We booked for an 8 nights stay at Constance Moofushi for the start of November, that trip didn't happen. Our passports were stolen literally hours before our takeoff, the cancellation date had elapsed, our travel insurance didn't cover loss of paperwork prior to travel and we were devastated. (Long story short) After speaking to Constance about it, they agreed to reschedule our stay without penalties to mid-Feb. I vowed to give Constance a 5/5 on Tripadvisor regardless of the experience of my stay, and it was quite close. Where do I begin?
By the time we'd arrived in Male, it was past midnight so we had to stay at another hotel to wait for our seaplane transfer. We had booked for a seaplane for noon but for some reason our seaplane was rescheduled to 8AM without our knowledge, this meant we only had 4 hours to sleep. Speaking to the staff at the Constance lounge, they have no control of the seaplane schedule and there was no time to notify all their guests, fair enough.
At the Constance lounge, they had served mango-strawberry iced tea to all guests, it's great and I am addicted! For the following week at Constance, I drank this pretty much every day. For those of you who are interested, Constance uses the Dilmah brand which you can't buy from supermarkets (at least not in Australia) but you can order it from their website.
When we got to Constance Moofushi by seaplane, we were asked to wait in the reception lounge, all guests were treated to exotic fruit juices. After what seemed like half an hour, we were told our rooms would be ready later this afternoon, each group of guests were taken for an orientation around the island and we were told lunch buffet would start at 2PM. When we eventually got to lunch at 2:30PM but all the food were gone and being removed, the staff said the buffet actually started at 12:30PM and they were now closing the buffet. Other guests on our seaplane weren't too pleased either. I was starving so I ate anything I could scavenge.
Food is first because it's one of my great passions. Food is served at two main venues, the Manta buffet and the Alizee fine dining restaurant.
Buffet food is free and has daily themes, there are seven themes in total, on one day it could be a Asian food theme, another day it could be a Mexican food theme. On our 2nd day there, the pasta chef was quite rude - bad day perhaps? He was awesome all the other days.
The ambience is great, our favourite area is the Manta deck, an open area above shallow waters, where you can throw food at the marine life below (in moderation). “You guys should put some tables along the beach”, that's what we told them on our second day, they listened and if you're in Constance and they have tables lining the beach, that's us :)
During the busier hours of the buffet, the service was really slow. Some days we had to wait more than half an hour to get a coffee or have our table set (or can just set the table yourself). Sometimes they'd forget and we have to prompt multiple times to get what we need.
Breakfast was amazing, the egg chef, he does a sunny side up perfectly. I haven't been to another 5-star that can make sunny side up so consistently perfect. There are many choices for breakfast, eggs, pancakes, wide range of bakery, mmmm thinking about it makes me drool.
For sparkling water, be sure to ask for San Pellegrino. They won't offer it willingly, but if you know they serve it, they will offer it to you.
To us, the rest of the food was very average, some foods (like the spaghetti bolognese) was terrible and hard to swallow. Granted, we're Australian so we're spoiled with good food at home, but from what we gathered from most other guests, the food is beautiful.
You get an Alizee voucher for every 4 days you stay at Constance, it's an a la carte setting and occasionally offering degustation / set courses for events. The a la carte is pretty decent and much better quality than Manta buffet. One thing we found really disappointing about Alizee is when they have degustation for special events, they will not cater for special dietary requirements. We wanted to have a pesctarian or vegetarian dinner for Valentine’s day, we spoke to the chef but he was adamant and unable to cater for our needs.
Staff generally had a good attitude and respect towards their guests, they spoke good English and are informed about most topics relevant to your stay. However they do give wrong advice and make mistakes from time to time, which is acceptable normally but when you spend an exorbitant amount per night you'd expect everything to be perfect.
Our TV didn't work correctly on arrival, something they could have checked before our arrival.
Had problems with housekeeping on for the first few days, either it didn't happen, or we had to wait outside our door for 30 minutes.
I overlooked these mishaps but then something broke the straw for us.
We wanted to book Alizee for our 4th day and our last day, we did this through reception and it was all confirmed. We dressed up for the occasion and were really looking forward to it the whole week. Our dreams were crushed when we arrived at the restaurant and they could not find our names on the reservations list and rather than just adding another table, they had to turn us away. When we got back to the villa, my wife was crying and I was pissed. To make matters worse, housekeeping had given us stained sheets for the night.
Reeling from anger I couldn't sleep all night, so instead I spent the whole night drafting a complaint letter and I lodged the complaint first thing in the morning. Sri called us around lunch time apologising for the stuff up, he offered us a special turn down for the evening, complimentary bottle of wine, a spa voucher and he's spoken to Alizee's adamant chef personally and *convinced* him to make an exception and tailor a Valentines dinner to our dietary requirements.
We were sceptical at first but after the massage, awesome Valentine’s dinner and consistently good housekeeping, we forgot all about it.
