Constance Ephelia is a new but very smart resort in an amazing location on Mahe
Constance Ephelia Resort: Our full report
Constance Ephelia Resort in the Seychelles stretches diagonally over the narrowest part of a small peninsula on Mahé Island’s western coast. It overlooks two stunning beaches, a number of secluded coves, and Port Launay Marine National Park. It’s a relatively new and very large resort by Seychelles standards, which promises high-quality accommodation, plenty of bars and dining options and a variety of activities!
Ephelia Resort’s 277 suites and villas are split between the two sides of the peninsula: some are spread along the resort’s windy south beach, whereas the others sit behind the northern beach and on its adjacent hills. Due to less wind and tides, the latter location is usually much better for a beach holiday. These two sections of Constance Ephelia are separated by a mangrove forest and well-tendered gardens hosting the resort’s spa.
All suites and villas have complimentary WIFI, a TV, a Mac mini, iPod connection, DVD & CD player, a tea and coffee station, as well as en-suite bathrooms with a bath tub, a separate shower, double vanities and a hairdryer. There’s a real choice of accommodation at Ephelia Resort:
- On our most recent visit in September 2011, we stayed in one of Ephelia’s 184 Junior suites (see a typical floor plan here). All of them are clustered around shared swimming pools behind the south beach, each of which has an adjoining bar and sometimes also a restaurant. Inside each Junior suite, you’ll find a double bedroom with a king size bed (high-quality cotton linen) and an extra sofa bed to accommodate a child under 12, plus a little sitting area. There’s a big wardrobe with proper wooden hangers, a good-size digital safe and an electric mosquito detent, a complimentary tea and coffee station, a well-stocked, yet pricy mini-bar, a little desk and a flat screen TV. The TV’s iHome offers an extensive DVD library, a rather mediocre CD library and access to several TV channels including BBC News, CNN and M-net movies as well as several French and Italian channels. Each Junior suite is equipped with a multi-function phone and lots of plug points, most of which are British in style, but a couple of them are designed for international visitors. The clever lightings can be dimmed agreeably. Every Junior suite possesses a ceiling fan and air-conditioning, which works consistently but doesn’t seem to have the power to chill the room very fast. The rooms are tiled in a bamboo granite theme, and kept in a beige, brown and white colour scheme. A granite-framed open door, which can be slid-shut, leads to the bathroom. Expect high quality fittings, twin basins, two lighted mirrors, a magnifying mirror, a very nice deep bath tub, a toilet separated by a sliding door and a separate shower with a granite door frame here. The Junior suite we stayed in had three sets of sliding patio doors: one in the bathroom, which looked out onto a little courtyard and two more on the corner facing towards the sea. You can open these doors completely without feeling overlooked. Finally each of the suites comes with 2 umbrellas – which seems amusing first but turned out to be quite useful during our most recent stay.
- The 40 Senior suites (see a floor plan) at Constance Ephelia Resort in the Seychelles form blocks of ten and have effectively the same facilities and design like the junior suites. However, they are larger (80m²) and close to the north beach – near the villas. They don’t have private pools, but do have direct access to the beach instead.
- Six of the 18 Family villas at the Seychelles’ Constance Ephelia Resort come with two bedrooms, sleeping up to four adults in total. Each of the other 12 family villas has three bedrooms (including one twin) for a maximum of six adults, plus an extra single bed to sleep an under-twelve. In these family villas, a lounge open on one side to the pool, and the lovely en-suite master bedroom are on the ground floor (see floor plan). Upstairs, a second double bedroom equipped with a little minibar and a twin bedroom (with fairly close twin beds) share one bathroom (see floor plan). Additional amenities in Ephelia Resort’s family villas are the mini wine cooler with a selection of wines and the tea and coffee station provided. Outside, a courtyard holds a private swimming pool with a gazebo at its end. These family villas are ‘hosted’ by concierges who look after four to five families each.
- In front of the family villas, Ephelia Resort’s 16 Beach villas (370m²) have access to the north beach. Each of them sleeps up to four adults, plus two children under 12 on sofa beds. There are different types of Beach villas, all of which have a private pool:
- Eight Type A villas are two-storey buildings, with one en-suite double bedroom on the ground floor (see floor plan) and one on the first floor (see floor plan) – and a pergola outside.
- Four bungalow-style Type B villas (see floor plan); both bedrooms in this are on the same level.
- There are also beach villas with just one bedroom, which can take two travellers.
- The ten 10 Spa Villas (see floor plan) at Ephelia Resort in the Seychelles form part of the ‘Spa village’ in the gardens between north and south beach. They are specifically designed for couples looking for luxury relaxation, with a number of meditation and calm zones. Each one has a sitting area, a beautiful, spacious bedroom looking out onto the private pool, a sauna/steam room and an en-suite bathroom with a shower, toilet and a Jacuzzi, plus its own treatment room. Hence, guests staying here can enjoy pampering treatments and massages in the privacy of their villa, with the spa’s therapists coming there. The long lovely pool outside is partly shaded and lined by some sun loungers. You’ll also find a pergola outdoors.
