Interview: The Guittet family – on holiday with Constance

Guittet family on holiday at Constance Hotels Experience
Guittet family on holiday at Constance Hotels Experience

Aurélien Guittet is a Captain for a European flagcarrier. He is married to Anouk, a lawyer, who is currently a full time mum. They have 2  children – Alexandre, 4 years old and Chloé, 2 years old. They live in Luxembourg, Europe.

Here they share their experience of family holidays with Constance Hotels.

1. Tell us what your family loves most about going on holiday with Constance Hotels Experience.

We discovered Constance 11 years ago. The first resort we went to was Le Prince Maurice in Mauritius. That was such a great time!

The resort itself was like a little paradise. The restaurants were great and on top of it all, the staff make you feel at home, giving very personalised service and a lot of attention. Since that first experience, we only stay at Constance Hotels when we travel to the Indian Ocean.

2. What do your children look forward to the most about the holidays? And you and your wife?

Guittet family out kayaking in Seychelles
Guittet family out kayaking in Seychelles

Our kids are still very young but we agreed early on that we wanted to share our holidays with them.

Our friends and family thought we were crazy to take such small kids so far away from their home. But one of our favourite quotes from Mark Twain says it all:

‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’

So every time we have the opportunity, we take our kids along for the holidays. What they look forward to is to spend time with us, discover new things, enjoy sunny weather, and the beach and pools.

For us it’s about the same. But our main goal when we come to Constance is to enjoy wonderful places, have the feeling of living something exclusive and let ourselves be pampered by the very professional staff.

3. How do you and your wife get the opportunity to relax and enjoy the wonderful surroundings, when you’re travelling with two young children?

Children playing at the kids club, Halaveli

Children playing at the kids club, Halaveli

Well, it’s a question of organisation. Most of the time, when we go to the beach or to the pool, we take them along. But when we want to enjoy a special moment like relaxing at the spa, snorkelling or sailing, we take them to the kids club.

4. Tell us about the different resorts you’ve visited. Do you have a favourite, and why?

As said, our first visit to Constance was at Le Prince Maurice. The second visit was at Constance Lemuria. That stay proved to us that Constance was really the kind of resort we wanted for our holidays because of the location in a small paradise, because of the great service, food, and the impression that every guest is treated like an individual person.

So a few holidays later, we went back to Le Prince Maurice and got engaged there one evening, having a cup of champagne close to the pool with a musician playing flute in the background…

We returned to Le Prince Maurice to celebrate our 10 years together and that was our last trip without our kids.

Aurelien, Alexandre and Chloe on the beach

Aurelien, Alexandre and Chloe in the Seychelles

The first resort we visited with the kids was Constance Ephelia. We were a bit sceptical when we booked, as this resort was much bigger than the ones we visited before, and we were wondering how our kids would behave in such a place. But the experience was just fantastic.

Our last visit was to Constance Halaveli Resort in theMaldives. There, we also had a great experience.

Our favourite remains Le Prince Maurice due to the sentimental value it holds for us, and Ephelia is in our opinion the best for kids.

But we must say that in any Constance resort, the architecture and lighting are absolutely beautiful and well designed, making it a very peaceful place.

5. Have you stayed in different types of accommodation? If so, which type has suited you the most as a family?

Children at the water villa, Constance Halaveli

Children at the water villa, Constance Halaveli

All the suites we have had were really big and it is no problem to share it with the kids. The best was the water villa at Halaveli – very spacious, state of the art equipment, very quiet, breathtaking view and again, the impression of being alone.

6. Do your children enjoy the special kids’ activities that are on offer?

Yes they do! As said before, we sometimes leave them there when we want to do activities that are not suitable for them. They like to play with other kids, use the facilities (games, swimming pools) and they get on very well with the friendly and professional staff from the kids club.

7. Is the food at Constance ‘family friendly’?

Guittet family dining at Constance Hotels Experience

Guittet family dining at Constance

For us, being French, food and wine is of great importance during our holidays.

At Constance, this is just fabulous. Eating at the restaurant is a real pleasure when you can taste high quality products prepared with passion, with the perfect matched wine.

In every Constance hotel we have been, there was always a great choice of restaurants. At the beginning with the kids, we were afraid that they would find the time at the table long and disturb the other guests, but they behaved really well, and the staff are so friendly that it really makes you feel at home.

I was so pleased to discover the wine menu at Halaveli, and to visit their great wine cellar with the chief sommelier. Amazing wine list, especially when you remember that you’re on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean!

We also love to order breakfast for delivery in our room. Being a family and having breakfast on your terrace with your kids, watching the endless ocean and observing the fish hunting is priceless.

