agent travels

The Sunways Travel team tap into over 150 years’ collective expertise to create your perfect holiday. Our unique insight, knowledge and experience can’t be found in the pages of travel magazines or even on the net – it’s all ours. And yours. Here's where we tell you about our own personal travel experiences…

Tag: Travel

Kenyan Safari

As travel agents we have the pleasure of creating so many people’s ‘holiday of a lifetime’. It might be making a pilgrimage to see Machu Picchu in the Andes, Peru, or retracing Darwin’s footsteps to the Galápagos Islands, or perhaps trekking through the foothills of the Himalayas. Whatever it is, there is always a common theme; to discover a place that blows their minds. Somewhere that could even reset their outlook on the planet. ‘One’ of my holiday of a lifetime ambitions was to safari in the great plains of Africa. Now, I say ‘one’, purely because as a side effect of creating all these incredible journeys for other people, you can’t help but add theirs to your bucket list. Well, it’s a long list for me, but I am happy to report that #1 has now been firmly ticked off.


I chose Kenya for our safari mostly down to the time of year, due to having to travel during the school’s summer holiday. July and August is a perfect time to safari in Kenya for three reasons; a) being on the equator it is still warm, unlike further south where their winter months are much cooler, b) it’s generally dry, which means the vegetation is sparse enabling you to see more wildlife, and c) most important of all, you are highly likely to witness the migration of the wildebeest, and that means plenty of action!

There are two ways in which you can safari. You can travel from one safari park to the next by light aircraft, which will add to the cost of what is already a very expensive holiday or you can, as we did, take the whole safari by road. Now, this has two advantages, and one disadvantage. The first advantage is that you will witness more of what Kenya is about as you drive through the many towns and villages – this really is a reality-check as you witness the poverty in which the majority of the Kenyan people live, but also an equally uplifting experience as you meet them along the way and encounter their welcoming nature and incredibly upbeat demeanour. The second advantage, for us at least, was that you get to stay with the same guide throughout your safari. The one big disadvantage, however, is the colossal amount of driving you are likely to do in a vehicle built for the rugged off-road, rather than comfort.

We flew BA direct into Nairobi and landed late evening. We were met straight away and taken to a hotel close by for an overnighter before our safari began at 7.30am the following day. The next morning our safari guide, Fred, was waiting and very quickly piled the four of us, and our mandatory ‘soft’ bags, into the safari jeep. Our first destination, Samburu National Park, a six-hour drive north of Nairobi in central Kenya.

Setting Off

We arrived at our first safari lodge in Samburu after a long but enlightening drive with Fred. Clearly it’s important to be able to get along with anyone you are about to spend 12 hours a day with for a whole week in such close quarters, and I have no doubt that all the Kenyan safari guides are brilliant, but we hit it off with Fred straight away and we were immediately tuned into his unbounding knowledge of, and extreme pride in, his country.

The Samburu Sopa is a no-frills lodge, but the welcome is first class and the rooms blend so well into the bush that they feel at one with their surroundings. Samburu has at its heart the Ewaso Nyiro River, which attracts wildlife in abundance and therefore perfect for game drives.

I can’t compare the excitement of a game drive to anything I’d experienced before. It’s just so exhilarating and at first you find your head is spinning in wide-eyed wonder. In no time we had seen many species of antelope; gazelles, impalas, eland to name a few, as well as a minute version no bigger than a domestic cat, called a dick-dick. These were lovely, but I really wanted to get my two teenager’s attention with some of the big stuff. Just at that moment we turned a corner and were in almost touching distance with a herd of giraffe. Now, you may have come across these incredible creatures in a safari theme park, but in their natural habitat they take your breath away as they majestically graze on the upper foliage of an acacia tree. As we watched them glide past us with the grace of ballerinas we started to appreciate the different world in which we’d entered.


After more lively talks on the fauna and flora of the area from Fred, we slowly ambled our way back to the lodge for dinner. The food here was simple but fresh, and, after a bottle or two of the local ‘Tusker’ larger, we were more than ready to hit the sack. Even if it was only 9.00pm.

The next day we ventured deeper into the Samburu bush with talk along the way of spotting the Big Five, a name given by hunters to the five largest and most dangerous African mammals; rhinoceros, elephant, buffalo, lion, and leopard. Fred seemed to have a sixth-sense on just where to find them, which I guess is the benefit of “too many years to remember” of being a safari guide. So our next major encounter was none other than two male lions (#2 of the Big Five). What’s incredible is that they appear to completely look through the safari jeep like we’re not even there. Fred says if you were to leave the vehicle they would immediately see you with a view to you being either a threat or a meal. Either way, I wasn’t about to find out. We also spotted a leopard sitting astride an upper branch of a tree, with the hind quarters of a gazelle placed leg either side of the branch behind him. Clearly nothing was going to take his supper away.


