Win a 6* luxury holiday to Constance Le Prince Maurice

There’s still time to enter your photos in our competition to win a 6* luxury holiday at the newly refurbished Constance Le Prince Maurice.

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Le Barachois

Le Barachois at Constance Le Prince Maurice

As well as half-board in an exceptional luxury Junior Suite, the prize includes flights and access to 2 championship 18-hole golf courses.

Other great prizes include limited edition vanity cases from Valmont and fragrance from Shiseido.

How to enter

To enter, send us your favourite photos from your holidays at Constance Hotels, and a short caption telling us about the memory the photo evokes in you.

When to enter

Between now and 4 September 2012, you can enter your photos.

1. Decide which decade your photos are from

2. Check the dates for when you can enter for that decade, see below.

Photos taken 1975-1989

Enter: 20-28 August

All decades
Enter: 29 August – 4 September

Prizes 

The best photos from each decade, as well as from each category of entry, will be awarded a prize from Valmont or Shiseido. Every entry we receive will also be included in our grand prize draw to win a luxury 7-night holiday for 2 at Constance Le Prince Maurice.

Where will the photos be published?

We’ll publish the best photos and captions on our Facebook Timeline. In addition, every entry we receive will be posted on our Pinterest board and Flickr.

To enter, visit our Constance Hotels Experience Facebook page.

Read our competition terms and conditions.

Sponsors of our competition

Valmont - prestigious Swiss spa now open at Constance Halaveli. Discover the luxurious Valmont spa at Constance Halaveli.

Shiseido - one of the most influential skincare houses in the world, available at Constance. Shiseido at Constance Hotels.

Top 5 reasons to go to Madagascar right now

If you’re looking for the perfect place to escape to right now, here are 5 great reasons to consider Madagascar.

1. Weather

Beach at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina

Beach at Lodge Tsarabanjina

Good weather ranks high on most people’s holiday wish list and from April-November, the weather in Madagascar is at its best.

Not too hot but still warm and sunny, diving conditions are excellent. Add in opportunities for sight-seeing at the world-renowned national parks, and the fabulous beaches at Lodge Tsarabanjina and you have a heady combination of paradise beach holiday mixed with exotic island escape.

2. Wildlife

Madagascar has long been known for its lemurs. The 33 species, all endemic to the island, include the ring-tailed lemur and Sifakas, or dancing lemurs.

In 2011, David Attenborough’s series onMadagascar put many other amazing creatures and land formations into the spotlight.

Home to some of the world’s rarest animals, 80% of the island’s plants and animals can’t be found anywhere else on the planet.

Read more about Wildlife of Madagascar.

3. Diving

Clown fish

Clown fish

Vibrant ocean life, clear warm water and unusual underwater rock formations make Madagascar a diver’s paradise.

Off the coast at Lodge Tsarabanjina, there are a number of dive sites accessible by boat for beginners to more experienced divers.

At the Four Brothers site, you’ll find 4 small volcanic islets teeming with fish, while the Tetons is a labyrinth of granite slabs, corridors and grottoes. Expect to see jack fish, scorpion fish, turtles, sponge gardens, angel fish and many many more.

Read more about the Top 5 diving sites off Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar.

4. Fresh, local food

Fresh, local produce features prominently on the menu at Lodge Tsarabanjina.

As Tsarabanjina, we use almost exclusively local products. The quality of the fruit and vegetables is fantastic – we buy great quality food from small farmers. Freshly caught fish and lobster is the norm here, and you can try a whole range of fish you may not normally see in other 5* luxury resorts.

Read more about regional and sustainable food at Constance

5. Barefoot and digital free

Restaurant and bar at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina

Restaurant and bar at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina

The latest trend for no technology holidays took off in a big way this year. On Madagascar you can turn off, tune out and embrace a simpler way of life.

The emphasis at Tsarabanjina is on relaxation and luxury – the only noises you’ll hear are the waves and the birds. Go bare foot, even in our bar, and enjoy the sand beneath your feet.

