Trends 2012 – the spa experience

Spa treatment room

Wonderful spa treatments available at Constance

As we stride into 2012, are you enjoying the challenge of keeping to your new year’s resolutions?

This is a great time of year to make changes in your life that will bring you a greater sense of wellbeing, and improved health and happiness.

These days, the trend is towards a certain art of living. There’s a general wish to feel comfortable with ourselves, and to find simple internal happiness.

Lifestyles are constantly evolving and we need to adapt to the new demands on us. A spa is all about combining health, beauty and well-being through specific and tailor-made treatments.

Try something new…

At Constance Hotels, our guests return time and again to our spas for well deserved treatments.

Spa de Constance

Stunning setting for Spa de Constance at Moofushi

It’s not just about reclaiming ‘me-time’ – it’s about reminding ourselves, when we’re not functioning at full speed, to listen to our body and mind, and to restore an equilibrium that enables us to live life to the full.

Our spas provide a wonderful harmonious space were you can:

  • enjoy something new
  • immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings
  • receive personalised treatments
  • feel really well looked after
  • nuture your physical and emotional self.

At our 7 resorts across the Indian Ocean, you’ll find the renowned Spa de Constance as well as spas specialising in Guerlain and Shiseido treatments. At Constance Ephelia, you’ll find spa villas that come complete with personal treatment spaces.

Visit our Constance Hotels Experience website to find out more about our spas at each resort, and don’t miss these spa articles on our blog:

Truffle Week at Constance Belle Mare Plage and Le Prince Maurice

This year, Constance Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice organised a ‘Truffle Week’ to the delight our guests who love gourmet food.
Delectable black truffles

Delectable black truffles

La Confrérie de la Truffe Noire, the Brotherhood of the Black Truffle, is based in the hill region of the Drome des Collines in South East France.

They kindly sent one of their members, Helene Faure, to Mauritius to speak with our chefs and sommeliers about the tuber melanosporum, more commonly known as the black truffle.

The black truffle provides the gold standard in the truffle world because of its delicate taste, and delightful and intense bouquet.

 

To help in understanding and recognising this black treasure, Helene offered the team a comparative tasting and visual appreciation of the various kinds of truffle. We learnt how to identify each one’s shape, aroma and taste. Helene also gave our chefs a variety of recipes for how truffles can be used in our cuisine.

Guests in our Mauritian resorts enjoyed special dinner menus on Tuesday 10 and Friday 13 January 2012, featuring a flavoursome black truffle purée and an amazing black truffle soufflé, which made a delicious and tasty dessert.

The atmosphere in the stylish and friendly settings of both the Constance Le Prince Maurice’s Archipel Restaurant and the Constance Belle Mare Plage’s Blue Penny Café was really something to be savoured – quite simply fantastic.

Recipe: Turmeric-flavoured yellow lentil soup with free-range chicken breast

This warming lentil soup from the kitchens of Constance Le Prince Maurice is delicious and simple to prepare. Perfect for January when you feel like some straight-forward, one-pot cooking.

Constance Le Prince Maurice

Constance Le Prince Maurice

Serves 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

For the soup:

  • 200g yellow split lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 fresh ginger root
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 leek
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g boneless, skinless free-range chicken breast
  • 1 level tbsp turmeric
  • 1/2 dried red chilli
  • 2 pinches cumin seeds
  • 2 pinches fennel seeds
  • 1 small stick cinnamon
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 10cl crème fraîche
  • 40g butter
  • salt and pepper

The tomato chatini:

  • 4 fried croûtons
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 sprigs coriander
  • 1 tbsp olive oil + a little for serving
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Peel and chop the onion, ginger and garlic separately. Clean and finely dice the carrot and leek.
2. In a saucepan, fry the onion in olive oil for 1 minute without colouring. Add ginger, garlic, carrot and leek. Sweat for 3 minutes. Add the chicken breast, yellow lentils, turmeric, fennel and cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, dried chilli, thyme and parsley. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add chicken stock, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and simmer for 1 hour.
4. Remove the chicken breast, slice it finely. Set aside.
5. Remove the cinnamon stick, blend the soup, rub it through a fine sieve, add crème fraîche and butter. Correct seasoning.
6. Prepare the chatini: cut the tomatoes into quarters, seed them and cut them into julienne strips. Chop the coriander leaves.
7. Mix the julienned tomato, chopped coriander, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Spread this onto the croûtons.
8. Place a small mound of the sliced chicken in the middle of each soup plate. Pour the hot soup onto it and top the chicken with one chatini croûton. Finish with a think streak of olive oil and serve.

