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Constance Ephelia
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All reviewssouth beachjunior suiteadam evehalf boardzip linerock climbingzee bareve restaurantcyann restaurantspa villalarge resortour honeymoonfamily villadrinks are expensivemain buffetdress codelow tide
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Reviewed April 22, 2013

We stayed for six nights,nice hotel, a bit large and not everything was perfect, but would come again.
We had booked a Senior Suite but on arrival were a little disappointed when we saw it, it's not really a suite, more of a large room with a sofa at one end. There is no pool for the suite, not even a communal pool and there were no sea views either. There was also a locked interconnecting door to the suite next door that was not very sound proof and we could clearly hear our neighbours. We were expecting a top end suite, this wasn't .

We were then shown a Spa Villa, this was nice, really nice. It was walled for privacy included a large private pool, a sauna, a steam room and best of all a Villa host. It was exactly what we had imagined originally, but we had to pay a further 250 euros a night. We did and it was good.

What really made it special for us was our Villa host, Myra, she was absolutely brilliant, nothing was too much trouble, she picked us up, dropped us off, made our reservations , sorted any minor problems - just perfect. We have no idea when she slept or ate, she always seemed to be on call! The Villa cleaner Fernando should also be thanked, he was very efficient and helpful too.

The resort is huge, two beaches, North and South, five restaurants. We were given two bicycles which were really useful because it would have been a long walk between the facilities. They do have a shuttle buggy service but we didn't actually use is because our Villa host drove us about.

We found the North beach better in all aspects, beach, sea and views. The food varied from good to excellent depending on where you ate, and the service from all the staff was very, very good. Always friendly, helpful and efficient.

Of the 5 restaurants the Corrosol (we called it the Collosus.....it is big!) was by far the busiest. I think most people were either HB or FB and this was the restaurant that did not need booking and had the least supplementary charges. We ate here the least simply because it was too crowded for our liking. The Helios and the Adam and Eve were ok, although we found the food (Chinese cuisine) at the Adam and Eve a little bland. The best restaurants were the Seselwa and the Cyann, both good but the Cyann was outstanding both for the quality and presentation of the food and its staff, absolutely perfect. Definitely a fine ding restaurant.

Negatives are :- cost of food and beverages, cheapest local beer £5, cheapest Chablis £120, sparkling water £10, cheese and ham sandwich £17. The dive centre needs some attention too, not good. I have my own equipment and there is no individual storage, no nitrox, and the staff were inconsistent, some very good some not so good, both in and out the water. The dives are £70 each and I was not enjoying the experience and stopped after three dives. Also the wi-fi is not consistent sometimes it worked but most times it was just not fast enough, we found the best time before 6.30am.

Positives are- great hotel, great Spa Villa, beautiful scenery, very very good staff - especially our Villa host!

Overall we had a really great time and would stay here again.

Room Tip: Just bear in mind it is a big resort and you do not want a room too far from the facilities
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Peter_Secc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2013

We stayed here for 3 nights, 4 days for our honeymoon. It was a very pleasant, clean and well run resort and the staff and service was friendly and attentive and not bad value for a resort of this quality - esp if get a package deal.

We stayed in a Senior Suite which was nice and suitable for our purposes. I would recommend the senior suite over the jnr suite - price is not that much more expensive - but the suite is bigger and situated along the North Beach which is quieter and less crowded that the South Beach. The North Beach is also the nicer beach to swim or walk along and also faces East somewhat so you get to see the sunset over the bay (at least we did when we were there in April). But if you have children and would prefer to spend the day lazing by the pool and not have to walk so far for the restaurants then the Jnr Suites on the South Beach may be better for you. There are more restaurants on the Sth beach - 3 compared to 2 and all of the 3 are covered by the half or full board packages (Cyann on the North Beach is not covered).

Of the 5 restaurants, Helios was the best we found (although we didnt get to try Cyann). Corrosol is just buffet and somewhat ordinary, no-frills food. Adam and Eve is now a Chinese restaurant, food was ok and they have some dim sum but otherwise limited choices. Definitely get the half or full board option if you plan to eat at the resorts as the prices are quite expensive otherwise. The restaurants on North Beach have dress code at night - for men long trousers and appropriate footwear is what they said but I got in ok with jeans and trainers.

There are many daily activities at the resort and a gym, lap pool, squash and tennis courts and also a natural rockclimbing wall and 8 ziplines through the tropical forest above the resort so there is plenty to do if you dont want to just laze by the pools or the beach.