- Set apart from the other villas and overlooking the north beach, the 8 Hillside villas at Constance Ephelia Resort split into two. The five 120m² Hillside villas have only one bedroom (see floor plan), whereas the three others (220m²) (see floor plan) contain two bedrooms each. All offer an indoor and an outdoor shower, an espresso machine and an icemaker. Outdoors, expect a private wooden deck with thrilling views over the ocean and a beautiful pool, which can also be accessed right through a sliding door from the bedroom. To get around the island from here, you could sign a disclaimer form to request a buggy, because the hillside villas don’t come with bicycles. There’s a full butler service available for these villas at the Seychelles’ Ephelia Resort.
- Ephelia Resort's showpiece is the Presidential villa (see floor plan). It is located at the end of the line of hillside villas and extends over 980m². It provides three spacious bedrooms for a maximum of six guests, a private gym and spa, its own massive swimming pool and adjacent deck with dining facilities – not to mention the awe-inspiring views of the sparkling Indian Ocean.
Besides, there are five boutiques offering basic supplies, as well as a range of Seychelles arts and crafts. A supervised kid's club organising activities and excursions for children is open daily from 9am to 10pm – see our Children section for more details!
There is a huge choice of activities at Constance Ephelia: four swimming pools, a well-equipped gym and tennis and squash courts can entertain the sporty. Equipment for non-motorised watersports – including snorkelling, kayaking and windsurfing – is available at no extra charge. An extra charge applies to motorised watersports (e.g. diving and fishing), as well as for the rent of bicycles or tennis equipment, tennis and yoga lessons and the use of the climbing wall or Zip Line.
For sun-seekers, the warm tropical waters and sands of Port Launay are just a mere hop, skip and jump away. If you’re coming for a pure beach holiday, then it’s worth trying to stay in one of the villas or suites near the north beach, just for the proximity to this beach. The south beach gets much more wind than the north beach, and at low tide the water is much further away from the south beach.
In the centre of the Seychelles’ Ephelia Resort’s area is the 'Spa de Constance', which has a number of different treatment rooms, a yoga pavilion, a sauna and a Jacuzzi, all tucked away in lush tropical gardens.
Our ViewSet in beautiful lush surroundings on Mahé Island, Ephelia Resort in the Seychelles is luxurious, very well-appointed and aims mainly at couples and small families. If you can get over the size of it, you’ll probably enjoy the variety of restaurants and activities here. Rates for rooms here, especially on B&B basis, are great value. However, be aware that anything extra which you buy here – from yoga lessons to drinks for dinner - will come at a hefty price!
Ideal length of stay: Ephelia Resort will be sufficiently big that many visitors will probably only come here for a week or two. That said, it will probably also work very well as the first half of a two-centre trip, combined with its sister-resort on Praslin, Lemuria.
Directions: Situated on the western coast of Mahé, Ephelia Resort is about an hour's drive from Seychelles International Airport and about 30 minutes from the island's capital, Victoria.
Owner: Ephelia Resort is owned by the Constance Hotels Experience Group.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: There are five restaurants and bars at Constance Ephelia Resort in the Seychelles, each of which has its own individual style and concept:
- As the name implies, at the main restaurant Corossol 'Live' you can watch the chef preparing meals. This restaurant on Ephelia Resort's south beach serves breakfast and international dinner buffets, e.g with Asian dishes, pizza & pasta, and meals prepared on a grill or plancha. There are at least five different sitting areas here, each of which feels a bit like a separate little restaurant with its own design, music and ambience. Next to the Corossol, the main bar offers live music and dancing in the evening, plus a relaxing lounge area and an outside wooden terrace.
- On Ephelia’s south beach, Helios 'Mediterranean' serves lunch from 12noon-3pm, a tea menu from 3-5pm and dinner on special theme evenings. Lunch dishes were typically between 250 and 300 Seychellois Rupees (SCR) when we last visited in 2011, which are UK£12-15 at the time of writing. You might choose a pizza from the restaurant’s own wood-burning oven, pure Australian beef burgers in a home-made bun with or without cheese and onions, or perhaps a homemade quiche of the day with green salad. We had a Niçoise sandwich pan bagnat-style and fresh local tuna and half-boiled eggs, potato and mixed salad when we last stayed, which were okay but not compelling. The three or four pizzas, which ranged from 190-280 SCR (about UK£9.50-15), are probably the best choice for lunch here. Between 3 and 5pm, tea, pancakes, crepes, waffles and a range of sundaes and ice creams are served, too. Next to the restaurant, Helios bar is a casual venue for brewed ice teas and a variety of hot and cold coffee drinks.