With stunning sunsets, a small house of your own on the beach and healthy and delicious food, you’ll truly enjoy the exclusive experience of a lifetime.

Visit the Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina website to find out more and don’t miss our Spotlight on Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina.

Heard it through the grapevine…

Head Sommelier Cedric Jacob is extremely passionate about all wines and is eager to share his knowledge with our guests.

Cedric Jacob

Cedric Jacob

When speaking to Cedric his enthusiasm and love for wine is evident and he always welcomes guests to come visit the cellars at Constance Halaveli.

Below he shares a bit about his background and where his passion for wine began.

Where in France are you from?
I was born inParis. My dad got the opportunity to move to Aix-En-Provence, South of France for his job and we all followed him. My little village where we moved to, Ventabren, is in the middle of the appellation Cotes d’Aix-En-Provence famous for its Rosé. As you can guess, you can find more Rosé wine on every table than simple still water. My dad used to say ‘water is for flowers’ but my mum does drink a lot of water!

When did your interest in wine begin?
My interest in wine began when I started in the hospitality industry at the age of 15 where I discovered there was a soul to every different wine, each a different product, something sometimes that is hard to put into words.

I have always been interested in the mysterious things of life and wine was part of this. My lecturer, a passionate man who could speak for hours and hours about this topic, helped me to develop my knowledge and I started to learn about it seriously aged 18.

Some people might say that 15 years is very young but I think that we need to start early to understand the idea of taste and sensation when tasting a product. This goes for food, music, art etc… My dad understood this concept of life and used to give us, my 2 brothers and myself, a tiny glass of wine every Sunday to smell and try to recognise aromas. Then we’d add water in to taste it. That was the beginning of what I call a ‘love story’.

Sommelier team at Constance Halaveli

Sathir, Sampath and Cedric

Why did you become a sommelier?
First of all, I became sommelier for the simple reason that wine was a passion. I love reading about it, finding out what is happening in the world of wine, watching documentaries. Also wine was becoming a huge trend at the time that I started, and people were willing to understand more and more about what they were drinking. It’s not only about drinking nowadays – people want to discover new horizons, understand the importance of Terroir, grape variety, human touch on the final wine that they are drinking and so on. Being a sommelier is all about experiencing and sharing. This idea of conviviality and becoming a sommelier was the best choice I ever made.

What challenges do you face currently being a sommelier in the Maldives?
The main challenge is the difference of climate that definitely changes your perception while tasting. Your smell as well as your taste is affected by the humidity and heat. The same wine tastes totally difference in Europe compared with the Maldives. Our goal is to find a new way of serving wine so our guests fully enjoy the wine that they order, for example, serving slightly chilled red wine.

Another challenge is offering the best price for our customers, considering the heavy import duty on alcohol as the Maldives is a Muslim country.

Cedric Jacob and guests

Cedric and guests at Jahaz

With these challenges how do you foresee them affecting the wine industry in the Maldives?
The main impact regarding government restriction is that wine is getting more and more expensive in this country, especially since the government plans to further increase the duty. However, as a sommelier, we always believe that the price doesn’t always rhyme with quality. Our goal as professionals is to find more small producers from different countries who are driven by their passion to produce great wines. Many young wine makers inFranceand elsewhere are becoming more and more famous for this, and those are the wines we are trying to import. Once again our aim is to satisfy the needs and wants of our guests. 

What is your favourite wine and why?
That is the trickiest question for a sommelier and one that people often ask me because I like everything as long as it is good – white, red, rosé, dessert, Champagne…However since I arrived in the Maldives I have to say that I have a preference for white Sauvignon Blanc for their freshness and their minerality and red Pinot Noir for the easiness and fruit…New Zealand is a region that I particularly appreciate for that even though we do produce amazing Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir in France.

