Wedding bliss at Constance Moofushi

If you’re looking for a beautifully romantic location for your wedding, Constance hotels offer a luxury experience in some of the most breathtaking locations in the world.

Mr and Mrs Smazhenny

Mr and Mrs Smazhenny at Moofushi

Mr and Mrs Smazhenny spent a wonderful month at Moofushi, in our fabulous beach and water villas. During their stay they organised their wedding and then enjoyed the utter bliss of the resort on their wedding day.

We worked with them to make sure it was a magical experience for them and their guests. Highlights of their wedding day included:

  • a delicious breakfast, followed by a morning spa in a spa treatment double room, including a massage and facial for bride and groom
  • a romantic ceremony at the Manta Bar, specially decorated for the occasion
  • a tree planting ceremony so that they could commemorate their special day on Moofushi Island, and see how it has grown when they next return 
  • a special candlelit dinner at Alizée Beach restaurant, with wine chosen by our sommelier
  • delicious wedding cake – vanilla and chocolate with fruit topping
  • rose petal turndown in their villa on wedding night
  • fishing with our diving centre
  • watching a film of their wedding day on the beach later that night.

Check out the great photos of Mr and Mrs Smazhenny’s wedding day that we’ve posted in a photo album on the Constance Facebook page.

And don’t miss our article about The Jewel Island: Constance Moofushi

Top 5 diving sites at Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

If you’re looking for a tropical island escape, served up with some of the best diving in the world, up-the-ante and head to Constance Tsarabanjina off the North West coast of Madagascar.

Swimming with turtles, off Madagascar

Swimming with turtles at Tsarabanjina

Tsarabanjina is a by-word for laid-back luxury – it’s a place to hunker down and immerse yourself in the surrounding natural beauty.

The area offers superb diving sites for all levels. Currents can be strong at times but dive masters will always assess conditions.

Here’s a taste of what you can expect.

1. The 4 Frères

Four small volcanic islets are situated a 15 minute boat ride away from Tsarabanjina.

  • First Frère - offers a succession of slabs paving a gradual slope stretching between 5-18 metres deep. For divers of all levels, but the current could make things difficult for inexperienced divers at times. Here you’ll find great varieties of soft corals and sponges with dotted-blue rays, crayfish, groupers of all sizes, turtles and moray eels.
  • Second Frère - offers an impressive dip, descending some 27 metres and lined with big oysters and soft corals. Sea creatures include turtles, jack fish, king mackerel, yellow snappers and grunt fishes around slabs lying deep down at the bottom. Reserved for level 2 divers.
  • Fourth Frère – more slabs of all sizes lying on a 45° slope, going as deep as 25 metres. A refuge for huge shoals of yellow snappers, groupers, crocodile fishes, scorpion fishes and colourful corals. A great experience for divers of all levels.

2. The Tétons

Beautiful coral

Beautiful coral

Two small rocky peaks which peer out of the surface, close to the 4 Frères. Below the surface, you move through a labyrinth of slabs, corridors, and grottoes between 5-22 metres deep.

You’re likely to see huge groupers, crocodile and scorpion fish, and friendly platax fish. There’s also a very beautiful sponge garden. Accessible for divers of all levels.

3. Vatobe

A few minutes off Tsarabanjina, 2 underwater reefs on a sandy plateau at about 14 metres deep. It’s a descent in deep blue waters on a very colourful reef.

You’ll see an impressive shoal of yellow snappers, fusiliers, angel fishes, groupers, balloon fish, jack fish and crocodile fish. Accessible for divers of all levels.

4. Kassimo

Some 15 minutes north of Tsarabanjina, this is a long underwater barrier lying between 5-15 metres deep, covered with corals of extraordinary colours.

Diving in Madagascar

Diving in Madagascar

There’s rich and abundant fauna of snappers, diagramme voiliers, grunt fish, groupers, fusiliers, and enormous sting rays. Occasionally you’ll see a grey or white-dotted shark and a giant loach. Accessible for divers of all levels.

5. The 2 Soeurs

Two tiny islets facing Tsarabanjina, on a sandy plateau lying 10 metres deep. Here there are some beautiful potato-shaped corals inhabited by variegated fauna made up of grunt fish, snappers, fusiliers, groupers and angel fishes. An easy dive for all levels.

Architecture and design at Constance Moofushi

Moofushi from the air

Moofushi from the air

Continuing our series on the architectural and design inspiration behind our luxury resorts, here’s an insight into the creativity that went into developing the thrillingly beautiful Constance Moofushi.

