“Welcome to Paaa-ra-diiise” the bell boy told us with the free-spirited elongation of each syllable that only comes naturally to those well versed in the rhythm of island life. We chuckled in response but our laughs were instantaneously replaced with the jaw dropping silence of realising he was speaking the truth, as he dramatically opened the weighty, wooden doors of the Constance Lemuria Luxury Resort that did indeed lead to paradise.
After a very friendly and speedy check in, we were delighted to learn our room was ready immediately and we when we were escorted there in the comfort of a buggy car, we knew we were going to end up gaining some flab during this stay!
Hotel rooms at Constance Lemuria
The balcony of our room led into the resort gardens and the bathroom was filled with lightly scented toiletries, where even the soap paid homage to the ecological importance of the Seychelles’ giant tortoises.
A platter of foodie treats lurked temptingly in the corner, the delicately wrapped cellophane of coconut shards unravelling hastily in my hands first.
I would make myself very much at home here, relaxing in the day bed during the post-beach / pre-dinner phase, by the coffee table that would become our own little restaurant one evening on a day when I wilted like a flower in the heat and unwisely, did not stay hydrated.
Suffice to say, heat stroke is not much fun and I have learned my lesson but once Pumpkin came back to the room to find me in my glasses and sleep-wear, hidden under the duvet at 5pm, it quickly dawned on him that we would be dining in-room that night. And when our pizza, ravioli and caramelised banana flan arrived, somehow the staff still managed to make it feel like a romantic restaurant (and showed no judgement to me eating at this makeshift restaurant in my pyjamas!)
White sand beaches at Constance Lemuria
But first, after dreaming of visiting the Seychelles for so long, it was time to sink my heels into those paradise beaches. Anse Kerlan was the boulder lined beach that we would spend the rest of the week ogling and we had not been on the premises long before we hunted down the snorkel gear and the pedal boats and away we went, chasing the clear, teal waters.
If any of these beach snaps catch your eye, then do stay tuned, as in the next few weeks, I promise to share more photos and tips on some of the most beautiful beaches in the Seychelles!
A very short buggy ride or walk away from the Constance Lemuria is a private beach by the name of Anse Georgette, one of the most idyllic beaches in the Seychelles but exclusively available for guests of Constance Lemuria in Praslin or its sister luxury Seychelles hotel, Constance Ephelia on Mahe island.
The hotel provides free towels and charming little picnic hampers with a charge for a day out on Anse Georgette. We did not order one but when we saw couples lazing around and picking at tasty treats, we felt rather envious!
Restaurants at Constance Lemuria
The food was perhaps where I felt the stakes were highest. We had booked this hotel on a bed and breakfast only basis but a brief glimpse at reviews showed us that dining was going to be a costly affair. However, I must say, despite the steep prices, we were highly impressed by the food quality. Our first taster was lunch the day we arrived and as it turns out, when you are in such glorious, luxury surroundings, even a club sandwich with chips feels rather special!
The buffet dinner had an impressive selection of changing dishes without compromising on quality, delivering some outstanding flavours and the kind of colourful fruit displays at breakfast time that put a spring in your step as you start the day.
Do not even ask me how many mini eclairs and macarons we got through…
And to be able to enjoy a vanilla tea every morning with this view was a truly sublime experience in itself.
The way in which the waiting staff always greeted us by name was a really nice gesture – how the flip do they remember?! What was also apparent and rather endearing was the jovial sense of banter between staff members, many of whom had moved to the Seychelles to work from far and wide, leaving family and friends behind and several of whom took a great interest in our Indian heritage, sharing their own experiences with us.
We saw out our final night there at the resort’s fine dining restaurant, The Sea Horse, where we dined under the romantic low lighting of chandeliers illuminating the dark skies and where the highlight was undoubtedly this poached local spinach with ricotta, parmesan and candied tomato in a saffron sauce.
And the restaurant experience we had been most excited about was the prospect of dinner “on the rocks”, where the waves crash thunderously against the boulders, providing the most natural and cathartic soundtrack to a decadent lobster meal.
But if beach dining is more your idea of romance, just ask the staff about the romantic beach dinners they can arrange.
We skipped it on this occasion as we had enjoyed a very special beach lunch in Zanzibar during our honeymoon so chose the rocks this time instead!
An 18 hole Championship Golf Course
This resort will appeal in particular to all those of you with a penchant for a round of golf with one of the best golf courses in the Seychelles. I myself have never played (unless you count a round of crazy golf by the seaside) but Pumpkin parted ways with me for a couple of hours in the late afternoon heat to touch up his golf skills and returned consumed with envy-inducing words about the views he came across as he traversed the course (and rather more self deprecating words about his own state of play!)
We were lucky that during our 5 night stay, only our last day was afflicted by rain and whilst we would have been quite happy hiding under the duvet covers and watching movies, we were quite excited by the formal rainy day itinerary they had put on for us.
Pumpkin and I love a good board game and no matter how many consecutive times I lose to him, I still live on in the deluded belief that one day I will be victorious. So at 11am, we were in the bar playing a generic version of Scrabble and happily drinking cocktails and mocktails 🙂
And then the a resident, independent adjudicator strolled on in to make sure we were playing fair and square 😀
Pumpkin suppressed the urge to make the most of the free mid afternoon pancake and waffle station that the staff had arranged, whilst, I ventured out to the spa for a facial (the rain was the absolute dream of an excuse I had been waiting on the whole trip to justify it to myself!) My spa appointment did mean that I missed the tea tasting however and those who remember my love of tea will understand why I wish I had foreseen the clash!
As I left, I thought my face may just float into thin air and I walked out with a feeling of zen despite the torrential showers that had taken place that morning, which is a sentiment, I can assure you, I NEVER experience when it rains in England!
Most of the luxury resorts in the Seychelles are found on Mahe island so we really enjoyed the experience of being on the smaller, less crowded island of Praslin, whilst still being cocooned in this luxury Seychelles resort.
You are never quite sure if and when you may return to destinations like this and I could think of no better way to have said goodbye to the magical Seychelles islands, than by staring into this sunset on our final night, so captivating and with such a thought-provoking intensity.
The sunsets in Jimbaran, Bali last year struck such a chord with me that I dedicated an entire post to them just a few weeks ago and watch this space, for as I write this post, I feel an urge to do something similar with the sky views from the Seychelles…
Have you ever found a paradise beach somewhere in the world? I’d love to hear your favourites!
Disclaimer: Our dinner on the rocks was complimentary for review purposes but I am an opinionated little island hopper and all views, good or bad, are entirely my own.