Hidden away in the far north west of Mahé island, nestled amongst the mangroves and bordering onto the Port Launay marine national park, lies the splendid Constance Ephelia resort. With some of the best snorkelling on the island at your disposal just off the beach, and the mountains of the Morne Seychelles National Park forming a dramatic backdrop, the Constance Ephelia has a truly unique location surrounded by old growth rainforest.
With acres of space, beautiful gardens and untouched natural surroundings the Ephelia hides the fact it is a large resort well; there may be 250 odd suites and villas yet a careful layout means you are rarely aware of the resort’s scale outside of the zone you are sitting in. This gives guests of the Ephelia the benefit of a wide choice of how to spend their days without ever feeling crowded.
The Ephelia is unique among Mahé resorts for having not just one but two beautiful beaches on its doorstep, while the intrepid can take a hike across the hills to discover three more where they are almost guaranteed to be alone.
To the south of the resort lies Anse L’ilet, a picturesque and shallow bay perfect for lounging or romantic walks with your loved one – if it’s low tide, you can even walk out to the island. To the north is a stunning bay surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, giving a wild, unexplored feel. Here the water is calm and sheltered yet deep enough for a swim as you look up to the trees that envelop the surrounding hills. If you tire of the view above water you can borrow a mask and snorkel and spend your day chasing tropical fish around the protected marine reserve – all within a few feet of your sunbed.
The dedicated spa area at the Ephelia is a haven of tranquillity, with a large hydrotherapy pool forming the centre of peaceful garden. Here you will find 17 private palm-thatched treatment rooms offering an intimate scene for couples to enjoy treatments together, as well as a yoga pavilion, steam bath, Jacuzzi and plunge pool and a sauna. Treatments require booking in advance, however the spa facilities are open for all guests all day at no charge should they wish to come for a soak or a steam.
As the largest spa in the Indian Ocean the Uspa is a big draw, and the Ephelia offers 10 spa villas for those who wish to make the most of their relaxation time. These villas come with their own pool and a private double treatment room, allowing guests complete relaxation in their own personal haven.
Gourmets won’t be disappointed by the range of food available at the Ephelia, and its generous half board programme allows you to eat at any of the four a la carte restaurants as often as you wish, with only the fine dining restaurant charging a modest supplement on your bill.
These include Seselwa, a ‘feet in the sand’ restaurant on the Port Launay beach serving delicious Creole specialities from the Sechelles, Adam & Eve, an open air Chinese and Pan Asian restaurant, Helios Bar which specialises in Mediterranean fare with flavours from Italy, Spain, Morocco and the South of France, and their fine dining restaurant, Cyann, where you can enjoy signature dishes fusing local and Asian techniques with French culinary expertise.
This is in addition to Corassol, the resort’s main restaurant, which offers international buffets for breakfast and dinner, with a range of food from all corners of the world. There is a tandoori oven and wood burning pizza stove which demonstrates their focus on authenticity.
In addition to food you will find a dedicated bar at each of the four a la carte restaurants, where you can enjoy a cocktail before your meal or a digestif to round off the evening. If you’re visiting during the day, each restaurant is positioned by its own swimming pool, allowing you to snack, swim and refresh yourself without having to move far from your lounger.
Activities, Sports & Recreation
The Ephelia offers more than enough to keep you busy during your stay, with 4 tennis courts, a fully equipped gym and a squash court for those with calories to burn. If you prefer to spend your time in or on the water you might choose to take a kayak across the marine park or through the mangroves, to sail a catamaran or a windsurfer or to ride a stand up paddleboard into the sunset – whatever takes your fancy; all these activities are free of charge.
The Ephelia’s marine park location means it would be a waste not to borrow a mask and spend a morning snorkelling around the bay enjoying the rich tropical sea life just steps from the shore – or if you’d like to go further, the PADI diving centre can arrange trips to the best spots for a charge.
Other payable activities include yoga lessons, personal training and fishing trips, while the more adventurous can opt to take on a series of climbing walls up the granite boulders to take in spectacular views of the marine park, before descending through the forest on a network of zip lines as their feet brush the trees below.
Rooms, Suites & Villas
The Ephelia offers accommodation to suit guests and families of all shapes and sizes. All rooms come with coffee and tea facilities, double vanities and great entertainment options, including WIFI, an ipod dock, Mac Mini with a host of films, music and entertainment to watch for free, and a CD/DVD player.
- 184 Junior Suites (62m2) With room for 2 adults and up to one child on a sofa bed, the spacious junior suites are arranged a few hundred yards back from the southern beach, in clusters around each of the three swimming pools. Some feature views of the sea
- 40 Senior Suites (80m2) The Senior suites are situated on the north coast, near the Seyselwa restaurant. Featuring many of the same stylish furnishings as the Junior suites, the Seniors benefit from a larger living area and balcony or veranda.
- 15 Family Villas with private pool (350m2) These beautiful villas consist of three bedrooms over two floors; a master bedroom downstairs with an ensuite bathroom and two double rooms upstairs that share one bathroom. The villa is arranged around private gardens containing a large swimming pool and a covered outdoor dining area complete with a wine cooler.
- 12 Beach Villas with private pool (370m2) Just steps from the north beach of Port Launay these villas offer a private pool and two bedrooms with large ensuite bathrooms for a maximum of four adults and 2 children on sofa beds
- 8 Hillside Villas with private pool These five 1-bedroom (120m2) villas and three 2-bedroom (220m2) villas boast some of the most spectacular views this side of the island, with an incredible outlook over Port Launay National Park from your private pool, terrace or private massage treatment area. A perfect place for honeymooners to hide themselves away!