5 wedding flowers of the Indian Ocean

An Indian Ocean wedding is brought alive by the scents and colours the vibrant tropical flowers used in the bridal bouquet.

Tropical wedding flowers: Frangipani

Tropical wedding flowers: Frangipani

Here is our guide to 5 of the most popular tropical wedding flowers.

1. Frangipani

Popular across the Indian Ocean, nothing sums up the warm sunlit days and balmy nights of a tropical location like the sweet scent and beautiful waxy bloom of a frangipani. Traditionally thought of in white or yellow they come in a range of vibrant tropical colours adding a splash to any bouquet.

2. Tropical orchids

The national flower of the Seychelles, the beauty and rarity of the orchid has made it a special choice in many tropical wedding bouquets. There are many different genus of orchids of different colours and sizes, the dendrobium and phalaenopsis are particularly popular in bouquets in Mauritius.

3. Crimson bougainvillea

This vibrantly coloured tropical flower is closely associated with the Maldives and is a traditional flower used to celebrate weddings and wedding bouquets.

4. Madagascar Jasmine

This beautiful, small white flower with its delicate fragrance has long been used as a wedding flower in Madagascar. Recently its popularity has spread to use in wedding bouquets around the world.

5. Pink rose

Don’t be afraid to go down the traditional route just because you’re in the tropics, the pink rose is the national flower of the Maldives and looks gorgeous combined with more tropical blooms such as orchids or frangipani.

At Constance we offer guests their own wedding planner who will work with you, to make sure your wedding day lives up to your dreams.

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7 things to do in Mauritius

When you think of Mauritius you imagine soft white sand beaches and clear turquoise seas. The Indian Ocean island has these in abundance along with a host of other delights that make this the ideal destination for those looking to combine a luxury beach holiday with a taste of adventure.

Things to do in Mauritius - Helicopter ride over the island

Things to do in Mauritius – Helicopter ride over the island

Here’s our pick of exhilarating days out in Mauritius.

1. Casela Nature and Leisure Park

There is so much to do in this beautiful natural park that your hardest challenge will be fitting it all into one day. The park’s 14 hectares are home to everything from lions and monkeys to giant tortoises. How you choose to explore is up to you with options including guided treks, jeep safaris, Segway, quad bike or, if you’re feeling adventurous, the longest zipline circuit in the Indian Ocean.

2. Take a helicopter trip around the island (available from Constance Belle Mare Plage)

Take an aerial tour of this stunning island by helicopter and get a panoramic view of Mauritius. Explore the stunning coast with it’s picture-perfect lagoons and surrounding islands then go inland to see the undulating sugar cane fields, mountains and forests of the island’s interior.

3. Domaine de L’Étoile

This beautiful former sugar plantation offers visitors the chance to discover Mauritius’ stunning interior with a landscape of rich verdant forests, spectacular views out towards the ocean and open valleys. Again there is a choice of transport on which to explore including quad bikes and 4×4 buggies, horseback, trekking and mountain biking. There’s even an opportunity to live out your Hunger Games fantasy with a 10 hectare circuit for archers featuring 10 artificial 3D animal targets.

4. Explore the capital Port Louis 

Whether you want to visit the capital’s bustling food market with fresh exotic produce brought in daily from around the island, or see a dodo skeleton at the city’s Natural History Museum there’s plenty to see and do in Port Louis. If you want to shop, eat or just sit back and people watch then visit the Caudan Waterfront.

Big game fishing at Constance

Big game fishing at Constance

5. Take a catamaran cruise (available at Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Belle Mare Plage)

Feel the ocean spray on your face and the wind in your sails on an exhilarating catamaran cruise to local beaches and deserted islands. Zip across the water to empty beaches where you can swim in crystal waters and enjoy lunch on the sand.

6. Eureka ‘La Maison Créole’

Set in a nature reserve at the very heart of the island this colonial house converted into a museum offers a tranquil day of walking in beautiful gardens spotting rare flora and fauna before taking a dip in its refreshing waterfall-fed swimming hole.

7. Big game fishing (available from Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Belle Mare Plage)

Spend the day on the open water pitting your wits against the great game fish of the Indian Ocean including the blue marlin, sailfish, barracuda, wahoo and yellowfin tuna.

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Top views in Mahé, Seychelles

Home to the nation’s capital, Mahé is a stunning lush mountainous island surrounded by perfect white beaches at the heart of the Seychelles archipelago.

Morne Seychellois

Morne Seychellois National Park

Take the time to drink in the island’s beauty at one of our top spots for views in Mahé.

1. The Tea Factory, Sans Souci

Take the drive up winding roads through dense forest to discover the stunning mountaintop view from this, still-operational, Tea Factory. Nip into the factory and discover how tea is made and buy some local tea before venturing outside to enjoy panoramic views across the western slopes of Mahé to the ocean beyond.

2. Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden, Anse Royale

Set on the mountaintop with stunning views down to the beautiful Anse Royale below, this renovated plantation still grows and sells local spices. Enjoy the views and local Creole dishes at the plantation’s small outdoor restaurant.

