As our little seaplane flies over the Indian Ocean, we try to work out which island we’ll land on. The view is a gorgeous cliché – turquoise-blue sea, lush palm trees and beautiful atolls. And then, our first view of Constance Halaveli. It looks… perfect. We are welcomed by smiling staff on the jetty, and as we greet our friendly host Kersley, we know we are in for a special stay. The resort has 86 rooms, from overwater villas to beachside suites, and cute golf buggies can be spotted around the island, taking guests to and from dinner and to the amazing spa. Our room is the epitome of luxury, and then some! A private plunge pool overlooks the sea, with direct access to the incredible coral reef. The room is huge, with high wooden ceilings and a bathroom opening onto a deck.
We head to Meeru for supper on the sand, which is another ‘pinch ourselves’ moment. The delicious seafood, with wines chosen by the sommelier, confirms that we are in heaven. We choose to walk back to our room along the softest sand, and then on to the boardwalk, lit by romantic lanterns. Could this place get any better?
It turns out that, yes, it could! Breakfast is another level of romance. Most mornings we eat at Jahaz restaurant, sitting with the sand between our toes, drinking in the views as we try to decide what to have from the amazing buffet. One morning, we have an extra-special breakfast treat, dining on a dhoni, a beautiful little Maldivian boat. Our butlers on board have so much food, we honestly don’t know where it is coming from – fresh coffee, croissants, eggs, toast and fruit. We eat out in the ocean, with stingrays and baby sharks gliding around underneath as the sun sparkles off the water.
Under the sea
Our couples’ massage will be a wonderful memory of our time on Halaveli. The private room has doors to the ocean, and as we are relaxing, we can peer down through the glass windows to marvel at the seascape below.
And the joy of the water is exactly what Constance Halaveli is about. Every day we spend time snorkelling – in fact, our GoPro underwater camera is doing overtime! But when each swim shows you another side of incredible, colourful sea life, you just need to lap it up. We explore the island too, finding quiet spots to relax and idle the sunny days away on wooden swings in the water or lazing on double day-beds on the beach.
We start our final evening with wine-tasting at Jing, an award-winning Asian-fusion restaurant. Gorgeous reds and whites are followed by a delicious dinner out on the terrace. It is breathtaking to look out and see nothing but the sun setting on crystal waters while dining on first-class dishes. A superb way to say goodbye to our first island.
After a 20-minute speedboat transfer from Halaveli, we arrive at the second
island of our Maldives stay – the stunning Constance Moofushi. Our host, Eunice, meets us on the jetty, with a ‘no news, no shoes’ sign next to her. In fact, everyone is barefoot, and my heels won’t even make it out of my suitcase during our time here.
Eunice shows us to our villa, which has a huge terrace with direct access to our very own slice of beach. To walk down onto that sand every morning is a real privilege to enjoy. Plus, there is the choice of a romantic outside bath, if you wish.
Dive right in
Like its sister island, diving is big news on Moofushi, with snorkelling trips and dive schools available. We mainly choose to snorkel from our room (it has direct access to the sea from the deck), and also head around the island, stopping at the main pool for cocktails.
A very unique wine-tasting session is next. As we stand in the sea (yes!), sommeliers pair bottles with amazing cheeses. Having little fish scoot around your toes while enjoying wine
is extremely surreal, but very entertaining.
We’ll also never forget the night we have our own private cinema on the beach. A big screen, huge beanbags, popcorn, beers and champagne awaits us on arrival. You won’t believe how magical it feels to lie under the stars with your favourite film playing.
This resort is all-inclusive, but not as you might expect. The fresh foods are of the highest standards, and the drinks are nothing but the best. Guests dine mainly in the buffet restaurant, Manta. The ambience is laid-back, but with incredible food.
One night, we eat at Alizée, a beautiful beach grill-restaurant. As we arrive, we can see that one table has been separated from the rest, on the beach. A huge heart has been dug from the sand, and is surrounded by lights – it’s for us! Three waiters serve us some of the best scallops, prawns and lamb that we’ve ever had. We later make our way to the bar, which has its own DJ and even a magician. Dancing and cocktails are the way of life here, so who are we to argue?
Despite the late nights, an early-morning yoga session is highly recommended. I savour every moment of the stretching session as we watch the sun rise over this incredible island.
I’ve never really spent much time doing, well, nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I adore relaxing with a good book and a gorgeous beach, but before I visited the Maldives, I was worried that a whole week on two small islands would drive me stir-crazy. But these resorts offer privacy (as little, or as much as you like), activities (if you choose) and impeccably warm service.
I am now a total convert to island life!
Turquoise Holidays offers an 11-night holiday to the Maldives with five nights’ bed and breakfast at Constance Halaveli, and five nights all-inclusive at Constance Moofushi, from £7649 per couple, incl. return international flights, return seaplane transfers, and a speedboat transfer between the islands. For further details, call Turquoise Holidays on 01494 678400 or visit turquoiseholidays.co.uk. For more details on the resorts, visit constancehotels.com