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!”

Customer reviews: an excellent hotel… great golf!

Our guests give us a lot of feedback about our hotels, resorts and the luxury experience we offer. We thought it would be a good idea to share this feedback with you if you’re planning a special trip. Below are some of the comments we’ve had recently about Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius:

An Excellent H0tel!

pool view belle mare plage hotel constance hotels

Constance Belle Mare Plage Hotel, Mauritius

“Five of us visited this hotel in Dec 2010 for just over a week on a half board basis. The food was excellent, the rooms were of high quality, and we made use of the facilities like sailing and scuba diving – The sole criticism is around the electronic door lock that caused some access problems over a 2 day period. I would unreservedly recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a relaxing beach holiday. .”

luxury golf holidays

Luxury golfing holidays

Great hotel and golf!

“We loved the hotel and both golf courses. The buffet dinner had a fantastic variety. It’s true that the drinks were expensive, but that’s what you expect at a top class hotel. We took the larger room, but I think the smaller one would have been fine as well.”

Read this review and others about Constance Belle Mare Plage Hotel on Trip Advisor.

Luxe accommodation for the holiday of a lifetime

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Stunning interiors at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

If you think you know all there is to know about luxury apartments and villas, think again. From water villas on stilts to presidential suites like your own private hotel, there’s a lot more to luxury accommodation than you might think.

At Constance Hotels, all our suites and villas offer luxe or super-luxe accommodation that blends with the stunning natural landscape they’re part of – and that means each offers something a little special and unique to our visitors.

Whether you’re looking for classic tropical paradise or funky villas tucked away in the rainforest, the selection below gives you a taste of what you can expect upon arrival.

Maldives

Constance Moofushi is situated in the South Ari Atoll of the Maldives archipelago. Our latest resort has won acclaim for its eco-approach and fashionable barefoot chic. All villas are exquisitely decorated using natural materials.

 

 

Constance Moofushi water villa

Constance Moofushi water villa

  • Beach Villas come with private sun deck, and ocean views from the bedroom and bathroom.
  • Water Villas set on stilts offer seclusion and direct access to the sea from a private sundeck.
  • Senior Water Villas are generously sized, and include a private outdoor bath tub, unobstructed views of the sunrise and direct access to the water.

Constance Halaveli is situated in the North Ari Atoll. Designed with privacy in mind, these villas all feature private plunge pools, are decorated in wood and marble, and are located on the beach or over the water. Guests can take advantage of in-villa dining, as well enjoying the resort’s restaurants.

Constance Halaveli water villa

Sleek interiors at Constance Halaveli water villa

  • Beach Villas enjoy a tropical garden backdrop, and are decorated using wood in contemporary Maldivian style. The double storey beach villas offer more space over two floors, with indoor and outdoor showers and a furnished terrace.
  • Water Villas are set along a jetty that weaves across the calm waters below. Offering romance and privacy for some perfect castaway moments, previous guests have found it hard to drag themselves away from these beautiful villas. Read their reviews of Constance Halaveli
  • Presidential Beach Villa is the ultimate in get-away-from-it-all luxury with a larger plunge pool, dining room and private gym.

Seychelles

Constance Ephelia is situated on two of the most beautiful beaches on the island of Mahé, overlooking the marine national park of Port Launay. Although a large resort, Ephelia enjoys a unique location and is designed to make you feel you’re the only people there.

Constance Ephelia hillside villas, bathroom

Decadent bathroom at Constance Ephelia hillside villas

  • There’s a great choice of Junior and Senior Suites, with Villas situated on the beach (all include a private pool) or atop the hillside looking across the water.
  • Spa Villas – if you need your senses pampering and a place to indulge and unwind, Ephelia’s sublime spa villas will bring harmony to your senses. They’re equipped with a large hot tub, steam shower, sauna, double treatment room for massages, spacious bedroom and tranquil gazebo area – perfect for meditation or cocktails, depending on the mood.
  • Presidential Villa is perfect for William and Kate style indulgence. The villa comes with breathtaking views across the sea, 3 bedrooms, its own gym, private spa, pool and outdoor lounge and dining area.

Constance Lémuria is set amidst lush vegetation on the pristine island of Praslin. The white sandy beaches of Anse Kerlan are turtle nesting sites, and are surrounded by rare flora and fauna.

Constance Lemuria Presidential Villa

Constance Lemuria Presidential Villa, Seychelles

Materials used in the sleek design of the resort include wood, marble, stone and pink granite.

