The Times recommends Le Prince Maurice in 50 best spa holidays 2014

The Times has rated Constance Le Prince Maurice, with its special Kick Fast Diet program, as one of the best places to go to lose weight in 2014.

Kick start The Fast Diet at one of the best spa holidays of 2014

Kick start The Fast Diet at one of the best spa holidays of 2014

In its round up of the 50 best spa holidays for 2014, Caroline Sylger-Jones writing for The Times says:

‘What better place to get the hang of the intermittent fasting proposed by the best-selling The Fast Diet than at a cosseting tropical hotel? Co-author Mimi Spencer has devised a ‘Kick-start the Fast Diet’ pack for guests at Constance Le Prince Maurice with nutritious and tasty menus.’

The article points out that at this 5* hotel in Mauritius, you can also enjoy treatments at the Sisley Spa, sunrise and sunset yoga, Pilates and sessions with a personal trainer.

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Harper’s Bazaar describes Constance Tsarabanjina as a slice of honeymoon heaven

Harper’s Bazaar has selected Constance Tsarabanjina as one of its ‘best for honeymoon’ destinations in its January Escape supplement.

Constance Tsarabanjina - a slice of heaven as described by Harper's Bazaar

Constance Tsarabanjina – a slice of heaven as described by Harper’s Bazaar

The magazine tells its readers that the distant isle off the coast of Madagascar can’t be beaten as a secluded honeymoon getaway.

It describes, ‘The pace is slow, but the service is impeccable. Kick off your shoes as you arrive (you really won’t need them again) and dive into the ocean, surfacing for a massage, a lobster lunch and a lazy hour in your hammock watching frigate birds swoop.’

Tsarabanjina is an idyllic castaway island with a scattering of beautiful secluded beach villas so that you can play Robinson Crusoe with a dash of Constance luxury.

Enjoy the Madagascan charm of lounging on quiet beaches, diving in unexplored waters, eating seafood plucked fresh from the ocean and lovingly prepared by our chefs.

Explore an island of unique biodiversity and rich cultural history before heading back to your very own beach villa and watching the stars from your hammock.

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Vallée de Mai celebrates 30 years as UNESCO World Heritage Site

This year the Seychelles celebrates the 30th anniversary of the primeval palm forest, the Vallée de Mai, being declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Set in the heart of Praslin island, a short drive from Constance Lémuria, the Vallée de Mai is part of the beautiful Praslin National Park, an area of ancient forest largely untouched by human hands.

The Coco de Mer

Visitors to the UNESCO World Heritage Site can see a range of endemic species, including the protected coco de mer palm.

A 19th century British explorer was so bowled over by the valley’s beauty that he set out to prove that it was the original site of the Garden of Eden and that the coco de mer palm was the actual tree of knowledge.

Endemic wildlife and plants at Vallée de Mai

A walk around the breathtaking verdant forest, alone or with a guide, is an opportunity to spot rare endemic wildlife including the endangered black parrot, chameleons, Seychelles house snakes and green and bronze geckos.

Alongside the famous coco de mer there are five other types of endemic palms here, the only place on earth where they are all found together, as well as a range of other trees including mango and cinnamon.

Stay at Constance Lémuria

If you’re tempted by the splendour of this World Heritage Site take a look at Constance Lémuria, where you stay in ultimate 5* comfort and luxury while enjoying a holiday of discovery and adventure.

Find out more about Vallée de Mai

 

2013 MCB Tour Championship winner – Paul Wesselingh

As Paul Wesselingh wins the 2013 MCB Tour Championship at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius, it marks the latest chapter in the late rise of this remarkable player.

Paul Wesselingh wins MCB Tour Championship 2013

Paul Wesselingh wins MCB Tour Championship 2013

Back in 2001 Wesselingh was a club professional whose success on the regional golf circuit earned him a rare start in a European Tour event at the Belfry.

That tournament was the Benson and Hedges International Open. Wesselingh shot 78 in round one and then retired with a bad back; the winner that week was Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.

To say that both men have had quite a journey since that week is something of an understatement. Stenson has lost form, found it again, lost it again and then, this year, won both the European Tour’s end-of-season event, the DB World Championship, and the Race to Dubai as well (effectively that tour’s order of merit).

Wesselingh, by contrast, returned home to his family, continued to give lessons, sell Mars bars and tee pegs, and play the odd minor tour event. Then six years ago he began to think of the European Senior Tour.

He had first played golf aged seven but his handicap never dipped below three so he became an accountant, but desk work was not for him and he turned pro off five, happy to become a club professional. “I did give the European Tour School a couple of goes,” he said, “but I wasn’t anywhere near good enough.”

He and his wife Tracy had three young boys and Wesselingh preferred to see them grow up than travel the world chasing a golf dream. But by his late-forties he recognised that his golf swing had matured so he began to improve his fitness and get his game in tournament mode.

When he earned a card through tour school he finished second in his first event and won on his fourth start, at the 2012 PGA Seniors Championship at Slaley Hall. By the end of the year he had added another six top ten finishes and was crowned Rookie of the Year.

Many take the foot off the gas after such success, but Wesselingh had been waiting for this opportunity for years and was in no mood to coast.

He started the 2013 season by successfully defending his PGA Seniors Championship title and followed it up with victory in the Bad Ragaz Open.

“It was going so well that a few of the guys suggested I give Champions Tour Qualifying School a go,” he said. “But I decided to focus on the Order of Merit, headed to Taiwan and won the Fubon Open there.”

He arrived in Mauritius confident. The deep confidence that comes from long term success.

“I’ve trusted myself. A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have attacked the 18th like I did in round two. You have to go for it at this level.

