The rich culture of Madagascar

Embark on an adventure to the remote island of Tsarabanjina and discover the friendly people and rich culture of Madagascar.

Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Take advantage of the one-night stopover on the mainland before travelling on to Constance Tsarabanjina to immerse yourself in the colourful local customs and traditions of Madagascar.

Ethnic groups in Madagascar

The diverse ethnic groups which make up the Malagasy people, divided into 18 ‘tribes’, are united around the common Malagasy language and traditional beliefs in the importance of kinship and the veneration of their ancestors.

Local crafts

Crafts including raffia weaving, woodcarving and silk weaving – particularly the weaving of the silk lamba, the island’s national dress – can be traced back to the very first inhabitants of the island and are central to the island’s cultural history.

The traditional woodwork of the Zafimaniry people of Madagascar were considered so important that in 2008 UNESCO included them on its List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Music of Madagascar

Music plays an important role in the lives of the Malagasy people with beats and rhythms echoing the music of Africa and Indonesia and often played on traditional instruments or sung with only hand clapping accompaniment.

Lemur in Madagascar

Lemur in Madagascar

Learn Malagasy

Seize the opportunity on the mainland or on Tsarabanjina to really get a sense of what makes the people of this region so special. Here are some Malagasy phrases you might find useful during your visit.

Welcome: Tongasoa

Good morning: Mbolatsara/ Salama

How are you? : Karakory/In vao vao?

Goodbye: Veloma/Samitsara

Have a nice trip: Soavadia

Goodnight: Samy mandry mifoha

Enjoy your breakfast/ launch/dinner: Mazotoa misakafo

Slowly: Mora Mora

Local Mitsio fishermen in Madagascar

Local Mitsio fishermen in Madagascar

Thank you: Misaotra

Thank you so much: Misaotra Betsaka

Best wishes: Mirary soa/ Tsara tsara

Island: Nosy

Fish: Laoko

Rice: Vary

Lemurs: Komba/Maki

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Babymoons in the Indian Ocean

Your first pregnancy can be a magical time, and more and more couples are making the most of this special time by scheduling a holiday together before the baby arrives – otherwise known as babymoons.

Enjoy a romantic dinner at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Enjoy a romantic dinner at Constance Le Prince Maurice

What to look for in a ‘babymoon’

The babymoon is an opportunity for a last hurrah of sumptuous, grown-up living before you enter the exciting world of life with a baby. In other words it can be a time to indulge in the finer things – a luxury beach resort, spa treatments, romantic moments, and divine dining.

With locations across the Indian Ocean, Constance Hotels & Resorts are proving a popular choice for a secluded 5* getaway for just the two of you. With our emphasis on warm, attentive service we ensure that your last trip away pre-parenthood will create memories that last a lifetime, and many a baby-induced sleepless night.

Make it a romantic break for two

Savour your time together in the romantic getaway resorts of Moofushi and Tsarabanjina. Relax in the laidback vibe of these barefoot resorts where secluded hammocks swing outside your villa and it’s easy to find a quiet spot to spend time alone together.

Lounge on the beach watching movies under the stars and eating food fresh from the ocean.

Or splash out and enjoy the ultimate luxury of a beachfront villa with your own private pool at Le Prince Maurice or a water villa floating over a lagoon with its own infinity pool at Halaveli.

If you’re looking for total romantic seclusion why not try a hillside villa at Ephelia, where you can lounge in your own infinity pool overlooking glorious views of the Seychelles.

Relax in your own infinity pool at Constance Ephelia

Relax in your own infinity pool at Constance Ephelia

Indulge in 5* luxury

It can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep when you’re pregnant but at Constance we will do our best to ensure that’s exactly what you get.

At Le Prince Maurice and Halaveli we will draw you a fragrant candlelit bath for you to relax in before climbing between Egyptian cotton sheets, in vast beds. Select the perfect pillow from our menu. If getting comfortable is an issue just let us know and we’ll provide as many pillows as you need to get a good night’s sleep.

Service has always been at the centre of what we do at Constance so whatever you’re needs, or cravings, we’ll do our best to make sure you have everything you need for a perfect holiday.

Delicious, healthy food

Eating for two means making sure that what you eat is fresh and healthy for you and your baby. At Constance the 5* chefs use only the best, fresh local ingredients to create sumptuous dishes across all our restaurants.

Whether you want to indulge in elegant fine dining or just feel like a smoothie and salad by the beach, you can be sure that everything is prepared with the utmost care from the very best fresh ingredients.