A pearl in the middle of the Maldives archipelago, Moofushi is situated on The Jewel Island in the South Ari Atoll.

Opened in November 2010, the island has a unique butterfly design and daring architecture that was developed by Mauritian architect Jean-Michel d’Unienville and French design team Marc Hertrich and Nicolas Adnet of Studio MHNA.

Robinson-Crusoe chic

 

At Moofushi, the focus is on offering the ultimate in bare-foot sophistication – luxury without being flashy.

On arrival by sea plane or water taxi, you can walk barefoot straight onto the sand. At the reception, the welcome desks are made of beautifully worn wood, and the chandelier of recycled glass bottles.

This restful space gives you a sense of the wonderfully quirky and stylish mood this resort exudes.

Environmental consideration

Environmental issues were key to the design. Careful consideration has been taken to preserve the environment through efficient and non-polluting materials. Think luxury and simplicity – wood, ropes, lamps in the spirit of the marine lanterns, huge trunk-like wardrobes in the villas and many other surprises.

Communal spaces and spa

Manta bar

Manta bar on the beach

The team behind Moofushi has created communal spaces where guests can chill out at any time of day. The lounge is a delightful mix of private club meets Ernest Hemingway hang-out – all leather armchairs, bamboo screens and slow-whirring ceiling fans.

Drink in the tropical night air at the bar, or seek out the VIP spot, lounges on the beach, night spots, isolated restaurant tables and the more classical space close to incredible buffets.

The spa is built above the water to provide a fantastically relaxing space, and each treatment room faces the turquoise sea.

Land and water villas

Inside a beach villa at Moofushi

Relaxed luxury at Moofushi

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential on holiday. At Moofushi there are 110 land and water villas to choose from, all set in an intimate location of lagoons, sandbanks and woodlands.

If you choose our stilted accommodation over the water, you’ll get privileged access to the sea and much longed for privacy – especially for those of you on honeymoon.

 

 

Architectural design at our Constance resorts

Entrance to Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Entrance to Le Prince Maurice

Constance resorts have earned themselves a reputation for elegance and an attention to personal service that makes you feel you’ve joined a luxury members’ club.

But what these resorts also offer are beautifully proportioned spaces in which you can totally unwind and relax.

In the first of our series, here’s an insight into the work of the architectural and design teams behind Constance Le Prince Maurice.

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Lotus lounge at Le Prince Maurice

Lotus lounge at Le Prince Maurice

Le Prince Maurice is our deluxe 5* resort in Mauritius, and part of the exclusive Relais & Chateaux group.

Mauritian architect Jean Marc Eynaud was the mastermind behind the resort, which opened in 1998 after 9 months of construction and more than 3 years of planning.

Architectural vision

When designing the entrance to the hotel, the architects and concept designers were inspired by Greek temples and the way a succession of halls lead to a god or goddess.

As you approach the main entrance of Le Prince Maurice, steps take you up to a walkway over a small wooden bridge. Ahead, 2 columns narrow the field of vision, before opening up to a wide area where you enjoy panoramic views of the resort.

And if you arrive at night, the visual effects are inverted as the focus flips onto the hotel itself with the architectural play on perspective coming from the lights.

Feng Shui harmony

Dawn at Le Prince Maurice
Dawn at Le Prince Maurice

Feng Shui principles were used when designing the hotel, and the result is a triumph. Anyone who spends time in this energising space is treated to a wonderful sense of equilibrium and well-being. Here are some of the key elements at play.

  • Beds are high above floor level to help the circulation of Qi, or energy.
  • In the first hall of L’Archipel restaurant, internal concrete columns are at the centre of the hall (the wooden ones are external) increasing the concentration of energy in the centre of the space.
  • The Lounge Bar design is dedicated to the lotus flower, the symbol of life and the interplay of the yin and yang.
  • The gardens have been created to give a natural impression with touches that are at first invisible to the eye – hundreds of night jasmine start to flower when the sun sets, filling the air with their heady perfume.

Find out more about our Constance resorts

If you want to know more about these and some of our other resorts, check out these other articles:

 

Spotlight on Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Off the North West coast of Madagascar lies the volcanic Mitsio Archipelago, home to the beautiful island of Tsarabanjina.

Beach at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Beach at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Constance Tsarabanjina affords you a different type of luxury. You’ve got everything you could want from a tropical island get-away – white sandy beaches, lush vegetation, coral reefs – but its utter seclusion and tranquility give it the edge. This is a place to down tools and immerse yourself in the laid-back vibe and restful atmosphere.