Overall we found the resort quite similar to the nicer resorts one would find in say Thailand or Bali. The beach is nice but nothing that special, similar to what you could find in Asia. We travelled to the Seychelles from Asia so it was a long way for us to go for something we could find closer to home. But outside of the resort there are probably more interesting things to do that would make the distance travelled worthwhile. The nearby mountains and local people and villages seem interesting and so too the surrounding islands - alas we only had 4 days so did not have time to leave the resort.

Room Tip: Senior suites on North Beach are quieter and closer to the better beach, but further to walk (or wait for shuttle) if you want to go to the pools and restaurants on the South Beach. Ask for top floors if want balcony, or bottom floor if want to have own lounge chairs on lawn in front of suite.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank The_Running_Man_73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

The title says it all, but let me detail it:

Beaches:
Without a doubt, the hotel's beaches are pretty and appropriate for adult swimming (could be challenging for younger children because the water gets deep quickly and the waves are big). If you want the Seychelles post card deserted beaches with white sand and crystal clear waters, this is not the place to go. Beaches on Praslin are more beautiful (anse Volbert for swimming, Lazio for surfing and Georgette the prettiest in my opinion).

Rooms:
Clean and comfortable. The bathroom, sleeping room and the terrace are one big room separated by sliding doors. Nothing bad, but not a woow effect.

Restaurants and prices for food:
Breakfast is nothing beyond the usual hotel fare, with the choice of fresh fruit surprisingly limited.You can't go too wrong with the pancakes or omlettes. For dinner, the food was ok, not a joy for one's taste buds, not horrible. Barely some local specialities once per week at the "creole" buffet. Nothing seychellois outside the creole evenings.
Desert was too sweet and not "gourmet". Ice creams were better, but still with some extra sugar. In all, the food was nicely presented and carefully cooked, but nothing to remember.

Prices:
Not even a glass of water is offered for free at dinner, one has to reach for the wallet every evening. This bothered me as water should be basic, I understand imported drinks are charged, but water? . At a displayed rate of 525 eur per cheapest room on half board, would a free glass of water at dinner make such a huge difference in their profits? I doubt.

Not only prices are high, but sometimes even hidden: my kid ate lunch at the kid's club and you were given a menu and a price per item (eg 160 rupees per pizza). Only at the end of our stay we discovered that AT EACH MEAL a "tray charge" of 100 rupees was added, so we had to pay 260 per meal instead of 160. No one told us about this charge before hand, so imagine our surprise seeing the bill almost double.

Anyway, after having spent thousands to stay here and hundreds on site, we asked for a late check out. Indeed they had availabilities, but still charged 99 eur for the room, a petty sum compared to the thousands we generated. I explained this to the receptionist and I was told politely but firmly they run their business as they see fit and I am free not to take their offer. What a bad last impression they left us! It seems the Constance chain has a habit of being surprisingly greedy: at the sister hotel on Praslin, Constance Lemuria, at a restaurant, we were presented the menu and were told if we wanted a table with a view, " the food will be more expensive because you have to pay for the view". No details on why, or what will we have to pay extra, just bluntly asking for more (we ended up at a table without "the" view, still spending 150 eur for 3 hamburgers and fries, still wondering how much more would have been to pay for the view?)

Facilities:
The spa:
has superb views, but offers only a few things: a tiny sauna and a hammam, a 4-place jacuzzi (out of which 2 spots were not working during our 8 day stay), a small quiet pool and two micro "chill" pools. I remember the spas in Turkey: they had 3 different saunas (relax at 60 deg., traditional russian, aromatherapy),100m2 jacuzzi, 2 tropical showers, aromatheraphy, chromotheraphy, two hammams.Here, not even half of the facilities were offered and the ones offered were half faulty.Closed after 14:00 for guests without a treatment reservation .

Fitness room:
everything one needs, not huge, but nothing is missing. There was only one eliptical trainer and it got broken early during our stay.

Kid's club:
The only employee we found professional and serious was Geralda whom our kid loved. My kid found a few boys at the club with whom he got along perfectly, they played so nicely the whole day, forming a real "dream team" (hello to Ryan and Aiden from Alec!!). No complaints here and the biggest plus of this place.

Services:
definitely the weakest point. I would probably have rated the resort 4* if it weren't for the bad, inconsistent service and the value one gets for their money.

