11 things you didn’t know about the Indian Ocean

Famed for  its idyllic beaches, crystal clear waters and year round sunshine, here are 11 facts you might not know about the Indian Ocean.

The Indian Ocean is the third largest body of water in the world, consisting of 57 island groups

The Indian Ocean is the third largest body of water in the world, consisting of 57 island groups

1. Around 36 species of whales and dolphins call the waters of the Indian Ocean home.

2. The country of the Maldives is 99% water.

3. The infamous pirate Olivier Le Vasseur is thought to have died leaving treasure worth €100,000 buried in the Seychelles.

4. The national snack of Madagascar is Koba, a patty of rice, banana and peanuts.

5. The legendary dodo was only ever found on the island of Mauritius. Despite becoming extinct less than 80 years after its discovery, it still remains on the country’s coat of arms.

6. The Indian Ocean is the third largest body of water in the world accounting for 20% of the earth’s surface. It consists of 57 island groups, borders 16 African countries, 18 Asian countries and Australia.

7. The Maldives is made up of 1,190 coral islands making up 26 major atolls (the word ‘atoll’ comes from the Dhivehi – the Indo-Aryan language spoken in Maldives – it is the only word in English to derive from Dhivehi).

8. Madagascar is home to more than 250,000 different species of flora and fauna, over 70% of which are found nowhere else on earth.

9. The capital of the Seychelles, Victoria, is the smallest capital city in the world.

10. Mauritius is surrounded by more than 150km of idyllic white-sand beaches.

11. The giant tortoises of the Seychelles can live well over one hundred years. Jonathan, a giant tortoise who currently lives on Saint Helena, is thought to have been born in 1832.

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Luxury long haul family holidays to Mauritius

Going on holiday when you have children is one of the most precious times in the annual family calendar. Looking to escape with the whole family may start with finding the perfect location and accommodation but with kids in tow there’s a whole range of other extras you’ll be looking for.

Luxury family holidays to Mauritius

Luxury family holidays to Mauritius

Here’s our guide to what’s on offer at Constance Hotels & Resorts in Mauritius for families in search of that much-needed holiday.

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

This family-friendly luxury boutique hotel offers elegant Mauritian charm with 5* facilities for you and plenty of fun for the kids. According to blogger Luxury Travel Mom of her recent visit to Le Prince Maurice: ‘children aren’t just welcomed, they’re completely adored’.

Family suites

With thatched palm roofs and rich wood interiors, family suites feature an elegant grown-up bedroom with en-suite bathroom and a separate children’s room complete with bunk beds.

The rooms come with flat-screen TVs with satellite channels and DVD players.

Things for kids to do at the hotel

As well as the complimentary kids’ club there’s a host of activities on offer for children, including:

  • 2 swimming pools
  • 2 championship 18-hole golf courses (kids lessons available)
  • Snorkelling
  • Mountain biking (bikes and helmets available to borrow)
  • Kids yoga, cooking classes, fun spa treatments
  • Waterskiing, scuba diving (8 years+), kayaking, glass-bottom boat excursions.

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

With so much on offer at Constance Belle Mare Plage, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to spend fun family time as well as that rare pleasure of time spent alone with your partner.

Child-friendly accommodation

Belle Mare Plage has a wide range of flexible accommodation to suit families. Some of our Prestige Rooms and Junior Suites (featuring a double bed and sofa bed) are available as interconnecting rooms. Our Deluxe Suites with separate seating and dining areas are also available to interconnect with a Prestige Room. More information on our website.

Private villas

For a luxury home away from home our 2-3 bedroom 2-storey villas come complete with their own pool and garden as well as your own Villa Master.

Fun spa treatments for kids

Fun spa treatments for kids

Things for kids to do at the resort

  • 4 swimming pools
  • 4 floodlit tennis courts
  • Table tennis
  • 9-hole mini-golf
  • 2 18-hole championship golf courses (kids lessons available)
  • Bike rental
  • Waterskiing, scuba diving (8 years+), kayaking, wind surfing.

What you won’t need to pack

Most of our hotels and resorts provide a range of equipment from highchairs, buggies and cots to nappies and baby monitors, just check with us before you travel.

Days out – things to do in Mauritius

Mauritius is a very family-friendly island with loads of exciting activities to keep the whole family busy from wildlife parks with ziplines and safaris to waterparks, submarine trips and pirate cruises.

For more to do with kids in Mauritius read our guide ‘a family holiday in Mauritius’.

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Pioneering winemaker Alex Dale visits Constance Le Prince Maurice

Innovative South African winemaker, Alex Dale, created a sumptuous wine dinner for guests and training for our sommeliers at Constance Le Prince Maurice.

Archipel, Constance Le Prince Maurice

Constance Le Prince Maurice

At the Winery of Good Hope, Dale has made it his mission to create a range of wines to showcase exciting new varieties, vineyards and even alternative winemaking techniques.

He says, ‘The fact that the pioneering settlers of 1652 named their new land The Cape of Good Hope is proof of their faith in this area’s potential. Wine grapes were among the first crops to be grown there, starting in 1655… Today, this land – and this industry – still holds so much untapped potential.’

A confirmed Burgundy lover, when Dale founded the winery in 1998 he was determined to champion the much maligned South African Chenin, which he has succeeded in putting on the map in the last 15 years.

Dale also brings his passion to the cultivation of surprising Pinot Noirs, Pinotages, Viogniers and Chardonnays.

On his visit to Constance Le Prince Maurice, Dale took the time to organise a private wine tasting with our sommeliers when he was able to tell them personally all about his wine and his winery.