  • Junior and Senior Suites offer intimacy and blend with the landscape, offering stunning views across the Indian Ocean. You can relax on your private terrace under the shade of the overhanging palm trees.
  • Luxurious Villas offer a bespoke service as they come complete with their own villa master who will tailor the Constance service to your individual requirements. The villas open directly on to the gardens and beach, and include lounge, dining room and swimming pool.
  • Presidential Villa at Lémuria offers all-out privacy and indulgence, more akin to staying in your own private hotel than a villa within a resort. Perched on the granite blocks of the southern tip of the Anse Kerlan, the villa comes with 3 suites, an outside Jacuzzi, study and dining room. The ultimate in decadence, there are 3 swimming pools situated at different levels, all leading to a private beach.

Madagascar

Constance Tsarabanjina offers a fabulous luxurious getaway on its own private island. Situated in the north-western part of Madagascar, Tsarabanjina is one of the islets of the Mitsio Archipelago.

Constance Tsarabanjina bungalow

Constance Tsarabanjina bungalow, Madagascar

If you want to play Robinson Crusoe without leaving behind your luxuries, this is the place to escape to. There’s no TV and no phones (apart from your mobile). Instead, you can enjoy the island paradise of white sandy beaches, lush tropical vegetation and coral reefs brimming with fish.

  • Each thatched roof bungalow overlooks the sea and is situated on either the north or south beach. This is 5 star luxury with the added bonus of total seclusion from the outside world.

Mauritius

Constance Le Prince Maurice is a boutique hotel on the eastern coast of Mauritius set on a peninsula protected from the winds.

Constance Le Prince Maurice suite on stilts

Constance Le Prince Maurice suite on stilts, Mauritius

  • Décor is inspired by the spice trade. Junior Suites have thatched roofs, indoor sitting area, bedroom, bathroom and private terrace or balcony. The Senior Villas offer direct access to the beach and a private pool or outdoor soaking bath.
  • The deluxe Princely Suite combines space, superb design and privacy. Made up of two junior and one senior suite it is set in its own garden, and comes complete with two pools and 3 private terraces each with a different view across the lagoon.

Constance Belle Mare Plage is set on the eastern coast of Mauritius, along a 2km white sand beach against a backdrop of 15 hectares (37 acres) of tropical gardens and protected by a coral reef.

Constance Belle Mare Plage junior suite bathroom

Constance Belle Mare Plage junior suite bathroom, Mauritius

  • Junior Suites, some beachfront, are equipped with private balcony or terrace. The Deluxe Suites face the sea, and include a living room and option to connect to a Prestige Room, ideal for families.
  • The Villas come with private pool, and evoke romance and tranquillity surrounded by small lakes, frangipani flowers and coconut groves.
  • The Presidential Villa is set in its own garden area, offering total privacy. The villa comes with lounge, dining room, kitchen, private pool and large veranda. Two villa masters attend to the needs of guests, making sure your stay is tailor-made for you.

Learn to cook with the professionals at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

There’s a special cookery class taking place at Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius on Thursday 30 September.

Colourful spices of Mauritius

Colourful spices of Mauritius

Seasoned and novice cooks alike can enjoy a day learning about Mauritian cuisine.

The event will be hosted by two of our chefs, Rajesh and Frederic Goisset, and wine tasting is led by our head sommelier at Belle Mare Plage.

Against the backdrop of the Deer Hunter restaurant, situated at the Legend golf clubhouse, our chefs will reveal some of our island secrets for creating subtle and lingering flavours.

Deer Hunter restaurant at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Deer Hunter restaurant at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Guests will learn about roasting spices using traditional local Mauritian methods, and how to prepare them. One such method involves a rock, known as the roche carrie, which is used to crush and mix the spices.

This relaxed and informative day includes:

  • 2 hour cookery lesson, where guests will make chicken with garam masala
  • Presentation by the Z’épices Experience shop
  • Recipe sharing including traditional methods
  • Wine tasting with our head sommelier
  • Three course lunch dining with the chefs (includes wine, drinks and coffee)
  • Gifts to take home including an apron, recipe CD and diploma for the course

As this special day will be popular, you can avoid disappointment by booking your place in advance. Email us at: info@bellemareplagehotel.com or visit the Constance Belle Mare Plage website to find out more about our luxury hotel.