An unsponsored review of the Constance Halaveli Resort: What to expect of the island and the overwater bungalows.
Are you currently planning a trip to the Maldives, maybe even a honeymoon? And now you are wondering about the best hotel in the Maldives? Then this Constance Halaveli review is probably just what you were looking for!
I stayed 8 amazing nights on the beautiful island in the North Ari Atoll and had the chance to explore every niche and cranny (click for booking & prices). I tested all the restaurants, the diving center, the excursions, and the waters sports facilities.
Here is my Constance Halaveli review.
Note: This is a non-sponsored review. I had no association with Constance at all and paid for my 8-night stay myself. I do earn a small commission from purchases through the links in this article.
Constance Halaveli island overview
The Constance Halaveli resort won quite a couple of rewards (like the best resort in the Maldives in 2014) and is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World group. With its gigantic jetty (some 890 meters long!!) it’s among the larger luxury resorts in the Maldives.
There are, altogether, 47 water villas, and 28 beach villas and one lavish presidential villa. Halavevli is a lovely place for couples to enjoy their honeymoon (and most of the activities are designed for couples), though there are also some neat family villas.
Halaveli is a natural atoll (unlike many of the newer hotels), so it also has its own house reef. Due to various El Niño events in the past years, the reef is not in the best condition any longer. Still, it offers some of the best diving opportunities in the Maldives. Between whitetip reef sharks, turtles, and manta rays, I’m sure you’ll enjoy a dive or two (I certainly did).
Click here to book the Constance Halaveli (& check current prices)
Tip: Constance operates a couple of other noteworthy hotels in the wider area of the Indian Ocean. I can really recommend the Prince Maurice on Mauritius (check out my guide)!
The villas & over-water bungalows
At Constance Halaveli you got the choice between beach villas and over-water bungalows – depending on your personal preferences.
The over-water bungalows are all lined up on the longest jetty in the Maldives (890 meters) and all share the same basic layout, a private pool and direct access to the snorkeling grounds in front of it. The only difference is the view – choose between lagoon or sunset view.
A huge bedroom and a very lovely bathroom complete the setup. Certainly not the largest bungalows in the Maldives, but tastefully decorated in a style reminiscent of traditional Indian Ocean architecture.
You can call for golf-carts to bring you to the main island any time, so don’t worry if you are not that sure-footed anymore! It’s all been taking care of.
I stayed in a beach villa, as I love to be able to walk right into the ocean from my room. An overwater bungalow may look beautiful on pictures, and the view from the bedroom will be fantastic, but I enjoy open space over confinement every day.
Each beach villa has access to a little private beach, on top of a private pool. In your backyard, there will be a sunken bathtub as well as an open-air bathroom, quite beautiful appointed. There’s also a second set of private sun-loungers in your garden, as well as a hammock.
If you are traveling with family, picking one of the eight two-story beach villas will be a smart move. I loved them, as the second apartment on the top floor has its own bathroom and balcony – essentially granting a welcome combination of privacy and shared living.
The villas are not overly large, but I loved the traditional island decor and the ample storage space. The mini-bar (not complimentary, but most of it included in the all-inclusive offer) was well stocked, though I hardly used it (due to the abundance of eating and drinking opportunities throughout the resort).
There is quite the fancy entertainment system, but as I don’t watch tv and rarely watch movies, I really can’t include them in my Constance Halaveli review. There was, however, a fresh fruit basket, towel art every night and small canapes under little glass cloches to lighten up my day. There were light cotton day robes and heavy terrycloth bathrobes, free slippers and flip-flops, as well as a lovely beach bag.
Click here to book a beach villa (& check prices)
The restaurants / food at Constance Halaveli
Constance Halaveli is home to four restaurants and two bars. I urge you to book the all-inclusive package, as prices will add-up pretty fast, and it takes away one more worry while enjoying this beautiful island.
Constance is known, above all, for its good restaurants, and I have yet to visit one of their properties to dissappoint me in this regard.