Guests at the hotel were then invited to attend a special wine dinner featuring some of Dale’s favourite wines including:

  • Renaissance, Chenin blanc 2012
  • Freedom, Pinot Noir, 2012
  • Freedom 2008/2010
  • Winery of Good Hope’s Syrah 2011
  • Old Vine Viognier 2011.

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Sizzling barbecue recipes from Constance Belle Mare Plage

Nothing says summer’s on the way like the sound of friends gathered in the garden with the scent of marinated meat sizzling on the barbecue.

Sizzling barbecue recipes at Constance

Sizzling barbecue recipes at Constance

Here is a selection of our favourite BBQ marinades from our chef at Constance Belle Mare Plage.

Recipe 1: Fish marinade

  • 50g grated orange zest
  • 50g grated lime zest
  • 15g dried chilli
  • 15g black pepper
  • 10g salt
  • 50ml virgin olive oil

1. Blend all the ingredients together and let it rest for one hour.

2. Put the fish into the marinade for at least two hours, then grill.

Recipe 2: Pork breast marinade

  • 100g honey from Rodrigues
  • 100g virgin olive oil
  • 20g roasted sesame seed oil
  • 50g BBQ spices (Mexican or Cajun mix)
  • 15g salt 10g coriander seeds
  • 10g Balsamic vinegar
  • 5g soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ spring onion bouquet
  • ½ chopped thyme bouquet

1. Mix the honey and spices together, add the oils and blend together to create a paste.

2. Add all other ingredients.

3. Cut the pork breast into 1cm thick slices and put them into the marinade. Make sure, that all slices are fully covered. After some hours, turn the slices.

4. Grill on the BBQ.

Recipe 3: Chicken Marinade Sohan Singh style

  • 1kg yoghurt
  • 40g coriander powder
  • 20g cumin powder
  • 10g saffron powder
  • 30g red pepper powder
  • 10g black pepper
  • 10g salt
  • 50g garlic paste
  • 50g ginger paste
  • 10ml lemon juice
  • 80ml mustard oil

1. Blend all powders together. Add the garlic and ginger paste as well as the lemon juice and the oil. Add the yoghurt.

2. Cut the chicken in big pieces and marinate them for at least 5 hours.

3. Fit the chicken on to skewers and put them on the BBQ or in a Tandoor-style oven.

Recipe 4: Lamb marinade

  • 100ml virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 rosemary branches
  • 3 thyme branches
  • 3 cracked garlic cloves
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt

1. Chop the herbs and fold them into the other ingredients.

2. Marinate the lamb chops for at least 2 hours before you grill them.

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Try the Kickstart Fast Diet in Mauritius

Get inspired to look and feel your best with the Kickstart Fast Diet at Constance Le Prince Maurice.

Constance Le Prince Maurice

Constance Le Prince Maurice

The luxurious, elegant setting of Le Prince Maurice with its fine dining restaurants and emphasis on wellbeing is the perfect place to kick off your Fast Diet or to give it an extra boost.

Created by Fast Diet co-creator Mimi Spencer, the Kickstart Fast Diet at Le Prince Maurice builds the 5:2 approach into a program of specially created menus, spa treatments and exercise routines.

On fast days guests can enjoy delicious carefully calorie-counted dishes and on non-fast days Mimi has a range of recommendations for scrumptious, healthy treats marked on the menu as ‘Mimi Recommends’.

She even recommends a range of lower-calorie cocktails such as the ‘skinny mojito’ and ‘sea breeze over lots of ice’.

As part of the Kickstart Fast Diet program there are also some key spa treatments recommended by Mimi to help optimise the diet’s effect such as the anti-cellulite treatment at the hotel’s award-winning Sisley Spa.

Have a session with one of our personal trainers to devise the perfect exercise routine for you on fast and non-fast days or join one of our classes including yoga fusion, Pilates and animal flow.

To learn more about the Fast Diet visit the official website.

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Leading female sommelier wins at Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Cheryline Coulon from Constance Le Prince Maurice won this year’s Wine Competition at the 9th edition of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau in Mauritius.

Cheryline Coulon, sommelier at Le Prince Maurice

Cheryline Coulon, sommelier at Le Prince Maurice

Cheryline tells her story of how she’s found her place as one of the rising sommelier stars in Mauritius.

I had the opportunity to start my career in France, in the largest palaces of the Cote d’Azur in Nice in 2006, including the Palais de la Méditerranée, Le Méridien and Sol Cala Di Ajaccio in Corsica.

In 2009 I got a big break when I had the opportunity to learn and share extensively with industry professionals in the champagne bar ‘L’Effervescence’ in the Old Town, Nice. From that moment my love and passion for wine has not stopped evolving.

On my return to Mauritius in 2010, I started working at Constance Belle Mare Plage and then moved onto Le Prince Maurice. Constance is a pioneer in this field, and attaches great importance to food and wine.

The Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau is an extraordinary experience for everyone involved. It’s a trying week both mentally and physically but it also offers unforgettable encounters with Star Chefs from around the world. Do not forget the wine and cuisine walking hand in hand. A good dish should be highlighted by wine and vice versa, this is what is known as the triad.

The festival is also an opportunity for us candidates to excel, to question, to see our limitations and to improve.

I am delighted to have won the title of Best Sommelier Festival Bernard Loiseau 2014 and to have had the honour to represent Constance Le Prince Maurice. I am now taking part in the competition of the Best Sommelier of Mauritius 2014.

In the words of David Biraud (Meilleur Ouvrier de France 2004): “I have known many more defeats than victories, but the important thing is to get up and persevere.”

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