10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Wow! Just Book it!
"Have been back from the resort for a few weeks now and am about to book again in February. They meet you at the airport in Male and at the end of your holiday they take you back, as far as security will allow. We saw other resorts busing people around like cattle and were pleased it wasn't us. Inbetween they try to take carer of everything for you and we felt as though we were special. The staff were great and tried to be one step ahead of any possible requests. Say hello from Mr Foley to Ghanam the barman at the beach bar "The most important man in Halaveli" Wifey loved the Spa and I loved the diving! Our 2 storey beach villa was fantastic and private. The hotel was 82% full and we hardly saw anyone, except at breakfast. The transfer from Male is only 20 minutes so is over before you know it."
- Travel date: 20th December 2009
"This would have to rate as one of our best (if not the best) holiday experiences. This was our first time to Maldives and I don't think we could have picked a better spot. We almost made the mistake of staying at one of the near islands (close to Male) but on the sea plane flight out it was evident that those Islanbds seem to be heavily populated, there werre high rise buildings and not much sand which I assume many people would be fighting over. From the time we arrived we felt we had the resort to ourselves of course there were other people but the staff to guest ratio is high, nothing was too much trouble. The best points of the holiday was the island and the villas, the island has plenty of sand and we stayed at a water villa, believe me you don't need to stay anywhere else. The villa was very private, well designed and should you care to use it the entertainment system was simply fantastic. We have stayed at a number of island resorts and you normally need to be prepared to sacrifice quality od food and communication. Before leaving I told everyone don't expect to contact me by mobile phone but guess what they could! The breakfast's and other meals we so good it made us wonder how such fantastic food can be served in such a remote location. On this ocassion wer didn't travel with our 18 month old son but there is a very well equipped kids club although there weren't a lot of children on the island. Would we go there again? ......... Yes in a heartbeat."
- Travel date: 7th December 2009
It was fantastic !!
"We had an amazing holiday on Halaveli. Everything was perfect ... from the start till the end. The staff was very friendly .. the food was perfect , very good buffet but we preferded the Jing restaurant. Espacially thanks to Sampath, Sameera and the other waiters and thanks to the chef from Bali who prepared a perfect dinner on our last night. Well done! Also thanks to Anne from the coctail-bar and her staff, for the amazing coctails we enjoyed. Anne we left our books (Dan Brown) at the reception with your name on front. (all these people understand how to bring everything to a higher level ) The Spa was wonderfull..we enjoyed it very much..even when Jan went to sleep during the massage! Everyone who complains about this resort is not from this earth !!!! (and by the way, it:s a very safe and responsable island ) Greetings to everyone Jan Walhout and Effi Velentzas"
- Travel date: 2nd December 2009
Honeymoon at Halaveli
"We stayed at Halaveli for 7 nights on a half board basis for our honeymoon. The Resort is laid out lovely with lots of little areas to rest and relax. The rooms are clean and modern and spacious with huge plasma screens and a Mac computer in each room. Our room was located right next to the Spa which we used first as part of our honeymoon package but then went for additional treatments because it was so relaxing! The food and drinks are priced well compared to Baros, where we stayed before our arrival in Halaveli. The Beach Barbeque grill is great but we missed fresh lobster and tuna steaks on the menu. The Ying bar is slightly expensive but the cocktails are simply fantastic. While having dinner at the sumptuous buffet we were approached by the resort manager who invited us to a sunset cocktail on the next day which made us feel really like celebrities. The breakfast was nice although itâs pretty much the same everyday but thatâs the norm in all resorts where we stayed recently. You could have freshly cooked eggs, pancakes and waffles which were lovely. There are a lot of fruits and juices at breakfast as well as lots of breads and pastries. Our waiter was always very attentive and polite. The evening buffet was superb although I must note, myself and my husband eat anything! The buffet was so good that we didnât need to venture too many times into the 2 other restaurants, the only bad thing about it was that I need to really diet now that Iâm back home. The Beach next to the pool was lovely and the water sports team was very nice, I even had a go at water skiing which was great fun! We had a wonderful time and will be back next year."