8. Would you share some highlights from your family holidays with Constance?

Our kids are very lucky. By travelling with us, they have already seen different cultures, different people, and some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.

Guittet family with giant land tortoise

Guittet family with giant land tortoise

They have fed sharks and rays, played with giant turtles, learned to swim in the nicest places and the nicest pools. They came with us deep sea fishing, tried kayaking and had a go in a paddle boat. What else can you dream of to develop their curiosity?

And when they get tired, put them on the bed – the in-room video on demand system has many cartoons that they will enjoy…

9. Do you have any tips for travelling with young children that you’d like to share with other Constance fans?

For the flights, night flights are great as the kids can sleep during travel.

The only ‘enemy’ will be the sun, never let them out without sun protection…

Beautiful family villas at Constance Halaveli Resort

Family villa

Spacious family villa

If you’re planning a family trip to the Indian Ocean, Constance Halaveli Resort in the Maldives has just upped the stakes as the ultimate family holiday get-away.

Launch of family villas

From January 2012, Halaveli is launching 8 beautifully designed family villas, sleeping 2 adults and 2 children under 18 years. A further 4 villas will be available from mid-2012.

These spacious villas offer the ultimate in comfort and luxury, and feature their own private plunge pool and terrace or balcony.

 

Inside the villas

Measuring 358 m², all family villas are air conditioned, and comfortably furnished with wood and marble.

They come complete with LCD TV 42’ /satellite channels, DVD, WIFI Internet access free of charge through Imac system, Ipod connection, telephone with voice mail, mini-bar, mini wine cooler with a selection of wine, tea and coffee facilities, sitting area and 24 hour room service.

 

We think of everything so you can travel light

Child on beach at Constance Halaveli Resort

Family fun at Halaveli

We understand how many things families need to pack when travelling with children. So we’ve thought of just about everything you could need on your holiday, which means you can travel light.

In your villa, you’ll find small bathrobes, a pushchair, bottle sterilising unit, baby cot linen, sponges, nail clippers, baby toothbrush, baby toilet seat… the list goes on

And if there’s something we haven’t thought of, you just need to ask.

 

 

Family friendly in-villa dining

Delicious breakfast at Constance Halaveli Resort, Maldives

Delicious meals for the family

There’s a massive choice of dishes available for families, and all can be enjoyed in the privacy of your villa.

Our chef can also meet with you to plan a customised menu for a special evening on the beach.

Tasty kids’ treats include:

  • cheesy soldiers
  • banana, mango and pineapple sushi
  • fish, chips and dip
  • thai fishballs
  • lamb korma
  • banana berry split
  • oreo cookie cheesecake

Adults, meanwhile, can enjoy a huge range of appetisers, sandwiches, pizza, pasta, noodles and curries, as well as meat and fish dishes from the grill.

Kuda club for children

Constance Halaveli Resort, Maldives, Kuda club for children

Constance Halaveli Resort, Maldives, Kuda club for children

When your children tire of the private plunge pool and paddle friendly shoreline, you can relax knowing Constance Halaveli Resort offers a host of kids’ activities at its Kuda Club, fun spa treatments, delicious children’s menus and a range of toys for loan. Children love the walk out to sea on the 854m long jetty, the longest in the Maldives.

 

 

 

Kids spa

Younger visitors to our spa are given cookies, and rose and vanilla ice tea before enjoying one of our delightful children’s spa treatments that include:

Children on the beach at Constance Halaveli Resort

Exploring on the beach

  • foot bath with lavender oil and flower petals
  • scalp massage with nourishing olive oil
  • hair braiding
  • henna tattoo painting
  • nail art

 

 

What else is on offer at the resort

At Constance Halaveli Resort, the emphasis is on offering families everything they need for an altogether more relaxed family holiday.

Beach BBQ at Constance Halaveli Resort

Beach BBQ

Our 5* resort has 3 restaurants:

  • Jahaz – the main buffet
  • Jing – South East Asian dining in a beautiful location over the water
  • Meeru – relaxed al fresco dining on the beach

Every Friday night we host a Beach BBQ with live music and the freshest seafood imaginable.

Read about Halaveli in our article Spotlight: Constance Halaveli Resort Resort, Maldives

And find out more:

Reefscaping around Constance Halaveli

An innovative eco-project has just launched at Constance Halaveli, Maldives.

Reefscaping at Constance Halaveli

Reefscaping at Constance Halaveli

Our Reefscaping programme aims to stimulate the growth of coral in the lagoon around the resort, to help repair the damage caused by the Tsunami in 2004.

At the beginning of December, we launched a metal cage structure into the lagoon. Our team has removed healthy live coral from the reef, and transferred it to the cage which is held securely to the lagoon floor. The aim is to grow healthy coral that can then be replanted.

