Discover what makes Mauritius the ultimate exclusive holiday destination

Nicki Grihault, destination expert for The Telegraph, has summed up the appeal of Mauritius as exclusivity, style and a warm welcome from people for whom nothing is too much trouble.

Watersports at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Watersports at Belle Mare Plage

In a recent piece for the newspaper’s Ultra Luxe section, Nicki raved about the island as a destination.

‘Plentiful watersports, world class spas, top-flight golf courses and gourmet cuisine make it hard to leave the hotel, but Mauritius has plenty to see and do – from French colonial houses and imaginative animal parks to nature walks, quad biking, ziplining and horse riding.’

Having visited the island regularly since her teens, Nicki offers the tip that a good time to visit is during the quieter season from May to September when rates are cheaper and the weather is warm and dry with fewer mosquitos.

In a more in-depth look at what is available in the luxury market she described Constance Le Prince Maurice as a ‘small, secluded all-suite hotel’, admiring its ‘hip’ new floating bar, Sisley Spa, wine cellar and the fact that the new family suites come complete with their own iPad Minis.

Beach at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Beach at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Grihault firmly believes that one of Mauritius’ greatest attractions is its food which she describes as a fusion of Indian, French, Creole and Chinese. She highlights the annual Culinary Festival held at Constance Belle Mare Plage as promoting a tradition of merging fine dining with local flavours.

Read more

The Telegraph:

Find out more about Constance in Mauritius

 

World Environment Day 2013 at Constance Hotels & Resorts

Each year we are proud to be part of the global celebrations for World Environment Day, and this year was no different.

Turtle at Constance Lemuria

Turtles at Constance Lemuria

With the theme of Think.Eat.Save, everyone has been encouraged to take action at home and to witness the power of collective decisions we make to help reduce food waste, save money, minimise the environmental impact of food production and force food production processes to become more efficient.

Here’s a look at how we took part in this global day of action at each of our hotels.

Constance Tsarabanjina

  • In the morning: Tour of the island with guests for cleaning our magic island
  • In the afternoon: fishing in the Malagasy way. Malagasy use small fishing boats called Pirogue to fish. At Tsarabanjina, we organized a fishing excursion
  • For dinner: candle lit dinner using: Tsarabanjina spices, Mitsio fish and Nosy be vegetables and rice

Constance Belle Mare Plage

  • Supporting a local school for disabled children, Joie de Vivre, we are actively involved in activities to support this school based in Poste de Flacq
  • Tree planting, and maintenance including painting, electrical & plumbing
  • Mini-reportage on the flora that exists at the CBMP
Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

We run a programme to raise awareness with our guests and staff about the different plants within the hotel, their history in Mauritius and how it creates a unique environment at the hotel.

  • Bio-menu for hotel staff at L’Heritage Restaurant
  • Expo on taking care of sea turtles at L’Heritage Restaurant by the Blues Diving
  • Saturday 8 June – Lagoon cleaning at Belle Mare, in collaboration with Blues Diving

Constance Ephelia

  • Ros Lapa Walk and tree planting with our recreation team
  • Mangrove Walk & Talk activity, followed by refreshments including coconut water, local banana and breadfruit chips
  • A special health/organic dinner at Helios Restaurant.
  • Special activities with our youngest guests at our Kids Club


Constance Lemuria

  • Planting trees in the Kids Club and other eco-fun activities with children
  • Eco Breakfast with healthy organic food
  • Tree planting… expressing our appreciation of Nature
  • Donation event for a social sustainable cause
  • Visit by the Minister of the Environment of the Seychelles who took part in a tree planting ceremony to launch the World Environment Day festivities
Whaleshark, Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Whaleshark, Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Constance Halaveli

  • Special Yoga Session customised to Constance Environmental Thinking and Well Being
  • Planting of Herb Garden among guests and personnel
  • Cooking class focused on portion size and waste control by the Executive Chef
  • Planting 50 Palm Trees on Alikoi, our private island
  • Setting up of three new coral cages
  • Drawing competition among children at the Kid’s Club
  • Lecture on Environmental Safety in regards to Marine Life at the diving centre, and later, lagoon cleaning with the hotel’s personnel

Constance Moofushi

  • Zero carbon/raw food menu – highlighting the local ingredients and the main course cooked on a BBQ over dried coconut shells (all ingredients locally purchased and no energy used to cook)
  • South Ari Atoll begins own Coral Planting Programme

Constance Moofushi Maldives has initiated a coral planting. The main purpose of the activity is to restore the health of the marine life on their surrounding reef, in particular, our very important dive sites. The reef has suffered from the natural effects. Trampling on corals and over exploitation of marine resources has also taken its toll on the declining health of the reef.

