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.

Read more

 

8 reasons why Madagascar should be on your bucket list

Still relatively undiscovered, Madagascar is a unique destination of warm sunshine, rich biodiversity, culture and stunning scenery.

Diving in Madagascar

Diving in Madagascar

Here are our top 8 reasons why Madagascar deserves a top spot on your bucket list.

Perfect ‘holiday’ temperatures all year round

With average temperatures of around 30ºC, warm clear waters and an average of 7.5 hours of sunshine a day, Madagascar is an ideal holiday destination. The cooler drier ‘winter’ season runs from May to October while the warmer, wetter ‘summer’ season runs from November to April.

Laid back luxury

Although still relatively unexplored by tourists, it is possible to find a splash of luxury in Madagascar. Enjoy the laidback charm of Constance Tsarabanjina with a vibe of barefoot relaxation blended with low-key luxury.

Chill out on a hammock slung outside your own secluded beach villa on the tiny private Madagascan island of Tsarabanjina. Watch the dazzling array of stars from your own furnished terrace or stroll barefoot down to the restaurant and enjoy traditional Malagasy food with a touch of Constance flair.

Combine luxury and exploration with a guided nature walk around the island by hotel staff.

Be the first to dive waters teeming with rare marine life

Diving is spectacular in Madagascar all year round, particularly around the Mitsio Archipelago, including the island of Tsarabanjina.

Much of the ocean here is previously unexplored making it a fresh new territory for divers.

Some of Madagascar’s most spectacular marine sightings include:

Relax in a hammock at Constance Tsarabanjina

Relax in a hammock at Constance Tsarabanjina

Humpback whales – the whales travel to the warm waters around Madagascar to breed from August to October creating an awe-inspiring spectacle and a rare treat for visitors

Sperm whales – experience the majesty of these magnificent creatures first-hand throughout July and August

Manta rays – see these graceful giants as they migrate through the warm waters of Madagascan waters from May to October

Whale sharks – swim with the gentle giants of the ocean from September through to December.

Explore a completely stunning landscape like nowhere else on earth

From rich rainforests to startling deserts sprinkled with rare, exotic wildlife a trip to Madagascar is like discovering a forgotten land. Pick your way through the granite needle forests of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Bermaraha or experience the other-worldliness of a forest of Baobab trees. There are 20 National Parks in Madagascar for visitors to explore on foot.

Savour the warm spice of Malagasy cuisine

With influences from many of the nations whose people settled here including Africa, South East Asia, the Middle East and France, Madagascan food is a rich, delicious mix of flavours. Local spices and herbs such as chillies, cloves, garlic, vanilla and black pepper are a feature of Malagasy cuisine as is the wide variety of freshly caught seafood and locally grown succulent fruits and vegetables.

Discover Madagascar’s unique wildlife

With around 80 per cent of Madagascar’s wildlife unique to the country, including 150 endemic mammal species, it’s a must-see destination for anyone interested in the gems of the natural world.

One of the most treasured sightings for many visitors to Madagascar are the 100+ lemur species found nowhere else on the planet. Visitors during October and November may even be lucky enough to see newly-born baby lemurs.

Join the party

The Malagasy Kingfisher

The Malagasy Kingfisher

Enjoy the hospitality of the Malagasy people at a range of year-round festivals. Highlights include:

Anniversary of the Republic – Celebrated on 30 December this is a key date in the festivities of Madagascar.

Alahamady Be, 11 – 12 March – Two days of music, dancing and feasting are all part of the program for the celebration of the Malagasy New Year.

Santabary Festival, end of April/beginning of May – A festival celebrating the first rice harvest of the year with events across the island including feasting, music and dancing.

Feria Oramena, June – a carnival-like celebration of one of the nation’s favourite seafood, Lobster.

Hiragasy, July – a traditional Malagasy cultural event involving a competition with five-themed entertainments including oratory, dance, music, drinking and eating.

Madajazzcar, 1 – 12 October – A 2 week jazz festival held in the country’s capital attracting famous jazz musicians from around the globe.

Witness the spectacular birds of Madagascar

For anyone interested in bird-watching Madagascar is a must-see destination with over 100 endemic bird species including fish eagles, jacana, ground rollers and paradise flycatchers, as well as a vast array of migratory birds.

September to mid-December is the breeding season when many species don their finest plumage to attract mates. There are a number of bird watching safaris on offer, usually including lemur sightings as part of the deal.

 

13 things to do in the Seychelles

Dream about the Seychelles and you imagine picture perfect beaches. Head to the archipelago in the Indian Ocean and you’ll discover plenty of those, along with a host of other delights.

Anse Lazio

Take a stroll along the beautiful Anse Lazio

Here are our 13 ideas for things to do in the Seychelles.

