Top tips for getting over jet lag

Revive aching muscles and stiff bones after a long flight with a range of full body stretches devised by personal trainer at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Isabelle Lamant.

Exercise 1 – Relax the lower back

Open arms and keep shoulder blades on the floor. Relax your legs on the side. Inhale for 8 seconds with the nose – exhale naturally through the mouth. Repeat 5 times.

Exercise 1 – Relax the lower back

Exercise 1 – Relax the lower back

Exercise 2 – Stretch your bottom to avoid pain in the lower back

Put your right foot on your left knee, right arm between your legs, cross your fingers on or under the left knee. Press your knee in the direction of your chest until you feel the muscle stretch. Hold for 20/30 seconds per leg.

Exercise 2 – Stretch your bottom to avoid pain in the lower back

Exercise 3 – Stretch your hamstrings with a towel

Hold a towel with both hands and stretch your right leg as far as you can. Hold for 20 seconds. To avoid curving the back, bend the opposite (left) leg and put the left foot on the floor before changing legs.

Exercise 3 – Stretch your hamstrings with a towel

Exercise 4 – Stretch the outside of your legs (abductors)

Hold the towel in your left hand and place it under the right foot. Keep your left leg flat on the floor, turn your head and stretch out the right arm on the right side. Put the left elbow on the floor and pull your hand gently until you feel the stretch on the outside of the right leg. 20/30 seconds per side.

Exercise 4 – Stretch the outside of your legs (abductors)

Exercise 5 – Stretch inside of your legs (adductors)

Place the towel under your right foot and hold in the right hand. Keep your left leg flat on the floor, turn your head to the left. Put the right elbow on the floor and pull your hand gently until you feel the stretch on the inside of the right leg. 20/30 seconds per side.

Exercise 5 – Stretch inside of your legs (adductors)

Exercise 6 – Stretch inside of your legs (adductors), hands and forearms

We never think of stretching of our hands but they can really need it. Bend your knees, bring your big toes together and sit down as far as you can on your heels. Point your fingers in the direction of your hips and then press the palms of your hands on the floor. Hold for 20 seconds.

Exercise 6 – Stretch inside of your legs (adductors), hands and forearms

Exercise 7 – Stretch quads and improve the flow of blood circulation in your hips

Position your right knee above the right heel, stretch the left leg back and raise your spine. 20 seconds per leg.

Exercise 7 – Stretch quads and improve the flow of blood circulation in your hips

Exercise 8 – Stretch your hamstrings and shoulders

With your legs close together, cross your fingers behind your back and bend forward. Stretch your arms above your back as far as you can. Hold for 20 seconds.

Exercise 8 – Stretch your hamstrings and shoulders

Exercise 9 – Stretch your arms and chest and open the thorax

Put your fingers on a wall, stretch your arm and twist your body in the opposite direction. 5 deep breaths per side.

Exercise 9 – Stretch your arms and chest and open the thorax

Exercise 10 – Stretch your Legs, back, shoulders and arms

Press your hand against a wall. Stretch your arms and legs and keep your back parallel to the floor. Hold for 20 seconds.

Exercise 10 – Stretch your Legs, back, shoulders and arms

After this routine of 10 exercises you will immediately feel the benefit. These are stretches you can do every day without moderation.

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Are you getting the most out of your 5 star hotel?

Many travellers can be reticent about getting the most from a stay in a luxury 5 star hotel, according to travel writer Mark Hodson in the Huffington Post.

Personal service at the Beach Bar, Constance Tsarabanjina

Personal service at the Beach Bar, Constance Tsarabanjina

Hodson suggests that ordinary travellers need to understand that excellent high-end service is what you’re paying for when using 5 star hotels and travellers should not be timid about taking advantage of this.

Ways to improve your 5 star experience, according to the post, include:

  • The concierge – Hodson describes the concierge as the pinnacle of service at a 5 star hotel. ‘The concierge is a highly-trained and well-connected fixer whose services are at your disposal.’ Available for everything from theatre ticket bookings (if you contact the concierge desk before you arrive) to restaurant reservations and bookings, the concierge is there to smooth out any difficulties, fix any problems and make your stay as pleasurable as possible.
  • Get in touch before you arrive – ‘Once you’ve made your booking, contact the hotel to let staff know how they can make your stay more comfortable,’ advises Hodson. This can mean anything from ordering the perfect pillow to informing them what brand of tea you prefer in the morning.
Expert preparation at Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Expert preparation at Constance Moofushi, Maldives

  • Butler service – Take advantage of butler service by having your butler unpack for you, they will also iron clothes and hang them for you if required. Hodson claims a personal butler will run any errand for you during your stay, much like an executive PA.

