Constance Halaveli involved in major project to protect reefs in Maldives

Constance Halaveli is thrilled to be involved in an important IUCN Maldives Marine Project aimed at helping resorts manage and protect their precious reefs.

IUCN Maldives Marine Project helps resorts manage & protect reefs

IUCN Maldives Marine Project helps resorts manage & protect reefs

The IUCN Maldives Marine Project, endorsed by the government of Maldives, hopes to develop a framework to help resorts manage their marine environment by establishing Marine Managed Areas.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the oldest and largest global non-profit environmental organisation in the world and it has selected Ari Atoll as the demonstration atoll for this project. We at Halaveli are excited to have been chosen as one of the resorts taking part.

This week Senior Project Officer, Patrick Svensson PhD, and Marine Biologist, Barbara, will be arriving at Halaveli. They will be working closely with our dive centre to conduct extensive house reef and resort reef system surveys.

The data collected will then be used to create a reef habitat map to illustrate areas of coral cover, diversity and resilience to aid us in managing and maintaining our precious reefs.

Protecting the environment of Halaveli

At Halaveli looking after the natural wonders of our environment is very important to us so that we can pass this beautiful region on to the next generation in tact.

That is why we are also currently working with Valmont and Water Solutions on a coral growth program in the waters around Constance Halaveli.

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Top 5 must see sights in the Seychelles

There are so many beautiful sites and natural wonders spread across the islands of the Seychelles that it can be hard to know where to start.

Palm trees and waterfall in Vallee de Mai, Praslin Island, Seychelles

Vallée de Mai nature reserve, Praslin Island, Seychelles

So before you plan your dream Seychelles holiday, here’s our guide to the top 5 must see sights.

1. Vallée de Mai – Praslin

Don’t miss the opportunity while in Seychelles to wander through the ancient palm forest of Vallée de Mai. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is also one of the few places on earth where you can see the mysterious, endemic coco de mer grow.

2. Sir Selwyn Clarke Market, Victoria – Mahé

Immerse yourself in bustling Seychelles life at the food market held daily in the capital Victoria and surrounded by local clothing and craft shops. Buy fresh local spices, fruit and street food or just take in the vibrant sights and sounds.

3. Anse Georgette – Praslin

A hidden treasure, and one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Anse Georgette is a secluded bay accessible by a stunning nature walk from Constance Lémuria. Because it’s not accessible by road, expect to have the pristine white sand and gentle waves almost entirely to yourself.

4. Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden – Mahé

Must see sights in the Seychelles: the Giant Aldabra Tortoise

Must see sights in the Seychelles: the Giant Aldabra Tortoise

Set in the hills above the beautiful Anse Royale this old colonial spice plantation has views which stretch for miles over the coast and verdant interior. Spices are still grown in the gardens here and sold in the shop. Enjoy the views from the terrace of its small restaurant, but don’t forget to book as it is very popular.

5. The Giant Aldabra Tortoises – Curieuse Island

A trip to Seychelles wouldn’t be complete without meeting some of its most famous inhabitants, the giant tortoises. While there are several places in Seychelles where visitors can interact with the tortoises (including the botanical gardens on Mahé) Curieuse offers the most natural experience where visitors can meet the tortoises wandering free on this island nature reserve.

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10 tips for planning a family holiday

Looking for inspiration for your next family holiday? Here are our 10 tips for planning a luxury getaway with the kids in tow.

Family holidays at Constance

Family holidays at Constance

1. Get everyone involved in picking the destination

Make children feel like it really is their holiday too by involving them in the planning. Give them a choice of destinations and then have a family vote.

2. Book family-friendly accommodation

It may sound obvious but make sure the place you want to stay genuinely welcomes chidren, and that the accommodation is spacious enough to fit you all in comfortably. A villa within a resort can be a luxurious home away from home giving everyone the space you need.

3. Check what the hotel provides before you go

Lighten your load considerably by checking what the hotel provides for children. At Constance you can ask our online concierge for everything from cots and high chairs to armbands and beach toys.

4. Get the kids inspired with fun local facts

Find out about your destination before you go. Fun facts like Mauritius was home to the Dodo, or that pirates’ treasure is still hidden in the Seychelles will help children engage with their new surroundings.

