Our Facebook page now has a number of video clips and tours of our resorts in the Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar.
At our Constance Moofushi resort in the Maldives, couples can now enjoy an evening under the stars watching a film of their choice.
A private area is set up on the beach where you can relax on comfortable loungers in front of the screen, and enjoy snacks, popcorn and drinks.
This chilled out evening is a great way to relax after a day’s diving or snorkelling on the reef.
This new weekly feature offers a roundup of the content on our blog from the past week, in case you missed anything. Split into categories, it’s another way for you to easily find the posts of value to you.
13 – 19 June
Exclusive offers and competitions
Only 2 days to go to win the holiday of a lifetime!
The deadline for entry to our Win a 5 Star Holiday to Mauritius competition is looming – if you haven’t entered yet, do so before midnight GMT on Wednesday 22 June!
New competition: the item I can’t go on holiday without is…
This week we launched a new week long competition on our blog, twitter and Facebook page. Winners can choose from a magnum of champagne, a Serge Lutens fragrance or a bottle of wine.
Competition winners announced: Most Romantic Holiday Pictures
We announced the winner’s of last week’s Twitter competition to win a bottle of Deutz Champagne – all they had to do was enter their most romantic holiday snaps to us.
Recipe: chicken and prawn fricassee, stewed Chinese bredes with boucane
Want to create some of our chef’s amazing dishes yourself at home? Every Friday, we post some of the most amazing, delicious and popular recipes online. Why not try this chicken and prawn fricassee out at your next dinner party?
Constance Star Martini
Talking of dinner parties, why not kick things off with this unique cocktail created by our very own head bartender, Guillaume Grafeuille?
Holiday inspiration: Madagascar – walks on the wild side
Planning the trip of a lifetime and need some inspiration? Our regular ‘holiday inspiration’ features will give you the information you need. Last week, we gave you the low down on the unique island of Madagascar, where the Constance Tsarabanjina Lodge is located.
Spa & Sports
Snorkeling paradise: The Maldives
Love snorkeling? Then you’ll love the Maldives. Check out our guide to what makes snorkeling in the Maldives a unique experience.
US Open Golf 2011 gets underway, 16–19 June
The US Open got underway last week and as Constance Hotels Experience has some championship golf courses of our very own, we thought we’d tell you the places you can find out all you need to know about the Open.
News and Events
Le Prince Maurice Prize for romantic literature
The winner of the 2011 Le Prince Maurice Prize was announced last week at a wonderful awards ceremony in Mauritius. Find out who won and see photos from the evening here.
BBC Good Food Show Summer 2011
A round up the BBC’s Good Food Show from Summer 2011 in the UK.
Madagascar, the world’s fourth largest island, is brimming with lush forests, endemic wildlife, coral reefs and mile upon mile of beautiful beaches.
Visitors to the island are spoilt for choice when it comes to discovering the natural landscape. There are a number of different walks and tours you can do around the island, depending on how adventurous you want to be and your fitness levels.
Easy walking – Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
If you prefer to see the island’s best known animals – the tree-dwelling lemurs – without too much difficulty, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park is an easy drive east from the capital Antananarivo. Andasibe (also known as Perinet) and Mantadia are, in fact, two parks adjacent to each other.
At Andasibe there are well marked, flat trails through the lush humid forest covered with moss, ferns and over 100 species of orchid that bloom from September – January.
Due to the number of visitors to the park, the wildlife is fairly used to humans. You’re likely to see the largest lemur, the indri, as well as bamboo and brown lemurs. Their loud calls echo through the forests in the early morning and again in the late afternoon.
There are over 100 different species of birds including the Madagascar baza, wagtail, yellowbrow and vanga. You’ll also find chameleons, geckos and a host of insects in the thick undergrowth.
Mantadia is larger and more remote than its neighbour, situated 15km north of Andasibe. Less visited by tourists, the trails are more varied, steeper and can be slippery after rain. There are several short circuits to choose from.
The park is home to many lemurs including the rare black and white ruffed lemurs. Rare birds including mesites, ground rollers, greenbuls and asitys have all been spotted here.