- Travel date: 2nd November 2009
Bliss, peaceful, beautifully understated, a natural island with its own lagoon
"If you are looking for complete relaxation in an understated but luxurious location then, this is the place to be. All you hear is the sound of the sea and the water trickling in your infinity pool. The staff are so humble and discreet, and you are literally treated like Kings and Queens, every attention to detail has been thought of, even down to the fact there are no insects on the island. The island is only 600' by 1500', it's not a man-made island and itâs gorgeous, surrounded by turquoise water. In the morning, you can saunter down to the Jahaz restaurant for breakfast, on the beach, where you can feed the baby black gill sharks if you wish and watch the resident heron. In bare feet. The mother sharks sit behind the reef and are happy for their babies to be fed. They donât bite! If you're staying at one of the water villas you can access the lagoon via your own steps from the lower deck and go snorkelling in the crystal blue waters. Otherwise, if you're at one of the beach villas you have your own private access direct onto the beach, where your sunbeds are dressed and waiting for you, your neighbours' sunbeds will be some 50 - 100 feet away. And if everything gets a bit much, then a visit to the spa is a must. The massage we had was first class. And there are lots of treatments to choose from. There are three restaurants, the main restaurant called Jahaz which is on the beach. The food is lovely however; weâre not big eaters so aren't keen on buffet food. There is a restaurant next door called Meeru that is barbecue food, again this is on the beach and is a lovely setting, all bare foot. We preferred the Jing restaurant. A visit to the Jing bar before dinner on the water overlooking the sea where you can watch the sun set is a must, drinking cocktails as prepared by the talented Anne the mixologist. When the sun has set, then a seat in the Jing restaurant overlooking the sea and watching the sting ray and schools of tuna is mesmerising. The restaurant is a la carte, delightful small portions that are beautifully presented and taste a dream. The Head Chef is so accommodating, if nothing suits then ask for something else. We went HB, and if you eat at Jing or Meeru you received a $55 credit per person which shows on your dinner bill, but confusingly it doesnât actually get deducted on the final bill. Itâs a first class resort without being over fussy. Whilst itâs nice to have the 42â plasma screens and free internet the resort still retains its rustic charm, which is what the Maldives is all about. Simple elegance at its best. Weâd heard a lot about the W resort, but weâre not into chic boutique in Maldives, for us this was about 6* treatment in an understated way. And thatâs what we got. We loved the water villa on the same side as the spa, but we loved the beach villa on the other side of the island best. The plunge pool/infinity pool is divine, and is a must as the temperature was over 30 degrees every day. The beach villaâs bathroom is in the garden, which is huge, but then the water villaâs bathroom overlooks the sea, both spectacular. We received a complimentary bottle of champagne on our first night, and on our last, and we really appreciated the thought, it was a lovely gesture. We loved the exotic fruit delivered to our villa every day, and the rooms get cleaned in the morning and in the evening. And on our departure, Ulrich â the main man - walks you up the jetty and waves you off, so you feel like youâre really going to be missed. This was the same on our arrival; we were shattered but were greeted off the sea plane by the staff who even got our name right! Our only gripe - the airport is a nightmare at Male, we were all hanging about for nearly an hour waiting to go through customs. We really feel that if the staff were as courteous as the staff at Halaveli it would make this experience more pleasant, after all, us tourists are contributing to the economy, and Maldives make their money out of the taxes from tourism. Anyway, once weâd got through customs we were met by two immaculately dressed Halaveli staff who took over, organised the sea plane, whisked us onto the air conditioned bus â we were the only two on there â and 10 minutes later we were sitting in the lounge with scented flannels drinking something that was lovely. Just be aware that alcohol is so expensive because of the import taxes. If drink were a little less expensive we would be inclined to drink a little more."
