iafrica.com discovers paradise in the Seychelles with Constance

Travel writer Richard Holmes claims to have discovered Paradise at Constance Lémuria and Constance Ephélia in his review for South African portal iafrica.com.

Holmes describes paradise as the combination of perfect beach locations with a range of exciting activities.

A keen golfer, Holmes was inspired and challenged by the stunning 18-hole course at Lémuria but says there are also plenty of other things to do.

‘Aside from the golf and the seafront restaurants – expect plenty of fresh seafood and a stellar winelist – and the gourmet beach picnics and the body treatments in the Spa de Constance, the ocean is a major draw card here.’

Golfers paradise in the Seychelles

Golfers paradise in the Seychelles

Holmes describes Lémuria as an idyllic destination for honeymooners and ‘island escape artists’ while he feels the gentle beaches and exciting activities of Ephélia make it a more family-friendly resort.

He raves about the beauty of Ephélia’s Hillside Villas and its ‘outstanding dining options’ but the draw for him are the activities including kayaking through mangroves and zip-lining through the jungle.

Holmes sums up his time with Constance saying, ‘Whether your paradise is on a white beach of fine powdery sand, a tee box gazing off into a manicured golf course, or sitting down to gourmet meal after gourmet meal, you’ll certainly find your own personal paradise in the Seychelles.’

Presidential Villa at Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

Presidential Villa at Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

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13 things to do in the Seychelles

Dream about the Seychelles and you imagine picture perfect beaches. Head to the archipelago in the Indian Ocean and you’ll discover plenty of those, along with a host of other delights.

Anse Lazio

Take a stroll along the beautiful Anse Lazio

Here are our 13 ideas for things to do in the Seychelles.

1. Take a hike

Whichever island you are staying on you will find the verdant interior criss-crossed with trails for walkers where you can trek through stunning Jurassic forests and spot tropical birds and wildlife. One of the most spectacular is through the Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahé. A 45 minute walk will take you to the summit of Morne Blanc with stunning views across the island and the Indian Ocean.

2. Visit a local market

Immerse yourself in Seychellois life at one of its vibrant, bustling markets. Visit the famous daily food market in Victoria and see colourful fish of all shapes and sizes, a fragrant array of local herbs and spices, and luscious fresh fruit and vegetables. Experience the laid back local vibe at the beach market at Beau Vallon every Wednesday. Part market, part social gathering you’ll find live bands and dancing along side street food and local craft stalls.

3. Ride a horse down one of the world’s most photographed beaches

Visit the traditional plantation house L’Union Estate on La Digue which doubles as a riding centre and you get the unique opportunity of riding down the stunning beach of Source d’Argent. Ride on powder white sand and splash in perfect clear waters as you pass the stunning granite boulders that are such a feature of this beach.

4. Eat traditional Creole food in a national monument

The restaurant Marie-Antoinette is not only one of the best places to savour traditional Creole food on Mahé, it is also located in a colonial mansion declared a national monument in 2011. The colonial architecture, dating back to the 1800s remains unchanged, but while the building may be colonial the vibe in the restaurant is entirely Creole.

Bird watching in the Seychelles

Bird watching in the Seychelles

5. Birdwatching on Aride Island

One of the finest tropical island nature reserves in the world, a trip to Aride is like stepping back in time to the Seychelles before human habitation. A mecca for bird watchers, Aride is the breeding place for 18 different species of native birds, including five that are only found in the Seychelles.

6. Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Vallée de Mai 

This stunning palm forest at the heart of Praslin Island survives in its original state from prehistoric times, virtually untouched by human influence. Its most famous palm is the endemic coco-de-mer with its distinctive shaped seeds. Visitors will find easily accessible trails through the forest with guides on hand to help and advise. More on Vallée de Mai.

7. Play golf on the only 18-hole golf course in the Seychelles

Play golf on the stunning 18-hole golf course at Constance Lémuria with views over three of Praslin’s most beautiful beaches. The terraced landscape of greens spanning the breathtaking scenery of Praslin’s hills and forests make this one of the world’s most beautiful golf courses. Celebrate your round with a glass of chilled champagne and views across the island to the beach below.

8. Explore the wildlife of Cousin Island Nature Reserve

Just 2km off the shores of Praslin lies this idyllic island nature reserve. With a rich variety of endemic wildlife and seabirds it is also considered the most important breeding site for the endangered Hawksbill turtle in the Western Indian Ocean. As well as the island itself the reef around it is also protected and boast rich marine life including nurse sharks, lion fish and redbanded grouper. More on Cousin Island Nature Reserve.

Golf at Constance Hotels and Resorts

Golf in the Seychelles

9. Visit one of the most beautiful beaches in the world

Regularly featured in lists of the world’s top beaches Anse Lazio on Praslin is a stretch of perfect sugar-white sand shaded by takamaka trees and enclosed at each end by striking granite boulders. Great for swimming and snorkelling.