For the more adventurous – Ankarana National Park
If you like the idea of wildlife but also want to get off the beaten track and enjoy a challenging hike, then Ankarana National Park in the north of the island is the place to head. It’s recommended that you hire a guide to take you into the park.
Ankarana’s defining feature is the ‘tsingy’ – spectacular eroded limestone spires, set against tropical rainforest, deciduous forest, lakes, caves and canyons.
The reserve has a high number of primates, as well as large populations of crowned lemurs, black lemurs and dwarf lemurs. There are some 100 species of birds, as well as reptiles and frogs. The labyrinth of caves is home to 14 different species of bat and the world’s only cave-living crocodiles. Some of Madagascar’s endemic Baobab trees can also be found here.
There are a number of half day hikes you can take into the reserve. If you’re looking for a longer trek, consult with your guide about options that can take in all of the locations listed below. The three entry points to the park are:
- Mahamasina – the most accessible
- to the West near Amboandriky, which requires a 4×4
- North at Matsaborimanga, only accessible during the dry season.
For nature lovers looking for an all-out challenge – Marojejy National Park
If you want wild, breathtaking and unspoilt natural landscapes then Marojejy National Park to the North East of the island is undoubtedly one of the most impressive places you could visit in the world.
Some 90% of the park is covered with original primary forest. For years the park was only open to scientists, and so has remained relatively untouched. Marojejy was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.
Marojejy National Park is just one of two sites where the highly endangered silky sifaka lemur can be found, along with the Indri, bamboo and Weasel sportive lemurs among others. There are over 100 bird species, including the helmet vanga and short legged ground roller, some 60 frogs, and geckos and chameleons. There are at least 275 species of ferns and over 50 varieties of palms.
Typically, visitors to the park explore during a strenuous three day hike, entering the park at the main entrance of Andapa.
Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar
If you think you know all there is to know about luxury apartments and villas, think again. From water villas on stilts to presidential suites like your own private hotel, there’s a lot more to luxury accommodation than you might think.
At Constance Hotels, all our suites and villas offer luxe or super-luxe accommodation that blends with the stunning natural landscape they’re part of – and that means each offers something a little special and unique to our visitors.
Whether you’re looking for classic tropical paradise or funky villas tucked away in the rainforest, the selection below gives you a taste of what you can expect upon arrival.
Constance Moofushi is situated in the South Ari Atoll of the Maldives archipelago. Our latest resort has won acclaim for its eco-approach and fashionable barefoot chic. All villas are exquisitely decorated using natural materials.
- Beach Villas come with private sun deck, and ocean views from the bedroom and bathroom.
- Water Villas set on stilts offer seclusion and direct access to the sea from a private sundeck.
- Senior Water Villas are generously sized, and include a private outdoor bath tub, unobstructed views of the sunrise and direct access to the water.
Constance Halaveli is situated in the North Ari Atoll. Designed with privacy in mind, these villas all feature private plunge pools, are decorated in wood and marble, and are located on the beach or over the water. Guests can take advantage of in-villa dining, as well enjoying the resort’s restaurants.
- Beach Villas enjoy a tropical garden backdrop, and are decorated using wood in contemporary Maldivian style. The double storey beach villas offer more space over two floors, with indoor and outdoor showers and a furnished terrace.
- Water Villas are set along a jetty that weaves across the calm waters below. Offering romance and privacy for some perfect castaway moments, previous guests have found it hard to drag themselves away from these beautiful villas. Read their reviews of Constance Halaveli
- Presidential Beach Villa is the ultimate in get-away-from-it-all luxury with a larger plunge pool, dining room and private gym.
Constance Ephelia is situated on two of the most beautiful beaches on the island of Mahé, overlooking the marine national park of Port Launay. Although a large resort, Ephelia enjoys a unique location and is designed to make you feel you’re the only people there.
- There’s a great choice of Junior and Senior Suites, with Villas situated on the beach (all include a private pool) or atop the hillside looking across the water.
- Spa Villas – if you need your senses pampering and a place to indulge and unwind, Ephelia’s sublime spa villas will bring harmony to your senses. They’re equipped with a large hot tub, steam shower, sauna, double treatment room for massages, spacious bedroom and tranquil gazebo area – perfect for meditation or cocktails, depending on the mood.