Read Mark Hodson’s full post on How to get the most out of a luxury hotel.

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Match food with fine wines at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Take inspiration from Le Prince Maurice, and match food with fine wines, selected from the hotel’s extensive wine cellar.

The wine cellar at Constance Le Prince Maurice

The wine cellar at Constance Le Prince Maurice

1. Springfield Estate, ‘Life from Stone’, Sauvignon Blanc, 2011, Robertson region, South Africa

This Sauvignon Blanc has an expressive nose with exotic fruit flavours of passion fruit, pineapple and hints of grapefruit. It is crispy in the mouth, full of minerals with a citrus fruit aftertaste.

Food pairing

Albacore tuna carpaccio, celeriac and preserved lemon

2. Mullineux White Blend, Chris and Andrea Mullineux, 2011, Swartland Region, South Africa

This has a glorious nose of apricot, peach and honey, a harmonious blend with a beautiful complexity and a lemony freshness and fruitiness.

Food pairing

Faye faye crab millefeuille and victoria pineapple with coconut dressing.

3. Felton Road, Chardonnay, ‘Bannockbum’ 2010, Central Otago, New Zealand

The nose expresses top notes of white peach and cashew followed by a hint of toasted oak. Rich mouth filling flavours of white peach followed by some spicy taste, a touch of citrus and creamy in texture with a long aftertaste.

Food pairing

Grouper fillet cooked on a low temperature, creamy mussel marinière and local river watercress puree.

Laguna Bar, Constance Le Prince Maurice

Laguna Bar, Constance Le Prince Maurice

4. Vuurberg Red, Rall Donovan, 2009, Stellenbosch region, South Africa

Incredible concentration with intense fruit and structure in the mouth. Lots of cassis and spicy, leather notes with a firm tannin structure and the potential to evolve beautifully. Decanting recommended.

Food pairing

Roasted duck breast from the South Island with herbal flavours, sautéed sweet potato and pumpkin with braised mushrooms.

5. St Emillon Château Tertre Roteboeuf, Grand Cru Classé, 2004, Bordeaux Region, France

With floral notes and black fruit aromas this is charming and elegant in the mouth. It has a very fruity and caressing taste with soft tannin, excellent balance and a splendid finish.

Food pairing

Strips of foie gras and Australian beef tenderloin, pan-fried exquise potatoes from the South, oyster mushroom and onion pickles.

Wine cellar at Constance Le Prince Maurice

For more inspiration guests at Le Prince Maurice can visit the wine cellar and join our sommeliers for a wine tasting where you can sample a selection of some of the best wines from the new and old world.

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A Luxury Travel Blog describes Tsarabanjina as an ‘idyllic castaway island’

Craig Burkinshaw recently discovered the charms of Tsarabanjina, writing on A Luxury Travel Blog this week that this Constance gem is a ‘particular favourite’.

Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

In a piece in which Craig describes the resort as one of the few offering luxury accommodation and service in the beautiful setting of Madagascar, he goes on to celebrate the tiny private island’s stunning natural setting and exceptional diving and snorkeling opportunities.

Founder of Audley Travel, Craig praises the resort’s laidback charm:

‘A charming feature is that the island has its own time zone, Tsarabanjina time. An hour different to mainland Madagascar, this is done to make the most of the daylight and only adds to the remote feeling of the island and resort.’

Craig goes on to extol the virtues of the fresh, sumptuous food and indulgent spa treatments on offer. Describing the accommodation Craig admires the use of natural woods and Malagasy crafts to create a comfortable environment with ‘plenty of luxurious touches’.

Craig sums up, ‘Overall Constance Tsarabanjina has the perfect combination of Robinson Crusoe escapism and a healthy dose of luxury.’

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Top tips for food and wine pairing

Matching the perfect wine with the perfect food to bring out the subtle, distinctive flavours of both is a delicate skill.

