Constance Lemuria Resort is set on Praslin's unspoilt north-west coast.
Constance Lemuria Resort: Our full report
Part of the small Indian Ocean hotel group, Constance, and a member of Relais & Chateaux, Constance Lemuria Resort is a large, luxury complex on Praslin's unspoilt north-west coast.
Opened in December 1999, Lemuria has grown in reputation and remains one of Praslin's flagship top-end properties. The quality and style of its architecture and accommodation, its extensive guest facilities and a simply stunning stretch of coastline make it a perennially popular choice, particularly with French and Italian guests.
Spread over a beautiful 101 hectares of intricate waterways, lush forest, three powder-sand beaches and a spectacularly manicured 18-hole golf course, Lemuria's 105 ocean-facing suites and villas make this the island's largest property. However, the sheer size of the landscaped grounds and assorted public areas give a great sense of space and far from a large resort feel.
The majority of Lemuria's rooms are classed as Junior Suites, which are the resort's entry-level accommodation. Eleven double-storey buildings of timber and pink granite each house four 52m2 contemporary rooms. Spacious and stylish, these offer understated luxury with a good array of mod cons. Sloping headboards make for easy reclining or TV viewing in bed; studded shutters separate the bedroom and bathroom, and delicate purple throws inject a touch of colour. All rooms have a sofa, and separate Jacuzzi jet bath/shower, effective timber horizontal blinds and a reasonable-sized terrace or balcony.
Dotted amongst the Junior Suites, but with only two rooms per each double-storey block. are eight very spacious Senior Suites (115m2). Each of these includes an additional large lounge/dining area with coffee machine and adjoining shower room, a beach shower on the larger terrace and a whirlpool bath in the master bedroom. The lounge area in these rooms can be converted into an extra bedroom for a child, whilst still affording plenty of space and privacy. Regardless of category, every room has air conditioning, a ceiling fan, a bathroom with bath, twin vanity unit, separate shower and toilet, a hairdryer, complimentary internet & WiFi access, a minibar, safe, satellite TV/DVD/CD player, telephone and tea/coffee station.
All the suites are within 15 metres of the sea, so the opportunity for a quick dip is literally on the doorstep. The view from the ground-floor rooms can be restricted by vegetation, so for better sea views opt for the first floor, whilst for quick sea access, the ground floor is the place.
At the southern tip of Anse Kerlan, the eight two-bedroom Lemuria Villas (725m2) are large affairs offering exclusive beachfront accommodation. Both en-suite bedrooms open directly onto the gardens and sandy shore beyond, and there's also an outdoor bath, good-size lounge with TV and Playstation (free of charge on request) and direct access to an outdoor dining area for moonlit dinners. Outdoor pleasures continue with a private pool and a personal massage pavilion. Guests in the villas also enjoy the services of a Villa Master, a member of staff assigned to take care of your every need.
For Lemuria's ultimate accommodation option, the singular Presidential Villa (1,250m2) offers three en-suite bedrooms, including a master bedroom which boasts a terrace bathroom with private Jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath. In addition there are a lounge and dining room, and an indulgent three pools with steps to a section of private beach. Should you require them, a fully equipped office, private butler, chef and security can are all included in a stay here.
Central to Lemuria, the main building is surrounded by dense tropical trees and huge granite glacis, many of which have been incorporated into the construction and overall design. Both the exterior and interior have been created with extensive use of timber, locally sourced granite, thatch and natural fabrics. From the expansive reception entrance, a naturally formed three-tierswimming pool comes into view – complete with swim-up circular bar and enormous, smooth glacis.
Travertine steps beside a black slate waterfall lead down to the first of the resort's superb beaches: Anse Petite Kerlan. Slightly further away, Anse Georgette is terrific for picnics (though strong currents make swimming unadvisable), while Anse Grande Kerlan stretches for miles and offers great swimming and sunbathing – and from September to March you'll find turtles nesting here.
Lemuria Resort offers a great selection of French, Creole and international cuisine. Its three restaurants, each well located with cracking views, offer a choice of ambience, style and cuisines. Light bites are available throughout the day and both à la carte and buffet menus are served every night, while for an apéritif or after-dinner dram, the Legend Bar is a sophisticated hangout. There are also three PCs and a WiFi hotspot in the main building, as well as a DVD and book library.
To balance the self indulgence, an array of free resort activities is available at Lemuria: tennis (two floodlit courts), windsurfing, Hobie Cat and single-handed sailing, snorkelling, pedalos, kayaks and mountain bikes. Other activities, including scuba diving, deep-sea fishing and golf, incur supplementary charges, as do any sporting lessons – both terrestrial and sub-aqua.
The Boathouse above Anse Petite Kerlan houses the watersports equipment and PADI dive centre. The dive centre is open daily from 10.00am and offers a number of dive packages and courses. There are two or three instructors and both French and English are spoken. Private boat charters and watersports lessons can also be arranged here.
One of Lemuria's greatest assets for sports' lovers is its challenging 18-hole championship golf course, the only one in the Seychelles. The par 70 circuit opened in October 2000, covering an area of 5,556 square metres, and has tested both professionals and amateurs in the years since. Stretching from Grande Anse to Anse Georgette, its twists and turns, climbs and drops are spectacular even to the uninitiated, and offer breathtaking vistas whether you walk the course or simply drive its route in a golf buggy. For those who wish to play (fees apply), equipment can be hired or the Club House golf shop (open 7.00am–7.00pm) sells a wide range golf requisites and sports clothes.
