A “floating hotel” amid the pristine beaches and water on a private island in the Maldives’ North Ari atoll, Constance Halaveli Maldives is another jaw-droppingly beautiful luxury resort from the Constance Hotels and Resorts’ group.
Designed to reflect the curved shape of a traditional Maldivian boat (a Dhoni), Constance Halaveli Maldives offers a stylish wine list that delivers fully on the promise made on its opening page: “For Constance, Wine is Culture, Philosophy, and Art.”
Among the many indulgences available to guests, Constance Halaveli Maldives offers beach or water villas, family villas, and the presidential villa, which can include the luxurious amenities of private terraces, plunge pools, and more. A range of superb fine wine-and-dining options are also available, as the resort features five restaurants and bars, including the Asian and European fusion cuisine of Jing and Jahaz. A variety of traditional Japanese sushi rolls, sashimi and Maoki’s are served up at Kaika Sushi Bar, where guests can dine inside or on the terrace. Meeru provides beach dining for guests, where the remarkably white sand contrasts with the lush green forest of the island, complemented by the aqua blue ocean. During the evening, a selection of fresh seafood and meats from the à la carte menu can be grilled in front of guests, bringing authentic gastronomy to the shoreline.
These dining options are serviced by one of the best wine lists in the wine-focused and always impressive Constance Hotels and Resorts’ group, a list that was described by the judges at the World’s Best Wine Lists 2015 as, “Very thorough with plenty of vintages to choose from, a list that specializes (with great skill) in France—but which offers well-edited selections from all over the world.”
It is clear that a great deal of time and thought has been given to the wine list at Constance Halaveli Maldives, where an interesting and fruitful selection of by-the-glass options are available, including Mas Amiel 1975 Maury and Niepoort Colheita 2001, in addition to a plethora of full bottle options divided into various chapters. To add a special fizz to your occasion, an extensive selection of Champagne is available. A few of the stand-out options include Billecart-Salmon’s single-vineyard Blanc de Noirs Clos St Hilaire 1998, and Deutz Cuvée William Deutz and Blanc de Blancs 1988. Among more familiar but equally special prestige cuvées are Dom Pérignon, Roederer Cristal, and Cristal Rosé.
The wine lists embraces classic famous names but also clever and intriguing alternatives that are equally worthy of their place. Top Burgundy growers include Carillon, Lamy, and Roulot, while there is a special section devoted to Sauzet premiers and grands crus. There is good and great red Burgundy, all the way up to the giddy heights of Domaine de la Vougeraie Musigny, and an extensive selection of Lucien Lemoine grands crus, from Clos de la Roche and Clos St-Denis, to Latricières-Chambertin, Chambertin Clos de Bèze, and Richebourg. Wines from the Rhône include Château Grillet and a segment dedicated to three different Condrieu cuvées from Georges Vernay.
Overall there’s a strong European influence, France and Italy being the areas of greatest strength: six consecutive vintages of Domaine de la Grange des Pères from Southern France; Right Back classics including legendary Château Beauséjour Duffau Lagarosse 1990; and Super-Tuscans Ornellaia, Sassicaia, Tassinaia, and Tignanello. But there are also exciting representatives from the southern hemisphere, such as Australia’s Shaw + Smith, D’Arenberg, Leeuwin Estate, and Torbreck, and from South Africa five vintages of Eben Sadie’s Palladius and several of his Old Vines Series. To cap off what would be a charming and tranquil gastronomic experience, there is a collection of good sweet wines, including five vintages of Château Gilette Crème de Tête Sauternes back to 1961 and Klein Constantia’s Vin de Constance.