Chablis, “Terroir de Courgis”

Chablis, “Terroir de Courgis”

Here Constance Halaveli sommelier Cedric Jacobs selects his favourite wines and, with the help of executive chef at Halaveli Holger Joost, pairs them with a selection of delectable dishes.

1. Chablis, “Terroir de Courgis”, Patrick Piuze, 2010, France, Burgundy

I will always remember the first time I tasted this wine, I was in Bordeaux in 2011 for a famous wine exposition and a friend of Jerome Faure brought a few bottles from this producer to be blind-tasted. When the results came back, it was like I was back in school with my lecturer warning me that Chablis can be confused with wine from the Loire Valley due to the proximity of Terroir.

Courgis is the western city of the Chablis appellation and very close to Pouilly Fumé – a total confusion, yet an incredible discovery.

100 per cent Chardonnay – The hint of gunflint, citrus & exotic fruit and minerality could confuse the drinker with a Sauvignon Blanc. Showing an amazing purity in the mouth, a juicy, rich mineral wine with a perfect respect of the fruit.

Food Pairing:

Some time ago, the executive chef prepared prawns in 3 textures (seared, sous vide and tartar) served with mango salsa for me to taste. This would have been the perfect wine to drink to respect both of the wine and dish.

Chef Pairing:

Tiger Prawns in 3 textures (seared, sous vide and tartar) with mango and palm heart salsa curry emulsion.

VDP des Bouches du Rhône, Villa Minna

VDP des Bouches du Rhône, Villa Minna

2. VDP des Bouches du Rhône, Villa Minna, Red, 2007, France, Provence

This wine comes from the commune of Saint Cannat, a few kilometres from Aix-en-Provence and neighbour of the small village I am from, Ventabren. I discovered the wine from Jean Paul Luc 8 years ago when I started my sommelier formation. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy to bring to the middle of the Indian Ocean. Eventually, the wines arrived and my love for them did not change at all.

A bold blend between Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Mourvèdre. The nose is crammed full of black cherry, almost kirsches, and dried fig aromas. After few minutes of aeration in the glass, violets, mixed Provençal herbs and spices are showing off. The mouth is fruitful and complex offering a beautiful freshness for a 2007 vintage showing that this wine still has guts to age even more.

Food Pairing:

Halaveli cheese selection – a selection of international cheeses with dried fruit, crackers & honey.

As a typical French man I cannot refuse a piece of cheese but being in the middle of the Indian ocean I do not have access to it that easily. I discovered here a Brie from Australia, the Jindi Triple Cream, battered more than a normal one and showing an incredible complexity. I could simply spend a whole night with friends pairing these two.

Waterkloof, Sauvignon Blanc

Waterkloof, Sauvignon Blanc

3. Waterkloof, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010 – South Africa, Stellenbosh

I discovered this wine in October 2012 while visiting South Africa, more precisely the Cape Wine wine exposition in Cape Town. The first contact was with Paul Boutinot, the owner of the winery, and then his son Louis, who invited us to taste his wine.

The Waterkloof Sauvignon Blanc is one of my ‘Coup de Coeur’ of the year for the purity that is present in this wine. A rich and complex Sauvignon Blanc offering citrus fruit, vegetal and fennel aromas on the nose for a mineral, salty, and long lasting finish – a great complexity for an easy drinking wine.

Food Pairing:

Halaveli Sushi and Sashimi selection with pickled ginger and soy.

Minerality and saltiness lead me directly to products from the sea and one of my first experiences with the Waterkloof, and the most memorable, was with Japanese Food: Sushi, Sashimi, Californian Roll… This unctuous wine matched perfectly these Japanese specialties.

4. Mullineux, “Granit”, Syrah, 2010 – South Africa, Swartland

Like the Waterkloof, this was a discovery that happened in South Africa during my last trip. We were welcomed by Andrea and Chris Mullineux in a restaurant called “French toast” in the city of Cape Town.

The cuvée Granit is, for me, majestic. The nose offers beautiful black berries, olive, spices and meaty aromas. On the palate, the wine is fresh, lively and spicy with an amazing fruit – the feeling of literally biting into berries. A feminine, yet complex Syrah which deserves to be aged for couple of years, but can be enjoyed right now.