Lose yourself to the quiet sound of the sea, enjoy a massage on one of the 3 delightful beaches, fish for your supper, watch the sunset from your beach bungalow while enjoying a cold glass of something, or simply lie back in your hammock and take it all in.

Wildlife on Tsarabanjina

Fish off Tsarabanjina

Waters are brimming with sealife

If you’re up for an adventure, there’s loads to do. The island and waters around Tsarabanjina are brimming with wildlife and sea creatures.

Tsarabanjina is home to many rare birds including the famous flycatcher of Madagascar, sea eagles and kingfishers.

A biologist has even come across the tiniest chameleon in the world – it barely exceeds 1 centimetre in length when fully grown.

Activities on offer

Sunset at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Sunset at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Scuba diving is a major draw here. The dive team take both beginners and qualified divers to the awe-inspiring Les Quatre Frères on the North West side of Tsarabanjina. These small islets are renowned as world-class diving sites, as well as being home to many nesting birds.

Other activities – most free of charge –  include snorkelling, water skiing, tennis, volleyball, petanque, guided walks around the island, massage and fishing trips. Catamarans and kayaks are also available for guests to freely use during their stay.

Beach bungalows

Beach bungalow

Gloriously laid back bungalows on the beach

The 25 thatched roof bungalows are set amidst trees and palms, overlooking the sea and beach just 20-30 yards from the shore.

Each comes with a private terrace, main bedroom equipped with fans and bathroom with shower.

Dining at Tsarabanjina

The restaurant is perched in the mezzanine above the bar, and overlooks the wide expanse of sea below. You can also enjoy cocktails and sundowners at the bar, where you can pad about bare foot on the fine sand floor.

Bar at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Bar at Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Seafood doesn’t come much fresher or tastier than at Tsarabanjina. And if you love lobster, this is the place to come. Read our article about dining on lobster on the rocks.

Share your stories of Tsarabanjina

If you’ve been to Tsarabanjina, we’d love to hear about your experience. You can get in contact with us via Twitter, post photos to Facebook or use the comments section below.

 

The spirit of the Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival

The European chef and the island cook sharing their passion

The European chef and the island cook sharing their passion

Bruno Le Gac, our corporate chef and a key mastermind behind the Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival,  gives an insight into the history behind the remarkable event, now entering its 7th year.

The Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival takes place in March, and is a major event for everyone at Constance Hotels Experience.

It started 6 years ago with an idea – to honour the legacy of the great chef Bernard Loiseau, and propose something that he would be proud of.

The spirit of the festival

When we first had the idea, we didn’t know what or how we would do it… but we knew that we wanted to create something true, sincere, with spirit. Not just a business event, but a festival with soul.

The European chefs coaching the island cooks for the competition

The European chefs coaching the island cooks for the competition

We wanted it to be an event that would showcase our passion for food and the human values that we cherish.

As I always say, several brains work better than one and the result of this great team work has progressively turned into reality.

The concept for a festival in which we could share our passion and knowledge was born.

Mrs Dominique Loiseau immediately gave us all her support and allowed us to name the event after her late husband.

Chef Patrick Bertron, Loiseau’s protége, has been sensational since day one.

Michelin star chefs join cooks from the Indian Ocean

We wanted to put the spotlight on the people that we never see. The way the festival works is that we put together 6 Michelin star rated European chefs with 6 young cooks from our kitchens.

European chef and island cook prepare for competition day

Feel the tension in the kitchen, competition day is near...

During the festival, they train together for 3 days to create 2 dishes of their own making. Then on the day of the competition, the European chefs are not allowed in the kitchen. In the spirit of Loiseau’s legacy, it’s about sharing, it’s about training and it’s about transmission.

We showcase the best of the produce and culinary wonders of Mauritius and the Indian Ocean. One of the basic rules of the competition is to use local produce and spices as much as possible. I believe that after 6 years we have pretty much seen everything that you could possibly make with fresh heart of palmtree!

What we’ve achieved so far

To date, we’ve managed to create a high profile event that exudes warmth and humanity. Those who were present at the first festival immediately felt that something very special had happened during the week. And the spirit keeps on building up every year…

We wanted this to be an elegant event that represents the image of our hotels. Our partners responded with equal enthusiasm – it’s not every day of the week that you get to drink magnums of Amour de DeutzChampagne…

The festival in 2012

I am extremely proud of Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival, and so are all of the great people who have participated, who shared their time, hard work and passion.

The 2012 edition will be even more intense and fascinating… watch this space for more news of next year’s unmissable festival.