What would be your perfect evening?
A perfect evening is a couple of friends, each bringing a good bottle that they want to make others discover, me in the kitchen (I love to cook, in fact I wanted to be chef before sommelier) and spending the evening enjoying, sharing and having fun with friends… that’s my idea of conviviality.

Do you have any special tips that you would like to share?

Just like a magician, I would say I can’t.

Next time you’re at Halaveli don’t forget to ask our Sommelier team to take you on a tour of our superb wine cellars.

Honeymoons at Constance hotels

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’ve brought you some honeymoon stories from our Constance community. Thank you to everyone for taking part.

Chris and Monique Rankine

Chris and Monique Rankine

Chris and Monique Rankine

Chris and I went to school together and reconnected 12 years later by chance at a mutual friends party. The rest is history!

We went to the magical Constance Halaveli in theMaldivesfor our honeymoon in April 2011.

Some of the things we loved the most about our honeymoon were snorkelling around our water villa every day, and sitting on the beach at Jahaz bar watching the sun set every afternoon while sampling all the delicious cocktails made by CJ the barman.

Every morning, we would wake up to a beautiful sunrise across theIndian Ocean, sitting on our deck and drinking coffee. We would sit for hours taking in the beauty of theMaldives. The water villas are extremely spacious and contained all the necessary amenities, plus they are so private we felt as if we were the only ones there.

Our top tip for honeymooners:

Chris and Monique Rankine

Chris and Monique Rankine

Make sure you pick the right hotel. You can go to a beautiful place like theMaldivesbut if you choose the wrong hotel you’ll be completely disappointed. TheMaldivesis exceptional and if you do go, you must stay in a water villa. You seldom get the opportunity to wake up to the sound of the ocean beneath you and walk straight out of your villa and into the ocean.

To us, Constance Halaveli had the most beautiful water villa and we would highly recommend this resort to anyone. The restaurants are top class, the staff go out of their  way to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. The villas have everything you need, you don’t have to leave your villa if you don’t want to.

And lastly, take a tripod with you – it’s fantastic for randomly taking photos and capturing special moments together.

 

Conny and Michael Buchner

Conny and Michael Buchner

Conny and Michael Buchner

We met each other at university. In October 2011, we went to Constance Moofushi on our honeymoon.

One of the most fun things we did was a sunset tour with a Dhoni. We have very special memories of our whole trip to Moofushi. The beaches are wonderful and the people who work there are so nice and friendly.

Our top tip for honeymooners: Enjoy your time together! And if you go to theMaldives, do as much snorkelling as you can – it is so much fun.

 

 

Mr Dmitry and Mrs Natalia Pshikov

Mr Dmitry & Mrs Natalia Pshikov

Mr Dmitry & Mrs Natalia Pshikov

We met each other at University 12 years ago.

We went on our honeymoon to Constance Moofushi in December 2011. We had our official wedding inRussiathe day before we left, but we also had a wedding ceremony at Moofushi. It was something special and only for us.

The thing we liked the most about Moofushi was the romantic atmosphere of the island. It was so lovely to lie on our villa’s terrace or on the beach, to enjoy the sounds of the sea and fresh air, to read books and drink wine.

We went snorkelling and diving where we saw sharks and small rays.  We also liked the spa very much. Special gratitude for DJ in Manta Bar. He made pictures of our wedding ceremony in secret and on the next evening he staged a slideshow with music for us and all guests at Manta Bar. It was a lovely surprise!

Our top tip for honeymooners:

If you’re looking for high quality all-inclusive service, an unforgettable wedding ceremony we really recommend Constance Moofushi. TheMaldivesis paradise on the earth.

 

Simon and Nicole Woodward

Simon and Nicole Woodward

Simon and Nicole Woodward

We met when I was serving in the British Military inGermanyand Nicole came to visit an old school friend, as her father had also been in the military.  Her best friend was the girlfriend of a friend of mine, so we were introduced.

We got married at Constance Lemuria in May 2007. One of the most fun things we did on our honeymoon was learn to play golf, it was hilarious.

