Heard it through the grapevine…

Head Sommelier Cedric Jacob is extremely passionate about all wines and is eager to share his knowledge with our guests.

Cedric Jacob

Cedric Jacob

When speaking to Cedric his enthusiasm and love for wine is evident and he always welcomes guests to come visit the cellars at Constance Halaveli.

Below he shares a bit about his background and where his passion for wine began.

Where in France are you from?
I was born inParis. My dad got the opportunity to move to Aix-En-Provence, South of France for his job and we all followed him. My little village where we moved to, Ventabren, is in the middle of the appellation Cotes d’Aix-En-Provence famous for its Rosé. As you can guess, you can find more Rosé wine on every table than simple still water. My dad used to say ‘water is for flowers’ but my mum does drink a lot of water!

When did your interest in wine begin?
My interest in wine began when I started in the hospitality industry at the age of 15 where I discovered there was a soul to every different wine, each a different product, something sometimes that is hard to put into words.

I have always been interested in the mysterious things of life and wine was part of this. My lecturer, a passionate man who could speak for hours and hours about this topic, helped me to develop my knowledge and I started to learn about it seriously aged 18.

Some people might say that 15 years is very young but I think that we need to start early to understand the idea of taste and sensation when tasting a product. This goes for food, music, art etc… My dad understood this concept of life and used to give us, my 2 brothers and myself, a tiny glass of wine every Sunday to smell and try to recognise aromas. Then we’d add water in to taste it. That was the beginning of what I call a ‘love story’.

Sommelier team at Constance Halaveli

Sathir, Sampath and Cedric

Why did you become a sommelier?
First of all, I became sommelier for the simple reason that wine was a passion. I love reading about it, finding out what is happening in the world of wine, watching documentaries. Also wine was becoming a huge trend at the time that I started, and people were willing to understand more and more about what they were drinking. It’s not only about drinking nowadays – people want to discover new horizons, understand the importance of Terroir, grape variety, human touch on the final wine that they are drinking and so on. Being a sommelier is all about experiencing and sharing. This idea of conviviality and becoming a sommelier was the best choice I ever made.

What challenges do you face currently being a sommelier in the Maldives?
The main challenge is the difference of climate that definitely changes your perception while tasting. Your smell as well as your taste is affected by the humidity and heat. The same wine tastes totally difference in Europe compared with the Maldives. Our goal is to find a new way of serving wine so our guests fully enjoy the wine that they order, for example, serving slightly chilled red wine.

Another challenge is offering the best price for our customers, considering the heavy import duty on alcohol as the Maldives is a Muslim country.

Cedric Jacob and guests

Cedric and guests at Jahaz

With these challenges how do you foresee them affecting the wine industry in the Maldives?
The main impact regarding government restriction is that wine is getting more and more expensive in this country, especially since the government plans to further increase the duty. However, as a sommelier, we always believe that the price doesn’t always rhyme with quality. Our goal as professionals is to find more small producers from different countries who are driven by their passion to produce great wines. Many young wine makers inFranceand elsewhere are becoming more and more famous for this, and those are the wines we are trying to import. Once again our aim is to satisfy the needs and wants of our guests. 

What is your favourite wine and why?
That is the trickiest question for a sommelier and one that people often ask me because I like everything as long as it is good – white, red, rosé, dessert, Champagne…However since I arrived in the Maldives I have to say that I have a preference for white Sauvignon Blanc for their freshness and their minerality and red Pinot Noir for the easiness and fruit…New Zealand is a region that I particularly appreciate for that even though we do produce amazing Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir in France.

What would be your perfect evening?
A perfect evening is a couple of friends, each bringing a good bottle that they want to make others discover, me in the kitchen (I love to cook, in fact I wanted to be chef before sommelier) and spending the evening enjoying, sharing and having fun with friends… that’s my idea of conviviality.

Do you have any special tips that you would like to share?

Just like a magician, I would say I can’t.

Next time you’re at Halaveli don’t forget to ask our Sommelier team to take you on a tour of our superb wine cellars.

Prestigious Valmont Spa to open at Constance Halaveli

Already well established as the ultimate luxury holiday get-away, Constance Halaveli is now set to position itself as an elite spa destination.

Valmont at Constance Halaveli logo

At Halaveli we’ve teamed up with Valmont, the exclusive Swiss skincare experts, to join the revered V35 – Valmont’s Prestige Spa Club.

From May, guests at Halaveli can indulge in the very latest cellular cosmetics and treatments from Valmont’s Magician of Time range.

Among the renowned Valmont treatments, our spa menu offers an exclusive treatment specifically created by the Swiss house - the Valmont After Diving Treatment. Devoted to restoring the skin and caring for the hair after diving, this 45-minute treatment features alternating hydrating masks and modelage massages to relieve congestion, while pampering the contour of the eye with a collagen mask.

Our spa is situated on stilts above the Indian Ocean, with wonderful views from each of the 10 cabins. Our other spa treatments at Halaveli use the very popular Spa de Constance and Ila organic products.

Staying at Halaveli is an escape into a thrillingly beautiful world. With gourmet delights, spectacular scuba diving and now a world-class spa, Halaveli is firmly placed as one of the world’s most desirable luxury resorts.

Find out more

Recipe: Naan Bread

The perfect accompaniment to a curry, this Naan Bread recipe from the kitchens of Constance Halaveli is quick and easy to make.