- You can also have lunch at the Adam & Eve from 12noon to 5pm, which focuses on Asian cuisine. The a-la-carte menu includes salads, skewers, meat and fish dishes, and 'native breads', served with their signature chutney. On selected nights, dinner is hosted here as well. The wine list at the Adam & Eve comprises a good selection of French, South African, Australian, New Zealand and Chile wines. When we last visited in 2011, we would usually spend around 150-200 SCR (UK£7.50-10) on a glass or 800-1200 SCR (UK£40-50) on a bottle of wine. The adjacent Adam & Eve bar, which is set right next to one of the Junior suites’ pools behind south beach, specialises in smoothies and fruit and vegetable drinks. Enjoy a healthy, tropical drink out of a coconut here!
- The Cyann 'Signature cuisine' between the beach and hillside villas is Constance Ephelia’s haute cuisine restaurant. It serves casual chic lunches, a ‘beach menu’ and elegant dinners. Its chef focuses on French cuisine, mixed with local and Asian flavours. The restaurant’s own wine cellar holds an impressive choice of carefully picked vintages from the Old and New Worlds. There’s also a sushi bar in the immediate vincinity, where we tried Cyann’s signature sushi for 420 SCR (UK£21). These 12 sushi pieces with salmon, tuna, red snapper, prawn and pieces of pineapple tasted all very nice and fresh but were fairly sweet and didn’t feel like an authentic sushi flavour to us. However, we really appreciated the chef’s flexibility in catering to our two-year-old son. In the same elegant style like the restaurant, Cyann bar at the Ehelia Resort in the Seychelles boasts a range of aged rums, single malt whiskies, rare spirits, sake and sophisticated cocktails.
- For a completely different experience, head for the northern end of north beach, where Seselwa 'Cuisine des Iles' serves breakfast buffets, a beach menu and a-la-carte lunch and dinner. Expect Creole dishes and fresh seafood in a relaxed atmosphere! Seselwa bar is probably the best venue at Ephelia Resort to sip a cocktail or chilled beer while socialising with other guests to Creole tunes.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Family holidays: Ephelia Resort has 18 vast Family Villas, each sleeping up to six people on family holidays in the Seychelles. Alternatively, its Beachside Villas, Junior and Senior Suites can accommodate under-twelves on sofa beds. Children might enjoy the beach or activities in the kids’ club.See more ideas for Family holidays in Seychelles
Beach holidays: The northern beach at Constance Ephelia Resort on Mahé Island is a lovely spot for relaxed beach holidays in the Seychelles. Non-motorised water sports like kayaking and windsurfing are complimentary here. Expect consistently high standards throughout at this excellent resort!See more ideas for Beach holidays in Seychelles
Wellbeing: At Ephelia Resort’s ‘Spa Village’, several treatment rooms, a sauna/steam room, a Jacuzzi and a yoga pavilion hidden in lush gardens await travellers for wellbeing breaks. In a ‘Spa Villa’, you even have your own Jacuzzi, and therapists come to your private treatment room.See more ideas for Wellbeing in Seychelles
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Ephelia Resort.
Special activities & services: Ephelia Resort has a kid's club, which organises indoor & outdoor activities for 4-to 11-year-olds and is open daily from 9am to 10pm. There’s a games room and a children’s dining area here, as well as a large shallow pool with a little water slide. Among the kids’ highlights are often theme days when they can participate in making pizza, ice cream and smoothies.
A special children's menu (including gourmet baby food) is available on request and we found the chef at the Adam & Eve to be very accommodating when preparing a little three-piece sushi for our son.
Equipment: Constance Ephelia Resort in the Seychelles has 18 vast Family Villas, with three bedrooms each (one twin), for a maximum of six persons. On a more modest note, Ephelia Resort's Junior and Senior Suites, as well as the Beachside Villas have additional sofa beds to sleep children under the age of 12.
Generally recommended for children: Yes – the staff were extremely good with our two-year-old son when we last stayed at the Constance Ephelia Resort in the Seychelles.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Power supply notes: The local voltage on Mahé Island is 220V.
Communications: There’s a telephone in every suite, and complimentary WiFi throughout the Constance Ephelia Resort. When we last stayed here we felt that this was a bit patchy – sometimes it worked really fast, while at other times the connection was very slow. Ephelia Resort in the Seychelles does not have a wired connection.
TV & radio: Each of the suites and villas at the Seychelles’ Constance Ephelia Resort has an LCD TV, with an iHome providing a selection of international TV channels, as well as CDs and DVDs.
Water supply: Mains
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: A full laundry service is charged as an extra, piece by piece.
Accepted payment on location: Constance Ephelia Resort in the Seychelles accepts traveller's cheques, and cash payments in Euro, US Dollar, UK Pounds and Seychellois Rupees.