Food Pairing:

Tuna steak and caramelized foie gras, warm salad of Shimeji, Edamame and tomato, celeriac puree.

Living in the Maldives for the past few years, tuna, the meatiest fish of the Indian Ocean, has become one of my favourite dishes. To complement this amazing fish, The Mullineux Syrah is a perfect match, especially when the tuna steak is served with a typical olive tapenade, grilled Mediterranean vegetables and a celeriac purée.

Barolo, Attilio Ghisolfi

Barolo, Attilio Ghisolfi

5. Barolo, Attilio Ghisolfi, 2005 – Italy, Piedmont

My most recent trip was to Italy where we visited mostly the north of the country seeking out small yet amazing winemakers. I had already worked with the wines from Attilio Ghisolfi for the last 2 years (in fact, Jerome Faure discovered them during a tasting in Italy a few years back) but I wanted to meet the man behind the superb bottle.

Cherry, balsamic, olive and chamomile all together coming to your nose for an amazing mouthful, this 100 per cent Nebbiolo is similar to a Pinot Noir but with firm Tannin – This wine from Attilio Ghisolfi, after a long and delicate aging in the cellar, shows beautiful and melted tannins, with impressive fruit – Can be kept for aging for another 10 to 15 years.

Food Pairing:
Angus beef tenderloin, Asian spiced spinach, truffle potato and horseradish crème.

Red meat is the first dish that comes to my mind when having a bottle of Barolo in front of me. More exactly, a nice, juicy Angus beef tenderloin, served in its own jus with a homemade truffle potato purée and horseradish cream.

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Top 7 luxury luggage must-haves

Luxury holidays and luxury luggage go hand-in-hand. Here is our selection of some of the finest luggage you could invest in.

Brics luxury travel trolley

Brics luxury travel trolley

1. Best hardcase holdall

The Rimowa Topas Titanium Multiwheel

This lightweight aluminium case is tough German engineering at its finest. The hard outer casing and TSA combination locks will ensure the safety of anything inside and the neat ‘add a bag’ clip mean you can combine Rimowa luggage into one item. Inside the multiple shoe, garment and laundry bags help keep clothes neatly separated.

2. Most stylish carry-on

Formal calf leather ‘country’ bag from Brunello Cucinelli

This beautiful calf leather carry on from Italian luxury brand Brunello Cucinelli is an instant classic echoing a Hemmingway age of travelling adventurers. Beautiful, tough and endlessly useful.

3. The hippest of holdalls

Brics 30” trolley with spinners

Toted by the likes of Halle Berry and Jennifer Aniston, high-end Italian luggage brand Brics is the current luggage of choice for Hollywood A-listers. This lightweight, large trolley will stylishly fit all your holiday luggage and, of course, comes with a range of matching accessories.

4. Ultimate luxury travel wallet

Noble Macmillan calfskin travel wallet

Noble Macmillan calfskin travel wallet

Noble Macmillan classic travel wallet

Available in a range of funky colours this soft calfskin leather travel wallet with a silk lining is hand made in Spain. The interior includes separate compartments marked with leather tabs for passport, travel documents etc. Noble Macmillan will even personalise it with your initials or a message of your choice.

5. Best hardcore carry-on

Victorinox Spectra extra-capacity carry-on

From the makers of the Swiss Army Knife comes the ultimate in hard case hand luggage guaranteed to keep all your possessions safe from knocks and drops at the airport. Available in a range of colours including Swiss Army red.

6. Most opulent toiletry case

Louis Vuitton Case with Mirror

There’s just something about Louis Vuitton luggage that exudes old-school glamour and this stunning, durable hard-shell case is no exception. With the traditional LV monogramed canvas and gold brass outside, and mirror and 14 bottle holder on the inside, this will keep all your lotions and creams safe for your journey and then look beautiful in your hotel bathroom throughout your holiday.

Mulberry adjustable iPad sleeve

Mulberry adjustable iPad sleeve

7. Best luxury iPad cover

Mulberry adjustable iPad sleeve

This stylish, functional leather iPad cover from Mulberry is made to house an iPad 2 or 3. The leather case can be flipped over to create a useful display stand, perfect for watching movies or making video calls. Classically unfussy the leather case is bare apart from the Mulberry tree logo. Available in a range of colours.

Going on honeymoon