Top Scuba tips from the experts – you!

Manta Ray Adventure, Diving in the Seychelles

Manta Ray Adventure, Diving in the Seychelles

After our very successful Top Honeymoon tips blog sourced from our wonderful Twitter followers.

As we have a lot of interest in diving at our resorts we thought it would be interesting to ask our fans what advice they would give to first time divers.

Here is some of the best advice we received. I would also recommend you have a look at our Diving in the Seychelles video and our blog post on the Top 3 diving sights in the Seychelles.

@ScottDunnTravel says “Remember to always look around you – above as well as below. You never know what might be passing by or cruising overhead.” Juliet, their diving expert, also offers this sound advice ”To improve your air consumption; relax and breathe deeply and slowly – think yoga!”

@honeymoonsblog suggests “PADI courses are a great idea so you don’t spend your valuable holiday time learning the basics. Instead you can dive straight in!”

@Diversdlyte “Stay calm, breathe slowly, stay hydrated, equalise your ears and take the time to enjoy the sights underwater!”

@BSACDivers have some more helpful tips for beginners on their website http://bit.ly/m5NMF5

Let us know your scuba diving tips in the comments section below…

See also our experts’ top 3 diving spots in the Seychelles.

Customer review: the most beautiful hotel we have ever stayed in

Constance Halaveli Resort in the Maldives has been getting some rave reviews on Trip Advisor this month, so naturally, we wanted to share them with you.

Constance Halaveli Resort, Maldives

Constance Halaveli Resort, Maldives

The first class service, attention to detail and breathtaking location means guests are enjoying the holiday of a lifetime at Constance Halaveli.

Here’s what they have to say:

From jennydecember12

“The Halaveli water villas are perfect – lovely calm rooms, with their own plunge pool overlooking the sea – we never felt the need to leave during the day as we had everything we needed – comfy sun beds, beautiful views and our own pool to cool off in.

We ate in the Jahaz restaurant, and the food was sensational – every night the buffet was a different theme, and the quality was outstanding – you could have as much or as little as you like, and enjoy the atmosphere.

The staff were great – from arrival at Male Airportyou were whisked away to the Constancelounge, then onto the seaplane, and greeted at the Halaveli by the staff on the jetty – then whisked off to your room. And the same on departure – even to the extent of checking you in at the airport -wonderful service, and things like that really add to the experience. Everywhere you went you were greeted with a smile and nothing was too much trouble for anyone. Whoever you met had time for a chat and we felt that we were surrounded by friends wherever we went.

I could go on for ever – but to sum Halaveli up, it is just wonderful. Go and enjoy – it will exceed all expectations – and then some!!”

A beautiful water villa at Constance Halaveli

A beautiful water villa at Constance Halaveli Resort, Maldives

From Kitkat815:

“Our water villa was simply breathtaking with awesome view as well as amenities. It is definitely the most beautiful hotel that we have ever stayed in. We had our own terrace that led to the ocean and plunge pool and we spent most of our time in our villa as it was so beautiful & comfortable.

It was truly a once in a life time trip. The resort and the staff made our stay a very memorable one. I wish we could have stayed for longer. I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone who wants to visit Maldives.”

From WoodGrubb:

“We felt throughout the whole holiday that we were the only ones on the island… it really is paradise.

We stayed on a bed and breakfast basis and tried dinner at all the restaurants… Meeru, the beach grill, was our favourite (I have never seen so many stars in my life as I did that night). Just to point out that the buffet breakfast included complimentary champagne.”

Find out more in our blog Spotlight on Constance Halaveli Resort, Maldives or visit the Constance Halaveli Resort website.

Customer review: Can't wait to go back for golf!

Legends golf course at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Legends golf course at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Forgive our pride, but a recent holidaymaker (Angelfish64) visiting the Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius just wrote us such a lovely review on Trip Advisor, we couldn’t help but share it with you.

As they were particularly enamoured with the golf on our Links and Legend golf courses, you might also like to read our other golfing blog articles.

