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Constance Halaveli
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Reviewed February 16, 2011

We stayed for a week in this splendid resort with my wife and had a wonderful time. Our Villa way superbly equipped, the restaurants offered a great variety of cuisine, the service was excellent and the staff was very helpful and managed all of our requests. A special thanks go to Andras - front office, Jerome - sommelier, Navin - tennis coach, but actually everyone in the hotel (from the waiters to the Buggy driver) was working hard to make our days on the island unforgettable.

We tried a variety of sports at Halaveli and if you happen to be a fan of an active recreation, than I would warmly recommend this resort. Snorkelling and tennis equipment is available at the hotel free of charge, while the resort has a super fitness centre and many other paid sport activities as well.

On the improvement needs side I can only mentioned the wi-fi connection in the room, which proved to be quite unreliable and needed to be fixed on a daily basis. ...but these issues were managed within minutes remotely by the IT department of Halaveli. If we talk about technology
I should mention that our villa had real high-tech multimedia system inside, with free music and video-on-demand service with great Hollywood movies.

All in all a great barefoot location to recharge batteries and enjoy sunshine!

  • Stayed: February 2011
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Thank Andro03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2011

This is fifth time to Maldives for us. So it was very difficult for me to select the resort we stay. (We'd ever stayed Taj, Huvafen, Fourseason Landaa & Shangri La before)

Finally...my choice is great.

They have a good staff, good food and most important one....they have good wine and wonderful sommelier.

We had met two sommeliers in Halaveli. Mr Jerome & Mr Sampath.

Jerome....He is very kind man and he give me an energy for my life and wine.
Kind, delightful, gentle etc.... Sure. He's a specialist for wine. ^^

Sampath also very kind man.

We had a very wonder wine trip in Halaveli.
We'd ever been to Francee, Argentine, Chile, Spain through wines which was
recommended by wonderful sommelier. ^^

Don't hesitate to book Halaveli and meet handsome sommelier in there. ^^

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BKHW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2011

Just to sum it up first: we had a wonderful 8-day-stay at the Constance Halaveli Resort.

As many people have already written the same great things about their stay and the resort we would rather more like to add some different viewpoints based on our own experience.

Food, wine and more:
For our demanding taste the selection at the buffet. It's variety and it's quality were excellent. Sushi and many other delicacies in abundance on "Japanese night", oysters, lobster and grilled fish at the "Alilfu buffet" etc. ... And for desert: don't forget to ask for the different kinds of homemade ice cream: you will get some of the best you can get .

As for the wines: we have never seen such a selection of wines before. With bottles starting at 29 USD pricing is ok. as well. And independent of it's price: each wine is excellent - Great job done Jerome Carlier and staff!

Staff: All the staff that we met where very friendly, always with a smile on their face. You wish something or you ask for something you can be sure you get it. - And yes: everybody has an attitude of "we are trying to do our best to make you feel as comfortable as possible".

Our son loved the kids club - he popped in and out in line with the activity program. Up to now we have never seen a place where up to 3 ladies are taking care of 4 - 6 kids .... canoeing, diving with the kids, pirates cruise etc. were some of his favorites.

Also many of the other staff interacted wonderfully with our son. - A special thank you to Didi in the Jahaaz restaurant whom our son selected to be his a good friend.

Sports facilities: the gym is great - excellent equipment. And why not jog around the island if the running machine is occupied ;-)? (But then: whenever I went to the gym I was the only person there .... - Tennis court is great too. And the spa is just marvelous: great location - great treatments!

Too many people - too small of an island?
During our stay the island was fully occupied - but at no time did we have the impression that there were more than just a few guest on this wonderful piece of land.

And as for the smaller things that make live comfortable: inroom entertainement, wireless access etc. were just great - but then again: if you stay inside to enjoy these facilities you may miss moments outside in this unique environment.

Value for money: if you travel to the Maldives you know beforehand that it is not going to be cheap. If you are thinking about how to save during your vacation don't think of going in the first place.

