Preserving turtles habitats at Constance Lémuria

The beaches at Constance Lémuria, on Praslin Island, Seychelles, are important nesting sites for the endangered hawksbill and green turtles.

Hawskbill Turtle

Hawskbill turtle,

These majestic creatures return to the same beaches year after year to lay their eggs.

Our turtle programme

To help protect the species and improve their chances of survival, at Constance Lémuria we run a turtle preservation programme.

The success of the programme hinges on the hard work of our Turtle Manager, our work with the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles, and the support of the local community and hotel guests.

Lémuria’s Turtle Man

Our ‘Turtle Man’ is Robert Matombe. During the turtle nesting season from October to February, Robert patrols the beaches each day. He records the female turtles that come up to nest, and identifies which have visited the beaches before.

Turtle tracks in the sand

Turtle tracks in the sand

Robert makes sure that each turtle safely lays her eggs without being disturbed. He also wants the baby turtles to make it safely back down to the sea.

On Praslin Island each visiting female turtle lays about 150 to 200 eggs. Robert marks the location of each nest.

Over the next two months, while the eggs incubate deep in the sand, he keeps an eye on the nest site.

Lémuria – a favourite nesting ground

Thanks to our turtle programme, we’re seeing an increase in the number of nests each year. For the turtles to continue coming, we maintain the beaches in their natural condition.

Ideal conditions for turtle nesting

  • Nesting turtles prefer to nest under the bushy beach vegetation – the shade provides the ideal temperature for the incubation of eggs.
  • Nesting turtles and their offspring need dark beaches. If lights from the hotel are visible on the beach at night, they can frighten female turtles and keep them from coming onto the beach to lay their eggs.
  • Lights confuse hatchlings as they make their way from the nest to the sea. Baby turtles are attracted to the brightest point on the horizon. On a natural beach that instinct will guide them to the sea.
  • Healthy dense beach vegetation acts as a barrier to the light from the hotel and keeps the turtles in the dark. The vegetation also protects the beach from erosion.

Visiting the turtle nesting grounds

Our Turtle Manager can take Constance guests to see the baby turtles move down to the sea. Seeing these primal creatures take their first steps towards the ocean is a truly amazing experience.

Female turtles coming out of the sea

Female turtles coming out of the sea to nest

Tips for turtle watching

To ensure the continued survival of the turtles, here are some tips for how to behave when visiting the nesting beaches, or if you see a turtle unexpectedly.

  • If you see a turtle emerge from the water, stand still. If she’s just coming out of the sea, let her move past you to a point where she can’t see you.
  • The best spot for watching turtles is either from a distance where you’re shielded by vegetation, or directly behind the turtle out of her field of vision.
  • Always make sure you can’t see the turtle’s eyes.
  • Don’t approach the turtle – keep at least 3 m away.
  • Speak quietly – a whisper is best.
  • Don’t touch the turtle – they don’t enjoy being petted.
  • Don’t take flash photography.
  • Don’t block the turtle’s passage back to the sea.
  • Report any turtle sightings to the Constance Lémuria Resort Turtle Officers.

Find out more about the work we’re doing to protect the environment at Constance hotels.

Recipe: The ultimate spare ribs from Chef Stuart Blair – Constance Moofushi

Alizee restaurant, Constance Moofushi, Seychelles

Relaxed barefoot chic at Constance Moofushi's Alizee restaurant, Maldives

Barefoot luxury is what Constance Moofushi Resort, Maldives is all about.

Alizee restaurant is serving simple, generously sized dishes made out of the best produce – in other words, ‘bare food’.

Stuart Blair, the executive chef at Moofushi, has brought back from his native Australia a very special recipe for spare ribs.

The ultimate Moofushi spare ribs

The ultimate Moofushi spare ribs

No cutlery is needed. At Moofushi, you’re given warm wet towels regularly during the meal to clean your hands.

Chef Stuart never shares his recipes with anyone. But he made an exception… just for you.

Ingredients

  • 400g pork ribs

For the marinade:

  • 220g soft brown sugar
  • 70ml chilli sauce
  • 120ml dark rum
  • 60ml soy sauce
  • 60ml tomato ketchup
  • 60ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3g dry mustard
  • Black pepper to taste

Vegetables to serve:

  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 1 medium courgette, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, cut into wedge shapes
  • 6 Asparagus
  • Cauliflower, a handful of the flowers

1. Clean and prepare the ribs.
2. For the marinade – combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until all ingredients have dissolved. Cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Marinate the pork ribs for 12 hours before cooking.
4. For the prepared vegetables – sprinkle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Chargrill until ready.
4. Chargrill the pork ribs until cooked through, and serve hot.

Let us know how you get on and send us your comments and pictures of your own spare ribs.

You can get in contact with us via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below.

Recipe: Lemon compote with star anise and vanilla

This week’s delicious recipe from the Constance kitchens is Lemon compote with star anise and vanilla. It’s the perfect partner for seafood or duck.

Star anise

Star anise is a key ingredient for Mauritian lemon compote

Let us know how you get on and send us your comments and pictures of your own lemon compote.

You can get in contact with us via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 3 1/2hours

Ingredients

  • 1 kg lemons
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 5 star anise
  • 500g sugar
  • pinch of salt

1. Brush lemons under cold running water and cut 4 vertical slits into each of them.
2. Cook them for 4 minutes in boiling salted water, then put them into iced water. Do this three times to remove any bitter taste.
3. Cut the lemons in 4, remove seeds. Then cut the lemons into wedges, and then dice them.
4. Put the diced lemons in a saucepan, add 1 litre of water, the vanilla, star anise and sugar Cook on low heat for 3 hours.
5. Allow to cool and keep in the fridge until needed.

