Constance Ephelia: A family getaway
We don’t usually like big resorts, but at Constance Ephelia, a family-friendly resort, is different. Situated on the main island Mahé in the Seychelles, we experienced a big resort feeling like a small one. We had the pleasure of staying in 2 Constance properties in the Maldives before, so knew what to expect. The properties in the Maldives are different than the ones in the Seychelles, but we still had a great time! While definitely not all aspects of our stay were perfect, it’s a resort with huge potential. There’s quite a lot of room for improvement, but under the right management it can become a top address in Mahé.
Constance Ephelia, which you can book here, picked us up at another hotel at 9am in the morning. Don’t expect any luxury hotel cars in the Seychelles! During our two weeks here, we only saw one European car. The hotel sent us a comfortable car with great A/C. We also received bottled water, cold towels and a very knowledgable driver, who made the 30 minute drive very interesting. Upon arrival, we sat down in the lobby and received a delicious peach iced tea as a welcome drink. We filled-in some papers and the front office manager told us our room wasn’t ready yet. We had a seat at the bar, where we grabbed a continental breakfast and waited.
Different than the usual villas with private pool
To be honest, we’ve been a little bit spoiled with the hotels we’ve been to the last couple of months. Most places we stayed at only had villas with private pools and butler service. So it kind of felt refreshing to be back in a junior suite with terrace. The hotel also has villas with private pools (see picture above!), most rooms are suites with just a terrace. We quickly realised not having a giant villa with pool makes spending time in your room a lot less enjoyable. As a result we went out of our room much more and spent more time in the common areas of the hotel, which was nice!
Don’t think our junior suite was so small or uncomfortable that we had to escape it! In reality the suite was decently sized with a nice area to sit and a terrace with garden views. We also had a huge bathroom with a double sink, a large bathtub and a standalone shower. The only thing we weren’t particularly fond of was the comfort of the bed. Oh, and the fact you couldn’t clean your sandy feet with water or a brush outside your suite before entering. All in all it was perfectly adequate for a couple and twice the size of junior suites in city hotels.
The location of our suite was also very convenient. Less than 100 meters away from the beach and from one of the main pools! The result was that a refreshing dive in salt or freshwater was never far away.
Which side to pick?
The resort consists of two parts: the south side and the north side. Both sides are divided by a large mangrove where you can find the spa. There are a couple of restaurants and a beach on each side of the island. You’ll find buggies driving from one side to the other almost constantly which you can just hop on or off.
The south side of Constance Ephelia is the side with the reception, the main restaurant and the shops. Here you’ll mostly find junior suites. The beach is large and not crowded at all on this side, mainly because the water isn’t very blue and there is no water sports centre here.
The North side hosts the multi-bedroom suites and villas and has a beach with very blue water. Most of the time the beach there is very crowded, both with hotel guests as well as day-trippers. All beaches in Seychelles are open to public, so you’ll often find non-hotel guests coming to hotel beaches. You’ll also find the water sports centre here where you can rent a kayak or paddle board take a boat to nearby islands. Make sure to read our top 5 most amazing beaches in the Seychelles blogpost! This is also the sunset side, so we’d come here before the sunset to watch the sky turn orange.
Even though we’re suckers for blue ass water, we’re even bigger suckers for secluded beaches. This is why we spent most of our days on the south side of the resort. The water wasn’t as blue, but at times you really had the whole beach to yourself.
Better than average resort food
Probably the reason why we genuinely don’t like bigger resorts is the mediocre lukewarm food that comes with it. Constance is a little different however, as they put a large emphasis on the food and beverage aspect. We hate the fact that every single restaurant is built around a pool, which makes it impossible not to look at people in swimsuits during lunch. However the quality and taste of the food was always really good. We can highly recommend lunch at Helios, the Mediterranean restaurant, and dinner at Adam&Eve, the Asian Fusion restaurant. We had one of the best meals of our whole Seychelles trip here. A big part of that was thanks to the amazing South African sommelier who was such a great guy and recommended us a killer bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon!
On another evening we went to the Creole night, which was in the Seselwa restaurant on the North side of Constance Ephelia. It was buffet-style, with some good options, also for vegetarians. Once again the recommended wine by the sommelier hit the spot. Suddenly musicians and dancers surprised us during our dinner and before we knew it, at least 20 guests (including us) were swinging on the dance floor! A great way to finish our stay at Constance Ephelia. The resort also has a fine-dining resort, called Cyann, which is not included in the half & full board plans and which we didn’t try, but apparently serves some very nice dishes.
The half & full board meal plans include most of the items on the menu, except for some extras like lobster. The only thing we felt was kind of cheap (or maybe we’re just being cheap), is that they are charging for still water in the restaurants at about 6$ per bottle. Especially because for that price you get a plastic bottle of water from a local brand, while everywhere else in the resort (such as your room) you get unlimited complimentary glass bottles of water.
The perfect place to relax
The resort also has a large spa with a few treatment rooms and saunas, steam rooms and a couple pools. Definitely come here to get away from the crowded other pools. Hotel guests can use the wellness area every morning, even if they don’t have a treatment planned.
One morning we received a 60-minute massage, which was perfectly in line with our spa experience at the Maldivian Constance resort: rather disappointing. We had our massages in separate treatment rooms, so you couldn’t actually call it a couple treatment anymore. The treatment rooms were very basic and the massage itself just wasn’t very good: it completely lacked finesse.
While some things could be improved at Constance Ephelia, such as the spa treatments and the fact they still serve plastic bottles of water in restaurants (which you have to pay for!), we feel this hotel is a great base to discover the Seychelles from, especially when traveling with kids! The hard product is good and the food is very good to great. We love that there are multiple pools and that you can choose from two large beaches. The service in general was also very good. Everyone really tried to make our stay as perfect as possible!