10. Connect with Creole culture at the Domaine de Val de Près

This pretty recreation of a Creole village on Mahé is set in the grounds of the Gran Kaz Plantation House and provides a fascinating insight into Creole history and culture. Its 12 craft workshops sell traditional arts and crafts while the quirky ‘Maison de Coco’ is a house built entirely of coconut products. More on Domain de Val de Près.

11. Snorkel around Ile Cocos Marine National Park

This collection of 3 small islets off the coast of Praslin may look like classic ‘desert islands’ but in the waters off their shores is some of the best snorkelling in the Seychelles archipelago. A shallow reef, protected from fishing and tourism, has provided a haven for the rare marine life that thrives in these waters. More on Ile Cocos Marine National Park.

12. Breathe in the fragrant air of Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden

Perched above the beautiful beach of Anse Royale on Mahé is this renovated plantation growing spices such as vanilla, citronella, cinnamon and nutmeg. Visitors can buy fresh produce at the plantation shop or eat at the stunning outdoor restaurant with views over the plantation and the beach below. Find out more about Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden.

13. Meet the giant tortoises of Curieuse Island

Meet and feed the giant tortoises who wander free on this island nature reserve (it is estimated there are more than 500), walk through the stunning mangrove forest and keep your eyes open for the hawksbill and green turtles which come here to breed. Visitors to the island are usually greeted off-shore by the hundreds of giant hump-head parrotfish which live in its waters and can grow up to 1.2 meters long. More about Curieuse Island.

Find out more

Visit our website to find out more about Constance Lémuria and Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

For more ideas of things to do in the Seychelles visit Virtual Seychelles

Discover the secret of De Toren’s 5* South African wines with Constance

Take a journey of taste and discovery through some of South Africa’s finest wines with elite winemaker Charles Williams of De Toren when he visits Constance in the Seychelles from 3-10 November.

De Toren Wines

De Toren at Constance Hotels & Resorts

Having won a gold medal from IWSC for its maiden wine in 1999, a Cabernet Sauvignon driven five varietal Bordeaux-style blend, De Toren’s reputation has continued to soar with latter vintages winning numerous accolades, including the elusive ‘5 Stars’ from John Platter.

What lies behind the success of De Toren

Williams explains the success of the privately-owned boutique winery:

‘Fine wines are my passion! For me a fine wine is created and moulded in the vineyard first, then perfected in the cellar. I believe that every terroir has a given potential to produce quality, and to unlock quality one must be a student of nature, learning and observing every moment!’

At the De Toren wine cellar this means an organic approach to viticulture to get the most from the soil and a series of micro-harvests, based on near infra-red aerial imaging to ensure that each small cluster of grapes is picked at its optimum ripeness.

De Toren at Constance Ephélia and Lémuria

Guests at Constance Ephélia and Constance Lémuria will have the opportunity to sample some of De Toren’s finest vintages as well as meet and talk with Charles Williams at special wine events from 3-10 November.

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Visit their website to find out more about De Toren wines.

Recipe: Grilled prawns and grilled mortared tomato satini

The satini grilled tomatoes are very simple to make. This is a recipe that will enhance all your preparations of meat, fish and seafood on the barbecue.

Grilled prawns and grilled mortared tomato satini

Grilled prawns and grilled mortared tomato satini

At Lémuria, this accompaniment is regularly used when we organise private barbecues in the hotel’s beautiful villas.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

The prawns:

  • 12 black tiger prawns (size U10)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 10g ginger
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 1 lime
  • 1g curry powder
  • Salt/pepper

1. Peel the prawns and keep the heads and tails. Store them.

2. Chop the garlic, ginger and coriander. Peel the lime and squeeze the juice. Mix all these ingredients together. Add curry powder, salt and pepper and marinade the prawns for 3 hours.

3. Place the prawns on skewers and cook on a grill or barbecue for about 2 minutes on each side.

The tomato satini garnish:

  • 200g tomatoes
  • 60g onions
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 50ml olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt/pepper

1. Score the tomatoes on the top and arrange them on a plate. Add the olive oil and salt. Bake them at 180˚C for 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Once cooked, peel them, cut them into quarters and remove the seeds. Keep the cooking oil. Grind the coriander and chop the onion. In a mortar, mix the tomato quarters, the lemon juice, the onion and the olive oil that was used for cooking the tomatoes.