Find out more

Take a look at photos on our Constance Facebook, or visit our website to find out more about all of our hotels and resorts in the Indian Ocean: Constance Hotels & Resorts

 

Celebrate World Environment Day with Constance in the Seychelles

This week at Constance Ephélia and Constance Lémuria we are proud to be part of the global celebrations for World Environment Day on 5 June 2013.

Turtle preservation at Constance Lemuria, Seychelles

Baby turtles make their way to the water

Eco-tourism has always been important to us and to mark this special day we have developed a programme of events exploring the precious natural resources that surround us in the Seychelles.

Minister of the Environment visits Lémuria

To help us celebrate we are pleased to welcome the Minister of the Environment who is visiting Lémuria and will take part in a tree planting ceremony to launch our World Environment Day festivities.

World Environment Day events at Ephélia

  • Tree planting
  • Nature walks
  • A special promotion at Spa de Constance including a natural detox using a coffee scrub and lemon grass oil massage and an aloe vera relaxing experience with body massage and facial
  • An organic dinner at Helios Restaurant
  • Exciting kids activities such as a zip line through the forest, a mangrove walk and exploring the island by kayak and pedalo
Zip wire at Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

Zip wires at Constance Ephelia

World Environment Day at Lémuria

  • A bio breakfast
  • A tree planting ceremony
  • Special ‘green’ cocktails
  • A chef’s garden dinner
  • A range of nature activities for kids including an age appropriate workshops on trees and deforestation, leaf drawing and an exploration of the island walk/ride

Protecting the local environment at Constance

Since first coming to this beautiful region our aim at Constance has been to make as little impact on the natural environment as possible and to protect the biodiversity we find here.

In Lémuria this has meant safeguarding the stunning beaches around the hotel on the island of Praslin, as well running a turtle preservation programme to protect our most precious visitors – the endangered hawksbill and green turtles.

Legend Restaurant at Constance Lemuria Resort, Seychelles

Legend Restaurant at Constance Lemuria Resort, Seychelles

Awards at Ephélia

From concept to design and construction of Constance Ephélia we strove to protect the natural environment on Mahé as much possible. In 2011 we were recognised for this with the prestigious Landscape Gold Award at the South African Landscape Industry Award.

In 2012 we were immensely proud to have our work at Ephélia recognised by the Seychelles government with a Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Certificate, acknowledging the biodiversity and culture of the Seychelles.

Find out more

The best markets in Mahé, Seychelles

Breathing in the scents of local foods and spices amidst the vibrant colours and frenetic hustle and bustle of a street market is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the spirit of a place.

Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

Here’s our round up of the best street markets on the island of Mahé in the Seychelles.

1. Sir Selwyn Clarke Market, Victoria – Daily (especially good on Saturdays)

Set at the bustling heart of the island’s capital Victoria, this daily food market is frequented by locals buying everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to spices, herbs and fish. If the market whets your appetite for shopping then visit the local clothing and craft boutiques that surround the market place.

2. Victoria Bazaar, Victoria – Every Friday

A lively weekly bazaar held beside the capital’s iconic clock tower with everything from snacks of fresh grilled fish to local arts and crafts all set to the sound of live Seychellois music. A vibrant treat for all the senses.

3. Bazar Labrin, Beau Vallon Beach – Every Wednesday (and last Saturday of the month)

Probably the most famous of Mahé’s bazaars, stalls are set out along the beautiful, popular beach of Beau Vallon. The weekly market is a big draw for locals and tourists alike and is guaranteed to be buzzing from 4pm to around 8.30pm. Here you can buy everything from fresh produce, fish and spices to local arts and crafts. Highlights include the barbeques selling fresh fish, grilled breadfruit, banana St Jaques fritters and local dishes such as mango salad, papaya chutney and red lentils and rice. Live music comes from impromptu bands of musicians and sound systems.

Fresh passionfruit in market

Fresh passionfruit in market

4. Bazar Ovan, Baie Lazare – Last Sunday of every month

This vibrant bazaar offers visitors the chance to mingle with the locals on the quieter southern side of the island. The beach-side market specialises in local produce and artefacts. As always where groups of Seychellois gather for fun, you’ll find live music and dancing.

Find out more

Sea creatures of the Maldives: the Pyramid Butterflyfish

Marine biologist Robin Aieilo shares her insight about the sea creatures of the Maldives and the beautiful Pyramid Butterflyfish found in the calm water around Constance Halaveli.

