Constance Hotels of course have a reputation preceding them but inspite of high expectations and I was not disappointed at all ...
From the check in lounge, not a reception, a dedicated check in lounge with cold scented towels, fresh juice, coffee, tea or water to the check out - it was just smooth sailing all the way.
My readers know I am a sucker for luxury and 5 star accommodation and hospitality, but that often does not reflect the experience on site. Here, EVERY expectation was met.
When being delivered by a hostess in an electric trolley to my 'senior suite' on the top floor right at the edge of North Beach, I stood for a moment in awe looking across the lawn to the ocean, although I had visited the resort in March for a day and seen the resort.
Staying for 5 nights was just what the doctor prescribed. Extended walks across the resort to either the Corossol Restaurant at the South Beach in the evening or strolls in the early morning along the two beaches got me some exercise, as did the available sporting options like rock climbing, abseiling and zip lining, besides taking a bike and cycling across the resort, warm rain showers notwithstanding. All the suites and villas are finished to exacting standards and things work, from sockets to the high speed internet connection and the kettle in the room to make tea or coffee WITHOUT having to wait for an endless, agonizing half hour for room service to deliver, as recently experienced at a 5 star Nairobi hotel.
Fluffy towels, soft robes, comfortable slippers and pillows which leave nothing to be desired when at the end of a long day going to sleep.
And from morning to evening, there is FOOD ... from the breakfast which I normally took at the Seselwa, just a few metres from 'my place', to a casual lunch taken at the beach side at the Kabana when not roaming the island in search of stories or to chase information, to dinner ....
That was a buffet with two active cooking stations, not just one, and changing themes which brought culinary delights from around the world to my palate. I tried ever so hard but still gained 3.2 KG.s as measured on the scale in my bathroom - itself as big as some smaller rooms I have seen in other hotels or resorts.
The chefs at the Ephelia are regularly partaking in group wide food competitions and international cooking events and it was no surprise that the group trophy for 2012 was kept at the Ephelia.
Add to that the courteous staff, ever ready to give one a lift on their service trolleys and have a chat along the way, ever ready to go places, get things and answer questions, endless a list from a scribe of course who travel writes, they deserve a standing ovation. Management too, present and visible and approachable, in fact they made the round to talk to guests every day and reacted to the smallest comments. Here I met a team Constance can be proud of and a resort which must surely vie every year to be the leader of the Constance pack ...
Next stop perhaps the Constance Lemuria on Praslin but time will tell. Of all my 5 star experiences this year, and that includes top ranked hotels and resorts, the Ephelia comes into contention for a top three ranking for 2012 in my own personal 'best list' ... And they deserve that because they provided me with one of the most complete and best executive hospitality experiences I had all year ... and with my amount of travel, THAT means something.