Alternative ingredients:

You can also replace the chicken stock with water or vegetable stock, and substitute red lentils for yellow lentils. In a typical creole meal, lentils are served alongside rice.

Honeymoon special offer: 80% discount for one adult at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Stunning beach at Le Prince Maurice

Stunning beach at Le Prince Maurice

If you’re getting married this summer, check out this irresistible honeymoon offer at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius.

One adult enjoys an 80% discount on honeymoon bookings at our 5* deluxe resort when staying in a junior suite or villa. This offer is valid from 15 April to 20 October 2012.

The package includes:

  • Daily breakfast and dinner
  • Candlelit dinner
  • Fruit speciality and wine on arrival

Find out more about this fabulous deal, and terms & conditions on the Constance Le Prince Maurice website.

And get the lowdown on the beautiful resort from our article – Spotlight: Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Constance Christmas Log Cake Competition

Bruno le Gac, our executive corporate chef, reveals the winner of the Constance Christmas log cake.

Constance Christmas Couture Handbag Cake

Constance Christmas Couture Handbag Cake

The whole process started more than 6 months ago, when I launched an internal competition amongst the pastry chefs of the company.

Inspired by what the top pastry chefs in Paris have been doing lately, we wanted to create a unique Christmas log cake that would be presented and served in all our resorts on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day.

The Christmas Log challenge

The rules were quite simple: the mandatory ingredients for the cake were chocolate and tea (any kind). The chefs could choose the rest.

Our pastry chefs had to come up with something elegant, original and representative of the group. The use of pre-casted moulds, chocolate decors and commercial decorative features was not encouraged, as we wanted the chefs to express their creativity freely and to think out of the box. Finally, all components needed to be edible, even decorative ones.

Each pastry chef had the same amount of time to create, elaborate and present their own version of what the 2011 Constance Hotels Experience signature Christmas log cake should be.

And the winner is…

Chrystel Germain, pastry chef at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Chrystel Germain, pastry chef at Constance Le Prince Maurice

I had the very difficult task of choosing the winning team, based on design, originality and taste. All projects were very interesting and I was thrilled to see how well this project had been received by the teams in our different resorts.

And the winner is…. Constance Le Prince Maurice, and pastry chef Chrystel Germain, who created the Constance Christmas Couture Handbag Cake.

Constance Christmas Couture Handbag Cake

The cake is made out of a coconut ‘success’ biscuit, a body of milk chocolate with coconut tea and cardamom mousse, and a heart of Malibu mousse. It is decorated with laced milk chocolate that symbolizes woven leather.

The sides of the cake are decorated with a paste made out of icing sugar, cocoa butter and glucose syrup. This represents soft leather, and it takes the signature orange colour of Constance Le Prince Maurice.

 Chef Chrystel got his inspiration by passing by the beautiful Anya Hindmarch shop located in the lobby of the resort. Naturally, this is where we chose to take the photos of the winning cake.

Interview: The Guittet family – on holiday with Constance

Guittet family on holiday at Constance Hotels Experience
Guittet family on holiday at Constance Hotels Experience

Aurélien Guittet is a Captain for a European flagcarrier. He is married to Anouk, a lawyer, who is currently a full time mum. They have 2  children – Alexandre, 4 years old and Chloé, 2 years old. They live in Luxembourg, Europe.

Here they share their experience of family holidays with Constance Hotels.

1. Tell us what your family loves most about going on holiday with Constance Hotels Experience.

We discovered Constance 11 years ago. The first resort we went to was Le Prince Maurice in Mauritius. That was such a great time!

The resort itself was like a little paradise. The restaurants were great and on top of it all, the staff make you feel at home, giving very personalised service and a lot of attention. Since that first experience, we only stay at Constance Hotels when we travel to the Indian Ocean.

2. What do your children look forward to the most about the holidays? And you and your wife?

Guittet family out kayaking in Seychelles
Guittet family out kayaking in Seychelles

Our kids are still very young but we agreed early on that we wanted to share our holidays with them.