Butterflyfish in the Indian Ocean

The varied fish in the reefs around Halaveli

I can’t believe it has been over a month since I left Halaveli Resort – I had such a fantastic time and cannot wait until I return in the near future.

Arctic Adventure

But before I come back to the resort I have another exciting adventure – 3 months sailing above the Arctic Circle. I will be onboard a small Expedition Cruiseship working as a marine biologist lecturer and zodiac driver (you know those small black rubber boats). We are exploring around Svalbard, Norway for over amonth then making our way across the Atlantic to Iceland, Greenland and then into Hudson Bay.

This will be my fifth season up there – for me, it is a little like coming home for a visit every year. So stay tuned – I will be writing monthly blogs from the Arctic and sharing my experiences with polar bears, whales, walrus and the northern lights.

Ongoing Marine Life Blogs

But my heart remains in the Maldives… There are just so many fascinating animals to tell you about. This month, it’s the turn of the Pyramid Butterflyfish.

Pyramid Butterflyfish (Hemitaurichthys polylepis)

When you get into the waters on any of the reefs around Halaveli Island, the first thing that catches your eye is colour – splashes of blue, yellow, white, orange, black. Fish of every shape and size darting around you – sometimes so quickly that you only see a flash of colour, then the tail as it disappears into the reef.

Sometimes it is almost overwhelming – where should you look first?

Butterflyfish in the reefs around Halaveli

A Butterflyfish in the Indian Ocean

Beautiful Butterflyfish

One of my favourite fish of all is the butterflyfish. They are aptly named because they are small, colourful and ‘flit’ around the reef. There are 32 species in the Maldives and as a group, they are relatively easy to identify.

They are hand-sized, laterally compressed (discus-shaped), swim in pairs (they mate for life, which can be about 25 to 30 years), and generally cruise along close to the reef as they feed by nipping off coral polyps and grabbing tiny invertebrates.

Their shape is perfect for quick maneuvering – they can turn and dash off in milliseconds – and for tucking into little nooks and crannies in search of food.

Almost all butterflyfish (there are, of course, exceptions) are white and yellow with black stripes. They are certainly striking, and hard to miss. Most of them have two key deceptive features – black eye-stripes that hide their real eyes, and what we call ‘false eyespots’ near their tails. The theory behind these eyespots is that they confuse predators into thinking the fish is moving in the opposite direction, making it harder to attack.

The Black Sheep of the Family

But, as with all families, there is one that is the ‘black sheep’ – the one that behaves and looks a little bit different. In this case, it is the Pyramid Butterflyfish.

Instead of cruising near the reef in pairs, these colourful fish form massive groups, or schools, just off the edge of the reef. They can form groups of many hundreds of fish, forming a beautiful shifting curtain of black, yellow and white.

Butterflyfish

A school of Butterflyfish

Planktivores

This species does not feed on reef invertebrates like the other butterflyfish, but is a planktivore – eating zooplankton (small animals that float in the water). So, for them, it is better to hang out in the open water where there is more current and more plankton.

The other difference is that this species does not have the typical black stripes of other butterfly species. Instead, they have a large triangular shaped white patch on either side. Young fish have lighter coloured heads, and they darken as they mature.

At dusk, this large school of fish disperses – each individual fish wanders off over the reef looking for a small hole to use as a hiding place for the night while they sleep. Just before entering the hole they change colour – the bright white patch fades away and turns dark, making them less visible to nocturnal hunters such as sharks and moray eels.

How Pyramid Butterfly fish communicate

Scientists have only recently discovered that just before they head off to find their nighttime refuge, and only at this time, they communicate with one another. How? By sound! Yes…many fish are able to make sounds by using their air bladders and the muscles that surround it like a drum. So the next time you do a dusk dive or snorkel, listen carefully to these beautiful little Pyramid Butterflyfish.

Find out more

Learn more about other sea creatures you’ll see when diving at Halaveli:

Luxury suites and villas in the Indian Ocean

For some luxury accommodation is an elegant water villa floating above a lagoon, to others it’s a spa villa complete with treatment rooms and a pool, and to others still it’s a villa with ample space for all the family.

Suite on stilts, Le Prince Maurice

Suite on stilts, Le Prince Maurice

With so much choice on offer across our seven Indian Ocean hotels and resorts here’s a glimpse at some of the options each location offers.

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Relish the ultimate richness and elegance of a deluxe modern boutique hotel built to perfectly blend with the beauty of the white-sand beaches and lush foliage of Mauritius.

The traditional thatched roofs with ceiling fans and warm wooden floors of the accommodation create an intimate atmosphere and reflect the island’s spice trade history while the modern stone-tiled bathrooms ooze style and opulence.