Jing restaurant at Constance Halaveli Resort

Jing restaurant

  • 300g flour
  • 5g baking powder
  • 10g salt
  • 200ml milk
  • 100ml water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 50ml oil
  • 1 egg

1. Sift the salt and baking powder into a bowl and make a well in the middle.
2. Mix the sugar, milk, eggs, and oil in a bowl.
3. Pour this into the centre of the flour and knead adding water if necessary to form a soft dough.
4. Add the remaining oil and knead again then cover with a damp cloth, leave for 2-3 hours.
5. About half an hour before the naan is required, turn on the oven to 200°C.
6. Divide the naan into 8 balls and allow to rest for 3-4 minutes.
7. Shape each ball of dough with the palms of your hands to make an oval shape.
8. Bake the naan bread until they are puffed up and golden brown.

Try this naan bread with our delicious Constance Chicken and Prawn Curry in coconut milk

Thai massage at Constance Hotels

Our spa trainer at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Ajay Kishtoo, shares his knowledge of Thai massage and what you can expect from a treatment at Constance Hotels.

Thai massage, also known as yoga massage, consists of deep massage and stretching movements.

Spa de Constance at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Spa at Constance Le Prince Maurice

The therapist uses his hands, elbows, knees, feet and entire legs to move the client into a series of yoga stretches. No oils are used in Thai massage. The client wears comfortable clothes, and the massage is performed on the floor on padded mats. Getting Thai massage may feel like doing yoga without having to exert yourself.

History of Thai massage

Thai massage, like traditional Thai medicine, has been influenced by Indian and Chinese traditions of medicine. In Thai, it is called nuad boram, which means ‘ancient massage.”Thai massage has been a medical specialty for over 2500 years, since the time of the Buddha. To this day, there are a lot of variations of Thai massage from different regions inThailand.

What happens during a Thai massage?

Thai massage is performed solo or in a group. You will change into comfortable, loose clothes provided by the massage therapist and lie down on a firm mat on the floor. The therapist will push, pull and stretch you into many different positions during the massage. Many stretches and movements are similar to traditional Western sports massage, to lengthen your muscles and release compromised joints.

Woman relaxing at Spa de Constance

Relaxation at Spa de Constance

The massage therapist leans on your body, using her hands and elbows, and applies firm and rhythmic pressure. The therapist follows the ‘sen’ lines, comparable to meridians in traditional Chinese medicine or nadis in Indian medicine.

The therapist walks on you using her feet and heels. The therapist also uses her legs and feet to fix your body and limbs in necessary positions while you are being stretched. A full massage typically lasts 2 hours or more. It consists of rhythmic pressing, pushing, pulling and stretching of your entire body including fingers, toes and ears. The massage follows a standard sequence.

Benefits of Thai Massage

Thai massage stretches your muscles, releases tight joints and increases range of motion. It improves circulation and reduces stress. You will feel relaxed, centred and energised.

Precautions

You should not receive Thai massage without first consulting a doctor if any of the following apply:

  • you have an infectious skin disease, rash or open wounds
  • after chemotherapy, radiation or surgery
  • you are prone to blood clots or if you have heart disease
  • you are pregnant (you would also need a Thai massage therapist who is certified in pregnancy massage)
  • you have bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumors or recent fractures – Thai massage should not be performed directly over the affected areas, so advise your massage therapist of any such wounds.

Tips

Arrive at least 15 minutes early so you can relax and fill out necessary forms in peace. Let your massage therapist know your complete health history and any health conditions that need special consideration. Don’t eat a big meal right before the massage. If you feel pain or discomfort during the massage, let your therapist know immediately so they can adjust their treatment. After the massage, drink a lot of water.

Dougray Scott names Constance Le Prince Maurice ‘best hotel for romance’

Actor and golf enthusiast, Dougray Scott puts Constance Le Prince Maurice at the top of his list of the world’s most romantic hotels. In an interview in The Daily Telegraph’s Ultra Travel magazine, he says:

Laguna Bar at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Laguna Bar at Constance Le Prince Maurice

‘Best hotel for romance?

Le Prince Maurice in Mauritius, where they do sweet things like put petals on your bed every day and leave odd little messages like: “Hope you like the swan I have made from your bath towel”.’

Read more about Dougray Scott’s Travelling Life in the Daily Telegraph online.

Constance Le Prince Maurice to get luxury make-over

Find out more about our plans for the final stages of the super-deluxe refurbishment of Constance Le Prince Maurice this summer.

Marc Farry offers golf lessons to guests in Mauritius, 12-21 April

Marc Farry, professional golfer and golf ambassador of Constance Hotels Experience, is giving personal coaching to guests of Constance Belle Mare Plage and Le Prince Maurice from 12-21 April 2012.

Links golf course, Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Links golf course, Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Marc Farry, a full member of the European Tour since 1989, has won 16 tournaments on the French domestic tour including the 2000 French PGA Championship. He joined the European Senior Tour in 2009.

In 2010, he captured a special second Senior Tour title when he won the inaugural Cannes Mougins Masters, an event that he co-organised. His maiden victory came four months earlier in similarly rainy conditions when he triumphed in the Handa Irish Senior Open presented by Fáilte Ireland.

Mark, a regular visitor in Mauritius, was named Ambassador of Mauritian Golf  during MCB Tour Championship 2011 by Robert Desvaux, Chairman of MTPA (Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority).

For more information about the courses with Marc, please visit the Links or Legend Club Houses at Constance Belle Mare Plage.