We had a mixed experience at The Constance Halaveli - for $1,400 per night you have certain expectations and these were not met.
The room was good, but not great given the price and comparable properties. The worst thing about the resort is the feeling of being bent over at all stages. You're a 60km sea plane ride from Male, so you could say a monopoly exists on the island. The way this resort uses it is why most western countries have competition and consumer protection law.
Before I continue I'll put upfront we pay for a lot and do not mind spending money - $15 cocktails are the norm in Melbourne, and we spend more travelling than most people I know - when I complain about pricing here it is not that we're not used to world or high prices...
After paying $1,400 + tax per night! and $900 for the sea plane trip things here are so expensive we didn't want to participate (and we're not cheap - we forgot sunscreen, a small bottle was $47. A beef burger is $38 + tax. The sunset cruise is $85 per person + more for all the drinks you have. A boat to Male is $1500. Dinner is a buffet or at least $300 per night. An experience dinner on a private island is $1250 per person, to have a romantic beach dinner without wine is $1000 - prohibitive pricing). If you're not willing to spend this there is very very little to do as most activities are let's just say have monopolistic pricing - this gauging ruined our holiday Astor the first time in a long time we've chosen not to do things because they were price prohibitive. Not fun when you've paid a fortune to fly to Male and another in room rates.
Further, the attitude is one I'd expect from a $200 per night resort, not one catering to clients who can afford the $1,400 rate. On two of our three nights there was a buffet + only one other restaurant (no issue except there are at least 200 people and the non buffet seats 20).
We flew from Australia for 3 nights. Our flight departed at lunch time on day 4. The resort insisted we leave at 5:45am Male time arriving for 6 hours in Male airport. Not good enough for $5000 for 3 nights.
Expect your bill to equal the room rate every night if you want to do things like eat. Ours did.
All that said Halaveli is a perfectly nice 5 star resort. The reef is amazing, the beaches are post canard beautiful.
I was surprised at the amount of rubbish both floating (it looked like garbage was dumped into the ocean - a lot of floating garbage a few hundred metres off-shore - we suspect this is not from the resort but from the village on an island in sight). Building materials, tyres etc. dumped and sitting on the sea bed are unwelcome surprises.
- overwater villa is beautiful - almost perfect
- Local staff (Maldivans) are fantastic
- you obviously get gouged at every step
- the attitude is not catering to clientele
- food - not a high point
- UHT milk (ok hard to blame the hotel, but who wants a UHT latte??)
- Nothing is included, everything is very expensive
- floating rubbish and underwater dumping of building and other materials
- there is a breakwater around the island making it hard to swim out
- some staff are particularly unhelpful and say more suited to a mass market hotel
- expect a cruise ship experience - you'll be dumped at the airport in Male (no lounge, no AC, not exactly HK or the Qantas First Lounge) 7 hrs prior to an international flight because it suited the hotel not to pay for another seaplane (despite it costing us $900 for the transfer).
In all ok, but I am not coming back. Leaving somewhere feeling ripped off and bored isn't what I like taking home from a vacation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Luxurious hideaway, intimate and magical setting; choose from one of the 57 Water Villas, 10 Beach Villas, 10 Family Beach Villas, 8 Double Storey Beach Villas or the lavish Presidential Beach Villa at Constance Halaveli Maldives. Experience luxury living at Constance Halaveli and enjoy the hotel’s private island setting in the Maldives’ North Ari Atoll. Stroll down white sandy beaches and swim in turquoise water teeming with colourful marine life while children can unleash their spirit of adventure at the Constance Kids Club. Lie back and relax on your own private sun terrace, dip in your own plunge pool, or take time to nurture body and mind at U Spa by Constance.Floating in the North Ari atoll and shaped like a curved Dhoni; (Maldivian boat) Constance Halaveli is a magical place where water and sand lie in contrast to the exuberant green foliage. Indulge in fine food and sumptuous flavours at Jahaz, Jing and Meeru restaurants For palate pleasing cocktails; divine vinous experiences, step in Jahaz, Jing Bar & Wine Cellars Be prepared for a memorable escape at Constance Halaveli Maldives! For ultimate comfort, all villas come with high raftered ceiling, their own private plunge pool and furnished terrace. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Constance Halaveli Hotel Alifu Atoll