Maldives with Constance Hotels Part 2: Halaveli Resort

 Halaveli is the kind of luxury resort that you might conjure up when asked to think of the Maldives. From the pool, restaurants (there are four, including a sushi bar), villas (there's also a huge presidential villa, should you be feeling extra plush and want to gather a group of friends to join you), to the experiences they offer, it has everything and more that you could ever dream of. And those experiences include dinner in the resort's wine cellar and wine-tasting in the lagoon. Yes - drinking beautiful bottles of wine in the lagoon. At sunset. With baby sharks swimming past your feet. I didn't even know that that was on my bucket list, but I ticked it off! Perhaps it's time I update the bucket list. Both are obviously a must. 

A 25 minute speed boat away from Moofushi, Halaveli is a completely different kettle of fish. While Moofushi is equipped for diving and has a more desert island disc vibe with a younger ambience, Halaveli is like the older, bigger, more luxurious brother that caters for families. But if you're considering them both for a honeymoon destination, they are equally wonderful. I'd highly recommend spending a few nights in each resort, to get the best of both worlds - just saying. And you could do what we did and stay in a water villa at Moofushi and a beach villa at Halaveli to get the full experience!  

Thank you to Constance Hotels for making this amazing trip possible! 

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Pathway to the spa

Pathway to the spa

Water villa interiors 

Water villa interiors 

Bathing in one of the water villa's private infinity pool 

Bathing in one of the water villa's private infinity pool 

Jahaz restaurant and bar

Jahaz restaurant and bar

Sushi at Kaika Sushi bar

Sushi at Kaika Sushi bar

My outdoor bathroom 

My outdoor bathroom 

Beach villa complete with outdoor bathroom and private pool next to the bath

Beach villa complete with outdoor bathroom and private pool next to the bath

The pool at the presidential villa 

The pool at the presidential villa 

Wine-tasting in the lagoon! 

Wine-tasting in the lagoon! 

Our ride home

Our ride home

Halaveli from the air at sunset 

Halaveli from the air at sunset 

Maldives with Constance Hotels Part 1: Moofushi

Three flights later, including a seaplane, we landed somewhere in the Indian Ocean, in some far flung edge of the planet, in a group of scattered islands called the Maldives. It's the kind of place you might have dreamt about during one of those rare dreams, the ones you can fly, where you conjure up crystal clear turquoise waters and whiter than white sandy beaches lined with palm trees. Well, I can attest that paradise is alive and well, not far from Sri Lanka. If I'm honest the Maldives was never top of my travel list as it always felt so unattainable; a place dedicated solely to honeymooners or a once in a life-time destination to celebrate something truly special. Now back in Paris, it feels like a dream, albeit a real one. 

The first destination of our four day foray in the Maldives, was the brilliantly-named Moofushi Resort, otherwise known as 'the jewel island' to the locals. I stepped off the seaplane and straight into the warm welcome of the staff and assistant resort manager, Srikanth. Having not slept (I’m not really a plane sleeper and I can’t resist watching the films, much to my own detriment), I was pretty dazed and practically running on empty, but anticipation, excitement and curiosity gave me enough fuel to see me through the rest of the day. Unfortunately the weather, although warm and humid, was a bit rainy and grey, but thankfully it didn’t mar the beauty of this incredible place, just prevented me from taking copious amounts of photos and forcing me to live in the moment. No bad thing, when I often see the world through a lens.   

Moofushi has a slightly rustic, tree-house vibe to it. Upon arrival, the staff actively encourage you to remove your shoes and spend your stay barefoot. It’s luxurious, but less flashy - more cosy and relaxed than you might expect a 5 star resort to be, but in a good way. During the course of two days, we explored the island, were treated to a massage, snorkelling and went diving. Beautiful reefs surround the island, so it's paradise for snorkelers and sea babies, and it also happens to have the best (award-winning) diving school in the Maldives. The centre is run by fellow Brit, Miles who very kindly offered us the first stage of the PADI course and held my hand throughout. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, not only for the experience, but also to help quell my fear of the sea! I’ve been scared of waves and what lies below since a child and I'll try anything that might help (within reason - think I'll leave those caged shark dives to those braver than I!) After sampling the island's activities during the day - including a massage in the island's spa, a tour of the island and more snorkelling, in the evenings we dined at both island restaurants. Manta, the resort’s main eatery that also provides breakfast and lunch during the day, hosts a different themed cuisine every evening. Fortuitously we arrived the day they were cooking Mexican - if you follow my IG Stories or Snapchat, you’ll know this is a favourite. The following evening we dined in the Moofushi’s a la carte restaurant Alizee. With tables that line the beach, accompanied by live music and a delicious menu to match, it was more than dreamy. There's nothing like dining under the stars and listening to waves gently lap against the shore. Sigh... 

The spa - each hut is a massage room with peep whole to the sea, so you can relax and watch the fish swim by. 

The spa - each hut is a massage room with peep whole to the sea, so you can relax and watch the fish swim by. 

Pre-spa flip-flop prep 

Pre-spa flip-flop prep 

The pool. 

The pool. 

Cute messages from couples who have stayed on the island

Cute messages from couples who have stayed on the island

My private steps to the sea & water villa terrace!

My private steps to the sea & water villa terrace!

Breakfast at Manta

Breakfast at Manta