1. Take a hike

Whichever island you are staying on you will find the verdant interior criss-crossed with trails for walkers where you can trek through stunning Jurassic forests and spot tropical birds and wildlife. One of the most spectacular is through the Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahé. A 45 minute walk will take you to the summit of Morne Blanc with stunning views across the island and the Indian Ocean.

2. Visit a local market

Immerse yourself in Seychellois life at one of its vibrant, bustling markets. Visit the famous daily food market in Victoria and see colourful fish of all shapes and sizes, a fragrant array of local herbs and spices, and luscious fresh fruit and vegetables. Experience the laid back local vibe at the beach market at Beau Vallon every Wednesday. Part market, part social gathering you’ll find live bands and dancing along side street food and local craft stalls.

3. Ride a horse down one of the world’s most photographed beaches

Visit the traditional plantation house L’Union Estate on La Digue which doubles as a riding centre and you get the unique opportunity of riding down the stunning beach of Source d’Argent. Ride on powder white sand and splash in perfect clear waters as you pass the stunning granite boulders that are such a feature of this beach.

4. Eat traditional Creole food in a national monument

The restaurant Marie-Antoinette is not only one of the best places to savour traditional Creole food on Mahé, it is also located in a colonial mansion declared a national monument in 2011. The colonial architecture, dating back to the 1800s remains unchanged, but while the building may be colonial the vibe in the restaurant is entirely Creole.

Bird watching in the Seychelles

Bird watching in the Seychelles

5. Birdwatching on Aride Island

One of the finest tropical island nature reserves in the world, a trip to Aride is like stepping back in time to the Seychelles before human habitation. A mecca for bird watchers, Aride is the breeding place for 18 different species of native birds, including five that are only found in the Seychelles.

6. Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Vallée de Mai 

This stunning palm forest at the heart of Praslin Island survives in its original state from prehistoric times, virtually untouched by human influence. Its most famous palm is the endemic coco-de-mer with its distinctive shaped seeds. Visitors will find easily accessible trails through the forest with guides on hand to help and advise. More on Vallée de Mai.

7. Play golf on the only 18-hole golf course in the Seychelles

Play golf on the stunning 18-hole golf course at Constance Lémuria with views over three of Praslin’s most beautiful beaches. The terraced landscape of greens spanning the breathtaking scenery of Praslin’s hills and forests make this one of the world’s most beautiful golf courses. Celebrate your round with a glass of chilled champagne and views across the island to the beach below.

8. Explore the wildlife of Cousin Island Nature Reserve

Just 2km off the shores of Praslin lies this idyllic island nature reserve. With a rich variety of endemic wildlife and seabirds it is also considered the most important breeding site for the endangered Hawksbill turtle in the Western Indian Ocean. As well as the island itself the reef around it is also protected and boast rich marine life including nurse sharks, lion fish and redbanded grouper. More on Cousin Island Nature Reserve.

Golf at Constance Hotels and Resorts

Golf in the Seychelles

9. Visit one of the most beautiful beaches in the world

Regularly featured in lists of the world’s top beaches Anse Lazio on Praslin is a stretch of perfect sugar-white sand shaded by takamaka trees and enclosed at each end by striking granite boulders. Great for swimming and snorkelling.

10. Connect with Creole culture at the Domaine de Val de Près

This pretty recreation of a Creole village on Mahé is set in the grounds of the Gran Kaz Plantation House and provides a fascinating insight into Creole history and culture. Its 12 craft workshops sell traditional arts and crafts while the quirky ‘Maison de Coco’ is a house built entirely of coconut products. More on Domain de Val de Près.

11. Snorkel around Ile Cocos Marine National Park

This collection of 3 small islets off the coast of Praslin may look like classic ‘desert islands’ but in the waters off their shores is some of the best snorkelling in the Seychelles archipelago. A shallow reef, protected from fishing and tourism, has provided a haven for the rare marine life that thrives in these waters. More on Ile Cocos Marine National Park.

12. Breathe in the fragrant air of Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden

Perched above the beautiful beach of Anse Royale on Mahé is this renovated plantation growing spices such as vanilla, citronella, cinnamon and nutmeg. Visitors can buy fresh produce at the plantation shop or eat at the stunning outdoor restaurant with views over the plantation and the beach below. Find out more about Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden.

13. Meet the giant tortoises of Curieuse Island

Meet and feed the giant tortoises who wander free on this island nature reserve (it is estimated there are more than 500), walk through the stunning mangrove forest and keep your eyes open for the hawksbill and green turtles which come here to breed. Visitors to the island are usually greeted off-shore by the hundreds of giant hump-head parrotfish which live in its waters and can grow up to 1.2 meters long. More about Curieuse Island.