Anyway, on to Angelfish64 and her holiday review from her  stay:

What a service!

“We were really impressed by the warm welcome we received at Belle Mare Plage, Hotel and Spa. We travelled there primarily for the golfing, which was excellent. The junior suite was very modern and well laid out with a balcony overlooking one of the many pools. The hotel is on a grand scale and we found the buffet-style catering suited our teenage son who is normally a fussy eater and allowed us to actually relax.

“As there was a chef on duty at each of the “themed counters”, it was a joy to find our son trying out guinea-fowl from the rotisserie and actually going back for seconds! He also loved watching the chef make his spaghetti carbonara for him, as a result it was a very relaxing holiday for me so well done Belle Mare Plage from a very thankful Mum!”

You can read the full review and others like it on the Trip Advisor website.

The best piece of honeymoon advice you'll ever been given

Luxury honeymoon suite on stilts - Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Luxury honeymoon suite on stilts - Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

What’s the best piece of honeymoon advice you’ve ever been given?

We asked our Twitter followers what they felt the best honeymoon tips and advice for newly-weds was  – and some experts in honeymoons and people who have already had their honeymoons offered their advice.

As experts in providing luxury honeymoons in Mauritius, the Maldives, Madagascar and the Seychelles ourselves, we’ve also given you some of our top tips for planning your dream honeymoon in an earlier blog post.

We’d love to hear which bits of advice below you think are most pertinent – and why not leave a comment with your own tips and advice for people planning their once-in-a-lifetime luxury honeymoon?

@Amanda_Statham on Twitter said:

  • always catch sunset (most romantic part of day)
  • get your luggage delivered to your hotel
  • tell everyone you meet you’re honeymooners (you’ll get great service and freebies)
  • don’t get badly burnt on 1st day (it’s not sexy!)

@honeymoonsblog says:

  • Use a honeymoon gift list and let your friends and family contibute towards the cost of your honeymoon,” while @thehoneymoonpro suggest you should “start off by deciding on your budget – the last thing you want to do is worry about money on your honeymoon.

All great advice. @TurquoiseUK’s top tip was:

  • Decide on your honeymoon together! Make sure it’s what both of you are looking for.

Building on this theme, @joyologie suggests the following:

  • The one thing I always tell my couples is to really go someplace the two of you have never been before — make it a completely new experience for both of you.  That way it’s a special place and has special meaning for both the bride and groom, without the bride being able to also say she was there prior to the honeymoon. I also say, you only have one honeymoon, so make it count.  Go someplace you really want to go and figure out how to get there.  And that includes hotels as well.  Pamper yourself.  Maybe on future trips together you don’t need to spend so much, but it’s a honeymoon — go big!

Here at Constance Hotels Experience, we couldn’t agree more, @joyolgoie.

@MBDP_Tawsha on Twitter collected the following advice for honeymooners:

  • Do exactly what you want! That is the only thing about a wedging that is strictly just about the two of you.
  • Go big! Make your guests at the wedding eat finger foods instead of a 5 course meal if it’ll get you someplace fantastic for your honeymoon :)

And this pearl from @pugetsounddj: “Tradition shows it’s good luck to bring your DJ…”

@lexirob who didn’t manage to take a honeymoon at all told @MBDP_Tawsha:

  • Take one, even if it’s not a week long, tropical destination. Go somewhere together and enjoy your time! We never got to :(

Last but not least, @NickSavageIMT on Twitter said: “Stay at the Le Prince Maurice – thats all you need to do.”

Ah, thanks Nick – we couldn’t agree more, although we’re a little biased, it’s true.

What do you think the most important tip for prospective honeymooners is? Leave a comment below.

What amateur golfers can learn from the Masters 2011

Legends Championship Golf Course, Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Legends Championship Golf Course, Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

After the excitement, twists and turns of last week’s Golf Masters 2011 and our award for best golf course worldwide, we spoke to our resident professional, Sebastian Pilot, Golf Manager at the Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius.

