A heaven on Earth, Maldives becomes dreamier with Constance Halaveli, which turns your admiration into worship with its water inspired architecture and calm, effective staff
By: Karishma Suri
Posted on: November 13, 2014
A heaven on Earth, Maldives becomes dreamier with Constance Halaveli, which turns your admiration into worship with its water inspired architecture and calm, effective staff.
Every once in a while, paradise calls your name. If you so choose to answer that call, you will be bestowed with beauty, picturesque settings and inner peace, like we were. My route to bliss, the Constance Halaveli, Maldives could very well be the reason that I now look at life 25 frames per second instead of living it in fast forward.
The Constance Halaveli, Maldives, set in the North Ari Atoll of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, is a place where time stops and dreams become reality. A place where crystal waters and sparkling sand combine to make you happy and lie in contrast to the exuberant green foliage as an idyllic backdrop for the resort. Shaped like a curved Dhoni (Maldivian boat) is Constance Halaveli in the turquoise lagoon built to take hearts and stresses away.
A magical place that enabled us to experience the essence of sheer luxury, their uncompromising, tailor-made service was reason enough to drop everything and just relax in an intimate and serene setting. Enhanced by their attention to detail, this property definitely stands out in Paradise Maldives, taking my breath away.
Peace begins with a smile
Aboard the Trans Maldivian airways sea plane, whip out your camera and put in your ear plugs as you swoosh over the amazingly pristine waters to land in water itself. Be prepared to say hello to an aerial view of the property that will become home during the length of your stay. White sands, palm trees and fifty shades of blue. As a traditional dhoni transported us to this magical island that belongs on a double spread in a glossy magazine, it's reality stood out as we stepped on the island. Full of hustle bustle, yet so peaceful, smiling faces from the team welcomed us as we let our feet sink into the hot mid day sand. Don't be surprised if they already know your name and recognise you, that's where their core strengths lie. “Welcome to Constance Halaveli Mr and Mrs Suri,” and I knew that it was the perfect beginning to my Maldivian romance.
A quick check-in was done as my feet traced my initials on the sand and we watched a cluster of palm trees perform over our heads. The team offered us some cold towels and a refreshing drink to signal the start of our holiday. Luckily, the formal check-in procedure was completed at the lounge before boarding the sea plane. What we loved about the classy lounge is that it gives you a glimpse of what lies ahead and will fulfill your food and shelter quota till you need.
As we were escorted to our room on a club cart by a team member, it took us less than a second to pull out our camera as colorful fish vied for our attention and will oblige for striking shots against the pristine waters. A 1.85 km long jetty (one of the largest in Maldives) literally waits to be explored as it stretches out to large water villas with their own private entries into the inviting blue lagoon. "Oh, hello beautiful!" was just about all I could manage at that point as I obliged for a picture under the shining sun.
Home is where the heart is
Spacious accommodations, in overwater and beachside villas, blend seamlessly into the surrounding environment as it makes for 'the' paradise island to honeymooners, couples and families alike. The shadow of these 86 villas falls onto the turquoise lagoon and makes for yet another postcard shot. No, it truly is impossible to tire of your camera during this trip. The property is sensitive to its surroundings, using designs in wood, stone and marble to blend smoothly with the local environment. Accommodation boasting the latest amenities and technology is what will welcome you.
Entering villa no 38, a water villa, our eyes were distracted by the views, not specifically of the room, but from our room. Make sure you refuse an upgrade as the water villas are the highlight of the property as compared to the beach villas (which are beautiful, homely and family oriented). Coming to a water destination and not having the liberty to be able to jump into the waters whenever your heart wishes is such a waste. Feeling hot? Jump into the water. Don't like the salt? Jump into your infinity plunge pool and pout at the fish. Think the plunge pool is too small? Put on your bikini and hat and strut to the hotel pool where you can sip on amazing cocktails from Jahaaz bar.
The rooms are spacious and follow a perfect layout. I was happy to lounge in the living room area while browsing through amazing movies on my personal Mac mini that was hooked to a 42” TV. Always pleasing to my eyes, I loved the white plush linen on the bed that gave a serene effect to the room. The bed is surrounded by full windows that overlook the water. A huge bathroom definitely tops our list of priority on a holiday and this property didn't disappoint. It even houses a tub for that extra pampering and overlooks yet some more water. Don't miss the life jackets that are housed in both the separate wardrobes (thank God for that) as you will need it to jump into the inviting waters.
How about that?
