Beach-chic lounge bar, plus smaller outdoor tiki bar
Modern over-water spa with individual treatment huts and relaxation room
Modern gym, non-motorized watersports, and stylish game room
Swank airport lounge at the seaplane terminal
On-site shop with local crafts, handmade clothing, and essentials
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Room service for breakfast only
The five-pearl experience of Constance Moofushi all-inclusive resort starts with one of the best private airport lounges around, establishing a luxe vibe before guests even board the seaplane in Male to reach the small, private island. Ideal for diving enthusiasts with money to spare, this chic -- but still comfortably casual -- resort is within 30 minutes of oodles of the world's best dive spots and has an excellent house reef. The 110 rustic-chic rooms are sophisticated, artistic, and well-equipped with premium minibars, top-notch entertainment systems, and stunning sea views -- some are even directly over the water. Along with an idyllic beach, a stay here comes with snorkeling and water sports, high-quality food and drink, and lounging by the pool.
A relaxing luxury experience that starts when guests land in Male
A sister property to the Maldives' Constance Halaveli property, Moofushi was bought by Constance in 2011. Guests of both resorts start their Constance Maldives experience at Male's seaplane terminal, tucked away from the large, barren waiting area in the hotels' private airport lounge. Here, guests are greeted with cold towels and welcome drinks, and have their pick of various chic lounge areas, from translucent, curtained lounge beds with foot-massager machines, to an outdoor smoking patio overlooking the landing docks. The relaxing, bright space has fresh flowers, free Wi-Fi, games, magazines, resort information, and a selection free tea, coffee, soft drinks, and bites -- and is an apropos introduction to what guests can expect once they reach the island.
Next, the seaplane docks directly at Moofushi's arrival jetty, where guests are welcomed by staff and a large, painted symbol of the island, the Manta ray. Guests must set their watches and phones ahead one hour because, in an effort to prolong the sunlight hours, the resort has pushed its clock slightly ahead of Male. Once here, it feels like a different world, a place where everything back at home ceases to exist. The impression starts right off the bat, with check-in taking place at a rustic-chic lobby with a sand floor. The wicker furniture, rope accents, and abundance of white are a clue as to the pitch-perfect island style found throughout the resort. Thanks to the premium all-inclusive package, nearly everything guests feel like eating, drinking, or doing is included, aiding in the overall sense of relaxation and pampering. And while this is a family-friendly resort, there's enough space and mannered clientele that guests shouldn't expect to find children running amok.
On a small private island in the South Ari Atoll, near several dive sites
Constance Moofushi is located on a private island on the southwestern edge of the Maldives' South Ari Atoll. Dubbed by the hotel as "The Jewel Island," the resort is surrounded by powder-soft beaches and picturesque, brilliant turquoise waters. Its location is also great for divers and snorkelers, and certified divers have 32 dive sites like Shark Point and Manta Point -- where guests can spot various tropical fish, reef sharks, and Eagle rays -- within 30 minutes of the resort. It's also a choice spot for dolphin cruises. Male international airport is just a 25-minute seaplane ride away and, en route, guests might spot a swarm of rays in the waters below near the resort.
Rustic-chic rooms with hi-tech features and luxe amenities
The property's 110 villas include Beach Villas by the sand, dreamy Water Villas over the Indian Ocean, and Senior Water Villas with bigger decks over the sea. Decor throughout villas is rustic-chic with hardwood floors, wicker accessories, and thatched roofs. Expect to see more of the jute and rope decor that's so smartly deployed in the hotel's lobby, this time used to craft eye-catching bamboo headboards in some rooms. Other rooms have carved wood headboards that complement hanging basket sculptures. Beach Villas have curved, snail-shell mosaic bathrooms with indoor/outdoor showers. Many rooms have stylish wardrobes made from trunks. While the white and warm wood tones are pretty much the epitome of a polished, beachy aesthetic, we did spot some scuff marks on some room's floors.
All rooms are air-conditioned and have ceiling fans, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, Mac Minis with iPod and DVD connectivity and preloaded movies, fully stocked minibars, safes, coffeemakers and tea facilities, sitting areas and wooden terraces. They also have bathrooms with separate toilets and showers, and hairdryers. Nice extras in all rooms include bottled water, robes and slippers, flip flops, and beach bags with towels. Some Water Villas' deck areas lack privacy, with swimmers wading by. Senior Water Villas have much more privacy and come with spacious outdoor decks with shower rinses, direct ocean access, panoramic views (devoid of fellow guests), and outdoor soaking tubs. Some showers are outdoor, yet private.