The main restaurants and the place you will enjoy your daily breakfast is called Jahaz. There are enough tables to allow for privacy and enough waiters to guarantee good service.
Jahaz is a buffet restaurant – for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A few selected delicacies are made to order at a bar for each meal. As buffets go, the quality of the food was always excellent. Not outstanding, but indeed excellent. Still, you always have to take into account that all food has to be imported from far away and the logistics are not especially easy.
The buffet changed daily and even after a week, it didn’t grow boring. Every evening had a motto (like Meditteranean, sushi or Indian night) and from starters to deserts, the choices were always greater than the amount you could reasonably ingest.
That being said, you shouldn’t expect haute cuisine here – but rather a plain fare with a pleasant twist.
I really loved the casual main bar at the Jahaz. It quickly became our favorite spot to watch the sunset while sipping a cocktail or two. Except for very fine spirits and champagnes (we are talking Hennessy Paradise or Dom Pérignon), everything is covered by the all-inclusive package.
The service was very attentive, though another barkeeper would have helped around peak times. The cocktails were also quite enjoyable, though pretty standard in their execution. I’m pretty sure, a well trained international bartender could tremendously add to Jahaz bar (.
Meeru Beach Grill
Right next to the Jahaz, you’ll find the best restaurant of the island. The Meeru Beach Grill offers, just like the name indicates, grilled delicacies in all their variants.
The menu isn’t all that big, but between fish and meats, I’m pretty positive everyone will find enough choices to warrant a visit or two – especially as you sit right on the beach under the starlit canopy of the night.
I did not eat a single dish I did not enjoy and the service was always very attentive. The large wine cellar of the restaurant (18,000 bottles, no less) did help to alleviate that joy.
Note: If you got the all-inclusive package, one starter, one main course and one dessert (as well as all drinks) are covered. Only the lobster and like two other special dishes aren’t covered.
Jing Speciality Restaurant
In the middle of the jetty, right opposite the spa, is the fine dining venue of the Constance Halaveli Resort. Said to be one of the best restaurants of the Maldives, you definitely should drop by once – if only for the fantastic view of the sunset from its adjacent bar.
I do have to say that the whole setting of the Jing is so unique: The way warm lights illuminate the well-designed interiors, while cool blue spotlights highlight the passing schools of fish and shark.
But a review of the Constance Halaveli wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a couple of the negative points. To be quite frank with you, the food at the Jing restaurant did not live up to its promise of excellence. While I loved the bread and the little amuse bouche, my starters of tuna were barely edible.
The main course, crispy duck, was so chewy I had to send it back to the kitchen. I also sampled the oysters, but as they came all the way from Japan, they smelled and tasted of fishy brine, instead of a delightfully fresh ocean breeze.
Of the oriental desert, I only ate the tangerine slices, as the rest had a very dense, bready and alltogether unpleasant texture.
All in all, I can’t really recommend it, as this was, alas a shared opinion of 5 other people I enjoyed my dinner with. If you got the all-inclusive package, you should probably try it out once, nevertheless. But I don’t think paying around 200 US-Dollar per person would be worth it.
But like I said, the adjacent bar is entirely recommendable. Especially as the Jing also had an impressive (and very well decorated) wine cellar.
You can even arrange for a special dinner IN the wine cellar, but given the overall quality of the food at the JING, I’d rather settle for a nice wine tasting.
The Sushi Bar
Right next to the Jahaz restaurant, overlooking the premises of the pool and the beach bar is a little Sushi bar. As this is not covered by the all-inclusive package, I did not eat here.
I did, however, sample the sushi at the buffet and the Sushi Night, and found it to be a bit wanting. Not bad, if you’ll enjoy a casual California roll, but nothing to pay a premium for.
The watersports & diving center
For me, the most important reason to visit the Maldives is the amazing marine wildlife, combined with the calm sea around the atoll. That’s why the quality of any given resort on the Maldives is probably best measured by its water sports center.
