Manta bar on the beach

The team behind Moofushi has created communal spaces where guests can chill out at any time of day. The lounge is a delightful mix of private club meets Ernest Hemingway hang-out – all leather armchairs, bamboo screens and slow-whirring ceiling fans.

Drink in the tropical night air at the bar, or seek out the VIP spot, lounges on the beach, night spots, isolated restaurant tables and the more classical space close to incredible buffets.

The spa is built above the water to provide a fantastically relaxing space, and each treatment room faces the turquoise sea.

Land and water villas

Inside a beach villa at Moofushi

Relaxed luxury at Moofushi

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential on holiday. At Moofushi there are 110 land and water villas to choose from, all set in an intimate location of lagoons, sandbanks and woodlands.

If you choose our stilted accommodation over the water, you’ll get privileged access to the sea and much longed for privacy – especially for those of you on honeymoon.

 

 

Architectural design at our Constance resorts

Entrance to Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Entrance to Le Prince Maurice

Constance resorts have earned themselves a reputation for elegance and an attention to personal service that makes you feel you’ve joined a luxury members’ club.

But what these resorts also offer are beautifully proportioned spaces in which you can totally unwind and relax.

In the first of our series, here’s an insight into the work of the architectural and design teams behind Constance Le Prince Maurice.

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Lotus lounge at Le Prince Maurice

Lotus lounge at Le Prince Maurice

Le Prince Maurice is our deluxe 5* resort in Mauritius, and part of the exclusive Relais & Chateaux group.

Mauritian architect Jean Marc Eynaud was the mastermind behind the resort, which opened in 1998 after 9 months of construction and more than 3 years of planning.

Architectural vision

When designing the entrance to the hotel, the architects and concept designers were inspired by Greek temples and the way a succession of halls lead to a god or goddess.

As you approach the main entrance of Le Prince Maurice, steps take you up to a walkway over a small wooden bridge. Ahead, 2 columns narrow the field of vision, before opening up to a wide area where you enjoy panoramic views of the resort.

And if you arrive at night, the visual effects are inverted as the focus flips onto the hotel itself with the architectural play on perspective coming from the lights.

Feng Shui harmony

Dawn at Le Prince Maurice
Dawn at Le Prince Maurice

Feng Shui principles were used when designing the hotel, and the result is a triumph. Anyone who spends time in this energising space is treated to a wonderful sense of equilibrium and well-being. Here are some of the key elements at play.

  • Beds are high above floor level to help the circulation of Qi, or energy.
  • In the first hall of L’Archipel restaurant, internal concrete columns are at the centre of the hall (the wooden ones are external) increasing the concentration of energy in the centre of the space.
  • The Lounge Bar design is dedicated to the lotus flower, the symbol of life and the interplay of the yin and yang.
  • The gardens have been created to give a natural impression with touches that are at first invisible to the eye – hundreds of night jasmine start to flower when the sun sets, filling the air with their heady perfume.

Find out more about our Constance resorts

If you want to know more about these and some of our other resorts, check out these other articles:

 

New Spa & Wellness Manager joins the team at Constance Halaveli

Marissa Garcia Junio

Marissa Garcia Junio

Marissa Garcia Junio has  joined our team as Spa & Wellness Manager at Constance Halaveli, Maldives.

Marissa brings with her a wealth of experience having worked previously at Per Aquum Spa at Full Moon Resort, CoCo Palm and pre-opening Spa Director of Alila Villas.

Welcome to the team!