The buggies:
that transport guests from e.g. the room to a restaurant are a hassle only when travelling with young children. Only once did we manage to catch one at breakfast time, the remaining 7 days were a challenge: I literally had to drag my 6 y.o who complained he was melting, his feet were hurting from all this walking, etc. and we always arrived sweating and arguing at the restaurant 10 minutes before closing time (as we wake up late and spent 30 min. on the way). It was a frustrating experience. If you are travelling without children, then it's less of a problem: within a couple of days we were experts in taking the shortcuts (e.g. via the beach) between any two points and were able to tour the restaurants in cca. 25 min. at an alert pace.

At meals time, we were sometimes seated, sometimes we had to fight for a table, sometimes (once actually) the empty plates were taken away quickly, but most of the times they were piled up and we took them ourselves to the small kitchen when we wanted our table clean. The toiletries in our room were changed only once per my request, never since then and towards the end of our stay we washed our hands with a tiny piece of soap. No hair dryer in the room, had to call 3 times and have it sent to me. The small square towels which I use a lot for my kid were sometimes renewed, most of the times just missing, we had to ask every time for new ones: the same for the water bottle in the room: sometimes it was replaced, mostly it wasn't. Funnily enough, the only nice thing they organised for us was the departure, no one cared about our complaints while there.

Bottom line:
You could be anywhere in SE Asia, the resort has nothing seychellois. It is not a bad place, but definitely not a good value for your money. I would not recommend this resort given the bad service and the high prices.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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8  Thank anda_holland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

the Hotel is huge ! You can hike a few days instead and not see half of it.
The service you get is like a king.
Every day there is a different activity from which you can choose to walk or rest.
the amount of food is very high and so interesting

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Ariela Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2013