For something more obviously indulgent, the large 'Spa de Constance' (open 9.30am–9.00pm) is located beside the Club House and tennis courts, surrounded by impressive stands of bamboo. Both the massage and beauty products and the equipment used are Shiseido branded, whilst the nine therapists hail from India, Mauritius and Indonesia. In both indoor and warm open-air rooms, a comprehensive range of treatments is available, from hot oshiboris (towels) for facials and body treatments to Swedish massage, hydrotherapy and Indian Ayurvedic techniques. On departure, be sure to visit the fantastically scented and indulgent shop. For general wellbeing, yoga is practised at 8.00am from Monday to Friday and meditation at 4.00pm on Sundays.
In addition there is a hairdresser, sauna, steam bath, plunge pool and very well-equipped gym, complete with a good range of 'Life Fitness' cardiovascular machines and accompanying music and DVDs.
To conclude, although Lemuria Resort is certainly at the pricier end of Praslin's hotels, if you want a luxurious place to stay that you never have to leave – and that has enough going on to please all the family – it should be top of your list!
Ideal length of stay: 3-6 nights
Directions: If you're arriving by plane (approx 20mins from Mahe), Lemuria is a short 5–10-minute drive from the airport. Alternatively, if you arrive by ferry in Baie St Anne from either Mahe or La Digue, you can follow the clearly marked signs from the jetty towards Vallee de Mai and Grande Anse, before turning right along the coastal road to its very end. This drive will take approximately 30 minutes. Car hire can be organised to meet you either at the port or the airport, or the hotel will arrange a meet-and-greet transfer.
Owner: Lemuria is part of the Constance hotel group with properties in Mauritius and Madagascar. They have just opened a resort on Mahe called Ephelia.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: There are three restaurants within the Lemuria Resort grounds: The Legend, The Seahorse and The Beach Bar & Grill.
The Legend (breakfast 7.15am–10.30am; lunch 12.00–4.00pm; dinner 7.00–10.00pm) is Lemuria's largest dining facility with a capacity of 120 guests. Located in the main building, its terrace overlooks Anse Petite Kerlan (idyllic at sunset!) and is the venue for the daily breakfast buffet, light European lunches and themed evening events, both buffet and à la carte.
For a more formal affair, The Seahorse (lunch 12.00–6.00pm; dinner 7.00–10.00pm), overlooking the picturesque eleventh green of the golf course, offers silver-service, French fine dining. For both The Seahorse and The Legend, advance booking for dinner is recommended.
The Beach Bar & Grill (lunch 12.00–6.00pm; dinner 7.00–10.00pm) boasts a superb view of Anse Petite Kerlan from its raised, open-air promontory location. The casual atmosphere, ocean breeze and an eclectic, à la carte seafood and international menu make leisurely lunches and dinner under the stars a memorable experience.
The main Legend Bar (8.00am–small hours) is located in the central building. Inside, its wood panelling, chocolate-brown spinning fans, low seating, warm glow and nightly funky jazz music give it a laid-back vibe, while its open-sides with views into the tree canopy and below to the natural lily pond and glacis are as enjoyable as its fresh cocktails.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: Drinks are not included.
Family holidays: Lemuria Resort's superb seaside location, coupled with its professional 'Turtle Club' for children aged 4–12, make it one of our most family-friendly properties. From child-minding and children's menus to sheltered coves and sheer space, Lemuria has all the ingredients for a great family holiday.See more ideas for Family holidays in Seychelles
Beach holidays: With three stunning beaches surrounding Lemuria Resort, guests here are spoilt for choice. Anse Georgette is picture-perfect and especially idyllic when a tempting picnic hamper is delivered; Anse Petite Kerlan offers calm cove conditions, while its neighbouring big brother, Anse Grande Kerlan, seems to stretch for miles in a sweeping curve of fine sand and turquoise waters. For ocean lovers, there's really something for everyone.See more ideas for Beach holidays in Seychelles
Attitude towards children: Children are warmly welcomed at Lemuria and the resort is fully geared to ensuring guests of all ages have a great stay.
Equipment: Cots, highchairs and extra beds for young children can be provided.
Generally recommended for children: The impressively kitted-out 'Turtle Club' is Lemuria's professionally staffed children's club. Located at the centre of the resort, it welcomes children aged 4 to 12 years from 9.00am to 9.00pm daily. Enclosed behind a low fence are a colourful games room, a cool nap area, a shaded, shallow pool, an outdoor playground with swings and climbing equipment, and a low-level dining area. A variety of supervised indoor and outdoor activities are organised daily and parents are provided with a breakdown of what their child has done on any given day. The staff here are professionally trained, registered childminders and are also available for babysitting on request (approx €8/hr from 6.00am to midnight, and €12/hr after midnight). Without question, this is the best children's club we feature.
Notes: Naturally, supervision is required at all times in or near the sea, inland ponds and swimming pool. In addition, there are many open-sided public areas with steep drops due to the undulating nature of building on glacis (granite boulders). For this reason, parents must be vigilant when walking around with young or unpredictable children.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: UK, 3-square-pin sockets are fitted throughout. International adaptors are available on request. There is an IDD telephone in each guest room and cellphone reception is good. Internet and WiFi access is also standard.
TV & radio: Satellite channels on televisions and DVD players are available in all guest rooms.
Health & safety
Malarial area: No
Medical care: There is a first-aid kit and trained staff on the property, and for more serious incidents, Praslin Hospital in Baie St Anne offers health care services 24 hours a day. There is an ambulance available, and a helicopter for emergency transfers to Victoria Hospital on Mahé (daylight flights only).
Laundry facilities: Laundry is available for an extra charge but there is no dry cleaning facility here or anywhere in the Seychelles.
Money: Currency exchange facilities are available at a few banks on Praslin, including at nearby Grande Anse.