Find out more

Visit our website to find out more about Constance Lémuria and Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

For more ideas of things to do in the Seychelles visit Virtual Seychelles

Mauritius: the ultimate winter getaway

For those dreaming of escaping the winter blues with a trip to sun-kissed beaches and warm balmy evenings, Mauritius is the ideal destination for a winter getaway.

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Mauritius’ summer runs from November to April with temperatures of between 21-30ºC during these months.

Mauritian flowers and fruits

The Mauritian summer heralds the season for many of the island’s flowers and fruits. Visitors can enjoy succulent mangos, lychees and longans.

Those tired of the winter grey of the northern hemisphere will find themselves in a vibrant world of colourful blooms with many of the island’s trees, including the aptly named Flamboyant Tree, in full bloom from December onwards.

Perfect season for big game fishing

With the warmer weather the temperature of the ocean also rises to an average of 23-27ºC, bringing a vast array of fish to our waters. With the smaller fish come the larger predators including, throughout the Mauritius summer, the famous blue marlin as well as sailfish, barracuda, wahoo, yellowfin tuna and shark.

Diving in Mauritius

While diving is excellent all year round in Mauritius, the warmer water temperatures make this a perfect time to dive with a wealth of new marine life drawn to the area.

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

The increased numbers mean that divers may see a wide variety of exotic marine life including angelfish, parrot fish, moray, groupers, wrasses and sweetlips as well as a stunning array of corals and sponges.

A warm Mauritian welcome at Constance

The ultimate 5* luxury at the secluded Constance Le Prince Maurice, with its boutique feel and emphasis on personal service, is the perfect winter treat.

Or join the fun at the family-friendly Constance Belle Mare Plage where you can enjoy a raft of activities, spa facilities and water sports, enough to make even the most winter-weary bodies leap into action.

Find out more about Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Belle Mare Plage on our website

Book now and take advantage of our fabulous Winter Sun Offer

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Top 8 reasons to go scuba diving in the Maldives

The Maldives is considered to offer some of the best scuba diving in the world, with the Ari Atoll topping many people’s lists as the go-to spot in the islands.

Dive scooter courses at Constance Moofushi

Dive scooter courses at Constance Moofushi

Ari Atoll, Maldives

The unique location of the Ari Atoll, with Constance Moofushi located in the South Ari Atoll and Constance Halaveli in the North, means that it is perfect for diving all year round. Visibility is usually between 20-25 metres and currents slow to moderate.

Here are our top 8 reasons why scuba diving in the Maldives is one of life’s great experiences.

1. Learn more about sharks

For those divers fascinated by these beautiful creatures the PADI Shark Speciality Courses offered at Moofushi and Halaveli will teach you more about them and their habits before taking you out to swim among them in a spectacular shark pass. Read more about shark diving in the Maldives.

2. Swim with manta rays

Swim with these giants of the oceans during the season at Moofushi or Halaveli. At Halaveli guests can also learn more about these elegant fish with a course written by PADI Manta Awareness Diver Alexis Vincent.

Diving with Manta Rays

Diving with Manta Rays

3. Night dives

Discover what the ocean looks like at night where fish sleep and others change colour in the darkness. Experience the thrill when the group turn off their torches and play in the ocean’s stunning phosphorescence. Find out more about night dives in the Maldives.

4. Nitrox dive

Swim more often and for longer with this enriched air option at Halaveli.

5. Wreck diving

Explore wrecks on the ocean floor teeming with stunning marine life at sites around the Ari Atoll. Learn more about wreck diving in the Maldives.

6. Photography diving

Learn how to take stunning underwater photographs, so you can relive the memories once you’re back home. Our course is followed by a series of dives designed to give you the best opportunities for taking beautiful underwater shots. More about underwater photography courses at Moofushi.

7. Diver scooter courses at Moofushi

Experience the exhilaration of diving with a diver scooter allowing you to travel greater distances during your dive. The course at Moofushi includes three dives, the first on the home reef to learn the basics and the last as part of a shark dive.

A Moray Eel in the Indian Ocean

A Moray Eel in the Indian Ocean

8. The ultimate exclusive dive experience at Halaveli

Indulge in the ultimate dive experience at Halaveli with a day and night on your own yacht with your own crew, chef and spa therapist to take care of you while you explore the beautiful reefs of the Ari Atoll. Tempted? Find out more

When is the best time to go diving in Maldives?

Both Moofushi and Halaveli have a great choice of local dives to keep even the keenest divers hungry for more. From November to April the northeast monsoon pushes currents to the west bringing schools of manta rays and whale sharks and from May to October the oceanic currents push from the southwest making the water incredibly clear for diving.

Winter sun offer with Constance

If you’re tempted to book a holiday to explore the Maldives, take a look at our Winter Sun Offer or visit our website for more information on all Constance Hotels & Resorts.