North beach at Constance Ephelia Resort.
Fresh fruit at Corossol at Constance Ephelia Resort.
Family villa at Constance Ephelia Resort.
Fresh fruit at Constance Ephelia Resort.
Creole Travel Services.
Private beach just off the Ros Lepa trail.
Cocktails at Cyann restaurant at Constance Ephelia Resort.
When one thinks of the Seychelles, images of white beaches, swimming in crystal clear water and delicious, fruity cocktails at sunset spring to mind and because this was our first trip to the Seychelles we thought exactly the same and we were not disappointed. It’s all true. But there is so much more to this slice of heaven than we could ever have imagined; an experience where everything was so perfect from start to finish.
Apart from the Seychelles being a magical holiday destination, the short flying time, as well as the fact that one doesn’t need a visa are major plus points. A flight with Air Seychelles from O.R Tambo to Mahé (the main and largest island in the Seychelles) takes only five hours and as far as comfort and plane food went, it was the best we’ve ever experienced.
In total, we spent four full days in the Seychelles and stayed at the breathtakingly beautiful 5 star Constance Ephelia Resort on the island of Mahé. Here we enjoyed swimming in our private pool at our private villa, where all you can hear are birds singing, the rustling of leaves in the coconut palms and small waves washing onto the north beach just a few steps away. We had our own villa host and attendant, who were both so friendly and accommodating. In fact, the staff are like a family at Constance Ephelia Resort, even though there are 800 of them!
There are five restaurants on the resort – Corossol, Helios, Seselwa, Adam & Eve and Cyann. Think 5 star buffets with a different theme every evening. This could be an Italian theme, Creole (local cuisine), BBQ or Chinese. At each you will enjoy food made by experienced chefs who will tantalise your taste buds. Apart from eating and enjoying a local Seybrew beer or a cocktail infused with Takamaka rum at the restaurants, or swimming at the beach, there are so many activities one can take part in at the resort. There’s rock climbing and a zip line adventure with the SMAC team (who are from South Africa), snorkeling, trail hikes (where they teach you how to break open a coconut – not as simple as it looks), kayaking, spa treatments, tortoise feeding (they have a 110 year old tortoise called Dusty amongst others). There’s also a fitness centre, tennis/squash courts and even a kids club. Constance Ephelia Resort is paradise and of course, we didn’t want to leave (who would?). There’s no wonder that Trip Advisor awarded all seven hotels in the group a Certificate of Excellence.
If you are staying at one of the other islands such as Praslin or La Digue, it’s an hour’s boat ride from Mahé to Praslin, and another 15 minutes to La Digue. Our advice would be to organise all your ground transfers, island hopping and excursions through Creole Travel Services, a local ground handler for Seyunique - a South African based tour operator. They offer packages to suit every client’s needs.
It makes the experience so much more comfortable and one needn’t worry about hiring a car, taking a taxi, or missing your flight or boat ride. Creole Travel Services are exceptionally punctual and ever so friendly. They always ask how your day has been and what you got up to, not to mention that cool towels and refreshments are always on offer – which is a life saver if you’ve been exploring the different islands the entire day. It’s the small things that make your holiday experience so much more enjoyable.
After exploring some of the magnificent islands in the Seychelles and soaking up the warm weather that averaged between 28 and 30°C every day, one can only imagine how difficult it was for us to be greeted with a frosty 10°C on our return home to Cape Town. Nevertheless, we returned refreshed and fulfilled. Ready to take on the next big thing…
Our in-depth article about our trip to the Seychelles will be in the August/September issue of Vintage Lifestyle Magazine. For now, visit airseychelles.net, epheliaresort.constancehotels.com and seyunique.co.za.
Photographs by Luke Marchant