3. Mix it until you get a thick paste. Finish off by adding the coriander, and check the seasoning.

Finishing and presentation

Arrange the skewers on plates and the tomato satini on the side in a small bowl.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

Dry white wine:

  • Pouilly Fumé, “Blanc Fumé de Pouilly”, Didier Dagueneau, 2010 France
  • Anjou “Effusion”, Patrick Baudouin, 2009 France 

 

Top 5 reasons to go to the Seychelles

Indulge in a luxury winter getaway to the Seychelles this year and swap short, cold days of the northern hemisphere for those spent soaking up warm sunshine. Temperatures average 29–31ºC with up to seven hours of sunlight a day. Here are our top reasons to go the Seychelles this year.

Relax on the beach at Constance Ephélia

Relax on the beach at Constance Ephélia

1. The perfect time to explore the ocean

Throughout October and November the winds are at their calmest around the Seychelles creating the kind of calm waters and clear visibility – up to 30 metres – that divers dream of. Water temperatures average between 27–29ºC.

A special treat for divers between October and January are sightings of the gentle giant of the ocean – the magnificent whale shark.

2. Big game fishing

Because of the calmer waters this is also the ideal time to fish the teeming waters of the Seychelles. Pit your wits against Yellow Fin Tuna, Wahoo, Barracuda, Blue Marlin and Sailfish in conditions perfect for this high-octane sports fishing.

3. Experience one of the miracles of nature

October to February is turtle-nesting season in the Seychelles when the rare, endangered hawksbill and green turtles return to the same beaches – including the beach at Constance Lémuria on Praslin – to lay their eggs.

Take a trip to Bird Island in December and January and experience one of the only places where the hawksbill turtle can be observed nesting during the day.

4. Celebrate Creole culture at the Festival Kreol

A turtle nesting at Constance Lémuria

A turtle nesting at Constance Lémuria

The capital of the Seychelles, Victoria, has been nominated the capital of the Creole World. To celebrate the town holds an annual festival in November which attracts Creole people from across the world.

As well as food stalls, music and dancing, this year’s festival will be celebrating Creole music with a ‘serenade march’ through the streets of Victoria. Local Creole stars will sing as the procession of dancers and spectators moves through the town.

5. Constance in the Seychelles

For the ultimate Seychelles getaway, Constance Lémuria on the small island of Praslin is a tranquil paradise with access to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

Constance Ephélia on Mahé is a family-friendly luxury holiday resort, offering a raft of activities and set into the stunning scenery of the Port Launay National Marine Park.

Read more

Visit our website to find out more about Constance Lémuria and Constance Ephélia 

Shiseido spa at Constance Hotels & Resorts

At the Shiseido Spas at Constance, guests are invited to indulge in treatments designed to harmonise the wellbeing of the body with the wellbeing of the mind.

Shiseido Spa at Constance Ephélia

Shiseido Spa at Constance Ephélia

This holistic approach is centred around Shiseido’s famous Qi treatments, concentrating on balancing the vital energy which runs through us all.

By blending Eastern traditions and philosophies with Western science and technology, Shiseido are able to offer a menu of treatments which create a complete sensation of wellbeing both inside and out.

Shiseido is available at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Constance Ephélia and Constance Lémuria.

Shiseido’s Japanese Beauty Paradise

Pamper yourself with Shiseido’s two-hour signature treatment in the outdoor Shiseido Pavilion at Lémuria. The treatment begins with a Japanese foot ritual, followed by an invigorating back scrub and steam then a deep back, neck and shoulder massage. The treatment concludes with a sublime 75 minute Qi facial.

Kuroho Body Bliss

Feel yourself revived and refreshed following this two-hour treatment at Belle Mare Plage which involves a full body exfoliation, cleanse and polish to leave skin feeling flawless. Then relax with a Qi body massage and application of Shiseido’s famous replenishing body cream.

Nourishing Bathing Ceremony

Relaxing at the Shiseido Spa

Relaxing at the Shiseido Spa

The ultimate indulgence and path to complete relaxation, this treatment begins with a Japanese foot bath ritual and body exfoliation before immersing yourself into the beautifully fragranced Japanese hydro-therapy bath at Ephélia. Breathe in scents of green tea, cherry blossom and silken rice before emerging for a full body massage and application of Shiseido’s Ultimate Nourishing Body Cream.

What our beauty therapists say

Following a recent Shiseido Spa training day we asked our Shiseido therapists what they thought about the luxury skincare brand. This is what they told us:

  • ‘Before I encountered Shiseido, I didn’t really know how to take care of my skin and my wellbeing.’
  • ‘Once you discover Shiseido, there’s no going back…’
  • ‘Shiseido is the master of beauty which brings magic to your skin.’
  • ‘I am proud to be part of the Shiseido family.’
  • ‘Shiseido = oxygen, necessary for life, health and wellbeing.’
  • ‘A special brand full of positive philosophy.’
  • ‘Shiseido understands every client’s needs.’

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