- Travel date: 21st October 2009
Paradise island with service to match.
"We have just returned from Halaveli having had an incredible week. The setting and accommodation was fantastic and the service even better. The staff addressed us by name and were always willing to talk. Anne in the bar, Dhombie at the beach restaurant, Astria in the main restaurant and Nina were all especially helpful and welcoming. Ulrich, the Executive Assistant Manager was charming and keen to ensure our stay was as memorable as possible. Nothing was too much trouble. The resort never felt crowded and we were often the only people on the beach. We were in a double storey beach villa which had a delightful garden with out door bathroom and plunge pool. We could choose between three different places to sun bathe within our villa and then the beach... We enjoyed the complimentary bath ceremony, the daily fruit plate, the espresso coffee machine in the room and the state of the art technology (mini iMac. wi-fi, internet and wide selection of tv channels and films). The transfer at the airport was also exceptional with a dedicated lounge at the air taxi terminal and very attentive staff. The gym was extensively equipped with the most up to date kit and personal training was offered on each visit. We are not divers but enjoyed the crystal clear warm water and my husband even managed to maintain his running fitness by running along the 850 m walkway and around the island beaches several times! We had not been to the Maldives before but have been to other Constance hotels in the Seychelles and Mauritius, All have been of an exceptionally high standard - Halaveli tops the list for us."
- Travel date: 29th September 2009
paradise on earth !
"very very great hotel ! new but already a big success!!! everything is perfect! the villas..the service, the staff ! thank to them for their smile and their kindness !!! restaurant and food very good too. delicious ! private space in front of your villa, in the garden too if you have beach villas. private pool great in water villa and beach villa ! diving center is also very good, and good staff:! and very good material for snokeling.professional ! spa is a great experience!!! very good staff to indonesia,phillipines and thailande. very far away travel when you have a massage ! everything was perfect to me... for honeymooners and family, its possible too. quiet, relax but if you want activities, dance and sport you have!"
- Travel date: 3rd July 2009
5 star Maldives luxury trip possible even with 3 kids under 4.
"Who?: My wife (celebrated her birthday while there) and I, our 4yo, 3yo (celebrated his birthday while there) and our 1.3yo. For 90% of the time we were there, we were the only family there with everyone else being honeymooners. Conclusion: Having never had the opportunity to go the Maldives without kids, I was hoping to have a 5 star holiday at a resort that openly welcomed young children instead of the 'we do not encourage young children to stay with us' policy: the Halaveli delivered. It was one of the best beach holidays we've had. A 2nd honeymoon for my wife and I while our young kids had a fantastic time in and outdoors. The sand and sea were exactly as you would picture them in a dream sequence in a movie. Just awesome. How?: We flew from Hong Kong (4pm flight that took 3.5hrs from HKG to Singapore. 40mins wait then a 4hr flight to Male. Overnight stay at the airport hotel then picked up at 515am for a 6am seaplane 25min flight to the Halevali. Was initially stressed about early flight but in hindsight this was perfect. No stress about early check-in and walked straight into our villa at 7am. The halevali has a nice lounge at the Seaplane terminal so better to grab breakfast there if you don't need cooked food. We took a 450pm seaplane (405pm villa checkout) to catch a 11pm SG flight back to Singapore that arrived at 730am (1hr wait) then 830am flight back to HG that arrived just after noon. We spent 3 hour or so at the airport hotel by the pool (kids pool+outdoor play area available; $60/adult +$50/our 4yo - includes basic set dinner) before our SG flight. Alternative to was wait at airport (1 airconditioned restaurant only) or take a ferry to Male proper. The island - 500m long + 200m or so wide. Debated the Halaveli vs the Sonevas, Kanuhura and Reethi Rah but ended up choosing the Halaveli after reading the comments from people who talked about the natural beauty of the island during the Halaveli village days (as opposed to man made islands) and not wanting to stay in rooms that had no net access and required updating. Apologies to those who