After lunch and a couple of cold Tuskers back at the lodge, followed by an afternoon snooze around the pool, we were back on the safari trail and really hitting our stride. Every corner seemed to yield another surprise; a different type of antelope, huge deadly eagles, a pair of male and female ostriches, zebras, and then the fabulous elephants (#3), which creep up on you making no more sound than a mouse, and stand in total defiance of us mere humans.


The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting a Samburu village, which was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the tour. The Samburu are a semi-nomadic people whose way of life is unchanged in centuries. They exist on the meat, milk and blood of the cattle and goats they herd, and of course have no running water or electricity. We were welcomed by beautifully harmonious chanting and a very colourful display of dancing, which we were invited to join in with – this you have to do!

We were then taken into a traditional hut, which was no more than 3sq meters and slept a family of five + chickens + indoor fire. I would say that it was a humbling experience, but I think that would do these proud people a disservice. The contentment they have with their lifestyle seemed far greater than we seem to have in Europe.

Lastly, we were taken to an infant school, which was no more than an area in the shade of a tree. The children counted in English for us, then sang an enchanting song taking us through the alphabet. It was a beautiful moment.


There is a small charge to visit these villages, but everything they receive is shared equally among the villagers. Should you wish to buy any of their beautifully hand crafted jewellery or simply make a further donation, the proceeds are all put towards the education of the children.

On day three we departed for our next destination which was to be set in the cooler climes of the foot hills of Mount Kenya. The Serena Mountain Lodge is timber built with cabin-style rooms and feels like it’s be hewn from the upper canopy of the forest. The dining room was actually rather elegant, with table cloths and formal service, which took us nicely by surprise. The lodge has a viewing deck that overlooks their own water hole and salt lick, which attracts herds of elephant and buffalo. Sadly, we didn’t encounter elephant, and saw just the occasional buffalo, but it’s none-the-less a unique place to visit. I can’t think of a time when I’ve enjoyed a sundowner more than when sat on the viewing deck listening to the strange sounds emanating from the forest, while watching the sun dip over Mount Kenya. We also took a two hour guided walking safari through the forest, which was an interesting experience, particularly watching the monkeys swing across the trees above our heads.


After an early night, and an even earlier morning to watch the mist rise over Mount Kenya, we were soon our on way to our next stop, which this time was to be a tented safari lodge at Lake Nakuru National Park. This was a tough five-hour drive, but Fred kept us busy all the way by teaching us Kenyan history, then throwing in a verbal test from time-to-time to make sure we were paying attention! By now we had a lovely rapport going with him and he started to feel like one of the family on our grand adventure. Along the way we also stopped to look at the stunning Thomson Falls, which was almost worth the bum-numbing journey by itself.


Tented safari lodges are not how you might imagine them, the tents are fixed and have wooden floors and ensuite shower rooms, and the bedding is extremely comfortable. The lodge itself is far more like a hotel than you would expect, and like everywhere we’d stayed at so far, the Flamingo Hills Camp pride themselves on their service.


The main reason for visiting this place at this time of year is to view the massive flamingo migration which settles on Lake Nakuru in a vast sea of pink. Sadly, for us there was no such luck due to the unusually high waters which made fishing too difficult for them. We did see a small flock, however, so we didn’t feel totally cheated. Keen not to disappoint, Fred also took us in search of Rhino. Lo and behold an hour later we were staring at a group of prehistoric looking beasts (#4), which appear even more surreal in their natural habitat. We also saw many more elephant, ostrich, giraffe and some incredibly colourful birds here.


For the final leg of our epic journey we picked up the trans-African highway which stretches 7000km from Mombasa all the way to Lagos on the West Coast of this vast continent. We took in a mere 6-hour, 280-bum-numbing kilometres of this stretch of road but, as usual, Fred had some surprises along the way. The best of which was a stop 2550m above sea level with the most incredible views of the Great Rift Valley. Fred informed us this was a continuous geographic trench that runs 6000km from the Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley in Asia, to Mozambique in South East Africa. You just can’t get your head around the enormity of this continent, no matter how hard you try.


After a stop for lunch at a fabulous lodge by the entrance of Masai Mara National Reserve, there was a further hour and a half drive to our last stop. This was by far the hardest leg of our journey. Roads. What roads? We turned up to the Mara Serena Lodge feeling like bags of bones, but the moment we entered the lodge’s lobby, we knew it was all worthwhile. The lodge is perched on the saddle of a hill at the centre of the Mara Triangle and has spectacular views across the vast plains to the winding Mara River. Although only a very small part of the Serengeti ecosystem, the Mara’s rolling grasslands, meandering rivers and towering escarpments offer one of the world’s most rewarding wildlife arenas. We were perfectly situated within this incredible lodge to spend the next three days taking game drives.


