Preserving turtles habitats at Constance Lémuria

The beaches at Constance Lémuria, on Praslin Island, Seychelles, are important nesting sites for the endangered hawksbill and green turtles.

Hawskbill Turtle

Hawskbill turtle,

These majestic creatures return to the same beaches year after year to lay their eggs.

Our turtle programme

To help protect the species and improve their chances of survival, at Constance Lémuria we run a turtle preservation programme.

The success of the programme hinges on the hard work of our Turtle Manager, our work with the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles, and the support of the local community and hotel guests.

Lémuria’s Turtle Man

Our ‘Turtle Man’ is Robert Matombe. During the turtle nesting season from October to February, Robert patrols the beaches each day. He records the female turtles that come up to nest, and identifies which have visited the beaches before.

Turtle tracks in the sand

Turtle tracks in the sand

Robert makes sure that each turtle safely lays her eggs without being disturbed. He also wants the baby turtles to make it safely back down to the sea.

On Praslin Island each visiting female turtle lays about 150 to 200 eggs. Robert marks the location of each nest.

Over the next two months, while the eggs incubate deep in the sand, he keeps an eye on the nest site.

Lémuria – a favourite nesting ground

Thanks to our turtle programme, we’re seeing an increase in the number of nests each year. For the turtles to continue coming, we maintain the beaches in their natural condition.

Ideal conditions for turtle nesting

  • Nesting turtles prefer to nest under the bushy beach vegetation – the shade provides the ideal temperature for the incubation of eggs.
  • Nesting turtles and their offspring need dark beaches. If lights from the hotel are visible on the beach at night, they can frighten female turtles and keep them from coming onto the beach to lay their eggs.
  • Lights confuse hatchlings as they make their way from the nest to the sea. Baby turtles are attracted to the brightest point on the horizon. On a natural beach that instinct will guide them to the sea.
  • Healthy dense beach vegetation acts as a barrier to the light from the hotel and keeps the turtles in the dark. The vegetation also protects the beach from erosion.

Visiting the turtle nesting grounds

Our Turtle Manager can take Constance guests to see the baby turtles move down to the sea. Seeing these primal creatures take their first steps towards the ocean is a truly amazing experience.

Female turtles coming out of the sea

Female turtles coming out of the sea to nest

Tips for turtle watching

To ensure the continued survival of the turtles, here are some tips for how to behave when visiting the nesting beaches, or if you see a turtle unexpectedly.

  • If you see a turtle emerge from the water, stand still. If she’s just coming out of the sea, let her move past you to a point where she can’t see you.
  • The best spot for watching turtles is either from a distance where you’re shielded by vegetation, or directly behind the turtle out of her field of vision.
  • Always make sure you can’t see the turtle’s eyes.
  • Don’t approach the turtle – keep at least 3 m away.
  • Speak quietly – a whisper is best.
  • Don’t touch the turtle – they don’t enjoy being petted.
  • Don’t take flash photography.
  • Don’t block the turtle’s passage back to the sea.
  • Report any turtle sightings to the Constance Lémuria Resort Turtle Officers.

Find out more about the work we’re doing to protect the environment at Constance hotels.

Protecting the environment at Constance Hotels

Aerial view of Constance Lemuria, Praslin Island, Seychelles

Turquoise waters and verdant green hills surrounding Constance Lemuria, Seychelles

At Constance Hotels, we are committed to protecting the stunning natural environments that surround each of our unique resorts, and the rare endemic species that can be found there.

We work closely with local environmental groups to conserve the exceptional landscape and wildlife for today’s visitors and future generations to come.

Here are some of the measures we’ve taken recently:

Design and build of Constance Moofushi – opened in November 2010

Known as the Jewel island – the island’s butterfly design and daring architecture has been developed by Jean-Michel d’Unienville (Mauritius) and Marc Hertrich (France). Careful consideration has been taken to preserve the environment through efficient and non-polluting materials.

The focus is on luxury without being flashy and the beauty of the island location is paramount. Find out more about what we did at The Jewel Island: Constance Moofushi

Enhancing biodiversity in the Seychelles

We are furthering our commitment to the environment by enhancing conservation of Biodiversity at Port Launay next to the Constance Ephelia Resort in the Seychelles.

Constance Ephelia, Seychelles, view from the North Beach

View from the North Beach at Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

We are working in partnership with Sustainability for Seychelles (S4S) and aim to:

  • take pro-active measures to improve the coordinated management of the fragile mangrove ecosystem adjacent to the Constance Ephelia Resort site – balancing development with the preservation of the wetland area.
  • start looking at co-management of other adjacent natural areas such as the resort grounds and Port Launay Marine Park

Find out more about our conservation work at Constance Ephelia.

Turning tap water to bottled water at Constance Halaveli

To eliminate the need to ship in bottled water to our luxury Maldives resort, Constance Halaveli, we have recently installed our own water bottling plant. The plant purifies tap water to mineral quality. Read more about our sustainable approach at Constance Halaveli.

Serving local seasonal produce

Our restaurants serve local and seasonal produce, perfectly suited to the climate and environment surrounding each luxury hotel. Brimming with flavour and beautifully presented, guests can dine on local fish, vegetables and fruits.