Very roomy and appropriate decor, large bed with centre divide which lead to great sleep. Balcony overlooking sunset is just awesome.
The mini bar is complimentary but there's isn't much variety.
The TV had lots of movies and music to go through, but I would really have like it more if the multi-instalment movies had the original parts too. For example, I wanted to watch Despicable Me 2 but they didn't have the 1st movie.
On our all-inclusive package it says "hammock for all deluxe and senior water villas", but there weren't any hammocks in our room. We called reception and they said it was an error - they only have hammocks for their beach villas.
One thing that bothered us was the bath and shower facilities didn't seem to have adequate privacy. The bathroom facilities and public walkway is separated by a privacy screen made with timber stacks, however there is about a 1cm gap between some stacks and if people wanted to they could peek in, especially during the night. My wife tested this, as I was showering, my wife stepped out and could make out certain "bits". As a precaution, I always showered with my back to the walkway.
Snorkelling was a daily thing for us, but it got a bit boring later in our stay. The reefs are beautiful on the north side of our senior water villas, a bit cold on the south side and we spotted a few Titan Triggerfish on the other side of the island which we dutifully avoided.
There are equipment to hire (for free) at the main beach, you can hire paddle boats, kayaks, windsurf sails, diving gear, life jackets and snorkelling gear which you can keep until the end of your stay. If you're willing to spend some money, you can also get lessons for each type of equipment.
As part of your all inclusive package, you get one excursion voucher, and unlike food vouchers, this one doesn't change regardless of how many nights you stay.
We picked the Dolphin Excursion and my advice is stay away from it. It was only when we were on the boat, they told us "you'll be lucky to even see one dolphin". The rest of the trip was just about sniffing engine fumes.
There's also a gym, pretty well equipped although no free weights (probably because of safety issues as the gym is not staffed). The gym is always empty.
Lots of exotic fish, some birds, few lizards, fewer freak of nature insects and one cat.
Constance bars guests from consuming complimentary alcohol on departure day, so make sure you drink your belly full the night before! We sipped mocktails under the coconut trees near the diving centre while waiting for our seaplane, my wife wanted to scavange some mango-strawberry satchels from the diving centre but found cockroaches pop out at her as she picked up the bags.
We tipped two of our favourite people at Constance:
1. Yaabe who was our main waiter, he impressed us for our second dinner buffet, he remembered our names, our room number, our favourite drinks (strawberry-mango iced tea) and our favourite table from the night before. He is also knowledgeable, giving us a rundown of names of exotic fruits at Constance and where they’re grown, insightful stuff!
2. John (?) the coconut man, we thought he was under appreciated and he works so hard chopping up coconuts and maintaining the garden. Even though he didn't speak a word of English, he was polite and respectful everytime we ran into him.
Originally I wanted to tip 20USD per person but my wife is an anti-tipper so we met in the middle. She wanted to tip zero, I wanted to tip 20 so I tipped 10USD.
After the seaplane dropped us off, we stayed at the Constance lounge for some food and refreshments. It was a bit better than the buffet at Manta but you had to pay for it.
We had a shower at the Constance facilities before our very long trip back, and the quality of their facility was shoddy at best. Shampoo and body wash bottles were long empty, the floors were dirty and the drains wouldn't drain properly, I had to step on stacked towels in a bid to avoid stepping on “old” water. According to my wife, it was the same in the females.
We made a right choice choosing Constance as our honeymoon resort, the experience here will stay with me for life. It's made such a powerful impression on me, I still remember like it was yesterday I was there enjoying the sunshine. I even made arrangement to have some Constance shampoo mailed to me so that it can remind me of the great times I had.
For those of us who don't drink, the complimentary alcohol is such as waste, perhaps we can swap it from something else in the future?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Barefoot chic, villas on dazzling white sand or on stilts that float above the turquoise water of the Indian Ocean; choose from one of the 24 beach villas, 56 water villas or 30 senior water villas at Constance Moofushi. Set on its own secluded island, the resort is a perfect combination of luxury and simplicity where everything is taken care of with our All-Inclusive Cristal Package - from premium drinks, exquisite cuisine to luxurious accommodation and innovative spa treatments! And if you are not exploring one of the best diving sites in the world around the South Ari Atoll; try Ymalia’s innovative bio marine spa treatments for a more beautiful you. From ecological thatch roofing to crystal clear water, Constance Moofushi is one of our unique resorts with a soul. All villas are built and decorated with wondrous tones of nature with a hint of Constance chic. Feast on fresh seafood and treat your palate to the finest wines in our sand floored restaurant. The colourful aquatic world is also a must while staying at Constance Moofushi. From snorkelling exploration, sunset cruise with a traditional Dhoni to dolphin search and big game fishing Maldivian style, Constance Moofushi and its surrounding is a jewel! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Constance Moofushi Resort, Maldives Hotel South Ari Atoll
- Moofushi North Ari Atoll