Location and weather:
If the weather is not good in the Maldives you will have an issue - independent of which island you are going to. - During our stay it rained on one day and we enjoyed this as well. Where else can you be outside and in the water without bothering of getting wet? - If you travel during the rainy season just don't travel to places where you have much more fun when the sun is shining ...

If we could we would return again tomorrow ... we truely loved the barefoot luxury that we experienced at every single moment.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank WeThree_Swiss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2011

my wife and I decided to go to this resort based on our travel agent advise, this is our second time going to the Maldives and we read great reviews on trip advisor about this resort so we decided to go. The resort has 200 Villas with a main swimming pool area. live entertainment at night. water Villas are on a long 1.5km jetty and walking to your villa if it happens to be at the very end (70's-80's) then call a buggy service.

The first two days were rainy but after that the weather was fantastic.

Water Villa: very nice and clean, house keeping was on teh clock keeping the villa well maintained and equiped. the bed was very comfortable and the sound of the waves were relaxing. Apple entertainment system was a nice touch in the room. didn't try in Villa dining.

Water sports: non motorized equipments are free of charge and the water sport center staff are welling to help you. excellent service. we spotted Mantas while on the paddle boat.

Food:
Jahaz Bar: very friendly staff, nice place to have afternoon snacks and drinks as well as Shisha. (chicken Tandoori rap is a great choice)

Jahaz Rest: this is the breakfast area, alot of choices for a breakfast, staff are very nice and the food is OK.

we had a private dinner arranged on the beach and it was fantastic.

we had dinner at a near by resort (W retreat) which we stayed at a year ago, the managment kindly arranged for us a speed boat after communicating with the W's staff and it was great food and a great 15 min spead boat trip.

over all we had a great time, would go back again.

Meeru Grill; good restaurant location specially when sitting on the beach (when its not raining) good food but the waiters need to focus on the orders, easy to mix plates and bills.

Jing Rest: excellent location (on the water), great seafood and staff are super.

Dive center: very helpful and friendly staff. safety conscious. i did three dives and a snorkle trip and my wife and i had a great time.

Spa: great treatments, you need to book appointments a day before.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank nassudmi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2011

First I would like to share with you some information about seasons and weather in this part of the world. Hope it will be useful, as I was searching in internet before my trip, but the information I saw was not precise or full.

Well, according to locals the best time to come to Maldives is from January to March. And the main problem during the rest of the year is not the rain, as you might thought (the rain can also happen in January-March, by the way). The main problem is a wind. Strong south-west monsoon. The north-east monsoon during January-March is supposed to be not that strong and brings more sun. Plus, the underwater visibility becomes better and mantas (and maybe other interesting sea creatures) come close to the shore and your chances to see them are much higher. Please note also that December is a changing season, and not a high season as advertised, which means that wind may be very strong and irritating, making the most of water activities impossible. June and July are also bad months in this respect.

So, the idea is that, depending on season, you just have to be very careful choosing the island. It should be BIG enough and have a swimming area (as well as accommodation options) not exposed to the SW monsoon during April-December and to the NE monsoon during January-March. Normally hotels have maps on their internet sites, so it's quite easy to define which side is where. Of course, all above is applicable, if swimming in the ocean and snorkeling is why you come to Maldives. If you come just to spend your days on a sun-bed with a book near your villa or to sit in the plunge pool, then any season will be OK for you.

We split our stay between 2 islands – Island Hideaway (see the separate review) and Constance Halaveli .

We stayed in Constance (CH) in the beginning of December in Water Villa 72.

Getting there:

We arrived to Male with a domestic flight from Hanimaadhoo airport, as CH was our second island, after Island Hideaway. Our flight to CH with Air Taxi from Male was delayed because of weather conditions (torrential rain and wind), so we were waiting for the flight in Constance lounge in Male airport. In one word - not impressing after Island Hideaway departure lounge at Hanimaadhoo airport. Though the space is conveniently organized, it's not roomy considering the number of passengers. The choice of food/drinks is not comparable to those in Island Hideaway lounge. The flight itself is a pleasant journey that takes approx. 30Min.