Wide stretch of soft sandy beach with panoramic lagoon views
Constance Moofushi is blessed with a beautiful stretch of beach with powdered-sugar-like sand, and sporadically spaced loungers to prevent overcrowding. All double-double sets of loungers and umbrellas face the light turquoise water. The water-sports center is just off the corner of the beach, and the Totem Bar is within an easy walk of the loungers -- though guests who want to spend the day drinking should grab a spot closer to the action, as the trek can get tiresome.
Two restaurants: an extensive buffet and an over-water a la carte
The hotel's main restaurant, Manta, is an open-air palapa-style structure on the sand with a casual vibe and delicious food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For a resort of this size, the buffet manages to be a hearty size, while surprisingly not compromising on quality. The head chef takes pride in what the kitchen turns out: a good selection of European meats and cheeses, an impressive assortment of breads and pastries, several salad options, and a good variety of cuisine. Plus, the restaurant is hyper-aware of and willing to accommodate the growing number of guests with dietary restrictions. Alizee, the a la carte beach grille, is only open for dinner, serving casual classics like burgers and fries as well as fresh catches and select meats. Over-water deck seats are the most popular, though seats along the sand aren't too shabby. Both restaurants have dedicated kids' menus, and room service is only available for breakfast.
Two bars serving cocktails, a good wine selection, and juice
Manta bar is nearly the size of the restaurant, giving patrons plenty of space to spread out and enjoy some spirits. This stylish and sophisticated -- yet casual -- spot has partial wooden and sand floors, high A-frame ceilings, chunky padded furniture, decorative stacked-rock pillars, and rope-wrapped poles that give it a slightly nautical vibe. Sets of chairs have a mid-century modern look, while the bar area has carved wooden stools and artsy hanging lights.
Totem Bar, out behind the infinity pool, has a real tiki-style beach bar vibe, with wooden stump bar seats, a rustling palapa-hut roof, and exotic figures carved into the bar. However, there's a slight identity crisis: a hodgepodge of seating arrangements that includes contemporary wicker, picnic tables, wooden folding chairs, and rustic-log seating. Most guests hang out at Totem Bar during the day, and go for before- and after-dinner drinks at Manta.
Non-optional and premium all-inclusive package that covers (almost) everything
Guests can expect to have nearly every single drink, meal, activity, and whim included under the hotel's premium mandatory all-inclusive plan, known as the Cristal All-Inclusive Package. It kicks in at lunch on the day of arrival and cuts off at breakfast the day of departure. It goes beyond some of the best all-inclusive options offered anywhere, with the highest-level spirits and international brands, fresh juices, specialty cocktails, snacks, all non-motorized sports and indoor games, Wi-Fi, and several activities both on land and in or on the water. Other additions include standouts like international wines and select sparkling wines, an a la carte dinner at the beach grille restaurant, daily afternoon tea at the pool, cigarettes, special occasion cakes, up to a 90-minute dhoni boat excurison, free minibars, limousine transfer service, and use of Playstation 3 consoles.
Things not covered in the plan include flights, food at the beach grille restaurant, shopping in the boutiques, scuba dives, spa treatments, a few select excursions and big game fishing, lessons of any kind, laundry, and premium wine and Champagne.
Packed full of activities, including watersports, games, gym, spa, and dive center
Unsurprisingly, standout activities involve the crystal-clear water surrounding the island, where the resort has free group snorkels and gear rental. There are also dive trips with BlueTribe dive center, more than 30 world-renowned dive sites within 30 minutes of the island, and PADI courses available. Because of the busy house reef, only non-motorized watersports are offered: windsurfing, kayaking, self-guided snorkeling, pedal boats, or catamaran cruises
For a lazier approach to island life, with fees, guests can check out the U Spa by Constance, set on a wooden jetty over the sea. Guests must exchange their shoes for flip flops before entering the large, covered relaxation area and individual treatment bungalows. Small, simple treatment rooms have polished wooden floors, plus cutout windows and plexiglass floor holes so guests can watch the waves and swimming fish. Couples treatments should be booked ahead of time.
There's also a gorgeous, curved infinity pool off a wooden deck, directly facing the ocean. Decorated with small mosaic tiles, the pool appears as refreshing as a natural swimming hole, while sun-seekers can throw down pink beach towels on the luxe padded loungers and work on their tans.
Other features include babysitting service; resident DJ; laundry; a large game room with pool table, TV, library, board games, and lounge seating. There's also a modern gym with air-conditioning, sanded hardwood floors, several cardio and weight machines, and exercise equipment. The beach cinema is a nice addition, as is the large open-air barbecue area.
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