Thus, you will be delighted to hear that Constance Halaveli has an excellent and well equipped diving center. In fact, I did my SSI open water diving license there. They got like 10 permanent diving instructors/guides and a resident marine biologist, plus a host of motor boats and traditional dhonis.
All non-motorized activities are free of charge. This means stand-up paddling, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, pedal boast, and snorkeling. Instructors will happily assist you if it’s your first time trying out these fun activities.
Constance Halaveli also offers plenty of fun motorsport: Jet-ski, waterskiing, wakeboards, parasailing, banana boats, water jet packs, and so much more are available. You could even go to high sea fishing.
While all of them are fun, the prices for those motorized activities were not exactly cheap. 150 US-Dollar (plus tax) for 30 minutes of jet-skiing makes you consider twice – especially as you probably don’t want to do it alone.
That being said, I found all the equipment to be in pristine shape. Which is both important for your personal safety and (sadly) not always the case – even in luxury hotels.
As I said, I also took one of the diving courses. The instructors were all both very professional and friendly. The whole process was incredibly smooth and all my questions were answered. After 7 days I felt like Jacques Cousteau himself (well, almost). I can recommend them from my heart (though, for obvious, reasons, I do lack the comparison).
I also went on two excursions (turtle snorkeling, saw 2!) and dolphin watching. On these, I would have expected a bit more refined snacks and drinks, and I feel this is something Constance has still work to do. While I do love apples and pears, I would have expected a personalized snack-box instead of a self-serve fruit basket.
The Constance Halaveli Spa
Let me tell you, the spa at Constance Halaveli is out of this world. I have rarely seen a better (and more beautiful) spa in my years and years of traveling. So, many spas are either only beautiful or only got good treatments – it’s incredibly rare to find both in the same spot.
Right in the middle of the Constance Halaveli jetty, is a majestic cluster of altogether 8 over-water-bungalows dedicated to your wellbeing. Each of them shares vistas of the turquoise waters beyond, and the treatment rooms even have glass windows in the floor to observe the marine life while enjoying a nice massage. They call it the USpa.
I booked the 90 minutes signature massage and was thoroughly impressed. After filling out the anamnesis form and being treated to a welcome drink, my therapist led me to the changing room, where I changed into a plush bathrobe.
The treatment bungalow itself was utterly divine and very well designed. On a special bench, I enjoyed an initial footbath, all the while enjoying the beautiful view of the waters. After choosing my oil and music preferences, my massage began.
Obviously, I cannot speak for all therapists, but my massage was just perfect in every way. There were no disturbances, it was very well paced and custom-tailored to my personal liking. The level of privacy and respect offered was astonishing, as was the training that must have gone into creating such a smooth process. 90-minutes truly felt like a blissful eternity.
Afterward, I did feel thoroughly relaxed and was lead to another bungalow to enjoy a lovely ice tea cocktail, and the luxurious haven of two infinity pools (one warm, one cold).
The USpa isn’t especially the cheapest place. Expect around 200 US-Dollar for a 90-minutes treatment. Given the extremely high quality, I found it to be a reasonable price.
Other facilities at Constance Halaveli
Halaveli isn’t all that big, but there are some other facilities I did not mention so far. Of course, there is a big gym and even a tennis court, where you can enjoy a casual game or take lessons.
There is also a lovely kids club, which I’m sure the parents will love as it will give them a welcome respite from the constant care of their children.
There are also two boutiques on the island. Here you’ll mainly find beachwear and some selected souvenirs. I rather liked them and bought a lovely rash guard and some trunks.
Overall service at Constance Halaveli
When you spend a week on the Maldives, the make-or-break factor will always be the service. The Constance Halaveli employs 325 people to manage the resort, and 48 of them work in the restaurants. They got their own carpentry shop, their own water purifying facilities and their own generators.