Romance should be the middle name when at this property simply because the property demands it. But leaning onto a slightly more adventurous side this trip, we found ourselves to hold hands and head to the dive centre for two strong reasons. One, to collect our complimentary snorkelling equipment and two, the team showed us wonderful videos of the marine treasures just waiting to be explored. Now, who could resist such gorgeous marvels? Not us.
Taking a walk along the jetty back to our villa, we couldn't wait to snorkel with the underwater camera (placed inside the minibar) to click some beautiful marine life. It's almost as if you are expected to capture the beauty that lies underneath. Another thing you must not forget is the sun block as the sun is scorching and we spent a good amount of time letting the skin soak up the product. After snorkelling for a couple of hours, we walked back to the dive centre where the team had organised a session of fish feeding (which isn't really advised as it kills the fish’s instinct to kill), but we enjoyed watching baby sharks and jack fish battle it out for some bread and fish. For those who are fond of diving, the North Ari Atoll with its rare marine fauna and profusion of beautiful and exotic sea life is an experience you will never forget, and the property organises a number of diving expeditions. But for a beginner like me, snorkelling was just about as far as I could get.
Once done with the water, it was time to pamper ourselves as we attended a wine tasting at one of their two private wine cellars under the guidance of their sommelier. Taking a journey into the wine world, he introduced us to two quite striking wines, Vuurberg and Trousseau. Wine aficionados can also opt for a private wine tasting session inside the water if the weather, and your sommelier, permits it. What makes their cellars so special is that they have a unique selection of wine that is bought directly from the producers, and thus offer over 40,000 bottles, so there is usually something for every palate.
Food pairing, tasting notes and personal experiences later, we attended a dinner at their speciality grill restaraunt called "Meeru". Meeru – meaning ‘tasty’ in Maldivian - is a barefoot grill that offers a wide range of seafood in a splendid al fresco setting. Simple, smart and tasty, their chefs had no problem whipping up something vegetarian for me. While my companion enjoyed the freshest catches of sea food, I couldn't help but admire the blanket of stars above us literally orchestrating romance and love.
Its about you, actually
The three restaurants and the spa at this property ensure that both the body and mind are well cared for. Located at the rear end of the jetty, the spa (on stilts) is a must visit at Constance Halaveli. The walk to it will light your eyes with amazement at the waters and marine life. Besides that, I am sure no one would really complain about being massaged and pampered, right? A 45 minute back massage later, my companion and me really couldn’t think of a better way to have spent the afternoon. Guests can enjoy a fabulous range of treatments by Valmont as well as a tailor-made spa with Ila organic products. Aptly named The Uspa , it aims to pamper and rejuvenate. The spa treatments are centered around YOU, your objectives, your preferences, and are designed to bring you back into a state of happiness in body and mind. Ensure that you do not miss the sunset at the end of the jetty which I personally named 'the romance point’, simply because one can see nothing but eternal waters marrying the sun. Carry your wedding outfits and get photographed as the destination practically begs that.
Food is an essential component of any property and this one offers three restaurants and two wine cellars to please your senses. The restaurants use locally sourced produce where possible. Having already been to Meeru, we went to Jing (meaning flavours in Chinese), an Asian chic eatery on stilts that features fusion cuisine where Asian dishes are combined with European touches. Set in a serene area half way along the Halaveli jetty, it offers the perfect fusion for a candlelit dinner where the lapping of the ocean against the shore creates a pleasant ambiance for a sumptuous dinner. Borrowing from molecular gastronomy to an extent, the menu boasts of wonderfully created platters that will leave you wanting more.
The Jahaz Restaurant & Bar features ‘culinary atoll’ food stations, serving international cuisine, plus it puts on themed evenings and special events. Meaning ‘ship’ in ancient Indian, we loved the diversity at this restaurant. Our breakfast was usually here as we overlooked the waves hitting against the shores, amidst the chatter of other guests. With an elegant, laid back feel, we loved that the refined dining room extends into an outdoor dining area so we could enjoy the sand between our toes and also the ocean and pool view. Celebrating the worlds cuisine, it was easy to take a world tour with all the different cuisines offered here. As Meeru and Jing were only open for dinner, we found ourselves wishing we had more options for lunch.
Being a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, we had expected a certain standard and love from the team, and Constance Halaveli didn’t fail to live up to this. Their level of personalisation and recall makes the return rate almost 100%. A luxurious setting with extraordinary beauty, we loved the excellent hospitality, friendliness and sophistication. The discreet service designed to anticipate the needs and desires of all guests makes it easy to feel at home. A place to relax and regenerate in overwhelming peacefulness, Constance Halaveli is designed to impress, please and pamper.