Marine biologist journeys to the Arctic North

Marine biologist Robin Aiello visited Constance Halaveli earlier this year, where she ran a number of dive courses and talks. Currently in the Arctic North, Robin writes about her latest expedition.

Walrus' relaxing in the Arctic

Walrus’ relaxing in the Arctic

Greetings from the far north – the land of polar bears and walrus

I can assure you that right now, having just spent the past 8 hours driving a small rubber boat though thick sea ice in -1°C temperatures, I am dreaming of the warm tropical waters of Halaveli in the Maldives.

Expedition in Svalbard

I am up here in Svalbard, in the far North, above 79º latitude, working as the marine biologist on-board an expedition ship that is spending three months exploring the Arctic. So far, the season has been wonderful.

Polar bears and ice caps

The other day we started the morning with a male polar bear walking leisurely past our ship as we drifted in thick sea ice that spreads out as far as the eye can see. Polar bears are amazing animals with their huge paws, shaggy white coat of fur and piercing black eyes. They are just so regal and elegant – kings of the ice.

A Polar Bear

A Polar Bear

Later in the day we visited a beach with a dozen or so walrus hauled out. They are so funny – they lie for long periods of time doing absolutely nothing, then suddenly one will wiggle around, which starts a whole flurry of activity as they raise their heads, knock into one another with their tusks, until they slowly find a more comfortable position and settle back down to sleep some more.

As beautiful and dramatic as the scenery here is, I cannot wait to return to Halaveli in September to dive and snorkel the amazing reefs.

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Polar Bear

Up close and personal

 

Admiring the reflection

Admiring the reflection

 

A stroll on the ice

A stroll on the ice

Architecture and design at Tsarabanjina

The unique island hideaway of Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar is a place where barefoot chic sits comfortably beside the island’s distinctive biodiversity.

Beach Villa at Constance Tsarabanjina

Beach Villa at Constance Tsarabanjina

The seemingly effortless blending of traditional Malagasy building techniques with the comforts of a modern luxury hotel is part of a conscious effort to maintain Tsarabanjina’s natural Robinson Crusoe charm.

In Malagasy culture it is believed that the invisible spirit world is a part of our world, and it has been our mission in refurbishing the resort to protect the unique, invisible, free spirit of the island.

History of Tsarabanjina

Tsarabanjina was originally discovered in 1990 by a South African adventurer, Richard Walker, who fell in love with the island and wanted to share it with others.

In 1998 he built a small resort with eight bungalows which integrated with their natural environment so that guests could enjoy the island’s authentic charm.

In 2006 he handed over guardianship of the beautiful island and its resort to Constance. This is a responsibility that we take very seriously and one which was at the heart of our plans when we decided to refurbish the existing resort to introduce a little luxury for guests in this special place.

Beach Villa, Tsarabanjina

Beach Villa, Tsarabanjina

Architects behind Tsarabanjina

In an effort to protect the authenticity of Tsarabanjina we selected architects who understood our respect for the ecological integrity of the place. We then went further to embrace the local culture by introducing Malagasy arts and crafts into the design of the hotel.

When choosing the materials for the construction of the resort our first decision was easy, we banned all plastic. We then searched for locally sourced wood from the main island and used it in its raw form to give guests a sensory connection to the nature that surrounds them here.

Working with local crafts people

Throughout the refurbishment we have tried to use local crafts people who have traditions of construction, basketry, weaving, embroidery which have been handed down from generation to generation.

We believe that in employing local crafts people we are not just supporting a local economy but promoting a passing down of traditional, cultural skills.

The result is an island where luxury tourism sits comfortably alongside authentic Malagasy charm and tradition in such a way that the natural environment is added to rather than impacted.

Unlike other resorts our luxuries are discreet rather than ostentatious. We prefer to highlight the island’s natural beauty and relaxed pace so that guests can enjoy the same authentic experience here that they always have.

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MCB Tour Championship 2013

Keep up-to-date with all the news from the Senior Tour leading up to this year’s MCB Tour Championship.

Legend Golf Course, Constance Belle Mare Plage

Legend Golf Course, Constance Belle Mare Plage

The MCB Tour Championship website includes the latest news, player profiles, scores, calendar of events and history of the championship.