If you like, you can ask the reception for a tour of the maintenance facilities. That way you’ll learn that the generators use 6,000 liters of oil to power the resort each day.
Despite these impressive numbers I came to learn that you should not expect a hotel on the Maldives to meet European hotelier standards. As I visited during Ramadan (and most of the waiters couldn’t eat or drink while they worked), I do have to point out that service was at times a bit lackluster.
Mind you, not bad at all, but a lot of the local waiters appeared a bit bored by their job – which stood in stark contrast to the western part of the staff.
Housekeeping did a decent job, though there seems to be no communication with the other parts of the resort. Instead of using breakfast and lunch times to tidy up the rooms, my room usually saw housekeeping in the early afternoon.
Especially for a beach resort, I’d expect it to be finished no later than noon. The overall results were decent but lacked the perfect finishing touches of other luxury resorts I came to experience throughout my years of traveling.
I do like to point out that I lost my sunglasses three times and a bracelet once (shows how relaxed I was), and it was always returned to me. In a way, this should be obvious, but I had quite a lot of different experiences in the past, which is why I wanted to highlight it.
Celebrati special events at Constance Halaveli
The Maldives is a favorite honeymoon destination. So, it comes as little surprise that there is a multitude of options to choose from to celebrate these special occasions.
Some of them are quite beautiful, like private beach dinners. They’ll set up torches, candles, and fires, you can even hire a musician from Malé, and will design a special menu right for you! Couldn’t imagine a more perfect place to celebrate an engagement!
You could even have a wine tasting on the beach. So special!
Other events, like the breakfast on a boat, are a bit questionable. These floats are more or less anchored right in the lagoon in front of the main restaurant, and a sunset dinner on a special Dhoni would probably be a better option. Not sure, why Constance didn’t get more creative here.
Arrival & transfer to Constance Halaveli
International travel to the Maldives is limited to the capital island Malé. You can only reach the resorts by boat or seaplane. Sadly, Constance Halaveli does not operate its own planes, so you are a bit bound to the schedule of Trans Maldivian Airways.
Constance operates its own lounge at the airport, however, so the waiting time for your connecting flights is kept as pleasant as possible. They also pick you up at the International airport with a private van, so the whole process is quite seamless and pleasant – especially as you will use the waiting time to check into the hotel.
Once you leave the seaplane, you can leave all your worries behind, as the rest has already been taken care of. You can focus fully on sipping your welcome cocktail and planning the days ahead according to your personal preferences.
Summary of my Constance Halaveli review
Constance Halaveli is a lovely luxury resort with a nice touch of local flavors and design. It’s favored by Asian honeymooners, but a family of 4 or more will find a relaxing haven of tranquility all the same.
The luxury resort benefits from its own beautiful house reef and well-appointed watersports and diving center. The spa is out of this world, while the culinary experience is, except for the Jing, quite a pleasant surprise that will satisfy most demanding guests.
Like most Maldives luxury resorts, it is not exactly cheap, and costs can ramp up quite fast – especially if you book extra activities. Still, I found most of these to be well worth their price (except maybe the dolphin cruise).
So, is it the best luxury hotel in the Maldives? I’m not sure if Constance Halaveli can compare to the very top luxury hotels (like the Four Seasons, Soneva, One & Only, and St Regis), but there’s a significant price difference as well.
If you enjoy casual luxury and barefoot restaurants, traditional decors rather than design classics, then the Constance Halaveli is your resort. As the hotel is a bit under the radar (unrightfully so), it is also quite relaxed.
The island itself is not overly large (300 meters x 400 meters) and some people might not like the view of the wave blockers. At the same time, you are close to one of the best diving and snorkeling sites in the Maldives, so I feel this makes up for it.
Other than the price, I couldn’t imagine a single important reason why you shouldn’t book a week at Constance Halaveli (booking.com usually offers the cheapest rates). Is it perfect? Probably not, but the overall picture is very harmonic and pleasant.