Jet skiing across the bumpy waves, the spray from the Indian Ocean would’ve obscured my vision if it wasn’t for my sunglasses. Even if I were to fall off, it couldn’t wipe the wide, maniacal grin from my face. My companions and I were heading away from Constance Halaveli—a stunningly luxurious resort in the North Ari Atoll in the Maldives— towards a small deserted sand bank in the middle of the bluest ocean I’d ever laid eyes on.
Lunch arrived on the tiny island by speedboat: handmade sushi and fresh sandwiches with homemade chocolate brownies and fruit to follow. Sitting in the sand, looking out over the iridescent ocean meeting a cloudless sky, it was clear that this experience would be tough to beat. The warm, shallow water, is great for swimming and viewing stingrays and reef sharks before heading to the hotel.
Constance Halaveli, an incredible five-star resort set on its own idyllic island, has only 84 villas, making it sigh-inducingly relaxing and private destination. It's perfect for a luxurious getaway, honeymoon, or a memorable wedding location. The wooden-slacked, lantern-illuminated pier (which looks magical come nightfall) winds its way from the island to the villas, as well as the Spa de Constance and the Jing restaurant.
The spectacular water villas spread out across an entrance area and two large, high-ceiling, curved dhoni-shaped (Maldivian boat) rooms mean that space is not an issue. Furnished with wood and marble, the bedroom with an exceptionally comfortable king-size bed, a seating area with a wide-screen TV, and floor-to-ceiling windows running the entire length of the room, offers the most astounding wake-up view.
The bathroom is just as vast. Along with a shower, two large sinks and two spacious wardrobes, the thatched bungalow houses an extravagant stand-alone bathtub where guests can bathe while overlooking the Indian Ocean with a glass of bubbly in hand. Outside is a large deck with a sun-warmed private plunge pool along with two comfortable sun loungers and a seating area. There are also steps leading from the terrace down into the shallow sea which stretches out seemingly forever.
Halaveli is a snorkeler’s paradise, with an abundance of sea life close to the shore, darting around between the stilts of the villas. It’s absurdly peaceful; the only sound is the noise made by the schools of tiny fish leaping out of the water and the lapping off the waves. The resort is also a paradise for divers, attracting SCUBA fans from all over the world who go to see the once-in-a-lifetime underwater world. The TGI Dive Centre’s PADI five-star instructors are fantastic—whether guests are experienced or beginners or experts, they will create a dive experience to suit your level of confidence.
On an expedition, Dive Master Tobias and guests, are taken by boat on a 30-minute ride to the dive site. Once kitted up, guests can jump in and descend into the calm ocean straight into a cloud of colorful fish, swirling whirlwind-like around as you drop to about 100 feet down. The view is astounding and the water is crystal-clear. Grey reef sharks seem to be peacefully snoozing on the seabed taking no notice of the large creatures flitting past them, while schools of fusiliers scurry by.
There is plenty to see, from shoals of blue-striped snappers, big-eyed jacks and moray eels, to octopus and scorpion fish as well as beautiful coral. There are also playful surgeonfish that dart in and out of the regulator's bubbles (one of them even flicking me on the head with its tail).
On the ride back, divers can share stories with other guests about their adventures before arriving just in time for sunset yoga on the beach. For 30 minutes, an expert instructor will lead the group through a tame stretching and breathing routine as you in the striking panorama, watching as the brilliant sun dips below the ocean.
During our final evening, my companions and I headed to Jahaz, a large, dome-roof, buffet-style restaurant. The night’s theme is Maldivian cuisine, and there were hundreds of dishes to choose from such as seafood and meats to curries and vegetarian specialties, everything looked divine. The smiling chefs are happy to recommend their favorites, or to cook you a dish while you wait. All meals are prepared with the freshest ingredients, and it shows, along with the wines which waiters recommend to accompany meals.
Glasses were raised to what was a tremendous vacation. The Maldives lived up to their outstanding reputation as an idyllic holiday destination. And Constance Halaveli is a magnificent gem in this pristine paradise’s crown. This really is the life.
To get to Constance Halaveli during low season from London,Carrieroffers seven nights from around USD $3,961 per person based on two people sharing a Water Villa. The price includes breakfast, return flights from London Heathrow with Qatar Airlines and seaplane transfers. Offer valid for travel between April 28–July 13, 2014. During high season from London, Carrier offers seven nights from around USD $5,246 per person based on two people sharing a Water Villa with the same inclusions as above. These prices are valid for travel until April 27 and from September 29-December 26, 2014.