Gallivanter’s Guide: Le Prince Maurice gets fantastic review

The latest edition of The Gallivanter’s Guide is now available, and this month it features a review of Constance Le Prince Maurice.

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Constance Le Prince Maurice

Find out what reviewers Lyn Middlehurst and David Maslin think of our 6* deluxe hotel in Mauritius.

Sometimes, travel advisors and guests are guilty of learning by rote the names of a location’s ‘best’ hotels, and repeat the recommendations of these sacred cows ad infinitum, even when everything has changed beyond recognition.

This is decidedly true of Mauritius. The old favourites, such as Royal Palm, Le Touessrok and One & Only Le Saint Géran can no longer be classed as high-end, in my opinion. They all require serious investment and, perhaps, more importantly, a fresh perspective on what the high-end guest truly requires these days.

Equally, the new kids on the block are not necessarily better, for it takes rather more than a serious marketing budget and a sexy website to make a great hotel.

Constance Le Prince Maurice

Villa 30, Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Villa #30, a true home from home

We first stayed at Le Prince Maurice in 1999 and were enthralled by this intimate and elegant Aman-like resort. Fourteen years later, the 89-suite property remains timelessly beautiful – its Feng-Shui architecture by Jean Marc Eynaud and interiors by Martin Branner and Dale Keller, enhancing its 148-acre footprint that, uniquely, encompasses lush interiors, a splendid beach and a fishing reserve, or barachois.

We stayed for the umpteenth time, half way through the resort’s major refurbishment, and were thrilled to discover new exceptionally comfortable beds, soft down and feather duvets and pillows and fine cotton bedding edged with coffee coloured thread.

The dark wood floors had been polished to perfection, whilst chic cinnamon and spice-hued soft furnishings and objects lifted the look, and flat screen TVs, Apple minis, Nespresso machines, iHome Ipod dockers and thoughtfully stocked minibars demonstrated that this resort had been listening hard to its guests.

Villa #30 – best in the resort?

Private pool and deck at Villa 30, Constance Le Prince Maurice

Private pool and deck at Villa 30

We stayed in what is, for me, the nicest Pool Villa in the resort, for #30 sits on the gentle curve of the white sand beach, where the bay joins the barachois – a calm mangrove-set fishing lake that meanders lazily into the verdant distance.

Not only do you have your own generous plunge pool, lounging deck, outdoor dining table and thatch-shaded verandah, but you also have two palapa-covered loungers on the sand reserved just for you and stocked with bottled water.

Inside, there is a second full size dining table and a remarkably extensive room service menu, so that if you want to hole up here for the duration, you can.

There is a guest loo and shower off the sitting room, and a dressing area off the bedroom that leads into the twin vanity bathroom, which has an extra outdoor tub. The bathrooms are looking somewhat dated but in every other respect, they work well.

Bedroom at Villa 30, Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Bedroom at Villa 30

Villas # 29 and 31

Apart from Villa #30, I highly recommend the other two pool Villas at the barachois end of the resort; #29 and #31, as these are very secluded. For the best beach views, though, #30 and #31 win hands down. The remaining 6 pool suites are at the other end of the beach, beyond the main pool, so work better for those who prefer a more central location.

Princely Suite

There is one 2-bedroom Princely Suite at the far end of the beach, which although spacious requires a rethink design-wise in my view; but I hear this is happening, along with the refurbishment of the main lobby, so this, too, could be a great option for families or friends.

Junior Suites

Junior suites at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Beautifully designed junior suites

Entry-level suites are junior suite sized; either L-shaped or I-shaped; set in 2- storey blocks of four, with terraces or balconies. A lagoon-facing suite, such as #27, offers the best views, as some are set back in the gardens. However, I prefer the I-shaped suites, such as #28, which are very Aman in style and configuration.

What helps to make the resort so special?

An incredibly elegant resort, Le Prince Maurice attracts a well balanced mix of couples and families; a carefully located kid’s club, Les Petits Princes, set well away from grown-up areas. Senior staff has been here since the resort’s inception, so when you return, you are welcomed ‘home’ by the charming Guest Relations Managers, Meera and Manjoola.

Dining at Le Prince Maurice

The cuisine, under French Executive Chef, Michael Scioli and Food & Beverage Manager, Samuel Pellegrini, gets better and better, whether you opt for a light lunch on the beach deck, Blu, a snack in the chic Bar, or a Michelin-level dinner in L’Archipel, where Head Sommelier, Jérôme Carlier has some excellent  recommendations , including a raft of Rosés.

Le Barachois, Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Le Barachois, Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

The pinnacle of unique dining, however, is to be found at the dinner only Le Barachois – one of the world’s most original restaurants. You reach it via a meandering stilted walkway that snakes across the barachois; the handrails punctuated by lanterns; the only sound being the occasional splash of fish and the lapping of water against the mangroves. After around 5 minutes, you reach the restaurant, which consists of 5 floating, tented pontoons linked by teak gangplanks. The dinner menu here is now quite simple, but the experience is exceptional, including a ‘floating sommelier’.

Spa de Constance

The Spa Constance was being remodelled when we stayed and I was encouraged to hear that Spa Manager, Sophie Demaret, was intent on introducing some chemical free options.

And the other things that make Le Prince Maurice stand out from the crowd…

Beach at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Sheltered beach at Le Prince Maurice

Other lures are the excellent boutiques and the golf practice course, although if you crave serious golf, then sister property Constance Belle Mare Plage, which is almost next door, offers two 18- hole championship courses.