“The first year I was a little nervous and aware of being in the presence of some great players.”

But this year he has blossomed and when he faced his hero Colin Montgomerie in the final round of the MCB Tour Championship at Constance Belle Mare Plage he was ready to prove how far he had come.

Montgomerie is one of the Ryder Cup’s greatest ever singles performers. His ability to go head-to-head with an opponent and win is legendary. It meant that most of the gallery on the final day expected Monty to thrive and Wesselingh to wilt.

But neither happened. Well, they did, but the wrong way round. The Englishman had that deep confidence in his game and he remained patient on the early holes when the more famous golfer did the opposite. It was a stellar performance and all the more remarkable because he knew he was not just winning an event, but the Order of Merit.

That second trophy proves he has taken on so many of the players he had watched from afar throughout his 30s and 40s … and he had beaten them over the entire season. This was no flukey week, but one year of excellence. Little wonder he was emotional when the scale of the achievement hit him afterwards.

After victory there were scores to check, ceremonies to attend, photos to be taken, interviews to be had. It was a blur of activity, watched by his proud wife (who caddied for him all week) and his three sons.

When it was done, Wesselingh breathed a sigh of relief and asked if he could go now.

“You know what I’m going to do?” he smiled. “Same as I’ve done all week. Every morning I’ve swam in the sea, every night I’ve thrown myself in the plunge pool. I love this place.”

It’s a long way from the Belfry in 2001. 

Stenson and Wesselingh had very different weeks that year. But they’ve had very similar 2013s.

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Find out more about the action from the 2013 MCB Tour Championship

Visit our website to find out about luxury golf holidays at Constance Hotels & Resorts

Follow Matt Cooper on Twitter @MattCooperGolf or visit his blog Curious About Golf

Tension mounts for final round of MCB Tour Championship 2013

Golf journalist Matt Cooper is reporting on the final day of the MCB Tour Championship 2013 at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius. As play begins, here’s how things are looking.

Legend golf course, Constance Belle Mare Plage

Legend golf course, Mauritius

It would be foolish to entirely discount all but the top two on the leaderboard, but it does seem likely that the winner will come from the final group and the battle is an intriguing one.

Leading the tournament by three shots on 11-under-par is Englishman Paul Wesselingh, a three-time winner on tour this year and the current holder of top spot in the Order of Merit.
 
Up against him, on eight-under-par and three shots clear of third, is Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, an eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner and eight-time Ryder Cup player.
 
Follow Matt Cooper on Twitter @MattCooperGolf

A special golfing week in Mauritius on the Legend and Links courses

“We’ve been coming for years,” said my Constance Hotels & Resorts Pro-Am partner David pointing to the third member of our team, Patrice. “We love it here. You’ll see why over the next two days.”
Links at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Links course

 
Behind us, on day one of the tournament, was the driving range and first fairway at the Links course, Constance Belle Mare Plage. High on the hill we could see the rolling terrain, covered with rainforest, through which the course twists and turns.
 
This week is a special one for the resort and the golf courses. In addition to welcoming the world’s finest senior golfers for the MCB Tour Championship, amateur golfers from across the globe fly in to enjoy the Air Mauritius Trophy and/or the Pro-Am itself.
 
For David and Patrice, who are from London and Paris, their annual participation in the Pro-Am is the highlight of their golfing year – a week of fun competition which creates a buzz amongst guests at the hotel. “Everyone talks about the golf at night and congregates round the scores to see how they’re doing,” explains David, “it’s a brilliant atmosphere.”
 
“We also love the fact that Belle Mare Plage has two courses,” he adds. “That makes it stand out from the other resorts on the island because we can always get a tee time and aren’t restricted to one layout.”
 
They were right about one thing: as we made our way down our first fairway I immediately knew I liked the Links course. Undulating fairways creep between huge lumps of volcanic rock, water hazards and thick indigenous rainforest. 
Links course, Constance Belle Mare Plage

Patrice rushes to see where David’s ball has gone on Links

The course, designed by Rodney Wright and Peter Alliss, calls for shot-making and it works for all levels of golfers: short hitters can plot their way round, big-hitters have the opportunity to take risks and gun for par-fives in two, or short par-four greens in one.
 
After concluding our day, David and Patrice, plus Marc Farry, our professional who also has a golf academy at the resort, grinned and told me I’d enjoy round two even more. “The Legend course is going to suit you,” they laughed and I wondered if they weren’t just flattering me a little too much.
 
It turns out they weren’t: the Legends course hosts the MCB Tour Championship this week and it’s little wonder that David Frost and Tom Lehman have excelled there. The course rewards an accurate long game – which is precisely why my team-mates suspected that my pit-a-pat drives and fairway woods would work well.
Legend golf course, Constance Belle Mare Plage

Legend golf course

 
It sounds a little peculiar – given that the trees are heavy with fruit and spices, and the foliage alive with vibrant tropical colours – but the track reminds me of a classic English tree-lined parkland venue (albeit the Bermuda grass greens are very different, as is the temperature and humidity!).
 
Most of the tee shots are hit down narrow funnels and if the course has one advantage over the Links it is that there are fewer blind shots. Only once does the course open up and when it does so, it does so in style when the dramatic 17th tee presents a wide panoramic view across a cove, over which you hit to a small par-three green.
 
David’s and Patrice’s enthusiasm for the courses and the competition, plus my liking for the Legends challenge, and a second pro (Spain’s Juan Quiros) whose fun attitude lifted our spirits in the heat, all contributed to earning us a top ten finish in the Pro-Am.
 
“See you next year?” asked Patrice with a smile. You know what? I quite fancy trying to make the top five in 2014.
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