Anyone reading our previous reviews will see that we do not fall into the usual gullible ‘rate-mediocre-hotels-5-star-because-we-have-never-been-to-a-good-hotel’ class, so read this to offset the overblown reviews on this hotel. Our stay was especially disappointing as our previous experience of the Constance group has been very favourable.
We went as a large active family group and had 1 ‘beach’ villa – i.e. within 200 metres of the beach – and 2 ‘Senior’ suites and booked in for 10 nights. We decided to try the Seychelles after usually going to Mauritius to see if it was any better – and have mixed conclusions. Weather and swimming was better, but prices were even more bizarrely expensive, and service/hotels may be worse.
Once can see why many oblivious reviewers give the hotel 4 or 5 stars – the good parts are good, though no better than most top beach hotels. But if you run into one of the bad parts that should not occur in a 4 star hotel, you will be disappointed.
We found 4 major problems for a supposed top-ranked new hotel: plagued by mozzies, room problems, haphazard staff and price-gouging/cost cutting.
1 The hotel unfortunately has a mangrove swamp in the middle of it – ideal breeding ground for mozzies – which is perhaps why no one built a hotel in this location before. We were bitten continuously – and voraciously - particularly around the tennis courts, in some of the dining areas, and even in our bedrooms despite putting on the mozzie machines. The latter was eventually sorted out when they provided us with room insect sprays. We had brought Tabard anti-insect repellent with us, but the mozzies seemed to be completely oblivious to it – if anything it seemed to attract them! In my experience, hotels in heavily mosquito infested areas usually provide guests with anti-mozzie spray – Ephelia does not, but we were able eventually to get one of the staff to provide us with a spray can of stronger repellent.
A staff member informed us that the hotel management have stopped doing full sprays of the grounds – the hotel guide says they do this every 2 days but we never saw any sign of it – either to save money or not to annoy / alarm guests. Only at the end of our stay, after repeated complaints, did they spray around the tennis courts. Be warned – you are staying next to a mozzie swamp!
2 The ‘Senior’ suites have glaring faults. In order to save capital cost, there is NO swimming pool anywhere near these suites – even the junior suites have a pool nearby. It is 200 metres to a small pool around the fanciest restaurant, and this is a major drawback. One point to note is that the resort is huge and very stretched out with its North/South split, and this may be a drawback for any family with smaller children.
Other faults show clearly that these suites are more what you would expect in a 2/3* hotel: Regularly during the day – morning and afternoon - the cold water pressure would vanish – zero! The maintenance staff finally told me that the electricity supply to the water pumps for the suites often go off – and we should just wait till they came back on in half-an-hour! This while you are in the middle of a shower!
The air-conditioning in the suites is the cheaper but very inferior ‘water-cooled’ method. The villas use the normal ‘air-cooled’ split-compressor method that is much more efficient - but electricity intensive. The suites are very difficult to get suitable cool for the Seychelle heat – one of our rooms was uncomfortably warm for the whole period –the ‘5 degree’ setting produced around 24 degree in practice. One can see in other negative reviews of the suites that many of these complain about the air-conditioning not working properly – most people don’t realise that there is nothing that the maintenance staff can do if the owner does things on the cheap. The staff usually pretend to fix something and wait for you to leave – the honest bloke I had told me that the owner had cut costs.
The villa was much better with good showers and pool – BUT the design layout is again poorer than it should be. Unlike most villas, where the bedrooms and lounge area are one enclosed unit, here you have to go through 3 door locks to get to a bedroom from outside – very annoying. Obviously cost-saving to only provide air-conditioning to the separate bedrooms, and not to the lounge area.
3 The staff were a very mixed bag. As with most reasonable hotels, most of the staff were very good – but… our villa service was extremely poor. We have stayed at a Constance villa before, and this time it was shockingly poor by comparison. Usually your butler is in attendance for most of the day looking after all your needs – e.g. arranges snacks for tea time, bookings for any activities that you want etc. etc. This time our butler only turned up 2 or 3 times on odd occasions to ‘check’ on us, and did little to sort out any problems. Afternoon snacks were provided only once - obviously they want to force you to go to a restaurant and pay - whereas other hotels consider it part of the service for a villa.
The villas are supposed to have bicycles for the guests because the resort is huge. None when we arrived. After repeated queries, two turned up – for 5 guests. Supposedly we could rent some more at the Fitness Centre – the person in charge there sniffily said none were for rent – although some other guests did seem to have rented some. There are dozens of rusted bikes dumped near the tennis courts – obviously not been replaced to save money. Our butler said she would sort this out, and that was the last we heard from her!
Staff in the restaurants was very mixed. On occasions some staff were obviously untrained and mixed up orders, and at one lunch at Sesewa it took an hour for an order of hamburgers to turn up. We could see the burgers sitting on plates for half-an-hour, while they waited for chips to arrive from the main kitchen as they had run out as Sesewa!
4 Grotesque price-gouging: perhaps this is to be expected - the usual problem with most 4-star Indian Ocean island hotels is that they charge exorbitant prices (compared to the developed world or Asia) for food and especially drinks. Partly this is due to very high government taxes on tourists aimed mainly it seems at keeping the top government officials in obscene luxury - if you do any observation of their Ferrari life styles. But the hotel also adds an abnormal mark-up on top of this. Charging ten times world prices for mediocre wine is utterly ridiculous. Because of this, most guests bring in their own drinks, which of course produces a viscious circle as few bottles are sold to gullible schmucks. Asian hotels usually charge half the price of Indian Ocean hotels. This detracts significantly from enjoying a holiday if your stomach turns every time you order a beer, knowing you are being ripped off. Food prices were also very high, but in line with the equally ridiculous prices charged in Mauritius.
Other gripes – charging 900 rupees per adult to use the snorkelling boat! Never seen this before at any hotel in my life! Penny-pinching is everywhere – e.g. the villas are provided with a welcoming bottle of reasonable Champagne, but the Senior suites had utterly-undrinkable ‘Sparking Wine’ that no one should touch.
Good parts: The North beach is VERY good – one of the best. Excellent swimming and relaxing – and thankfully no mozzies. If you are going to sit around and do nothing all day – what most effete European people seem to do - this is a very relaxing hotel. The buffet breakfast and dinner food was perfectly adequate without being outstanding – what you would expect to find in any 3 star South African hotel – and thus better than most Mauritian 4/5 star hotels. MOST staff were excellent, offset by the few who clearly should not be in this hotel which points to failure on the part of management. Rooms are good except for the above major drawbacks. Sports facilities are good, and sports staff were particularly efficient and helpful. We did the ZIP lines and found it good fun but expensive – note that locals pay half the price that tourists do because of the government’s thieving policies.
Would we go again? Probably not, but the choice of quality holiday hotels at reasonable value near South Africa is sadly very limited.

Room Tip: Stay in a villa rather rhan the Senior suites.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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1  Thank lekud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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