loved the old resort and looking for comparison comments. It was our first trip so had no point of comparison but it did feel like they are trying to preserve the island as well as they can. Where?: Villa #7 - double storey beach villa. Loved it. Great space for kids, shady pool out the back which given how sunny it could be was a welcome relief for the kids. Ground floor - Master bedroom w/ Mac Mini system/large widescreen tv. Outdoor undercover bathroom. Big king size bed. Minibar and large walk in closet. Outdoor patio on the beachfront side with outdoor shower 1st floor - 2nd bedroom with beautiful views out towards the beach from the attached large covered balcony which had a great couch for afternoon naps. Lovely high ceilings. Great eliptical shaped bed where our kids slept. Indoor bathroom with shower. Again mac mini with large tv meant the kids could watch 'Flushed Away' upstairs and we could watch tv downstairs if we want to. Wifi access everywhere indoors and w/in 10feet if outside. The staff: The guest services manager, a lovely Australian lady named Sandy, was brilliant. She was in front of us from day 1 and very quick to attend to our every need re the kids as well as helping me make birthday celebrations for the wife (babysitter for the kids + nice table at Jing + off the charts off the menu (deserves to be on the menu) chocolate cake) and the boy (balloons with cake in outdoor area next to Jahaz on the beach). She was our 'go to' person and we thank her for making our stay what it was. The restaurant staff were fantastic taking care of the kids as well as us everyday. Still some service kinks to work out but to be fair they are still going through their pre-opening so assume this will all be resolved over time. Suggestions: The Water Villas were nice enough but if you have the ones facing west, you will see the seaplane coming in every day as it taxis right past. If you're sensitive to this, you may want to request the ones on the Spa or East facing side. The walkways to water villas do not have any guard rails so think not appropriate for toddlers unless you're going to be supervising them at all times. The drop is 2m plus into shallow water so be careful! The walk from our bedroom to the beach was less than 20 paces. The walk to the beach from the water villas would be a 2-5min golf buggy ride. Independant travellers should request villas closer to the beach. There is a small sandy beach type area next to the Spa/Jing bar area but it offers no shade. Families with young children should definitely get a beach villa as the water villas have no outdoor space. Our kids had a great time running around outside in the garden of our beach villa. Likes: Never wore shoes for the week we were there. The sand was absolutely amazing. Our own pool - about 2.5m wide and 10m or so long with about 5 wide steps down. Our 3yo learnt to swim unassisted while we there. Our 1yo had a ball moving up and down the stairs playing with her siblings Outdoor bath - luxurious set up next to the pool Awesome beach right on our villa doorstep. Beautiful coral clusters right off our beach. We saw rays, small reef sharks as well a variety of great fish every day within 10-15m of the shoreline. Delightfully shallow at most times other than high tide which meant our toddlers and even infant could play comfortably in the sea. Nappy bin made available immediately upon arrival Double-storey so Sandy offered to make the upstairs balcony childproof immediately upon arrival as well as arranging daily delivery of cow's milk to the room for the kids. Complimentary Mac Mini system in rooms which meant complimentary movies including kids movies on demand as well as wifi. The sea breezes - the kids loved falling asleep in makeshift beds in the outdoor dining areas next to Jahaz. The beach is shallow there too so the kids could happily shift from the restaurant to the sea. 3 complimentary 1.5l bottles of still water everyday as well as a nice complimentary espresso/tea/coffee machine. Issues to be aware of: Dining - no children's cutlery/plastic cups etc available. Should be a simple fix for the hotel. The main issue here was that the pool bar closes at 6pm while the main restaurant is advertised as opening at 7pm but actually opens at 730pm. This means people looking to feed their kids early have a 90min blackhole. We asked the hotel to reconsider this policy and it was under review when we left. Kids club not open - will be open by June. Asked for photos to be sent pictures of the kids club pre-trip but was refused. Wish they had just said this was because it was not open! Compromise