Upon arrival we found out that our agency (Sodis) didn't send to the hotel a request for a specific room we'd chosen. Though they confirmed that they had done so, after we arrived to Constance we were told that no specific room was requested for us. We immediately contacted the agency and asked them to forward us the message they'd sent to the hotel, but it turned out that they hadn't sent any message with a request. Bad work, Sodis.

So the villa we hoped we would stay in was not assigned for us. We spent a lot of time at the reception, had long negotiations with a manager responsible for rooms distribution, and, after all, he was so kind to give us a room we originally wanted. Though starting from the following day (it was occupied the day we arrived). Thank you again, Andras.

Island:

We arrived from Island Hideaway, and I think that this was a unique island and maybe the only one of that kind in Maldives.

After Island Hideaway, Constance felt like a big european overdeveloped and overcrowded resort with lots of people and plenty of villas where you can't feel the nature, not speaking of solitude. There are only 43 villas on Island Hideaway, and the island is about 1,5km long and 400m wide. Constance has 90 villas and the island is so tiny that you can go around it (slowly) in 10 min.
Plus, the island is surrounded by seawalls that never make the picture more attractive. The Presidential villa was still under construction at the time of our visit which means pipes in water, sandbags ... don't include this part of the island in your romantic sunset walk, and don't swim nearby – the water is muddy.

There are 30 villas on the island, and the remaining 60 are located on a 850 meters pontoon (the longest in Maldives by now).

Because of the small size of the island there are not many places where you can escape the wind. And in any case pontoon is not one of them. The wind was so strong that it was hard and sometimes even impossible to walk on pontoon to the villa, especially at night. And if it starts raining, when you are in the middle of your way, it's better to stop near the closest villa and wait until a buggy passes you by, or, if at night, just ask someone to call the buggy – pontoon has no railing, and the plank pontoon surface becomes slippery under the rain, so if the wind is strong you can easily misstep and fall into the ocean (it's shallow under the pontoon). And don't ever use an umbrella (you'll have it in your villa), if the wind is strong – you will be just blown away like Mary Poppins, and the umbrella will be broken.

You can always call a buggy, but if you like walking and don't like waiting (like us), then it's not a preferable option.

Weather was bad most of the time we were there. If it was not raining, still it was very windy. Sometimes at night I felt like our roof is going to get off.

A big (and maybe the only significant) PLUS of Constance Halaveli compared to Island Hideaway is that during the whole stay I saw NO INSECT anywhere. Not speaking of any rats. Only funny local chickens.

Swimming:

Swimming was challenging. I think we were the only ones who did this exercise, but we just decided not to let circumstances spoil the half of our vacation. Swimming in the ocean (not in the pool which I can practice at home) is one of the reasons you make all this long way to Maldives. Several days later I noticed Chinese group in orange life jackets (placed in every villa, they are meant to be used in case of emergency only) who were entering the lagoon. I think they were inspired by our example. No other enthusiasts. And this is understandable – the water looked like water in a boiling kettle, plus a current, so not a lot of pleasure. But it's an excellent exercise for a good swimmer in order not to get completely motionless – about a kilometer from villa 72 to the beach and back.

In terms of snorkeling, we saw several small sharks and once a manta passing by our villa. That is. But I think it's just because of the wrong season. In good calm weather I guess you can take a snorkeling excursion to the other side of the lagoon (actually, being a good swimmer and using flips I think it's possible to even swim over there) and see mantas and maybe something else.

I don't recommend you swimming around the island inside seawalls in windy weather – the bottom is close and it's full of broken corals and stones.

Accommodation:

Villa is really great. Layout, design, furniture, equipment, amenities, if only the deck could be bigger and better laid out. But it's my personal perception, and I've just seen so many of them.

Very clever air conditioning system – you don't have this ugly device above your head blowing onto your face. Everything is hidden, and you just have a constant air intake of the chosen temperature.