Fresh salsa at Constance Hotels

Locally sourced food at Constance Hotels

Each week we publish a special recipe from one of our hotels. Find out more about our local cuisine.

Future articles

We’ll be publishing more articles about what we’re doing to protect the local environment. Coming soon…

  • interview with our turtle manager in the Seychelles
  • discover the coral reef with our diving instructor at Constance Moofushi

Top young sommelier of France 2011 – the Duval-Leroy Trophy

Ten candidates hoping to win the award of best young sommelier of France have made it through to the semi-finals of the Duval-Leroy Trophy.

Wine glass

Best young sommelier of France - Duval Leroy Trophy 2011

Among the semi-finalists is Yann Hangouet, currently our sommelier at the Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius.

The previous winner of the biennial competition was Jonathan Bauer Monneret. At the time of being awarded the title in 2009, Jonathan was sommelier at Constance Belle Mare Plage in the Blue Penny Café.

Earlier this month, some 100 candidates met across different areas of France to take part in this year’s competition.

Yann Hangouet will be hoping to win the prestigious title when he joins the other semi finalists at Vertus in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France on 27 and 28 November for the finals.

Enhancing biodiversity in the Seychelles

Constance Hotels Experience is furthering its commitment to the environment by

Ephelia North Beach

A view of Ephelia's North Beach

enhancing conservation of Biodiversity at Port Launay next to the Constance Ephelia Resort in the Seychelles.

In partnership with Sustainability of Seychelles (S4S), we have submitted a full project proposal with the aim of:

  • Taking pro-active measures to improve the coordinated management of the fragile mangrove ecosystem adjacent to the Constance Ephelia Resort site
  • To start looking at co-management of other adjacent natural areas such as the resort grounds and Port Launay Marine Park

The project has three main objectives and these are to:

  1. Enhance collaboration between the resort and community partners for conservation of the natural areas adjacent to the resort
  2. Improve conservation management of the mangrove swamp in Port Launay
  3. Raise awareness of our resort team members, clienteles and community on the importance of the natural areas adjacent to the resort and how to protect them.

We hope the above project will lead to greater awareness of biodiversity conservation issues amongst our resort team members, clients of our resorts and the local community.

The aim is that all visitors and residents increase their participation in actions that will contribute to the improvement of biodiversity conservation in the resort and surrounding area.

Celebrities support Le Prince Maurice Prize in Mauritius

Richard E Grant

Richard E Grant at Constance Le Prince Maurice

The luxury resort of Constance Le Prince Maurice on the eastern shores of Mauritius plays host each year to the island’s literary award, Le Prince Maurice Prize.

Celebrating the best in literary love stories, the prize alternates each year between a French and British novelist.

Celebrities who have taken on the role as Patron of the prize include:

Richard E Grant (above, right)
Actor and author Richard E. Grant, best known for his inebriated performance in Withnail and I, and more recently Gosford Park, and Filth and Wisdom.

 

Tilda Swinton and guests

Tilda Swinton at Le Prince Maurice Prize award ceremony

Tilda Swinton (right)
Oscar winner Tilda Swinton, who won Best Supporting Actress in 2008 for her role in the acclaimed film Michael Clayton.

Sebastian Faulks
Author Sebastian Faulks CBE, who wrote one of the UK’s best loved novels, Bird Song as well as Charlotte Gray, Human Traces and the James Bond novel Devil May Care.

Each year, three shortlisted authors are invited to enjoy the luxury of Le Prince Maurice for a week of cultural exchange with Mauritian students and authors.

Recent authors to visit include Julia Gregson, Sadie Jones and William Sutcliffe.

Find out who’s on the shortlist for this year’s French literary love stories or visit the website Le Prince Maurice Prize.

Art de Vignes – Moofushi's Wine Promotion

Art de Vignes Wine Makers enjoying Moofushi

Art de Vignes Wine Makers enjoying Moofushi

From 21 to 23 March this year, Constance Moofushi Resort Maldives welcomed the wine growers of Art de Vignes for a wine promotion.

In collaboration with Jerome Faure (Head Sommelier of Constance Hotels Experience), Constance Moofushi Resort Maldives and his Sommeliers Team organised wine tasting and special evenings for our guests.

What is art de vignes?

Art de vignes is an association of passionate, dedicated wine growers. They follow tradition while supporting the evolution of the world of wine:

  • Marie-Therese & Jacky Barthelme – Albert Mann (Alsace)
  • Anne et Olivier Decelle – Chateau Jean Faure (Saint Emilion) and Mas Amiel (Maury)
  • Alphonse Mellot – Domaine de la Moussiere & Alphone Mellot Wines (Sancerre)
  • Stephanie & Thomas Perrin – Chateau de Beaucastel (Chateauneuf Du Pape)
  • Marie & Thierry Germain – Domaine des Roches Neuves (Saumur)
  • Jean Marc Boillot (Burgundy);
  • Christine Vernay & Paul Amsellem – Domaine Georges Vernay (Condrieu, Cote Rotie)