What happens next

Over the coming months our team will track progress of the coral’s growth. If successful, we will be able to increase the marine life in the lagoon.

Reefscaping team carry metal cage to lagoon

Reefscaping team carry metal cage to lagoon

We’ll be posting more photos of the coral as it grows, both on our Constance Facebook page and on this blog.

The 2004 Tsunami impacted greatly on the natural environment around the South East Asian region. The significant damage to local tourism in this region is widely known, and there was also a large amount of damage done the coral reefs.

By taking these steps, we hope to improve the condition of the reef for future generations.

Wildlife of Madagascar

Mention Madagascar to travel-hungry adventurers and it conjures up images of an exotic and remote landscape, home to some of the rarest creatures on the planet.

Lemur in Madagascar

Lemur in Madagascar

More than 80% of Madagascar’s plants and animals can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

Here’s a look at some of the rare animals you might see on the island.

1. Lemurs

Probably the most famous inhabitants are its 33 species of lemurs. All are endemic to the island, with scientists continuing to discover new species.

Some of the most well-known include:

 
  • Ring-tailed lemur – living in the southern and western dry forests of the island, these highly sociable creatures live in groups of up to 30 largely female dominated communities.
  • Sifakas – the ‘dancing’ lemurs found mainly in the dry forests of the West and South. They get their nickname from their dance-like movement, as they walk on hind legs while moving their arms about.
  • Dwarf lemur – small nocturnal lemurs found throughout Madagascar.
  • Aye-Aye – another nocturnal lemur that lives in the rainforests but is threatened by extinction due to deforestation and hunting.
  • Indri – living in the rainforests of the East coast, the Indri is the largest living lemur in the world. It has a distinct black and white coat, and an eerie sounding call.

2. Fossa

Fossa

Fossa

A large cat-like predator, there are very few of these creatures still in existence in Madagascar. The Fossa’s stealth and secretive habits make it difficult to track. But natural scientists believe its facing extinction due to the destruction of its habitat, and hunting by humans as it ventures into populated areas looking for food.

3. Birds

Of the 258 bird species found on Madagascar, some 115 are endemic. They can be found in parks and forests around the island, and include:

  • Madagascar Lovebird
  • Red tailed Vanga
  • Collared Night Jar
  • Marsh Owl
  • Sparrowhawk of Madagascar
  • Madagascar Wood Rail
  • Rufous headed Ground Roller

4. Chameleons

 

Over half of the world’s species of chameleons are found on Madagascar, including the recently discovered Furcifer Timoni.

Some of the smallest chameleons on the island are the Brookesia, measuring just over an inch. These tiny creatures live in the forest undergrowth across the island.

5. Amphibians

With more than 300 species of frogs on Madagascar, an amazing 99% are endemic to the island. Frogs are the only amphibians found here, there are many beautiful species including:

  • Mantella – who use their bright colours to scare off predators
  • Tomato Frog – brightly coloured frog that releases a sticky secretion to protect against larger predators
  • Mantidactylus – hides from predators using its heavily camouflaged skin.

6. Fish

Scorpion fish

Scorpion fish

The seas around Madagascar are brimming with fish. The area offers superb diving sites for all levels. Check out our article on the top 5 diving sites off Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina.

Where to stay?

If you’re looking for a place to escape from it all, Tsarabanjina is a by-word for laid-back luxury. Get the low-down on this beautiful island lodge – Spotlight on Lodge Tsarabanjina,Madagascar.

Send us your wildlife photos  

And if you’ve already travelled to Madagascar, we’d love to see your wildlife photos. You can post them to the Constance Facebook page.

Take yourself to a world far away from daily life

If you’ve woken up feeling a little too Monday-ish, here’s a sneak peak at a place where you can truly escape… see if you can guess where it is.

Turquoise seas

Turquoise seas

  • The water is crystal clear.
  • Fresh fish is always available.
  • Sommeliers are knowledgeable and love their job.
  • Waiters genuinely enjoy what they do.
  • There’s a great wine list. And guess what: it’s included in our crystal package.
  • Australian beef tenderloin, prepared by Aussie chef Stuart Blair, is also included in the crystal package.
  • Want to enjoy a signature cocktail after dinner in the Totem bar? You’ve got it, that’s also included.
  • Chefs are passionate and smiling.
  • Chef Murulie’s legendary coconut ice cream is waiting for you.
  • No shoes are required in the restaurant at dinner time. Or at lunch for that matter…

So close your eyes, imagine you’re there and enjoy this glimpse of perfection in paradise… 

Breakfast at Manta restaurant

Breakfast at Manta restaurant

Romantic dinner on the beach

Romantic dinner on the beach

Beach at sunset

Beach at sunset

Did you guess? You’re in Constance Moofushi, Maldives.