As the man in charge of not one but two 18 hole championship golf courses, he feels that if you’re going to watch one golf tournament all year, the Masters is the one not to miss.

While the Constance Belle Mare Plage doesn’t do anything specific to mark the Masters each year, Sebastian watched avidly at home. At the start, Mickelson was Sebastian’s favorite to win, but Jason Day’s performance was a pleasant surprise to him as the tournament progressed as he feels he was a worthy runner up.

While our Golf Manager felt Tiger Woods did a great job and is definitely coming back to form after recent times in this year’s Masters, he was very sad for Rory McIlroy because he played so well throughout the competition, he really felt he ought to win.

Other stand out golfers in the tournament for Sebastian were Adam Scott and of course, the eventual winner of the Masters 2011, Charl Swartzel.

So what does Sebastian think any budding or amateur golfers can learn from this year’s tournament?

“Amateurs will learn that it is a mental game,” he laughs “and that nothing is done before the last hole of the tournament.”

See also our article on what makes a good golf course.

If you are planning a luxury golf holiday in the Seychelles, our 18 hole course at Constance Lemuria is the only one in the island country.

Top 3 diving sites in the Seychelles

The Seychelles is one of the greatest places for diving in the world. Featuring no less than 6 national marine parks, there’s an abundance of spectacular scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities.

Top 3 dive sites in the Seychelles

Top 3 dive sites in the Seychelles

The Seychelles is on the African continental shelf which means the sea is shallow in most dive sites (12 to 15 meters) which makes it perfect for novice divers who might be a little nervous – but it also has wildlife and wonderful diving experiences (such as wrecks) for established divers.

If you’re planning a luxury diving holiday, our diving experts at Constance Ephilia Resort, Seychelles, have come up with their top 3 dive spots, along with information about how to get there and why the dive site is so special.

1. Trois Bank

Location
Situated about 5 miles south east from Constance Ephelia Resort

How do you get to it
20 minutes by boat

What standard of diver do you need to be to visit it?
Experienced open water divers

Typical dive
The maximum depth at this site is 23 meters. With nice granite rocks formation, coral formation raised nearly to 4 meters to the surface; you could swim through these rocks.

Marine life
There are around 15-20 grey reef sharks most of the time. Groups of octopus, eagle rays, school of barracuda, bat fish, reef fishes and morays.

Visibility
Fantastic – most of the time 20/30 meters or more.

2. National Marine Park, Cap Ternay

Location
Next bay from Constance Ephelia Resort

How do you get to it?
12 minutes by boat

What standard of diver do you need to be to visit it?
Anyone from beginners to advanced qualified divers can enjoy this site.

Typical dive
Very calm bay, beautiful coral reef full of marine life, starting from its shallow reef (about 1 metre) to a maximum of 24 meters.

There is a large flat reef area with a gradual drop off from about 6 meters to 24 metres at 45 angles.

Diving with a Manta Ray, Seychelles

Diving with a Manta Ray

Marine life
Beautiful reef fishes, morays, lion fish, turtles, humphead parrot fish, trumpet fish, clown fish, and many other species.

From August to September, it is easily to meet the giant whale sharks and sometimes also the dolphins.

3. Dredger Wreck

Location
1 mile far from Bel Ombre Area, North/West coast Seychelles

How do you get to it?
20 minutes by boat

What standard of diver do you need to be to visit it?
This site is better suited to divers with experience of open water diving – more advanced divers are preferred.
There’s a small dredger (about 15 meters) for divers to explore. It was sunk on purpose for divers in the mid 80s. It lies at 27 meters depth near to a nice reef.

Marine life
The dredger wreck has created a nice hiding place for cat fish, morays, lobster, stone fish, lion fish, and scorpion fish. Big school of yellow snappers that cover the whole wreck.

Sometimes giant puffer fish and school of bat fish can be spotted, sting rays in the sand. In the mid water (above the wreck), there are always visitors like school of jack fish, fusilier and job fish.

Find out more about our luxury diving experiences at the Constance Ephelia Hotel, Seychelles.