Real honeymoon in the Maldives

Amy and Eric opted for a blissful beach escape and energising city stopover in Dubai for their real life honeymoon.

The arrival

When Eric and I realised we were moving home five weeks before our wedding, we knew we needed a relaxing honeymoon! We booked six nights at Constance Halaveli in the Maldives followed by three nights in Dubai.

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When we landed in Male we were met with Constance’s signature hospitality – after being checked onto our seaplane, we were given refreshments in their own beautiful lounge. The 45 minute journey to Halaveli in the North Ari Atoll was dreamy – the views of the atolls were breathtaking.

Villa Heaven

At the resort, we were greeted by the Constance team, then taken to our Beach Villa where we stayed for the first three nights. With a gate onto the beach where our loungers awaited, our villa was heaven on earth. It had a front terrace perfect for in-villa dining, an elegant bedroom and a stunning garden bathroom, which was a luxurious novelty: twin sinks on a porch overlooking the garden with shower, bath and plunge pool, and high walls for maximum privacy – a real luxury hideaway!

Beach Bliss

While staying in the beach villa we truly relaxed – three days were spent with sand between our toes looking out on the Indian Ocean and its multiple shades of blue. We snorkelled, strolled around the island, and swam laps of the pool after eating lunch in one of the tranquil booths of Jahaz bar.

On our final day, we did yoga on the beach at sunset, then went back to our villa for a ‘bathing ceremony’, where our bath had been prepared with oils and flowers, surrounded by candles and accompanying champagne – bliss!

Over the Water

After three indulgent days in our beach villa, we moved to one of the water villas. It felt like we were starting our honeymoon all over again, as the experience was so different but equally luxurious. Like many of the buildings at Halaveli, our water villa was inspired by the traditional Maldivian boat, the dhoni. In our bathroom, the tub was positioned in front of the window so that we could take a bath and look out at our deck and the Indian Ocean beyond.

Trips

We could have passed all our time on the island, but we did tear ourselves away for two morning outings. The first was a snorkelling trip to a nearby island, where coral dropped off into a blue abyss making for diverse sea life, including the Oriental Sweetlip fish.

Our second trip took us to Moofushi, an island in the South Ari Atoll. Right on the lagoon, the snorkelling and diving was out of this world. There are a number of eating and drinking options – I had my eye on Totem Bar for a beach sundowner.

Gastronomy

Our palates were spoilt every night at Halaveli. Their three restaurants offered diverse menus and settings which made each meal truly memorable. Jahaz, the main restaurant, had a nightly themed buffet – we went for the Mediterranean night where we tucked into hot tapas made to order.

We tried the à la carte restaurant, Meeru, too – I had the steak, which was to die for.

Although the competition was tough, our favourite was Jing, the fusion restaurant on the water jetty. We had fabulous meals there, including a five-course wine dinner in the cellar!

Spa

We made the most of Le Spa de Constance. In the middle of the jetty, each treatment room had views of the ocean, as well as ‘port-holes’ to the sea from the massage beds! We went for a couples’ massage, where we were both pampered in the same room, spotting fish below and feeling the breeze from the open doors. We had the ‘Earthjoy’ treatment, a Balinese-inspired therapy that aimed to relax and revitalise – and it did just that. A rose-petal Jacuzzi watching the sunset completed the experience!

Dubai

To get the city buzz we thought we’d crave after the Maldives, we finished off our honeymoon with three nights at the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort in Dubai. For us, this was the perfect way to enjoy the city, enabling us to mix the relaxation we’d come to enjoy with city-slicking.

Highlights included afternoon tea at the iconic Burj al Arab, and the view from the new Burj Khalifa, the tallest viewing platform in the world! Top of our culinary treats was dinner at the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort’s own Italian with a view, Bussola (pictured).

Go there

CONSTANCE MOOFUSHI
Opening offer: enjoy nine nights for the price of six from 1 November until 22 December 2010. Also, enjoy seven nights for the price of six from 13 January to 15 April 2011 and seven nights for the price of five from 1 May 2011 to 31 October 2011. Seven nights from £2300 per person including all meals and premium drinks, seaplane transfers and flights with Emirates.
Contact Turquoise Holidays (01494 678 400) for details.

CONSTANCE HALAVELI
Autumn offer: stay one night get one night free from 1 November until 22 December 2010. Also, enjoy seven nights for the price of five from 1 May to 31 October 2011. Seven nights from £2470 per person including breakfast, seaplane transfers and flights with Emirates.
Contact Turquoise Holidays (01494 678 400) for details.

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WESTIN DUBAI MINA SEYAHI BEACH RESORT
Emirates allow all Turquoise clients to stop over in Dubai free of charge. Enjoy five nights’ stopover from £499 per person including accommodation in a Deluxe Sea View Room and luxury transfers. Book by 31 March 2011 for stays between 8 May and 31 October 2011 and get an extra 20% off your room rate.
Contact Turquoise Holidays (01494 678 400) for details.