If you’re tempted – check out more articles about Moofushi and the Maldives:

 

Celebrate Christmas with Constance Hotels

Christmas tree at Constance

Christmas tree at Constance

There’ll be a crackle in the air across the Indian Ocean this Christmas as Constance lays on some fabulous celebrations at its 7 resorts in the Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar. 

Here’s a glimpse of some of the special events we have in store if you’re trading a white Christmas for tropical warmth.

Each Constance hotel is offering a mix of international and locally influenced celebrations, and many run from mid-December to early-January.

Maldives

Where: Constance Halaveli Resort

What’s there to do: photo safari, fruit carving, partner massage class, Indian cookery class, beach cinema night, live Boduberu dancers, Jetty marathon on the longest jetty in the Maldives, visit from Father Christmas.

 

 

Children’s activities: let’s get making – crowns, masks, kites, lanterns, binoculars, face puzzles, candles and more; water balloon fight, crab race and star gazing, pirate sunset walk, table tennis.

Culinary delights: Christmas Day international menu, Tandoori under the stars, Lobster and caviar menu, Paella on the beach, Middle Eastern buffet, Champagne picnic, Chocolate fountain brunch, New Year Gala Dinner, New Year’s Day brunch, Wines of the world, Champagne.

Seychelles

1. Where: Constance Lémuria Resort

Spa de Constance at Lemuria
Spa de Constance at Lemuria

What’s there to do: spa – complimentary classes, scenic photography walk, introductory scuba diving, paddle boat tournament, walks to Anse Georgette, golf contests, bike ride round Praslin, daily spa treatments including Ancient Greek Therapy, Balinese Boreh Wrap, Arabic Sultan Therapy, Old China Empress’ Treatment.

Children’s activities: hair braiding, fishermen’s game, Mowtya Dance, Creole games, volleyball, scavengers’ hunt.

Culinary delights: Martini and Jazz evening, Lobster Feast, Champagne on the beach, Indian Food evening, White evening – dress in white and dance under the stars with resident DJ.

2. Where: Constance Ephélia Resort

What’s there to do: yoga, bike ride, nature walk and talk, Christmas tree decorations, tennis social, volleyball, cocktail making, kayak tour to Port Launay Marine Park, Christmas morning mass, New Year – disco, black and white evening, cocktails with hotel management.

Children’s activities: pizza making, rugby on the beach, bocce ball, treasure hunt, mangrove walking, badminton, table tennis.

Culinary delights: Creole bouillabaisse, Fisherman’s night, Lobster menu, Little Italy evening, Creole grill and BBQ, Couscous night, Oyster bar.

Mauritius

1. Where: Constance Le Prince Maurice

Christmas at Le Prince Maurice

Christmas at Le Prince Maurice

What’s there to do: scuba diving, bike rides, watersports, tennis social, special spa treatments, yoga, fitness, Christmas carols on Christmas Eve, free shuttle to Christmas Day mass, live music, fireworks on New Year’s Eve and DJ music til dawn.

Children’s activities: scuba diving, pool treasure hunt, kite flying, craft making, family soccer, karate, frog hunt, mother and daughter make up demo, foam pool party, fishing, henna tattoos, visit to tortoise park, evening beach BBQ.

Culinary delights: cocktails by pool on Christmas Eve, gala dinner, New Year’s Eve gala buffet and cocktails.

2. Where: Constance Belle Mare Plage

What’s there to do: cookery lessons, beach party with cocktails, golf and fun, musical entertainment every night, tropical night, disco.

Children’s activities: special cinema party and popcorn, cookery lessons, beach disco, BBQ night, pyjama party, craft making, lunch with Father Christmas.

Teen activities: snokelling, mini golf tournament, kung fu, table tennis tournament, boccia ball, water ski initiation, beach football, bike tours, yoga, salsa, glass bottom boat trips.

Culinary delights: Pearl and seashells evening with jazz, Iberique with Latino band, Steak House evening with New Orleans menu, From Provence to Italy wine dinner, Mauritian Street Food evening, Lobster menu, Christmas Day buffet, Seafood grill on the beach, New Year’s Eve buffet or Wine dinner at Blue Penny.

Christmas gifts for Constance holidays

Are you or loved ones travelling to a Constance hotel for Christmas or New Year? Our spa, golf and dining vouchers make perfect Christmas gifts, and you can buy them online now. Find out more from the Constance Hotels Experience website. Select the hotel of your choice, then go to ‘online concierge’.

And if you want to know more about what it’s like to stay at Constance Hotels, don’t miss our article about The essence of the Constance Hotels Experience.