Now, you may think that after 4 days of safari when you’ve seen one elephant, lion, giraffe, leopard etc., you’ve seen them all. Well, I can promise you that is not the case. Each game drive Fred took us on gave a different perspective according to the backdrop or time of day. And each one was a whole new journey of discovery…


…but, in the Masai Mara in July, there was another, massive factor to the whole eco-equation – the migration of the wildebeest – and this could mean death and carnage at any moment! It is here at exactly this time of year that you can witness the brutality of Mother Nature. Even for those with a ‘slight’ disposition at seeing huge animals being brought down by a calculating killing machine, or the litter of bloody carcasses, one cannot help but marvel at the efficiency of the food chain here. If you’re lucky (in my opinion) you may witness a kill, or at least arrive moments after one to watch a lion nonchalantly finishing off its prey. You may then pass that same site a few hours later to witness the hideously huge and grotesquely shaped vultures buried deep into the belly of the beast. Then, by morning, who knows what else has feasted upon this animal, but the bones are stripped dry and left in a neat pile shaped like a head stone.


In fact, wildebeest don’t have much luck here at all. Their mission is to cross the Mara River. Why? Well no one can really say, but they congregate in hundreds, sometimes thousands, and will stand there for hours, seemingly having a committee meeting over who’s going to take the plunge first. Then suddenly one goes, and they all go, throwing themselves over the banks of the river in total abandonment, all under the watchful eye of crocodiles ready to pick off the ones that break a leg in the melee to get across. The hippos are never too far away, who Fred says should now be officially entered onto the Big Five list, as they kill more humans in Africa than any other animal.


As we’re slowly driving back, harbouring a slight sense of shock at it all, my 15 year old son declares that he may need counselling on our return home.

This safari did not disappoint. In fact in many ways it exceeded my expectations. Would I recommend such a gruelling road journey? Well that depends on whether you want to dip in and out of the best bits, or really get to know this incredibly beautiful, brutally rugged, saddeningly poor but joyously happy and welcoming country. By road you will witness sights and sounds that cannot be seen by air, however we did take one light aircraft journey from Mara Serena’s own airstrip to Mombasa beach, where we would spend a week recovering. This was by far the most poignant flight of my life. Firstly, because it was where we departed with our dear friend, Fred. Then, as we watched the endless miles of Kenya’s plains unfold beneath us, I couldn’t help but marvel further at the beauty of this country. No sooner did that scenery disappear, only to be replaced by the snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. Words simply cannot describe an airplane journey like that. Or indeed our entire journey.

Holiday of a lifetime #1. Done.

Elephant Walking


Tipping is expected in almost all situations. It needn’t be a lot and I promise that you will willingly wish to hand a few dollars to everyone who offers you assistance. Therefore, it’s a very good idea to take a lot of small denominations of either US dollars or Kenyan shillings. It’s also great to hand out biros or British sweets to the children.

Take a good camera and a pair of binoculars. I researched binoculars considerably and choose Optricon WP PC Roof Prism, which are mid-sized, so not too cumbersome, and the quality was incredible. About £150 at time of press: Click here to view

Seek advice from your GP on inoculations and take plenty of insect repellent.

Visit the Samburu Sopa Lodge

Visit the Serena Mountain Lodge

Visit the Flamingo Hill Tented Camp

Visit the Mara Sereena Lodge

Mark Colley

Managing Director – Sunways Travel

Call me on 01474 706 976 to personally discuss this destination or email

Dreams Riviera, Cancun, Mexico

It’s never easy finding a resort that pleases the whole family. Especially one as demanding as mine – which is totally my fault as I appear to have passed my fussy-customer gene onto my children.

So, it was with some trepidation that we arranged to fly down to Cancun after a few days in New York. To be honest, I’m not sure what the origin of my anxiety was, I just didn’t associate Mexico with high-end service and luxury. I’m very pleased to say I was wrong!

We chose Dreams Riviera as it ticked all the right boxes; good choice of restaurants, decent beach, plenty going on for teenagers, nice looking rooms and a spa and fitness centre. It’s also all-inclusive which can be great, in the right place.

As we entered the vast and architecturally impressive lobby of the hotel we were immediately approached by the concierge who said simply, “Welcome home”. As you read this you may think he was being a little contrived, but with his warm Latin American smile the welcome was as genuine as a sombrero on a Mexican.


We had paid a little extra to upgrade to Preferred Club rooms which come with some nice extra touches, but most important of all for me, the best views of the sea. Oh, and a jacuzzi on the balcony (why not?). While the rooms are not huge, they are very well laid out and beautifully decorated with an almost colonial feel that reminded me of Raffles, Singapore. They also have a well-stocked fridge as part of the package, which even include some snacks – the kids were very happy with the daily replenishment of M&M’s! If you like you can request interconnecting rooms, which are perfect for families and make the whole space feel like a suite.