5. Give them their own travel pack

Keeping kids occupied on a long-haul flight can be a challenge so pack a special bag of engrossing goodies which you can give them as they board the plane.

6. Don’t just stick to the children’s menu

Try and encourage children to try some of the local cuisine. Pick something not too far out of their comfort zone so they’re more likely to give it a try.

7. Create a family challenge to try new things

Challenge everyone one in the family, mum and dad included, to try something new. Constance offers a range of activities from waterskiing, sports fishing and scuba diving to yoga and cookery classes.

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

8. Spend some time alone

It’s great to spend time together as a family but everyone benefits from time alone too. Take advantage of the complimentary Constance Kids’ Club and spend an hour or two reading that book that’s been lying around for months, enjoy a nap without interruptions or visit the spa for some rejuvenating treatments.

9. Make time for playtime

With so much on offer it can be tempting to fill your time with planned activities but make sure you leave plenty of time to just go with the flow of the day as it unfolds.

10. Enjoy time just as adults

It can be hard for parents to share time alone on a family getaway but remember this is your holiday too. Take advantage of our babysitting service to share a cocktail in the bar and a candlelit meal for two.

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3 ways to cook palm heart

The palm heart is a popular delicacy in Mauritian cuisine. Favoured for its fresh taste it is often used as an ingredient in mixed salads, gratins and soups. It’s a rich source of fibre, protein and minerals and aids digestion.

Mauritian cuisine at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Mauritian cuisine at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Ways of eating palm hearts

The three most common types of palm hearts you will find in shops are the white palm heart, the royal palm heart and the palm heart of a coconut tree.

Here are 3 recipes for palm heart suggested by our chefs at Constance Belle Mare Plage.

Recipe I: Palm heart and marrow toast with anchovy and citrus by Jocelyn Larose

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 2 pieces of palm heart
  • 1 French baguette
  • 2 yellow limes
  • 2 oranges
  • 1kg beef marrow
  • 100g flavoured tea
  • 1L of fish stock
  • 3 gelatine leaves
  • 2g seaweed (agar-agar)
  • 200g bacon
  • 100g beef stock
  • 500ml soya oil
  • Salt and pepper

1. Braise the palm heart in water and lime juice for 45 minutes on medium heat. Once cooked, cool immediately in ice-cold water. Cut the palm heart in lengths of 8cm. Take care to remove the centre while leaving the cylindrical casing of the palm heart intact.

2. Bring the fish stock to a boil, remove from heat and add the beef marrow for approximately 6 minutes. Dice the bacon, brown in a pan and transfer onto paper towel.

3. To make the citrus anchoïade, reduce 500ml of the fish stock by half – add the gelatin softened in cold water and the agar-agar and leave to cool. Mix with a blender with 150ml soya oil, adjust the seasoning using salt and pepper as well as the orange zest and lime. Transfer into a pastry bag and store in the fridge.

Finishing and presentation

Cut 4 slices of bread and grill them. Cut the palm heart into 1cm thick slices. On the slices of bread, spread a layer of citrus from the pastry bag and add the cylinders of palm heart. Place the bacon in the palm heart cylinders and then add a layer of citrus anchoïade.

Place the palm heart in the centre of the plate, followed by the slices of bread around the side. Use the beef sauce to drizzle around the palm heart. Finally add the citrus zest on the slices of bread.

Recipe II: Crispy palm salad by Gerard Rohan and Cherry Guava sorbet and vanilla oil by Frédéric Goisset

La Citronnelle Restaurant, Constance Belle Mare Plage

La Citronnelle Restaurant, Constance Belle Mare Plage

The cherry guava is a small fruit well-loved in Mauritius when in season. It blends perfectly in this recipe, the crispiness of the palm heart and the acidity and freshness of the sorbet creating a light, refreshing starter.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Palm salad

  • 1piece of palm heart
  • 1 mango (not too ripe)
  • 1 bunch of chives
  • 10g of pink candied ginger
  • 40ml lime juice
  • 15g olive oil
  • Tabasco QS

Using a paring knife, peel the palm heart. Leave only the edible part of the heart. Peel the mango and cut into ½ cm cubes. Set aside. Finely slice the chives. Chop the pink ginger.

Chef’s comment:

Add the lime juice immediately after slicing the palm to avoid oxidation and simultaneously, add the olive oil. In this recipe we have made use of mango, however, a wide variety of exotic fruits can be used as the palm generally has a neutral taste.