For a truly memorable dining experience we can even organise dinner on a secluded section of beach or under the stars in your own villa. At Moofushi you can dine by torchlight on your own secluded sandbank.

Unwind at the Shiseido Spa, Ephélia

Unwind at the Spa

Sumptuous spa treatments for mothers-to-be

Ease tired feet and aching muscles with a trip to one of the luxurious Spa de Constance’s. Highlights of our special prenatal treatments include:

  • A Fabulous Beauty Treatment for Mothers-to-be at Spa de Constance, Le Prince Maurice

A gentle, full massage with light, smooth movements to drain away tension from the body.

  • Valmont Mother to be Package at Valmont Spa, Halaveli

A body scrub to improve circulation, a gentle massage with moisturisation using Valmont products and a facial.

  • Prenatal massage at Spa de Constance, Lémuria

A 60-minute total body massage designed to stimulate the circulatory and lymphatic system.

Reconnect with your changing body

Calm the spirit and prepare your body for childbirth with one-to-one yoga and meditation sessions.

Discover the inner calm brought about by adopting Pranayama breathing or take time to welcome the sun with gentle sunrise yoga sessions or sunset meditation sessions at Lémuria.

Join fitness guru and personal trainer Isabelle Lamant for yoga on the beach at Le Prince Maurice and get expert advice on fitness during and after pregnancy.

Wake boarding at Constance Hotels and Resorts

Wake boarding at Constance Hotels and Resorts

Time to play

Dads-to-be can get out on the ocean sailing, paddle boarding, windsurfing or fishing, or if you’re after something a little more high-octane there are motorised water sports available at Belle Mare Plage, Ephelia, Halaveli and Prince Maurice.

All destinations offer awe-inspiring opportunities to discover the hidden beauty of the Indian Ocean with diving and snorkelling opportunities.

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All aboard: the secret to a great family holiday

Whether you want to celebrate an important birthday or anniversary or you simply want to spend time together in a neutral environment, going on holiday with kids, parents and grandparents in tow is the new luxury holiday choice for many.

Family friendly meals at Constance Hotels Experience

Family friendly meals

Choosing the right kind of holiday

Taking multi-generational holidays together offers extended families the chance to relax away from the pressures and chores of everyday life. But it’s important to choose the right type of family holiday.

Family members of different generations often have very different interests and needs.

The secret to a great multi-generational holiday is to find an environment where everybody gets a chance to relax and do the things they enjoy. The key thing to remember is that you needn’t do everything together, you just need to find somewhere that gives you space to enjoy time together as well as time apart.

Plan a luxury island getaway

Luxury resorts, like Constance Hotels & Resorts in the Indian Ocean, make for the perfect location to celebrate with all the family.

The beautiful locations of Mauritius, Maldives and the Seychelles form the perfect backdrop. The personal 5* service Constance provides for all its guests, young and old, caters for the individual needs of each family member.

Family holidays at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Family holidays at Belle Mare Plage

Luxurious spacious villas with private pools or separate elegant suites with safe, beautiful beaches and a selection of swimming pools provide a playground suited to grandparents and grandchildren, in an environment both can enjoy.

Of course the more time the grandparents spend with the children, the more free time busy parents have to enjoy the 5* facilities including a wide range of water sports, activities and sumptuous spas.

The Constance Kids’ Club means children can create their own adventures, so that you can take time out with the older generation.

Indulge in a range of sumptuous treatments together at the Spa de Constance or spend the day on a champion golf course amidst the dramatic scenery of Mauritius or the stunning terraced golf course of Constance Lémuria.

Take to the ocean with older kids and grandparents with a raft of exciting activities including sailing, fishing, windsurfing, water skiing and wakeboarding.

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Recipe: Ice cream with Madagascan Vanilla

Bourbon vanilla produced on the islands of the Indain Ocean (Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, La Réunion) is very popular. It is widely used in patisserie, as an ice cream, and also in confectionery and in various forms (fresh pods, powder, liquid extract or sugar vanilla).

Ice cream with Madagascan Vanilla

Ice cream with Madagascan Vanilla

At Constance Belle Mare Plage, we offer a multitude of different flavours of ice cream. It is always vanilla which is the most popular.

Ingredients

The ice cream:

  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 750ml milk
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 150g sugar
  • 125g crème fraîche

1. Prepare the custard: slit the vanilla pod in two lengthways and scrape the seeds with a knife into a saucepan.

2. Pour the milk into the saucepan and bring it to the boil over a gentle heat. Turn off the heat and leave it to infuse for 15 minutes.

3. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl, until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour the hot milk slowly, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the spoon. Remove it from the heat and let it cool.