solution was an excellent babysitter. USD10/hr. No windsurfers - not sure when they will become available Gym - no free weights available when we stayed but looked like they would be made available soon Children's toys/floaties - The Amankila does a great job having kids toys availble on the beach. Think the hotel should secure some and offer them out on a complimentary basis. Necessary evil - mosquito treatment. Referred to as the smoke monster from 'Lost'. Think daily around 4-5pm a golfcart or something goes around blowing smoke everywhere to kill off any mosquitoes. Harmless for humans. It is mentioned in the hotel directory but would have been nice to have been told about this at checkin. No mozzie bites while we there. Library - not open when we were there Presidential Villa - on the sunset side was still under construction when we were there. Another reasoon to request Villa 3-10 on the sunrise side. Sandbagging - required to shore up some parts of the beach. They may look ugly at first glance but not a big deal. The blue pipe. There is a big blue pipe that is visible at low tide outside villas 4-5 that leads out to sea. We didn't mind but if you care about this sort of thing, you may want to request villa 8+ to not have to see this. Turtle alarms - given the absence of fencing around the pool, the hotel may want to consider offering complimentary turtle alarms for families with young children. The weather: We kept accessing the official Maldivian weather website pre-trip which stated thunderstorms everyday of our trip. Not sure if reliable but 25mins away by seaplane at Halaveli we had fantastic weather everyday bar one morning so would not stress if you see poor weather forecast for your trip. We will be more than happy to return in May in the future. Beach Cleaning - this occur every day but we had to point out to the staff about some nails we kept finding on a specific part of the beach. The managers clearly charged the staff to sort this out but this did not happen for several days. They seemed to be sorting this out when we were leaving so should be ok by now. Smells - we noticed an unpleasant smell on our first day on the beach. We were told it was to do with the prevailling winds. We noticed it for a couple of hours per day for the first 2 days but then did not smell it again. Excursion: 230-430pm snorkeling trip (30mins away by Dhoni). USD60/adult. USD30 for our 4yo. Free for our 3 and 2yo. Saw turtles and great marine life. Fresh juice and fruit offered. Spa: USD170 for a 90min (I think) high pressure Balinese type massage. All spa villa treatments carried out in a water villa. Great stuff. Restaurants - have written up reviews separetly in one of the Maldives forums under 'The New Halaveli Constance Resort' but definitely not on the cheap side especially drinks for those of you who choose half-board packages: Eg $20 per Pina colada and $8 per bottle of water! Dive Centre: Complimentary flippers/snorkel sets for the duration of your stay. USD10/day if you want to borrow lifevests for the kids."
- Travel date: 22nd May 2009
Constance Halaveli Resort
"My wife & I just stayed for one week at Halaveli while on honeymoon & had an amazing experience. The property has only just opened & we were impressed!!!We stayed in a water villa & the comfort & privacy was exactly what we needed. The outlets are very cool but more impressive are the friendly staff...this is what sets Halaveli apart from the rest!!! Thanks to the team for a truly memorable stay."
- Travel date: 7th May 2009
Loved old Halaveli and hope the new one is even better!
"I have been to Halaveli three times in 1997, in 2000 and 2003. The island is rather small, has approx. 50 bugalows all facing the wonderful sandy beach. The lagoon and reef are full of wonderful fishes. The vegetation is greener and more mature compared to other islands. 90% of all guests are Italian, which means that the food standard is higher. It is also a very quiet place (without loud disco) and at 9:00 PM almost everyone has gone to bed. I've had my life's best sleeps on this island! Management is completely refurbishing all the bungalows as well as building new ones directly on the water. I think the island closed over a year ago for these refurbishments and will probably not reopen before mid 2009. I hope the "new" Halaveli will be a place where you can continue to walk without shoes for the entire stay of your holidays. In the "old" one they had fine white coral sand even at the restaurant and the bar."
- Travel date: 5th June 2008
Constance Halaveli is also called
- Halaveli Holiday Village
- Constance Halaveli Resort