Constance Belle Mare Plage celebrates Divali 2011

Guests and staff enjoyed a beautiful evening at Constance Belle Mare Plage on Tuesday 25 October, to celebrate Divali, the festival of lights.

Special dishes and decorations

Special dishes and decorations

Our chefs prepared special dishes for the evening, with traditional table decorations created from coloured rice.

Celebrations took place at Indigo and Citronelle restaurants.

The name Divali comes from the word Deepavali, which means ‘row of lamps’.

Divali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (diyas) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil.

Don’t miss more lovely photos of Divali at Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice on our Constance Facebook page.

Constance Belle Mare Plage wins International Chefs’ Day Challenge

Winning team from Belle Mare Plage
Winning team from Belle Mare Plage

Constance Belle Mare Plage has won one of the top culinary contests on the island of Mauritius.

Out of a total of 9 teams, Belle Mare Plage won the Best Table Set Up and was overall winner in the Black Box Competition.

Belle Mare Plage presented an elegant and classic table setting.

The general theme was futuristic with plexiglass balls suspended like planets, a small nod to us treating the International Day as a ‘universal’ event. The table design included a dominant orchid floral decoration and handwritten blackboard menus.

All decorations reflected our eco-awareness and included LED lamps, recycled materials and volcanic rock.

The event marks International Chefs’ Day and is organised by the Mauritius Chefs’ Association.

Constance Belle Mare Plage celebrates the Fête de la Gastronomie

Fine dining at Blue Penny Cafe, Belle Mare Plage

Fine dining at Blue Penny Cafe, Belle Mare Plage

Everywhere you look, you’ll find something to do with gastronomy – in the media, in the increasingly imaginative dishes available in our restaurants… as though the whole idea were something new.

In fact, it’s no more than a tradition in a constant state of renewal. It’s one that makes the most of France’s dynamism, the foods we produce, and what we do with them.

The Fête de la Gastronomie is first and foremost an event that celebrates generosity and conviviality. A time for people to get together.

Constance celebrates the Fête de la Gastronomie

La Spiaggia, Belle Mare Plage

La Spiaggia, Belle Mare Plage

As part of our special evening at our Constance Hotels Experience resorts in the Seychelles and Mauritius, our chefs will be presenting menus that celebrate the best of French cuisine and the fabulous local produce of the Indian Ocean.

Festival menu at Constance Belle Mare Plage

On 23 September, at Constance Belle Mare Plage, we’re presenting an incredible ’16 hands’ menu based on the best produce of the Indian Ocean, paired with wines from the Old World.

  • The welcoming glass from Chef Sohan Singh.
  • Crab from Madagascar… by Chef Marcelino, as at La Kaze – Madagascar crab jelly, crunchy salad with coriander.
  • Local oyster… by Chef Fréderic Goisset, catch of the day of Blue Penny – warm oyster, creamy cauliflower and buds with curry, emulsified kafir lime-yuzu juice.
  • Black Qwehli prawn… by Chef Chinnien, mist and colour of Indigo – black qwehli prawn, Curaçao dressing, polenta with curry leaves.
  • Fish and dry shrimps… by Chef Sanjeev, delightfully garnished with Citronnelle – half-cooked dorado fillet, river shrimps chutney, saffroned emulsion.
  • Palmheart by Chef Jocelyn, planted and harvested on the shores of la Spiaggia – braised heart of palm with spices, fish mayonnaise orange flavour.
  • Braised venisson and noisette… by Chef Rajesh, deer hunter or Deer Hunter – venisson duo from our Chassée braised and roasted with local spices, preserved vegetables from our garden, chasseur sauce.
  • Papaya… by our Chef Sylvano, our parents Heritage – papaya crumble with green lemon.
  • Vanilla, banana and coconut… by our Chef Thierry, or Coco-Banane-Moelleux-Passionnément – biscuit creamy with coconut, banana compote with vanilla, and passion fruit emulsion.

Interview with Gert Puchtler, General Manager at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Gert Puchtler

Gert Puchtler

Gert Puchtler is our General Manager at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius.

Originally from Germany, Gert started in the hotel industry doing work experience as a bell-boy while still at school. He quickly proved his talents, becoming a general manager in Germany at just 29 years old.

1. Tell us a bit about Constance Belle Mare Plage

Belle Mare Plage is one of the longest established hotels on Mauritius. People have been working here for the last 30 years. Staff have contact with guests who have been coming here since the beginning, and special bonds develop between the staff and guests. They see each other as friends.

For example, families who come back sometimes insist that a particular villa master looks after them. Guests bring staff gifts, and some have tears in their eyes when they leave. Guests might come every 3 years – everyone recognises them, and everything is prepared just as they like it.

