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Meet Jean-Jacques Vallet, CEO of Constance Hotels & Resorts group

With the renovation of its seven resorts in the Seychelles and the Island of Mauritius, the hotel group in the Indian Ocean confirms its ambitions and position among the major players in upscale tourism in this region that is more dynamic than ever. In 2016, Constance Hotels & Resorts expects an excellent year.

The general manager of Constance Hotels and Resorts group met the press during his visit to Paris, offering Hospitality ON the opportunity to discover the facelift of two of the group's leading properties and learn what's new in the group in the Indian Ocean. The operator's portfolio has seven properties today, four of which are under the brand Unique Resorts Collection and three under the brand Ultimate Hotels Collection. The archipelagos of Mauritius, the Seychelles and the Maldives have two Constance Hotels and Resorts addresses each, with the most recent property in the group being located in Madagascar. Together, these seven properties represent a total capacity of close to 1,000 rooms.

Could you tell us about the projects you plan to develop this year?

We have ambitious renovations planned at two of our properties. In the Seychelles, the Constance Lémuria will be refurnished and redecorated from August 22 to October 23. The idea is to refresh this hundred-room address that opened in 1999 on the western point of Praslin Island. A romantic destination first and foremost –with a wine cellar and gastronomic restaurant, as well as an 18-hole golf course– this refined property will also be able to host seminars.

Our Belle Mare Plage resort, the group’s first when it opened in 1975, offers similar equipment. Initially equipped with just bungalows, it was expanded to over 250 rooms. The latest renovations date from 2002. The hotel rooms and communal areas will be redecorated June 1 to July 16. The property’s capacity will also be increased by twenty or so rooms. The Blue Penny Café, the resort’s gastronomic restaurant and wine cellar, will also be renovated.

Constance Hotels and Resorts properties showcase their attachment to enology, what does this mean?

Our attachment to wine is truly part of the group’s DNA! Each meal counts and plays an essential role in the choice of clientele. In addition to our wine service, we also have the savoir-faire to advise and accompany... We offer more than 1,300 references that are imported especially for the group, and 67 sommeliers work at our Constance Hotels and Resorts properties. We thus have a demand for choice and variety: the sommelier’s savoir-faire is essential to ordering wines that harmoniously espouse a cuisine that is influenced by the islands and their spices.

What is the breakdown of your property’s clientele?

In terms of clientele, France, Germany and the United Kingdom are our primary source markets. We are also seeing an increase in guests from Gulf countries and Asia. Last year, visitors of 96 different nationalities stayed at our properties. As we offer different types of accommodations (rooms, suites, private villas, etc.), our clientele are also particularly diverse: couples, family reunions, etc. Family reunions are welcome since five of our resorts offer a Kids Club for their guests. Renovations and extensions of our conference spaces should also allow us to attract higher volumes of MICE clientele. The average length of stay at our properties is 9 nights, which is standard for island tourism in the Indian Ocean.

In addition to the off-season renovations planned, do you have any other projects for development?

If we decide to open in other destinations, it will be through the acquisition of management contracts favoring growth relays through partnerships. We are quite confident about our current situation, and we would like to preserve our regional origins in the Indian Ocean, while basing our product on the model of the luxury resort. "Feet in the sand, head in the stars…" we wish to guarantee our guests a feeling of evasion, by preserving this passion for our trade and our group that has close to 3,000 employees today. While our booking center and our training center are based in the Island of Mauritius, we now have collaborators in Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. Today our teams are of 44 different nationalities, marking the diversity of careers and the open mindedness of Constance Hotels & Resorts group.

Finally, what is your approach to 2016 in terms of activity?

We have been following a particularly positive trend in recent years, and 2016 should follow suit. Our occupancy rate has grown significantly and averaged about 78% across the year, which is higher than the regional average. Revenues are also up, with turnover increasing by nearly 10% during the last fiscal year. With unprecedented expansion for new airline routes in the region and our presence at well-known and reassuring destinations, we are once again looking forward confidently.

Also read:

  • Mauritius: the rising star of the Indian Ocean keeps shining
  • Overview of tourism and the hotel industry in Mauritius [Infography]
  • Marketing Partnership between Constance Hotels and Baglioni Hotels


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