5. Remove the vanilla pod from the custard. Pour it into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

The chocolate sauce:

  • 100g cooking chocolate
  • 100ml whipping cream

1. Break the chocolate into small pieces and cover them with boiling cream.

2. Stir until the chocolate melts, then store it in the fridge.

The garnish:

  • 50g chocolate chips
  • 50g crushed hazelnuts

Top tips for the best beach reads of 2013

Whether you’re loading them on your kindle or wedging paperbacks into your suitcase, choosing the perfect holiday read is always a challenge. Here’s our list of the Best Beach Reads for 2013.

Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Constance Moofushi, Maldives

1. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Sitting comfortably in all the bestseller lists this summer is the first novel for six years from Khaled Hosseini (‘The Kite Runner’). This moving family saga follows a brother and sister born in Afghanistan as they journey through life moving from Afghanistan to Paris, San Francisco and Greece. A beautiful depiction of love and the family bonds that shape us.

2. Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell

Following all the hype around the release of the Baz Luhrman Hollywood production, the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ will be on many people’s reading lists this summer. If it’s on yours this is definitely a book to read alongside it. Sarah Churchwell’s thorough research attempts to put together the true characters and places that inspired Fitzgerald’s novel. The result is a fascinating insight into the affluent, social climbing and turbulent human stories behind the glittering roaring Twenties.

3. All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld

A darkly atmospheric, menacing tale from the author of ‘After the Fire, A Still Small Voice’ this novel follows the reclusive Jake Whyte as she sets up home on a remote and seemingly deserted British island. Jake wants to be alone with no one but sheep and her untamed companion Dog but when something starts brutally killing the sheep, one by one, she begins to question her solitude.

Constance Tsarabanjina

Constance Tsarabanjina

4. The Infatuations by Javier Marías

Every morning María, a publisher’s editor, has breakfast in the same café and watches the same couple at the next table. She grows increasingly attracted by their obvious infatuation until one morning they’re simply not there and she feels oddly deprived. Seeing a picture of the man murdered in the papers María feels compelled to get involved. Spanish author Javier Marías lures us into a world of desire and infatuation with such graceful beauty and ease that the reader becomes as entranced by the playing out of the inevitable murder as María herself.

5. Soon by Charlotte Grimshaw

Tensions arise as two families are thrown together for the summer in a palatial beach house in New Zealand belonging to the Prime Minister. The intense inter-personal relationships are further complicated by emerging tales of corruption and political intrigue in this page-turning novel which has sat at the top of the New Zealand bestseller lists since publication.

For more inspiration for your summer reading check out:

Healthy holiday menu for kids

Discover a family holiday in the Maldives where elegant luxury goes hand in hand with a warm, child-friendly welcome.

On the beach at Halaveli

On the beach at Halaveli

Sit back and relax in a deluxe hotel where you know your children aren’t simply an afterthought, fobbed off with chips and ice cream, but are catered for by top chefs with a healthy holiday menu designed to inspire them.

Halaveli chef Holger Joost believes that the secret to a successful children’s menu is in the combination of fresh healthy ingredients and comfortable tastes and textures kids crave.

‘We treat the kids with just as much attention as the adults, we consider that luxury,’ describes Chef Holger, and that means giving them food they love.

Healthy eating

‘It all has to do with finding the balance between comfort and healthy. So, for example, offering frozen yogurt with berries instead of ice cream – there’s still that comfortable icy-cold feeling but it’s healthy.

‘Instead of soft drinks we are implementing a smoothie program with organic honey – it still has the sweet refreshing taste but none of the preservatives.’

Picky eaters

That’s all very well for most kids but for some parents a major concern about a family holiday can be a child who is reluctant to try new things.

Chef Holger claims fussy eaters don’t faze him, ‘We can cater to any child who has particular aversions to foods. That is what luxury is, tailoring everything to better serve our guests.’

Fresh smoothies at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Fresh smoothies at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

An organic approach

At Halaveli the children’s menu is almost entirely organic because Chef Holger believes that growing kids need their intake of pesticides limited.

He also slow cooks the food to ensure they get the maximum nutrients from the fresh, organic ingredients. ‘Instead of fast, flash fried food we are cooking foods at a lower temperature for a longer period of time to preserve more nutrients. The main concept is staying away from premade foods and preservatives.’

Sophisticated tastes

Chef Holger recognizes that many of the children who stay at Halaveli are already familiar with the more sophisticated flavours of good dining and he intends to stimulate and satisfy those with a taste for great food.

‘So many kids today are raised to enjoy quality food that most of the time their standards are higher so we cater to those high standards.’

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