CONSTANCE HOTELS AND RESORTS are the experts in Mauritius, the Maldives and the Seychelles. Each one of their hotels delivers luxury, pampering and seclusion on an unprecedented level, but if we had to pick our favourites, Constance Moofushi in the Maldives for its laid-back luxe and Constance Le Prince Maurice on Mauritius for its unrivalled elegance are hard to beat. One thing is for sure, Constance delivers romance.
Part of the group’s ‘Unique’ collection. Constance Moofushi is the Maldives’ first premium all-inclusive property. Picture-perfect in every sense of the word, the hotel sits on its own paradise island (you can circle it in 10 minutes) and is a short hop by seaplane from the Maldivian capital.
Compared with some of the larger resorts in the Indian Ocean, Constance Moofushi has an intimate and relaxed atmosphere ideal for newlyweds. We love its sheer simplicity — rooms are pared back with thatched roofs and hammocks. But best of all, there are no hidden costs as the resort is all-inclusive. So just relax… and order another cocktail.
At the other end of the scale is Constance Le Prince Maurice in Mauritius, part of Constance’s ‘Ultimate’ collection. Historically regarded as one of the best addresses on the island, and following a recent revamp in 2013, it’s now even better, boasting a sleek slate-lined pool and a sizzling Asian tapes bar.
Today, Constance Le Prince Maurice combines classic elegance with modern chic. Service is unfaltering and dinner at Barachois is a must. Where else can you enjoy three courses floating on a mangrove-strewn lagoon? Ultimate doesn’t even start to cover it…
FOUR SEASONS, SEYCHELLES
This is pretty much what we imagine paradise might look like — the beach is sugar soft, the waters crystal clear, and all the super-luxe villas come complete with private pools. Built on a rocky outcrop shrouded by giant palms, the resorts 67 treetop villas provide ample distraction from the beautiful Petite Anse beach below, with shady cabanas and an outside dining area. Away from your treehouse haven, try daily yoga sessions at the hilltop pavilion, go bird-watching, hike through the national park, or visit Victoria, one of the worlds smallest capital cities. It won’t be long before you hit the beach though — don’t miss the incredible snorkelling with the hotel’s reef guide. Foodies are in for a treat, too. The Seychellois are originally settlers from other countries, and we couldn’t get enough of the Creole cuisine (a divine fusion of French, Indian and Asian). Well, its what kaftans are made for, right? WOW FACTOR: The hilltop spa has private villas with breathtaking views, and you can take champagne on to the giant roof terrace. GO Double rooms cost from £757, B&B (four seasons.com/seychelles) while Qatar Airways (qatarairways.com) return flights start at £622.
DUSIT THANI, MALDIVES
Until now the only dilemma you’d face when booking your honeymoon i11 HRS to the Maldives is whether to opt for a beach villa, where you can walk straight on to the sand, or an over-water villa, where you can slip off your deck into the lagoon. Well worry no more, because Dusit Thani offers the best of both worlds with a Water Villa perched on stilts along the shore, giving you direct access to the beach, lagoon and a private pool. The hotel’s Thai heritage comes through in the service, spa and food — the torn yum goong (prawn soup) at Benjarong is as good as any in Bangkok. But off-shore is where the real action happens, with a house reef that rings the island waiting to be explored. The dive centre can take you to sites where you’ll see reef sharks, striped oriental sweetlips fish and giant clams. Back on dry land, head for a sunset cocktail at Sala Bar… then grab one of the telescopes for stargazing once darkness falls. WOW FACTOR Dusit Thani sees other resorts’ over-water spas and raises them with six treetop spa pods. Make ours a Blue Lotus Aloe Wrap, please. GO Beach Villas cost from £565, B&B (dusit.com) while British Airways (ba.com)