The MCB Tour Championship, to be held 9-15 December in Mauritius at Constance Belle Mare Plage, is the final event in the Senior Tour calendar.

Take part in the championship

Amateurs eager to get in the action of this prestigious golfing event can now apply through the entry form posted on the website. Entries are being accepted for the Constance Hotels Pro Am (11-12 Dec 2013) and the Air Mauritius Trophy (9,10,14 Dec).

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First class service at our luxury hotels and resorts

Our dedication to offering first-class personal service to all our guests is something that comes up time and again in Trip Advisor and other review sites.

Luxury service from staff at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Luxury service at Halaveli

From the friendly greeting you receive at reception to touches like the turn-down service in your bedroom, our staff are there to look after your every need.

At Le Prince Maurice, Ephélia and Halaveli, you can even choose from our pillow menu to ensure you get the perfect night’s sleep you crave on holiday. Find out more about getting the best night’s sleep at Constance.

Tailor made experiences

We want you to enjoy a holiday that feels like it was made just for you. If you’re staying in one of our villas, our staff can arrange a private dinner in your villa. At a number of our hotels and resorts, we have unique private dining spaces where you can enjoy an indulgent meal with your friends and family. At Moofushi, a table for two can be set on your very own sandbank.

Kids Club at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Kids Club at Constance Le Prince Maurice

And for the kids…

It’s not just the adults who benefit from the high standards of personal service. At our Constance Kids’ Clubs fully trained and enthusiastic Coordinators lead trips of island exploration, local crafts, culinary activities and scavenger hunts to name a few, encouraging kids to engage with their exciting, exotic holiday location.

Take advantage of our baby-sitting service and enjoy the pleasure of a meal or drink uninterrupted. More about our Constance Kids’ Clubs

Inspired by passion

Our staff love sharing their knowledge. So feel free to talk to our Sommelier about wine, our Spa therapists about the best treatments for you, our fitness instructors about exercise and our diving experts about the best sites to explore in the beautiful ocean.

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Bruno Le Gac joins Constance Lémuria as General Manager

Constance Lémuria welcomes Bruno Le Gac as the new General Manager of the luxury 5* hotel in the Seychelles.

Bruno Le Gac, General Manager of Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Bruno Le Gac, General Manager at Constance Lémuria

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

Having first joined Constance Hotels & Resorts as Executive Chef in 2002, Bruno went on to be Corporate Chef of the group before becoming Resident Manager of Constance Belle Mare Plage in 2012.

Bruno was the first person in Mauritius to become a member of the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France, and was the mastermind and co-founder of the Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival.

At Lémuria, Bruno will lead the team of this ultimate 5* hotel, set on the island of Praslin adjacent to pristine beaches, and with its own 18-hole championship golf course.

“Bruno represents well the philosophy of Constance, and is a loyal ambassador. We are convinced that he will transfer his passion to his team at Constance Lémuria Seychelles”, says Jean -Jacques Vallet, Chief Executive Officer of Constance Hotels & Resorts.

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Constance sommeliers at Vinexpo 2013

Head Sommelier, Jerome Fauré reports from Vinexpo 2013, currently taking place in Bordeaux, France.

Rotem and Mounir Saouma

Rotem and Mounir Saouma

I am at Vinexpo in Bordeaux with Jorald Julie, Assistant Chief Sommelier at Constance Le Prince Maurice, and Sathia Rau sommelier at Constance Ephélia.

Lucien Le Moine Winery

We had very nice tasting at Lucien Le Moine Winery with Rotem and Mounir Saouma.

They bought two hectares in Chateauneuf du Pape area in 2009 and are showing their wines for the first time: 2009/2010/2011 white and red.

These are spectacular wines…. it’s one of the most exciting tastings.

The white comes from Grenache white and Clairette and they are like a burgundy white.

Barrel fermented, they lie for 2 years, depending on the wines These wines are fresh with a beautiful balance – certainly, one of the top white wines coming from Chateauneuf du Pape.

Red Chateauneuf du Pape. 2009 is their first vintage. The wine is great with Garrigues notes which we find most of the time in Chateauneuf.

The 2010 is wonderful, complex and looks like a vosne romanee but made with Grenache noir.

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