General Manager, Christophe Plantier and Resident Manager Ashok Bhugoo run an extraordinary resort that, encouragingly, gets better each time we return. Do go.

Gallivanter’s Rating:

Extraordinary

Find out more

 

Menu: Easter Monday at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Guests staying at Constance Le Prince Maurice are in for a treat on Easter Monday when dining at the delightful L’Archipel.

L'Archipel

L'Archipel

First rate chef Michael Scioli has prepared a menu of Easter inspired delicacies and surprises. Each course is perfectly complemented with a specially selected champagne or wine.

Creamy egg with tarragon, wild mushroom mousse
Champagne Deutz, Brut Classic

Easter egg with foie gras and cocoa chocolate, tangy seasonal fruits and vegetables
Vin de Constance, Klein Constancia Constancia, 2006

Roasted stuffed Easter lamb leg, piperade and preserved potato, thyme juice
Saumur-Champigny, ‘Les Terres Chaudes’, Thierry Germain, 2008  

Dessert and Easter egg buffet
Poiré, ‘Granit’, Eric Bordelet

Festival of French Gastronomy – 23 September 2011

Logo for French Festival of Gastronomy
French Festival of Gastronomy

As France celebrates its first national food festival – the Fête de la Gastronomie – on 23 September, our French chefs in the Seychelles and Mauritius are joining in the party to celebrate French food globally, and show our love of good food.

This year we’ve chosen ‘Our Earth’ as the theme – because it generously allows us to work it, harvest its fruits and use them for our food. And because man and earth are inseparable.

On 23 September, we will show that the heart of every French citizen still beats in time to the rhythm of good food!

In the Seychelles

Our 2 beautiful resorts in the Seychelles – Constance Ephélia and Constance Lémuria – are joining forces to present the same menu on the evening of the festival.

French classics with a modern twist

The menu proposes a modern version of great French classics such as Tournedos Rossini, accompanied by some of the best wines of the world.

The menu has been created by Lémuria’s executive chef Cyrille Carofano and Ephélia’s executive sous-chef Gwenael Briat.

Seahorse restaurant at Constance Lemuria

Seahorse restaurant at Constance Lemuria

Prize draw

We’ll be holding a prize draw on the evening in both hotels – superb prizes include a holiday for 2 at Constance Ephélia. Students from the Hotel School of Seychelles will also be joining in the fun, to discover more about the culinary culture of France.

In Mauritius

Constance Le Prince Maurice – the menu

On the same evening in Mauritius, celebrity Chef Michael Scioli at Constance Le Prince Maurice will showcase a fabulous selection of the best French cheeses, served with homemade tropical jams and relish, paired with a creative selection of homemade breads.

Pastry chef Chrystel Germain will propose a personal interpretation of the most famous French pastries and desserts. And Constance Head sommelier Jerôme Faure will be ready to suggest the perfect match of great wines at a very special price.

Constance Belle Mare Plage

Evening at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Evening at Constance Belle Mare Plage

At Constance Belle Mare Plage, the theme of the evening – ‘from France to the Indian Ocean’ – celebrates
the friendship and long lasting culinary relationship that exists between Mauritius and France.

The menu

There’ll be an incredible ’16 hands’ menu, based on the best produce of the Indian Ocean, paired with wines from the Old World.

Madagascar crab, local oysters, Black Qwelhi prawns from Mozambique are some of the delicacies that will be served on the night. The menu has been prepared by executive chef Dominique Grel together with all the Mauritian chefs of the resort, and our Food and Beverage Director Frederic Gille.

Pastry chef Thierry Lerallu has combined the tropical flavours of papaya, coconut and vanilla in a creation that’s not to be missed.

Sound tempting? Take a look at the menu for our special event at
Constance Belle Mare Plage
.

Everyone is welcome

This wonderful festival is one this year’s unmissable events. Everyone is welcome to attend the special occasion at our hotels.

Spotlight on the culinary spirit at Constance

Le Barachois floating restaurant at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Le Barachois floating restaurant

Our corporate chef, Bruno Le Gac, gives us the history behind our famous ‘culinary spirit’.

The concept of the culinary spirit was born at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius when the resort was created a few years ago.

What is the culinary spirit?

The idea of the culinary spirit centres around:

  • The careful choice of the best produce.
  • The enhancement of this produce by a precise cooking method and the balanced use of spices.

Michael Scioli, the brilliant chef at Le Prince Maurice, wanted to give a personal and contemporary interpretation of these founding principles.

Le Barachois

Table at Le Barachois, Constance Le Prince Maurice

Table at Le Barachois, Constance Le Prince Maurice

He’s developed a menu at Le Barachois, our famous floating restaurant, where the dishes are created around the association of one central produce and one spice.

Here are just a few dishes on the menu to get your tastebuds excited:

  • Sarawak black pepper and Indian Ocean Albacore tuna, in a tartar with passion fruit and coconut milk starts the dinner with a note of freshness, elegance and a burst of flavours.
  • Fresh turmeric and tek-tek local cockles in a cocotte, a marinière broth with chorizo associates surf and turf in a very balanced way.
  • Sichuan and local grouper, sautéed and flavoured with Mirin, sesame oil and fresh soy sprouts is sharp and goes straight to the point.
  • Tamarind and grilled Royal gambas, a warm salad of capsicum and crispy beans plays with tangy notes and reflects these more vegetal of the garnish.

The dishes are served in a beautiful set of staub grey enamel cast ironware.

Why not try cooking some of our fabulous recipes at home. Every Friday we post a new recipe for you to try – see our culinary section for some great ideas.