  • Suites – warm wood and stone create an inviting colonial-style elegance.
  • Villas – spacious splendour in large beachfront villas with their own private swimming pools. Refined décor and stylishly furnished outside spaces make this accommodation to luxuriate in.
  • Princely Suite – regal elegance abounds in this private villa within a hotel, complete with staff, 2 pools and 3 terraces.

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

As with everything at Belle Mare Plage, the range of accommodation is about offering you the flexibility to find the perfect fit for you. Cool stone flooring combines with rich woods and warm fabrics to create comfortable, understated luxury.

  • Suites – the Junior Suites at Belle Mare are some of the most popular, beautifully furnished and equipped with private balcony or terrace. The Deluxe Suites face the sea, and include a living room and option to connect to a Presitge Room making them ideal for families.
  • Villas – elegant beachside villas celebrate Mauritius’ architectural traditions with wide thatched roofs on the villas and outside dining areas. Each spacious villa has a private pool and garden a short walk from the beach.
  • Presidential Villa – for the ultimate indulgence drink in the opulent charms of cool polished-stone flooring, high-rafted ceilings and rich woods in this stylish 2-storey villa. Enjoy the peace of your own pool and garden, and let the two villa masters take care of everything.
Deluxe villas at Constance Lemuria

Deluxe villas at Constance Lemuria

Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Everything at Lémuria exudes an elegant, sedate Seychellois luxury. The accommodation emanates refined modern style combining cool marble, limestone and local pink granite with elegant warm rich wooden furniture.

  • Suites – lie in bed and watch the ocean from your beachside suite or relax at the end of the day on your private terrace or balcony.
  • Villas – enjoy the seclusion of romantic in-villa dining in a sunken dining area set at the heart of the villa’s wrap-around pool. The verdant green of the Seychellois foliage is reflected in the waters around you to create a tranquil space of elegant luxury.
  • Presidential Villa – nestled into the island’s granite rock this 2-tier villa provides access to your own stunning Seychellois beach, 3 swimming pools and staff to take care of you.

Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

The laid-back luxury and open spaces at Ephélia guarantee that all the family can come and relax here, and there’s a great choice of stylish accommodation.

  • Suites – unwind in sleek modern suites with chic boutique-style bathrooms and elegantly furnished outside areas set against the stunning mountainous backdrop of Mahé.
  • Villas – at Ephélia choice is everything and that includes the villas. Guests can choose from Beach and Family Villas offering privacy and space as well as access to the beach and resort activities. Or if you’re looking for a more intimate, secluded experience then our Spa, Hillside and Presidential Villas are hidden away from the rest of the resort offering a peaceful retreat.
Water villa at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Water villa at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Constance Halaveli, Maldives

The accommodation at Halaveli reflects the elegant, open air luxury of the hotel. From its Water Villas to the Presidential Villa, expansive glass doors are flung open to create a space where the interior blends seamlessly with exquisite outdoor terraces looking out over ocean views.

  • Water Villas – these elegant wooden villas are suspended over the tranquil lagoon with steps leading from your private terrace down to the ocean. Also included is your own private infinity pool.
  • Beach Villas – choose a single or double storey villa to fit all the family and enjoy your own private corner of this luxury island. Your own walled garden, a short walk from the ocean, will contain a swimming pool, furnished terrace and dining area. Embrace the outdoors in the stunning open-air bathroom.
  • Presidential Villa – the ultimate in opulent accommodation, this villa includes a spa room with treatment tables, private gym and swimming pool. A vast, luxurious space for you and your guests or family.

Constance Moofushi, Maldives

The elegant rustic charm of the accommodation at Moofushi blends traditional Maldivian crafts with rattan, bamboo and wood to create an inviting, laidback Robinson Crusoe-style luxury.

  • Beach Villa – enjoy the peaceful sensation of swinging on your own hammock in the privacy of your own beachfront terrace before padding barefoot to the huge, comfortable bed.
  • Water Villas – the Crusoe-chic continues in the high palm-thatched water villas where the massive wooden deck surrounds the villa giving ocean views on every side and making the living space outside as inviting as in. The Senior Water Villas include a sumptuous outdoor bath on stilts over the ocean.
Beach villa at Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Beach villa at Tsarabanjina

Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Barefoot elegance and charm off the beaten track epitomise the laidback vibe of Tsarabanjina and that includes its accommodation.

  • Beach Villas – This small, intimate resort is all about peace and seclusion so the handful of 25 villas are spaced out over two of the island’s beaches. Rustic wooden furniture complimented by Malagasy craft items create an aura of castaway chic while the air conditioning of the sleeping areas adds a welcome touch of modern luxury.