3. Mission Lodge, Sans Souci

Located just below the summit of Sans Souci, this ex-boarding school for freed slaves on Mahé’s west coast has some of the best views on the island. Drink in views across the ocean to Eden island, Cerf and St Anne’s Marine Park.

4. Morne Seychellois National Park

Take a 45 minute walk through the Jurassic forests of Morne Seychellois National Park and you’ll reach the summit of Morne Blanc with views across the island’s lush interior and out to the ocean beyond.

5. La Louise, Eden Island

With its luxury accommodation, eateries, marinas and shopping arcades Eden Island is a great place to visit in its own right. But cross the bridge from Mahé on to Eden and you get a rare view back at Mahé which takes in Victoria and the entire east coast. On the far side of the island are views across the ocean to Ile au Cerf, St Anne Marine National Park and a scattering of smaller islands.

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When to go: a seasonal guide to the Indian Ocean

Whether you dream of winter sunshine or warm summer sun make sure you choose the perfect Indian Ocean destination for the time of year you want to travel.

Guide to the Indian Ocean

Sailing at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

The Indian Ocean is a year-round holiday destination with consistently warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine, and each has its own unique seasonal variations worth bearing in mind.

Consider what you want to do on your paradise holiday – sunbathe, scuba dive, snorkel, surf, windsurf, big game fishing – then all you have to do is pick the island and season that’s right for you.

Mauritius

Lap up the sun in Mauritius from October to April when the island is at its hottest and the days at their longest. This may be the wettest season but rainfall is usually short and sharp, clearing to reveal blue skies and warm seas. This is also the best season for diving and sports fishing as the warm water attracts an abundance of marine life, especially large game fish.

The Mauritius winter which runs from May to September is cooler and drier with temperatures ranging from 20ºC–26ºC perfect for those who prefer gentle sunshine without too much heat. The tranquil weather conditions make this the perfect time of year for activities on and off the water from hiking to water skiing.

Guide to the Indian Ocean

Stroll along the beach at Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

Seychelles

Wet season or dry the Seychelles has plenty of sunshine on offer all year round.

The archipelago is governed by two opposing trade winds each bringing their own unique weather patterns.

If you dream of warm, dry days with no wind then visit during the calm periods when one trade gives way to another, April/May and October/November. At these times the waters are calm and clear making it the optimum time for swimming, snorkelling and diving with visibility reaching up to 30 metres.

December to March is the Seychelles’ summer, which falls under the influence of the gentle north-westerly trade winds. This is the warmest season but also the wettest, although sunshine is still frequent. By February the rainfall begins to reduce.

From May to September the brisker south-easterly trade wind takes over during the Seychelles winter bringing cooler, windier conditions, although temperatures even at this time of year range from 24ºC–28ºC. This is the perfect season for fun on the ocean with sailing, windsurfing or surfing – the Seychelles Sailing Cup takes place in January.

Guide to the Indian Ocean

Relax at Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Maldives

Enjoy year-round warmth in the Maldives with average temperatures consistently between 27ºC and 30ºC.

The Maldives’ climate is divided into two monsoon seasons but don’t be fooled by the name, they don’t necessarily bring rain. In fact, the north-eastern monsoon from December to March is the Maldives’ dry season with low rainfall and lots of sun. The ideal time for sun worshippers to visit, this is also when the beautiful manta rays pass through the waters of the Ari Atoll, a stunning treat for divers and snorkelers.

The wetter south-western monsoon from May to November brings with it slightly windier conditions making it the perfect time for sailing, windsurfing and surfing. It is also a great time for divers to see whale sharks and grey reef sharks and for fishing some of the larger game fish.

April, which falls in the transition between the monsoons, is predominantly dry with hot temperatures and warm clear waters making it the optimum month for a wide range of water sports including diving and snorkelling.

Guide to the Indian Ocean

Diving at Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Madagascar

There is so much to do and see in Madagascar all year round that there really is no good or bad time to visit, just different things to see and do.

For those wanting to explore the island’s beautiful interior and extraordinary wildlife the cool, dry winter months from May to September are the ideal time to visit as the roads are good and the conditions are perfect for hiking.

If you’re looking for warm, dry conditions for a relaxing beach holiday then September to December is when the island begins to heat up after the cool, dry winter months but before the increased heat of the rainy season kicks in. Another great month for sunbathers is April as the cyclones of January – March recede but the summer warmth continues.

September to December is also the time on Madagascar when much of the wildlife becomes more active after the winter months. This is the breeding season for many birds as well as many species of lemur.

For divers and snorkelers the months of October to December and April and May are the best with the highest visibility. Those hoping to catch sight of a humpback or sperm whale, however, should visit during July and August.

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How to choose the right massage for you

Spa menus generally open up to a long list of massages, ranging from relaxing to more complex types and techniques.

Choose the right massage for you

Sisley Spa, Constance Le Prince Maurice

Choosing the right massage for you is crucial if you’re to get the most from it, and improve your sense of well being. At Constance, we find that guests tend to look for the familiar that they have read about or experienced before, as a safer option.

But here’s another approach you can take to choosing the right massage for you. 