Protecting the environment at Constance Hotels

Aerial view of Constance Lemuria, Praslin Island, Seychelles

Turquoise waters and verdant green hills surrounding Constance Lemuria, Seychelles

At Constance Hotels, we are committed to protecting the stunning natural environments that surround each of our unique resorts, and the rare endemic species that can be found there.

We work closely with local environmental groups to conserve the exceptional landscape and wildlife for today’s visitors and future generations to come.

Here are some of the measures we’ve taken recently:

Design and build of Constance Moofushi – opened in November 2010

Known as the Jewel island – the island’s butterfly design and daring architecture has been developed by Jean-Michel d’Unienville (Mauritius) and Marc Hertrich (France). Careful consideration has been taken to preserve the environment through efficient and non-polluting materials.

The focus is on luxury without being flashy and the beauty of the island location is paramount. Find out more about what we did at The Jewel Island: Constance Moofushi

Enhancing biodiversity in the Seychelles

We are furthering our commitment to the environment by enhancing conservation of Biodiversity at Port Launay next to the Constance Ephelia Resort in the Seychelles.

Constance Ephelia, Seychelles, view from the North Beach

View from the North Beach at Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

We are working in partnership with Sustainability for Seychelles (S4S) and aim to:

  • take pro-active measures to improve the coordinated management of the fragile mangrove ecosystem adjacent to the Constance Ephelia Resort site – balancing development with the preservation of the wetland area.
  • start looking at co-management of other adjacent natural areas such as the resort grounds and Port Launay Marine Park

Find out more about our conservation work at Constance Ephelia.

Turning tap water to bottled water at Constance Halaveli

To eliminate the need to ship in bottled water to our luxury Maldives resort, Constance Halaveli, we have recently installed our own water bottling plant. The plant purifies tap water to mineral quality. Read more about our sustainable approach at Constance Halaveli.

Serving local seasonal produce

Our restaurants serve local and seasonal produce, perfectly suited to the climate and environment surrounding each luxury hotel. Brimming with flavour and beautifully presented, guests can dine on local fish, vegetables and fruits.

Fresh salsa at Constance Hotels

Locally sourced food at Constance Hotels

Each week we publish a special recipe from one of our hotels. Find out more about our local cuisine.

Future articles

We’ll be publishing more articles about what we’re doing to protect the local environment. Coming soon…

  • interview with our turtle manager in the Seychelles
  • discover the coral reef with our diving instructor at Constance Moofushi

5 massage therapies to soothe away stress

At Constance Hotels, we offer luxury spa treatments that help restore equilibrium and a sense of well being to your body, mind and spirit.

Hand in spa pool with flower

Luxury treatments at Spa Constance for total relaxation

Our spas provide a sanctuary in which you can escape for a while and indulge in a range of relaxing and rejuvenating health and beauty treatments.

Here’s a taste of the massage therapies on offer, guaranteed to release tension and promote relaxation.

Ayurvedic massage

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system that aims to maintain the health of the mind and spirit, tailored to each individual depending on their dosha – vata, pitta and kapha  (or unique mix of energies).

Shirodhara and Shirobhyanga massage are two examples of this powerful massage technique that we offer. Using sesame oil and herbs, the massage therapist will focus on the marma points, similar to pressure points used in reflexology and acupuncture.

This type of massage relaxes the whole nervous system, balancing your energy and leaving you with renewed vigour.

Shiatsu

Shiatsu is an ancient massage technique originating from Japan. The therapist uses their thumbs to massage the acupressure points along the body’s meridians (invisible channels through which qi circulates around the body).

The massage stimulates this flow of energy around your body, leaving you feeling more balanced and in a state of total relaxation. For shiatsu massage, you lie on a futon fully dressed.

Traditional Thai massage

Traditional Thai massage combines stretching the body with deep massage along the meridian channels.

You start by lying on your back, fully clothed. The stretching techniques used by the therapist are similar to yoga but it’s the therapist who does most of the work, easing you into each position. This is combined with deep massage strokes. By the end, you’ll feel revitalized, energized and totally relaxed.

Spa treatment room with client and therapist

Relax in the tranquil setting of Spa Constance

Fusion massage

This massage technique combines Thai, Shiatsu and Swedish massage. It works alternately on the muscles and nervous system to soothe away stress, and leave you feeling serene and invigorated.

Sports massage

Sports massage is ideal for anyone wanting to recover from an injury or enhance their sports performance.

The technique is particularly effective if you have chronic pain or restricted movement. This is a deep massage, and the therapist will either focus on the problem area (for example frozen shoulder) or the whole body.

Follow the action at the French Open 2011

The 2011 French Open  has entered its second week (17 May-5 June).

Tennis player at French Open 2011

French Open 2011 at the Roland Garros stadium, Paris

Follow the action at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, and find out who the most likely contenders are for this year’s trophy.

Roland Garros 2011 official website

The official website for the French Open tournament. Get the latest scores, daily schedules of play, and watch or listen to the matches as they unfold.

BBC

Watch the latest action on BBC iPlayer.

Straight sets

Tennis blog offering from the New York Times, with lively and detailed articles by coaches and journalists.

Tennis X

The blog’s tagline is dysfunctional tennis blogging at its finest. Informed articles including video, keeping you up-to-date on the latest action at the Roland Garros stadium.