- Presidential Villa is perfect for William and Kate style indulgence. The villa comes with breathtaking views across the sea, 3 bedrooms, its own gym, private spa, pool and outdoor lounge and dining area.
Constance Lémuria is set amidst lush vegetation on the pristine island of Praslin. The white sandy beaches of Anse Kerlan are turtle nesting sites, and are surrounded by rare flora and fauna.
Materials used in the sleek design of the resort include wood, marble, stone and pink granite.
- Junior and Senior Suites offer intimacy and blend with the landscape, offering stunning views across the Indian Ocean. You can relax on your private terrace under the shade of the overhanging palm trees.
- Luxurious Villas offer a bespoke service as they come complete with their own villa master who will tailor the Constance service to your individual requirements. The villas open directly on to the gardens and beach, and include lounge, dining room and swimming pool.
- Presidential Villa at Lémuria offers all-out privacy and indulgence, more akin to staying in your own private hotel than a villa within a resort. Perched on the granite blocks of the southern tip of the Anse Kerlan, the villa comes with 3 suites, an outside Jacuzzi, study and dining room. The ultimate in decadence, there are 3 swimming pools situated at different levels, all leading to a private beach.
Constance Tsarabanjina offers a fabulous luxurious getaway on its own private island. Situated in the north-western part of Madagascar, Tsarabanjina is one of the islets of the Mitsio Archipelago.
If you want to play Robinson Crusoe without leaving behind your luxuries, this is the place to escape to. There’s no TV and no phones (apart from your mobile). Instead, you can enjoy the island paradise of white sandy beaches, lush tropical vegetation and coral reefs brimming with fish.
- Each thatched roof bungalow overlooks the sea and is situated on either the north or south beach. This is 5 star luxury with the added bonus of total seclusion from the outside world.
Constance Le Prince Maurice is a boutique hotel on the eastern coast of Mauritius set on a peninsula protected from the winds.
- Décor is inspired by the spice trade. Junior Suites have thatched roofs, indoor sitting area, bedroom, bathroom and private terrace or balcony. The Senior Villas offer direct access to the beach and a private pool or outdoor soaking bath.
- The deluxe Princely Suite combines space, superb design and privacy. Made up of two junior and one senior suite it is set in its own garden, and comes complete with two pools and 3 private terraces each with a different view across the lagoon.
Constance Belle Mare Plage is set on the eastern coast of Mauritius, along a 2km white sand beach against a backdrop of 15 hectares (37 acres) of tropical gardens and protected by a coral reef.
- Junior Suites, some beachfront, are equipped with private balcony or terrace. The Deluxe Suites face the sea, and include a living room and option to connect to a Prestige Room, ideal for families.
- The Villas come with private pool, and evoke romance and tranquillity surrounded by small lakes, frangipani flowers and coconut groves.
- The Presidential Villa is set in its own garden area, offering total privacy. The villa comes with lounge, dining room, kitchen, private pool and large veranda. Two villa masters attend to the needs of guests, making sure your stay is tailor-made for you.
At Constance Halaveli, in the Maldives, we offer a unique dining experience at our Meeru restaurant.
The Halaveli tandoor oven is the first of its kind in the Indian Ocean - created for us by our Engineering Department.
Cooking delicious meat and fish dishes
Guests can enjoy a wide selection of top quality meat and fish, baked ‘à la minute’ in front of them directly on the beach. This cooking method preserves the integrity of the ingredients and ensures a perfect texture: crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside.
The engineering behind the tandoor oven
The oven is based on a traditional Indian tandoor oven, and is similar in shape and the way it works. The tandoor is made out of a steel cylinder and lined with a combination of concrete and glass that is fused together by burning charcoal.
It’s then buried in the sand with stones placed on the outside to insulate the heat. Compared to traditional models, the Halaveli tandoor oven reaches the extreme temperature of 700°C after being lit for approximately 5 hours and burns through 10 kgs of charcoal in an evening.
Seasoning the oven
Each new tandoor is ‘seasoned’ with a homemade spice mix (masala mix), which is unique to each tandoor Chef. The exquisite flavour of the food is the result of the combination of the shape, concrete and glass construction and the extreme high temperatures.