We loved our wedding meal – we were staying in a pool villa, and our wedding meal was served in the sunken area in the middle of the pool. It was really quite special.  The staff also made us a special wedding cake, which was delicious.

Our top tip for honeymooners:

Our tip -  why stress about any of it… our wedding planner did everything while we relaxed and enjoyed our time there.

We’d love to hear from more of you

If you’ve been on honeymoon to one of ourConstanceresorts, we’d love to see your photos. You can post them onto the Constance Facebook page or tweet them using @constancehotels.

 

 

Special offer: save 40% on honeymoons at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Honeymoon dining

Honeymoon dining

Head to paradise for your honeymoon and enjoy a 40% discount for one adult at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius.

This beautiful luxury hotel is set on one of the island’s most stunning beaches along the sheltered East coast.

The offer is valid from 16 April to 20 October 2012, in one of our Prestige Rooms, Junior or Deluxe Suites.

Minimum 5 nights stay, the package includes:

  • daily breakfast and dinner
  • a bottle of wine and canapés
  • flower petals and candles in the room/bathroom
  • seafood candlelit dinner and photo souvenir
  • departure gift

Find out more about this great honeymoon deal, including terms and conditions, on the Constance Belle Mare Plage website.

 

 

Top 5 natural wonders of the Seychelles

Beach at Constance Lemuria

Beach at Constance Lemuria

One of the most alluring features of the Seychelles as a holiday destination is its geographical isolation.

Perched in the middle of the Indian Ocean, some 1000 miles off the east coast of Africa, this archipelago of 155 islands has managed to maintain its ecological credibility - protecting the rich endemic flora and fauna that its famous for.

Here’s a run-down of our top 5 must-see natural wonders of the Seychelles.

1. The atoll of Aldabra

Giant land tortoise

Giant land tortoise

The Aldabra atoll is situated in the most remote part of the Seychelles. Made up of 4 main islands, it’s here that you’ll find the largest raised coral atoll in the world – now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With a pristine coral reef and over 100,000 giant land tortoises, it’s a must-see for anyone interested in ecology. Other wildlife on the islands include frigate birds, giant crabs and the white throated rail, the only flightless bird left in the Indian Ocean.

Find out more from the UNESCO website.

2. Sainte Anne Marine National Park

An easily accessible boat-ride away from Victoria Harbour, this marine park is made up of 6 islands. Being close to Victoria, Ste Anne is well within the tourist trail but still worth a visit.

The marine park offers superb snorkelling conditions in clear waters. Here, you’ll see many of the 900 species of fish found in the Seychelles.

Hawskbill Turtles are another big draw for visitors to these islands.

3. Vallée de Mai on Praslin Island

Coco de Mer

Coco de Mer

Lying in the heart of Praslin Island, Seychelles, is Vallée de Mai  –  a national park, UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the highly revered Coco de Mer seed.

Vallée de Mai is the only place in the world where you’ll find Coco de Mer. Visitors can wander through the national park, beneath giant palm trees. And keep your eyes open for the rare Seychelles Black Parrot. Read our article about the Coco de Mer.

4. Bird Island

Bird Island is situated some 60 miles north of Mahé.  It’s a tiny flat coralline island where over 400,000 pairs of sooty terns breed every year between May – November.

There are viewing platforms where keen ornithologists can enjoy the sight of the terns incubating their eggs and caring for newborn chicks. Other birds found on the island include curlew sandpipers, fairy terns and turnstones.

5. Beaches, beaches, beaches

North Beach at Constance Ephelia

North Beach at Constance Ephelia

Across the Seychelles, you’ll find stunning beaches complete with huge granite boulders, soft white sand and breathtaking views across the calm turquoise waters.

These islands look like paradise on earth, and you’ll feel you’ve been whisked far away from the mêlée and humdrum of daily life.

Find out more about our 2 resorts in the Seychelles: