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Reviewed 7 July 2010

Very quickly........
1. Horrible location
2. Terrible Beaches
3. Terrible Service most days/nights
4. Buffet hit or miss
5. Local staff very lazy
6. Drinks expensive but expected
7. Best Restaurant Cyann

Yes this place is cheaper than other resorts in the Seychelles but I would definitely spend a bit more and stay elsewhere next time we go back to the Seychelles!

If you think we are awkward travellers, we're not, just expect better for the amount of money you spend. We have stayed at Reethi Rah, Baros & Royal Palm all of which were 1st class and not much more than we ended up spending here!!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Wol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2010

We stayed two weeks in the Constance Ephelia in April 2010. The Hotel as such is beautiful, the rooms are nice (but seem much bigger on the pictures!) and the personnel is very pleasant. The best of all is the excellent food!! That's a real wow!
However, what really spoils everything is the terrible location: split into two parts, the one part lays at a simply not usable beach. High tide= not 5cm beach left, low tide: water is max 20cm deep - and you can walk through it like through a puddle. One that beach (south beach) there are also no corals, just sand and lots of broken bottles. Certainly THE most useless beach on the Seychelles. The north beach is very nice, the water is deep enough to swim, there are 2 or 3m beach left during high-tide and there are corals. BUT it takes up to 40minutes drive to get from your room to the beach!! At best, it will take you 25-30mins, but mostly, you will have to wait for the car to arrive. The longest we waited was 30mins... and then the same to get back to your room... we did not speak to a single other hotel guest who did not find that very very annoying. The rooms which are on the north beach (the more expensive rooms) are a bit closer to the nicer beach but unfortunately set amids a totally unattractive potato-acre like field.
In brief: yes, a very nice hotel, but if you want some beach experience, it is simply to wrong place to go.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank UncleTomHamburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2010

We stayed at the Constance Ephelia because of the opening offer and we always wanted to visit the Seychelles, so thought it an opportunity not to be missed.

We arrived early in the morning and had to wait a couple of hours before our room was ready. We were aware that this was a possibility and there is no problem in getting your beachwear out of your bag and using the courtesy room to shower and change. We used the time to explore the resort a bit. However, after travelling over 24 hrs in total and suffering from IBS it would have been nice to have our room straight away.

Bedrooms:
We stayed in a junior suite on the South Beach and the size of the room was more than adequate and the decor very nice and tastefully done. We had a ground floor room and in hindsight would have preferred one on the next floor, but didn't feel our privacy was invaded in any way. We were in the middle of the block and had an adjoining door to the adjacent room - we could hear our neighbours TV, using the hairdryer, and got annoyed by the amount of doors they seemed capable of slamming! I imagine the rooms on the corners may be better.
The TV is good with a choice of films on demand if you want to watch tv while you're away. We found it was helpful having internet access as we could look up bus times and plan trips. If you take your Ipod, take the USB connection lead to connect to it so you can play your tunes.
The lighting in the rooms isn't great by the mirrors if you want to apply makeup for the evening. The light switches will provide entertainment - while you would assume it's a simple on/off switch, they don't seem to work if another light switch isn't on.
The doors to the rooms are operated by a key card - the battery in the card reader on our door failed 5 times in total so we couldn't get into our room. While this was frustrating, I was ready to pull my hair out when met by the indifference of the reception staff when trying to sort it out. They didn't apologise for the inconvenience it caused, and having let us into our room expected us to wait for maintence to come and fix it - I don't want to spend my holiday waiting for maintenance. However, they can provide some light entertainment - when replacing the 3 bulbs in lights that didn't work in our room (and were never replaced for a whole week) one of them managed to give himself an electric shock.
You don't have the same cleaner cleaning your room (this may have helped in those circumstances in other reviews where people had stuff stolen). They come at all times of the day, so during the start of our stay our room was cleaned quite early, but it got later and later into the afternoon.

Pool/beach:
We liked the way there were a number of blocks of suites around pool, creating a more intimate area, rather than feeling like a large resort. We loved the tiles in the pool which made the water look crystal clear. It looked very natural and we had dragonflies flying over ours. The guys who work the pool and sort out your beach towels are very attentive and helpful with advice about the island. I've seen people recommend certain pools being quieter than others, but it all depends on how many guests, and what guests are there at the time. We had a very quiet first 10 days with the latter being quite noisy with kids.
The south beach is nice, but there is quite a bit of seaweed. The North beach is gorgeous with turquoise water and is great for a swim. It does however get quite crowded with the beds close together. If you want to snorkel the best area is out towards where the cross is and across a bit. (Take a kayak if you're not comfortable being that far out ).

Dining:
The Corrosol is the main restaurant and the food was of a very good standard. It is a buffet style with different theme each evening. I liked the salad bar and the pasta bar. There are a number of different seating areas to suit your mood. The hotel was up to full occupancy while we were there and while we didn't notice it during the day by the pool or beach, it was evident at dinner. We found some guests lacking in manners when it came to queuing and it all got a little hectic.
We were on half board and on certain evenings you can eat at Adam & Eve, Seselwa and Helios at no extra cost. We tried them all and I would thoroughly recommend eating at Adam & Eve and Seselwa - the food was delicious and the dining experience so much more relaxed. We just did the BBQ at Helios and that was very nice. We would certainly suggest eating at these restaurants as often as you can, rather than opting for Corrosol.

Facilities:
We took the kayaks out to explore the coastline around the resort and to visit the small island off the South Beach.
My husband used the gym and was impressed with it. They also have a lap pool which I used in the evenings. This is great but can only really accomodate a maximum of three people swimming laps and on one occasion a couple got in who just wanted to mess about and we all had to swim around them. Most of the time you find yourself alone in there and it is really nice swimming in there as it is getting dark.
We played tennis quite a lot, and the courts were rarely busy. Use the lower courts if you can. The ones on the top overlook the staff quarters and also the skip and what looks like a sewage filter system. If the skip hasn't been emptied the rubbish smells, and you also get a yuck smell from the sewerage works.
The bike tour offered is a good way to see a bit of the island - be warned there are some large hills so take lots of water. It is worth taking a camera. Note the bikes are a little worn already, with the brakes not being the best and troublesome gears.

You can also walk the Ephelia Trail off the North Beach to the Ephelia steps. It is a nice walk with little beaches to see and various wildlife and fauna. DO wear trousers or cover yourself in insect repellant. I did neither and despite thinking I was doing a marvellous job at swatting the mosquitoes, the next morning I woke up with 61 bites on my legs. The itching and swelling was unbearable and the rather marvellous hotel doctor saved me with an injection in my bum. The hotel doctor is free and just charges for any medicines he has to use.

The buggys are an easy way to get around the resort, but it really isn't that long a walk between South and North Beach.

Yes, drinks are expensive. We took duty free with us, and there are two shops within walking distance of the resort, one from South Beach the other from North Beach, where you can buy drinks.

We didn't go on any tours offered by the hotel or the agents. We used the local bus to explore the island which is absolotely fine and a bargain at 7 ruppees for a journey anywhere. The hotel provide a bus timetable but you can also access all routes online. We visited Victoria which although small is worth a look around. There are a large number of different places of worship in a small space, and market is fun to see on a Saturday morning. We also alighted the bus what seemed to bit the middle of nowhere on the mountain road, to visit the Mission. The view is amazing and it is so quiet up there. It was 2 hours until the next bus but time didn't drag up there while we relaxed and admired the view and surroundings.

All in all, we did have a lovely relaxing time and the hotel was very nice. I liked the decor in the restaurants and the layout of the pools - all quite zen. There are still some teething problems, which are to be expected as it has just opened. The staff still seem to be learning the ropes and there seems to be a high turnaround of staff. I would not pay more for it than we did on the opening deal.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank Diveangel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2010

My wife and I stayed here for 10 nights as part of our Honeymoon.

We booked it before it officially opened on the basis that they had good opening deals, and Constance had a good pedigree in luxury resorts in that part of the world. We arrived about 3 months after it opened.

It takes about 45 minutes to drive across the island from the airport to the resort, and we had a private transfer which was most welcome after the very slow immigrations hall at the airport.

Ephelia Resort is set in the marsh/swamplands in the northwest corner of Mahé, and you should definitely take insect repellent. My wife and I both succumbed to the bugs in the evenings when we missed a bit with our spray. The resort is built in amongst the trees of Tierney Bay, and from the sea you would barely know it's there.

We arrived, like several hundred other people, on the daily Emirates flight, which saw us land on Mahé at about 06:50. By the time we cleared immigration it was probably about 8 o'clock and so we got into Ephelia just before 9 o'clock-ish. Our bags were taken away, and we were handed a fresh fruit smoothie. So far, so good. We were then informed that the room wouldn't be ready until 14:00. Now, I know that's their stated check-in time, and I know they had 95% occupancy or so, but perhaps in recognition of the fact that we'd been travelling for 24 hours it wouldn't be too much to ask for them to hurry things up a little? No chance. 14:30 and finally the room was ready. Now, although they said that we were welcome to use the showers and change, and to use the spa facilities etc, we all know that after a day's travelling you just want to get in, have a shower and get changed in your own room - not the communal facilities whilst trying to find things out of your suitcase in front of everyone else. I might be a little more understanding if I was staying in a cheap motel, rather than paying thousands for Seychelles luxury. This failing was made more obvious when we got to Dubai for the second leg of our trip, where we arrived at a similar time but were in our room within the hour.

The accommodation is to a very high standard. We stayed in a Junior Suite (I'll add pictures later) and had a huge double-bed, chaise-lounge, flat screen TV with multimedia set-up (more on that later), and the bathroom suite has his 'n' hers sinks and an impressive shower with plenty of hot water at good pressure. There's a fridge with just enough room to store your own drinks in amongst the Mini-bar items. There's also a hair dryer built into the dressing-table/desk with extra plugs for the lady's hair straighteners! The air-conditioning is super-efficient, and there's also ceiling fans inside and outside on the patio. When we initially arrived we were a little disappointed to find that there was a pair of twin beds in our room, but after a phone call to their One Touch service there was a brand new (i.e. still in its plastic wrapping) double mattress outside our room when we went to dinner, which was installed and made-up by the time we returned.

There is a patio out the back, and we were on the ground floor. About 30 yards away is one of the pools and as it happens one of the restaurants - but thanks to some clever foliage we weren't really overlooked. The beach was another 30 yards beyond that.

Being honeymooners, there was a chilled bottle of bubbly in an ice-bucket waiting for us. Delicious! Er, no, actually. Rather than champagne or cava or prosecco, it was perry. If you're English you may be familiar with this beverage by the well known brand name of "Lambrini". What was that about thousands of pounds on Seychelles luxury?!

The multimedia/entertainment set-up in the room is the best I've seen in a hotel. There is a Mac Mini plugged into the LCD TV. This acts as your TV (streaming a very limited number of TV or plenty of movies on demand); WiFi portal (it gives you a passcode, and using this you can connect your own device - in my case my iPhone - to always on broadband); music player (connect your iPod/Phone/Pad via your own USB cable to the Mac, and then control it on screen); or just enter "computer" mode and use the Mac with its Office suite or internet browser. I'm a bit of a techy geek, so I thought this was great - it meant we could view our friends' photos of our wedding on Facebook, email the folks to let them know we'd arrived safe, correspond with our photographer, not to mention allowing me to go online and arrange car hire and SCUBA diving.

You could also browse the resort's activity programme and restaurant menus from the TV interface. We stayed half-board (HB) and the food in the main buffet restaurant was outstanding. I've stayed in (apparent) 5* hotels before and been very disappointed with the food, but every night without exception the food was excellent. One night we went to Cyann, their A la carte restaurant - by mistake really, as we were advised to go there by a member of staff and told we could eat there on that night as part of our HB package. Unfortunately, once there we found out that wasn't the case, but we could receive credit on the bill from our HB. Unfortunately it doesn't go very far in that restaurant due to the savagely expensive prices! In my opinion there's no need to spend the money on going to Cyann - the food in the HB restaurants (there are 4 other HB restaurants to choose from) is so good it's pointless.

Of course, you have to pay for all of your beverages (including soft drinks) which are quite pricey. They charge 80 rupees for a bottle of the local Seychelloise beer (very tasty as it happens) which cost 20 rupees or less in the local shops. Unsurprising, but irritating nonetheless. It's the same story (but more so) with wine as you'd expect. Interestingly, if you ask for a bottle of still water with dinner they charge you about £3 for it, but they seem to be quite happy for you to take your bottle of water which the turn-down service leaves in your room each night (at no extra cost.)

During the day there are several things you can do. They put on a free Adventure Bike Ride which they claim to be intermediate/advanced level. This is debatable - I cycle a reasonable amount so found it easy, but my wife never cycles at all and was able to do it. Admittedly, she is in good physical shape, and there are some pretty steep hills, but you don't necessarily have to be an expert cyclist to do it, and it's a good way of getting out of the resort. There are plenty of excursions available, and we did the day trip to Praslin and La Digue. We felt this was very poor value for money. Effectively it's just a very expensive water-taxi - about £300 per couple. The skipper basically took £1200 for blasting across to Praslin, letting us snorkel for a while (we never actually set foot on Praslin), blast over to La Digue where they make you shell out again for bicycle hire and entry to the national park (there's no real choice about these things, and it's not expensive, but for 300 quid it could have been included) and dump you on on a beach for 3 hours until it's time to come home. At which point he opens the taps, blasts back to Mahé and that's it. There's no real guiding, and my wife and I were completely soaked from the journey there, only slightly less so on the way back. He laughed at us and said we should expect it, I say it's fine for him (bone dry on the bridge, of course) to say that, but if I wanted to get wet, I'd have swum there, not taken a boat. I would advise against going on that trip (and I suspect any similar ones). On a similar note, I'm a keen diver and wanted to do some SCUBA out there. I found that although the resort offered diving, it was approximately TWICE the price of pretty much any of the independent dive centres. It worked out much cheaper for me to pay for 3 days car hire and drive to a dive centre in Beau Vallon, which had the added advantage of letting us see some of the island scenery.

On a more positive note, the fitness centre is very nice. Several free weights; strength and cardio machines which are better than in my gym at home. Water provided in a cooler, and if that's empty bottles of water put out. Fresh towels available in there, and a swimming pool just outside to cool off afterwards. The only criticisms here would be that sometimes the windows were open, so the AC was ineffective and it was horribly hot, and also there's only one cross-trainer, which was on a couple of occasions monopolised by selfish individuals staying on it or about an hour. If the hotel isn't going to have a policy of requesting only, say, 20 minutes per person on any one machine, then they need to buy more machines.

The staff are some of the most courteous, polite and helpful I've ever come across, anywhere. Couldn't fault any of them. Always smiling, always say hello to you, always asking if they can help. In fact, being English, we sometimes found this a little unnerving as we're so not used to it. But that's our problem rather than theirs.

On check out day we were ready to go at the allocated time of midday, but had to wait an hour and a half for the bags to be collected - but that suited us as our airport transfer wasn't until 23:00. We spent the day wandering round, had lunch at one of the poolside restaurants and enjoyed a cocktail in the bar. The bags were taken away somewhere (safe?) and there's a "departure lounge" which has a couple of computers with internet access, and male and female changing rooms with showers. Later in the evening when I wanted to get changed I was going to ask for my bags but found that they'd been brought out to the front of the hotel already. Unfortunately, they were also left unattended at times, and our transfer wasn't due for another couple of hours. In fact I walked up, picked up one of my suitcases and wandered off with it, with none of the staff apparently any the wiser. Now I'm sure that all the guests staying there are delightful and trustworthy, but still - pre-flight security and all that? We rather felt compelled to have to open up our cases again and make sure nothing had been put in them (we were more worried about extras being put in rather than anything being stolen with our next stop being the UAE).

So, I've had a good old British whinge there, but only because it's the most extravagant and luxurious holiday I've ever booked, and thus had high expectations, and most of the things I mentioned that weren't good were just minor irritations - we really did had a wonderful time there. Pros: the setting, staff, accommodation, food, facilities. Cons: They want your money. All of it. For X thousand pounds for 10 days accommodation they could have stretched to a bottle of champagne or decent wine on arrival, but it just gave us the first impression that they were out to fleece us for everything they could get out of us, and the boat excursion just confirmed that. The extras were so expensive, with no obvious justification, it made me worry about the cost, and I don't think you should have to do that on your honeymoon.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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6  Thank Jet-set_Playboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2010

Returned two weeks ago from a truly great holiday. The promotional offer was terrific value for the Seychelles - thank you Nick @ Travel Designers for arranging it for us back in March. Since then we have read nearly all the reviews and they helped enormously
with getting the most out of our holiday.
We had a junior suite, first floor (as recommended for privacy) with a georgeous view of the gardens/pool and beach/ocean through the trees. Print the map of the resort to see the layout of the suites and pools. Although it is a big resort, there are so many different pool/beach areas to discover so it never felt crowded anywhere. The dine around option in four of the restaurants was great giving plenty of variety in terms of food and
surroundings. Overall the food was of a very high standard. All the dining choices/
menus were posted at main Corossol restaurant - must book Adam & Eve/Helios and Seselwa as they are smaller but we preferred them. Booking was never a problem. A lot has been said about drink prices. We like a sundowner on our balcony before dinner and did not think 90 SCR (£6) unreasonable for a glass of chilean wine in the restaurants. (Paid nearly £3 for a coke in London recently!)
We enjoyed walking around the resort to and from the various restaurants and between
the two beaches. We never saw queues for the club cars, but perhaps the junior suites are slightly better located.
The facilities/activity program the hotel offers is second to none. We loved the water
sports on offer, canoeing, pedaloes, hobie cats, snorkelling, windsurfing,etc. Always immediately available with advice if necessary. Also the cycling, trail hiking, nature talks with strolls around the hotel grounds, boules, table tennis, etc. There is everything on offer that you could possibly wish for and its all FREE!! Except for the spa treatments, of course) but you could even use some things in the spa village for free, too! We didn't need the tennis, squash or kids club but it was all there.
We took the boat trip from North Beach to Praslin and La Digue (book early to avoid disappointment - Mons and Weds.) It is pricey but then the snorkelling at Anse Lazio
was truly fantastic and the cycling on La Digue not to be missed!
We are amazed at the moaning and groaning about this hotel. True there are a few areas where they need to improve but hey this was a half price holiday on a beautiful island in the Indian Ocean and in the words of a fellow reviewer 'if you can't enjoy yourself here then maybe holidays in paradise aren't your thing'!!
We went to Beau Vallon for old times sake as we holidayed at the B.V. Bay Hotel 32 years ago! It was 3* then and it still is. This hotel and the Coral Strand (even worse, read awful reviews) are now both so dated and in need of total redevelopment. We felt
sorry for their guests and very smug about staying at the Ephelia.
The Managers at the Ephelia were keen for our comments and suggestions as to how they can become even better. We found the staff extremely helpful and obvously now settling into their various roles - probably a good thing not to be the very first guests!!
A few helpful facts which have been said before:
Shop selling drinks/nibbles located close to North Beach bus terminus. Also another one down the road the other way from South Beach.
Buses leave for Victoria (about 50pence per trip) on the hour via Les Canelles which is the long way round via Anse Royale but good for sightseeing! (Takes about 1 hr. 40 mins) Or 15 mins past the hour via La Misere which is quicker. 'Bus stop' is written on the road, and not always obvious.
Car hire prices vary, we used Mein's at Euro 45 per day including insurance. They keep cars at the resort and we booked at last minute with no problem. Excess is Euro1,000 which is standard with all companies, so drive very carefully!!!
As recommended by others, we took duty free booze with us - rum, cointreau and wine and a small supply of nuts/crisps.
We put swimwear in our hand luggage. We were lucky as our room was ready soon after arrival but they were very, very slow bringing the suitcases so we changed and went straight to our beautiful pool and relaxed there while it all got sorted. There are guest facilities/showers etc. near the main hotel reception if you have to wait ages for your room!!
Don't try and pay your bill immediately after breakfast or at the last minute to avoid
queues. Keep the carbon copy of restaurant drinks bills as we had a few small errors
on ours. Against us, of course, but soon rectified and apologised for!
Do be meticulous about using the room safe - we used ours constantly and still made the mistake of leaving a small item of jewellery on the dressing table and it was gone
in a couple of hours!! Being investigated by hotel as we write but we have to keep chasing for feedback. We all know these things shouldn't happen in a 5* hotel
but they do all over the world all the time. Didn't spoil our holiday but it was a great pity!
Thankfully we left all the good stuff back in the U.K.
Various staff members check your room for this, that and the other - frigobar, housekeeping, etc. so even with the 'do not disturb' sign showing still be vigilant.
Rooms are fabulously well equipped, tea/coffee facilities, t.v., dvd, internet via a mini-mac(a little slow but still useful). Free videos, and all daily activities posted on tv. Took our music on a memory stick as advised by someone. Pleased to find hair conditioner, cotton wool buds and makeup remover pads as well as the usual
emery board, sewing kit, gowns, slippers, etc. and a first class hairdryer.
Can't think of much more to say other than we would go again next year like a shot
if we can get a similar sort of deal. The Seychelles has never been a cheap destination and probably not the best choice if your budget is tight. We had the most brilliant time,
met some great people and had a really memorable holiday. We envy all you lucky folk about to go to the Ephelia. The positives far outweigh the negatives. ENJOY!!!!!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank tanacetum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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