Cherry guava sorbet

  • 500g guava puree
  • 100ml red wine
  • 130g glucose
  • 4g cinnamon powder
  • 3g green cardamom
  • 4g sorbet stabiliser
  • 150ml water
  • 40g sugar

Vanilla oil

  • 1 Madagascar vanilla pod
  • 50g olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Split the vanilla pod in two, remove the seeds and add to the olive oil. Slice the rest of the pod into thin strips and oven dry for 24 hours.

Finishing and presentation

  • Fresh mint
  • Salt

Slice the palm heart into thin (3mm) slices. Transfer to a bowl, add the lime juice, the chopped ginger, the mango cubes and the chives.

Season with olive oil, salt and a dash of Tabasco. Mix thoroughly and plate up in a shallow dish.

Add a scoop of guava sorbet, mint, 2 sticks of dried vanilla. As a finishing touch, drizzle some drops of vanilla oil and sprinkle salt on the palm salad.

Belle Mare Plage's La Spiaggia Restaurant

Belle Mare Plage’s La Spiaggia Restaurant

Recipe III: Palm heart velouté

Ingredients

  • 500g palm heart
  • 50g almond powder
  • 400g milk
  • 500g liquid cream
  • 20g pineapple
  • 400g coconut water
  • 4g white pepper
  • 4g coriander kernels
  • 4g mint leaf
  • 4g coriander leaf
  • 22g scallion
  • 12g salt

Put everything in small rondo forms and cook covered with baking paper for about two hours, mix and push through a sieve. Season to taste.

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Constance Creatives: Water sports at Constance Halaveli

Water sports at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Water sports at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

As one of our long standing members of staff, Ibrahim Amir has been working at Constance Halaveli for more than 30 years, long before it became part of the Constance group, and he’s loved every minute of it.

It was in 1990 that he discovered his true passion for water sports, and changed his job from barman to water sports instructor.

So what inspires him after all these years?

Ibi explains, ‘This job gives me the opportunity to combine the place, which has been my home for so many years, with my big passion: water sports in all regards.’

He describes how important it is to be easily approachable for guests and to give them the best service possible. Behind the scenes, Ibi keeps all the water sports equipment at Halaveli up to date and in great condition.

Ibi’s enthusiasm for water sports is infectious, and he’s our man on the ground at Constance Halaveli making sure we’re up to speed with the hottest new trends out on the water.

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Queen of Retreats recommends Constance Le Prince Maurice

Luxury wellbeing and spa blogger Caroline Sylger Jones praises the Kickstart the Fast Diet package at Constance Le Prince Maurice on her Queen of Retreats website.

Constance Le Prince Maurice

Constance Le Prince Maurice

Sylger Jones accompanied Fast Diet co-creator Mimi Spencer to Mauritius to try out the Fast Diet package, created by Spencer, which includes special calorie-counted meals for fast days, spa treatments and exercise advice.

‘Mimi’s idea is that, away from life’s distractions and looked after by others, getting into The Fast Diet couldn’t be easier – making it more likely that you’ll continue it when back in your real world,’ Sylger Jones explains.

Available all year round and without the need to pre-book, she was impressed at how easy it was to get involved in the Kickstart the Fast Diet package on arrival at the hotel.

She also praised the fact that Fast Diet dishes are marked on all menus with a special logo to make it easy to follow and even drinks and cocktails come with calorie advice.

Sylger Jones explains that fasting was easier in the 5* luxury of the hotel, ‘It felt good to focus my attention on other things – the view, for example, or the excellent book I was reading, or how comfy the day bed was on my balcony. All in the knowledge that the next day I could eat what the hell I liked from a choice of top notch restaurants.’

She raves about the food on both fast and non-fasting days highlighting ‘lavish buffet breakfasts at L’Archipel’, the sashimi and salads at the laidback Asian Corner and dinner at Le Barachois, the hotel’s restaurant which floats on the peaceful lagoon.

She says, ‘Between eating and not eating I stayed busy with laid back yogic stretching on the beach, lots of swims in the lap pool and the sea, and lying about reading on the beach – where staff served us cold water in natty orange ice bags, cleaned our sunglasses and brought us tubs of Haagan Daaz on non fast days. It’s all very relaxed.’

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