Our friends and family thought we were crazy to take such small kids so far away from their home. But one of our favourite quotes from Mark Twain says it all:

‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’

So every time we have the opportunity, we take our kids along for the holidays. What they look forward to is to spend time with us, discover new things, enjoy sunny weather, and the beach and pools.

For us it’s about the same. But our main goal when we come to Constance is to enjoy wonderful places, have the feeling of living something exclusive and let ourselves be pampered by the very professional staff.

3. How do you and your wife get the opportunity to relax and enjoy the wonderful surroundings, when you’re travelling with two young children?

Children playing at the kids club, Halaveli

Children playing at the kids club, Halaveli

Well, it’s a question of organisation. Most of the time, when we go to the beach or to the pool, we take them along. But when we want to enjoy a special moment like relaxing at the spa, snorkelling or sailing, we take them to the kids club.

4. Tell us about the different resorts you’ve visited. Do you have a favourite, and why?

As said, our first visit to Constance was at Le Prince Maurice. The second visit was at Constance Lemuria. That stay proved to us that Constance was really the kind of resort we wanted for our holidays because of the location in a small paradise, because of the great service, food, and the impression that every guest is treated like an individual person.

So a few holidays later, we went back to Le Prince Maurice and got engaged there one evening, having a cup of champagne close to the pool with a musician playing flute in the background…

We returned to Le Prince Maurice to celebrate our 10 years together and that was our last trip without our kids.

Aurelien, Alexandre and Chloe on the beach

Aurelien, Alexandre and Chloe in the Seychelles

The first resort we visited with the kids was Constance Ephelia. We were a bit sceptical when we booked, as this resort was much bigger than the ones we visited before, and we were wondering how our kids would behave in such a place. But the experience was just fantastic.

Our last visit was to Constance Halaveli Resort in theMaldives. There, we also had a great experience.

Our favourite remains Le Prince Maurice due to the sentimental value it holds for us, and Ephelia is in our opinion the best for kids.

But we must say that in any Constance resort, the architecture and lighting are absolutely beautiful and well designed, making it a very peaceful place.

5. Have you stayed in different types of accommodation? If so, which type has suited you the most as a family?

Children at the water villa, Constance Halaveli

Children at the water villa, Constance Halaveli

All the suites we have had were really big and it is no problem to share it with the kids. The best was the water villa at Halaveli – very spacious, state of the art equipment, very quiet, breathtaking view and again, the impression of being alone.

6. Do your children enjoy the special kids’ activities that are on offer?

Yes they do! As said before, we sometimes leave them there when we want to do activities that are not suitable for them. They like to play with other kids, use the facilities (games, swimming pools) and they get on very well with the friendly and professional staff from the kids club.

7. Is the food at Constance ‘family friendly’?

Guittet family dining at Constance Hotels Experience

Guittet family dining at Constance

For us, being French, food and wine is of great importance during our holidays.

At Constance, this is just fabulous. Eating at the restaurant is a real pleasure when you can taste high quality products prepared with passion, with the perfect matched wine.

In every Constance hotel we have been, there was always a great choice of restaurants. At the beginning with the kids, we were afraid that they would find the time at the table long and disturb the other guests, but they behaved really well, and the staff are so friendly that it really makes you feel at home.

I was so pleased to discover the wine menu at Halaveli, and to visit their great wine cellar with the chief sommelier. Amazing wine list, especially when you remember that you’re on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean!

We also love to order breakfast for delivery in our room. Being a family and having breakfast on your terrace with your kids, watching the endless ocean and observing the fish hunting is priceless.

8. Would you share some highlights from your family holidays with Constance?

Our kids are very lucky. By travelling with us, they have already seen different cultures, different people, and some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.

Guittet family with giant land tortoise

Guittet family with giant land tortoise

They have fed sharks and rays, played with giant turtles, learned to swim in the nicest places and the nicest pools. They came with us deep sea fishing, tried kayaking and had a go in a paddle boat. What else can you dream of to develop their curiosity?

And when they get tired, put them on the bed – the in-room video on demand system has many cartoons that they will enjoy…

9. Do you have any tips for travelling with young children that you’d like to share with other Constance fans?

For the flights, night flights are great as the kids can sleep during travel.

The only ‘enemy’ will be the sun, never let them out without sun protection…