The important step is to recognise that the process needs to start with you. What is it that your body most needs in this moment?

How the body copes with stress

Our body has 3 main ways that it copes with stress in modern life: nervous tension, muscular tension or chemical tension. To put it simply we either need to relax, energise or detoxify.



1. Relax

If your body has built up mostly nervous tension you will feel the muscles are tense, you will have knots in them but it is coming from stress of the nervous system. Perhaps your sleep will also be restless or you tend to feel tired in the mornings as if you have not fully rested.

If this is what your body is feeling like then what you should choose is a long deeply relaxing slow type of massage. You need a massage that will take time to calm the nervous system, and help your body to switch into a state of rest. The sign of a good relaxing massage is that you find yourself dreaming or drifting off to sleep without realising it.

2. Energise

If your body has stored a lot of physical and muscular tension you will feel aching in the muscles, stiffness and knots that are a result from overuse and tension of the muscular system. You may find that you wake up with stiffness, or muscles get tense in certain postures such as at your desk or computer.

When your body is feeling like this you need to choose an energising and circulation-stimulating massage. The objective of the massage is to bring a lot of fresh circulation to the muscle fibres, and warm up the connective tissue so that you feel more flexible and relaxed. The sign of a good energising massage is that you find the muscles feeling warm, flexible to the massage strokes, with a deep feeling of relaxation physically.

3. Detox

In modern life we have so many factors that overwhelm our body with excess. Too much pollution, chemicals, toxins, sugar, alcohol, junk food, stress, emotional tension – all of these lead the body to develop a toxic load and can leave you feeling tired, heavy, bloated, puffy and generally overwhelmed.

Choose the right massage for you

Spa de Constance, Halaveli

If your body has just had enough of modern living conditions and toxins it is time to detoxify. You need to choose a draining and cleansing massage. The massage focus will be on draining the muscles and circulation by focusing on the lymphatic system and circulation system together.

The sign of a good detoxifying massage is that you feel the muscles relax and become light whilst the skin feels tighter and less puffy as excess water is draining. Drink enough water and natural foods after your massage to help replenish with the right chemicals.

Taking the next step



So for your next visit to our spas at Constance Hotels & Resorts, take time to see what message your body is telling you and then choose a massage with the focus that you need.

Sometimes you may even feel that you need all 3 to fully rejuvenate, in this case start with the most urgent feeling and then progress over the next few days as your body re-adjusts.

I always find 3 massages is the ideal to really improve the state of the body. So I start with a good Detox Massage to get the system clear and drained, then move on to either deep relaxing or energising massage depending on the need.

Dr Chase Webber

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Top 5 walks in Madagascar

Immerse yourself in the spectacular biodiversity, varied landscapes and unique species of Madagascar on walks through the country’s national parks.

Walks in Madagascar

Isalo National Park

From tropical rainforests to sandstone canyons and even a UNESCO World heritage site, trekking in Madagascar is a once in a lifetime experience.

Here’s our guide to the 5 best walks in Madagascar.

Isalo National Park

With its deep sandstone canyons, cliffs and gorges the spectacular mountain park of Isalo is reminiscent of the great canyons of the world. Park rangers are on hand to guide walkers through the park on various trails highlighting different features such as caves and swallow holes, lemur watching and natural swimming pools.

Andringitra Moutains

A landscape of high mountains and deep valleys, Andringitra is one of Madagascar’s more accessible mountain parks. A famous hotspot for high altitude biodiversity found on its stunning mountain prairies including rare lemurs, birds and palm trees.

Walks in Madagascar

Andringitra Moutains

The park features Madagascar’s second highest peak, the granite dome of Peak Boby at 2658m. Walkers will find a selection of trails here from 6km to 18km.

Ankarana

Spectacular jagged pinnacles of Jurassic limestone known locally as tsingy interspersed with dense tropical jungle, dry forests and deep caves characterise this remote area in the north of the country.

Walkers are advised to take a guide as this can be a tough trek but keen walkers will find a landscape untouched by human hands and unchanged for thousands of years.

Bermaraha

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1990, Bermaraha is a startling landscape of limestone needles known as tsingys, canyons, mountain peaks and rolling hills.

The protected forests and mangrove swamps are home to rare and endangered wildlife including the western woolly lemur and the fat-tailed dwarf lemur, the antsingy leaf chameleon and the Madagascar Goshawk.

Walks in Madagascar

Bermaraha

Tsarabanjina

One of the few inhabited islands of the Mitsio Archipelago, Tsarabanjina is a small private island to the north west of Madagascar 40 miles from Nosy Be. With a coast of idyllic white sand beaches and a mountainous heart of lush vegetation and rare wildlife there is plenty for walkers to enjoy here.

Guests at Constance Tsarabanjina are provided free guides to enjoy nature walks around the island where they may be lucky enough to see rare birds such as the famous flycatcher of Madagascar and fish eagles. Those with particularly good eyesight might even spot the world’s smallest chameleon.

Discover more about the region’s history with a walk to the Eastern beach peninsular, the site for the tomb of the Sakalava kings of the Mitsio Islands. Local islanders still bring offerings to the tombs today.

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