At Belle Mare Plage we also have two championship golf courses. Golf draws people here – the golf pros at our hotel encourage the guests, and teach them. People feel very comfortable here.

Legends golf course, Constance Belle Mare Plage

Legends golf course, Constance Belle Mare Plage

2. What do you think of hotel standards today?

The sincere service culture isn’t apparent in Europe anymore. It’s more natural to people in Mauritius, owing to their culture and their background of life – it makes them more sincere when dealing with other people.

Staff in hotels who’ve been working for a long time are intuitive. The management encourages and supports this -we teach that you need to ‘read guests’.

When you start out you need to make mistakes – you need to have a guest who isn’t happy, and to learn from it.

Constance has standard operating procedures for complaints but we also want staff to be creative and to think out of the box. We’re trying to implement a buddy system so that younger staff follow someone more experienced.

A guest’s second stay is the critical one – the potential for disappointment is greater because of higher expectation. The first time, guests don’t know what to expect but if on their second visit they don’t have a flower on their bed like the first time, they feel disappointed.

La Spiaggia restaurant, Constance Belle Mare Plage

La Spiaggia at Belle Mare Plage

3. What qualities should someone have if they want to work in this industry?

There’s a higher turnover of younger people these days – the hotel industry demands a lot of time and devotion of your hours. Early morning, late at night, public holidays. Younger people don’t want to do it so much anymore. It limits the kind of life you can live because your social life is limited.

Staff either get into it, live it, love it and stay. Or get into it, try it and don’t like it. Work experience is the best way to see what’s happening at the back of house.

I had a boss who said if you want to achieve something in the hotel industry, at the beginning of your career don’t look at time or money because you’ll always be unhappy if you do.

If you’re good at it, you can achieve something quite fast in this profession. I moved on in my career and by 29 I was made a general manager. That’s very young in Germany for that to happen.

4. What made you pursue this as a career?

As a young child, I was lucky to travel with my family to nice places. I loved it and I always wanted to get into the service industry. My father told me that ‘service’ is key – it makes you a servant or the one who is served. You have to make the choice which one you’ll be.

I tried it, and liked it. I’ve met so many people in my life. I wanted to meet international people – people from different cultures. Germany wasn’t enough for me. I went to great parties and functions when I was younger. In the hotel industry, you meet people you wouldn’t normally meet. I like going to nice places, restaurants, eating good food and wine.

It was a world that I loved, it was clear that I wanted to do it.

Everyday something else will happen – every day you come to work and you don’t know how your day will end.

5. Where do you think the hotel industry goes from here?

Young people don’t want to work that hard. There’s a change in generations of staff and guests. Young people think younger, so it’s good to have that in your staff. But you also need a more traditional service because wealthy older people prefer that type of service.

The analogy is that my father likes classical music. My generation likes dance and techno. There’s a big difference between these types of people, and you have to think how to align these two.

It’s a very important time at the moment, a period of transition. As management you need to be careful how you direct this transition.

6. You’ve travelled all over the world. Where’s your favourite place to go on holiday?

My favourite holiday destination is the southern part of France and I never miss the chance to visit this region whenever I go to Europe.

Cowes Week, 6-13 August 2011

Boats at Cowes Week

Boats at Cowes Week

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2011 has got off to a great start. Day 1, Saturday 6 August, produced perfect sailing conditions, and there’s been plenty of excitement already.

Get the lowdown on what’s happened so far at Cowes Week 2011.

1. Official Cowes Week 2011 website

Rupert Holmes’ dailly reports:

Keep up with the latest sailing news with organiser Rupert Holmes’ daily reports:

Sailing Logic

Sailing Logic, a race training and race charter company, was set up by Allie Smith, the round the world racing yachtswoman.

They’re posting articles throughout the week from Cowes. Follow events on the Sailing Logic blog.

Customer reviews: thank you for a fantastic holiday

Constance Belle Mare Plage, pool and bar

Constance Belle Mare Plage, pool and bar

We recently received a thank you note from two of our guests, Tiffany and Willie, who stayed at Constance Belle Mare Plage last year. They had such a great time, we wanted to share their note with you:

“We just wanted to thank you and all of your staff for a fantastic holiday, we really enjoyed every minute!

And thank you so much again for the upgrade during our stay to the Le Prince Maurice which was just idyllic!!

I know that you said to us at the time that it was a good way to see some more of what Constance Hotels has to offer and this was a fantastic opportunity.

Aerial view of Constance Moofushi Resort, Maldives

Constance Moofushi Resort, Maldives

As a result of this we have just booked our honeymoon at the Constance Moofushi for May 2012 straight after our wedding and really cannot wait!

So again a huge thank you and we haven’t hesitated to recommend Constance Hotels to anyone and everyone!”