Housekeeping was superficial, but this is as usual.

We wanted to be on the end of one of the pontoon branches and on the lagoon side, so asked our agency to request for us villa 72 (which Sodis agency failed to do). So we spent the first day in another villa and moved to 72 the second day of our stay (thanks to Andras, the responsible manager). The funny thing is that villa 72 looked like it was more intensively “used” then our first villa 42: more mold in bathroom, stains on the sofa etc. I think it's really popular and is always occupied, so looks really older then it's neighbors.

It's up to you to decide whether you want to be on the end of pontoon or not. It's far from the island and in a windy weather you will be more exposed to the wind (and remember – no railing!). But it's more private and view is unobstructed.

There is also villa 90 on the very end of the pontoon – a more extreme option. Plus, they seemed to freeze a construction over there in the ocean and stilts prominent from the ocean look dismal. Maybe they wanted to make a pontoon even longer, but then decided to stop, as they were already the first in Maldives with their 850 meters. Or they just got afraid the island would sink, if people staying overwater decide to come to the island altogether.

I would recommend to request a villa on the lagoon side rather than on the ocean side during SW monsoon. Maybe ocean side would be better during NE monsoon, plus you'll have a better sunset view there.

Breakfast&Dinner:

As I'm comparing with Island Hideaway, and we are very specific with our food selection (mainly fruits for breakfast and vegetables+fish+wine for dinner), so here IH beats CH in terms of morning fruit selection, presentation and friendliness of a person responsible for fruits cutting and distributing.

I also would like to mention a very important detail regarding water quality that is being used in restaurants. They use tap water (that smells of chlorine) for making your tea and coffee which of course affects the taste. To compare, this was not a case in IH, where, I can suppose, they use another disinfection/cleaning system. We ended up bringing a big bottle of water provided in our villa with us to the restaurant and giving it to the waiter. We mentioned about it in a comments form provided by the hotel and hopefully they will improve here.

Chefs in main restaurant are really welcome and friendly. Every night we had a special request for fish, and everything was perfectly done. We recommend you to ask a waiter to invite a chef to your table and discuss your preferences with him directly. We were not disappointed.

I cannot share absolute admiration of other reviewers regarding sommelier service. First night I explained what kind of wine I wanted with my meal and accepted sommelier's recommendation without checking details on the bottle. Afterwards it appeared that it was not the kind of wine I requested. Moreover, I noticed that they offer the same wine for other couples (I noticed the same bottles on many tables). So I can assume that there is no personal touch in their approach, but pure adjustment of current wine stock. So every following night I just took a big book (I can't call it a wine list) where you can find the wines from every possible region of the world and chose something based on my taste and price expectations. The variety of wines and prices is really impressing. A big plus.

Service:

With exception of several clueless girls at the reception desk, all staff members are attentive, accommodating and helpful.

AirTaxi Service (Constance Halaveli – Male Airport):

They put guests leaving with different international flights in one air taxi, so some of them might arrive to Male airport 2 hours before their international flight, some – 5 hours before. That means, instead of sending 2 air taxis, maybe half empty, Constance cuts down expenses putting everybody in one and thus sacrificing guests' convenience (in our case it came to several hours of precious morning sleep). And though the whole team including Resort Manager goes out to wave you goodbye, this spoiled our overall impression.

By the way, there is a very comfortable air conditioned lounge for guests waiting for their departure, with shower, library, computers etc. A building near the reception.

---------------

Bottom-line:

The island is extremely small for that number of guests, snorkeling is limited, no house reef, and I can suppose that staying overwater you will be exposed to the wind any time of the year. Just because you are in the open ocean and there's no shelter.

On the other side, villas are new and comfortable; in-villa entertainment system, service, food in restaurants and massages in SPA are all of a good quality, wine list is comprehensive, no insects or other unpleasant creatures, and you have your own plunge pool. If all above is what you expect from your Maldives vacation, then this place is ideal for you.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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11  Thank NadiaJuly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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