And so, to the most important part of any holiday for me, the food. Like I say, this resort is all-inclusive, which can often mean, partly-all-inclusive. But here they describe it as “Unlimited-Luxury”, and not without reason. The food and drink here is in abundance. No sooner have you finished one meal when another eating experience presents itself. Like a mid-afternoon Mexican BBQ around the pool, or the daily parade by the head chef with his entire brigade brandishing little taster portions of the dishes from one of their six restaurants. As you may have worked out by now, I love my food, so this was a dangerous place for me. However, fortunately I love exercise too, so I just about managed to counterbalance the tripled daily calorific intake with a trip to the gym each morning.

Dreams Pool

Of almost equal importance of the food to me is service. I was expecting it to be along the same lines as the Caribbean, which is often described as “laid back” – personally, I have another word to describe service on the Islands, but, like I say, I am fussy. But here the service is first class. In fact I would go so far as to say it’s the best I’ve ever encountered in a resort. It’s also incredibly friendly and I now understand why the concierge welcomed us “home” because I can imagine people return here time and again.

So, back to the food, (it’s been a while), and there is no shortage of choice; Himitsu is Pan-Asian and you can either go a-la-carte or watch the chefs throw food around and generally show off at the tepanyaki plate, which is jolly good fun. There is also an excellent Italian, Portofino, a fresh seafood grill, Oceana, or a lively Mexican restaurant named El Patio, which was surprisingly my least favourite restaurant for the food, but great fun none-the-less. We didn’t make it to the fine dining French restaurant, Bordeaux, as it is adults only, and these days it’s not easy gathering the family around a dinner table at home, so it’s important for us to do so while on holiday. Of all the restaurants my favourite was the Seaside Grill, both lunchtime and in the evening. But particularly in the evening when they serve incredible steaks, one of which is a local cut called a tomahawk, which is a kind of rib-eye on the 2ft bone cooked over charcoal. It’s meant for two, but could feed a whole family!


The resort also has a first class spa, which I highly recommend you visit at least once during your stay. And one of the best things of all here is a night club, which our teenagers enjoyed and visited every night while we worked our way through the cocktail list in the hotel’s beautiful lobby bar.

There are many interesting and challenging excursions in this part of Mexico.  You can dare to enjoy a thrilling jungle tour that will take you for a ride on your own speed boat through the mangrove channels. Or immerse yourself in the mystical Mayan culture that can be admired in Mayan ruins destinations like Chichen Itza and Tulum.

Or as we did in August, swim with whale sharks during their migratory period, 20 miles off shore, which was just incredible.

Whale Shark


Despite being one of the best resorts I’ve stayed at you need to be aware that Cancun is a popular destination for our American cousins. Whilst we love them dearly, they tend to gather in groups and make full use of the free tequila. As you know, they are not the quietest people at the best of times, so fuelled with the local fire water they can take the pool bar over. But there’s always somewhere to escape, and they never seem to be around in the evenings. Strangely enough.

El Niño can occasionally cause vast amounts of seaweed to be washed up along the Cancun shoreline. This happened during our stay and it made sitting on the beach unpleasant due to the smell, and swimming in the sea out of the question. Dreams Riviera made a huge attempt to deal with it by continually clearing the beach, but they were fighting a losing battle. Clearly we were unfortunate and it’s not predictable when this could happen. But, like so many other coastal resorts around the globe these days, there is always the possibility of this natural phenomenon occurring.

Visit Dream Riviera website

Mark Colley

Managing Director – Sunways Travel

Call me on 01474 706 976 to personally discuss this destination or email

Constance Resorts, Maldives

The first thing that struck me as we were welcomed into the Constance Resorts’ lounge at Malé airport to await our seaplane, was the uplifting essence of lemongrass and the easy welcome from the Constance Resorts’ staff. We had stepped into a different world from an otherwise hot and bustling airport. A world where super-chilled flannels doused in cleansing lemongrass to mop our brows, and green tea with refreshing lemongrass, are handed to us by beautiful Maldivian people who are genuinely eager to please. I knew from that moment we were about to experience something very special. In fact, it was to be more than that, it was to be one of those experiences that resets your mind and remains in your heart forever.

Soon we were on our way, clutching super-chilled bottles of water offered to us as we left the departure lounge to our 14 passenger sea-plane. Sadly no lemongrass on this flight, but this was a totally exhilarating experience, and the faint smell of aircraft fuel just seemed to add to the excitement of it all. If, like me, you always dreamed of becoming a pilot, I recommend that you bagsy a seat right up front where you’ll be almost in the cockpit and among the action! We’re soon airborne and as the aircraft glides over the fascinating phenomenon of the raised beds of sand and coral that make up the Maldives, I begin to get a sense of the unique place we are being transported to. Our first destination is the Constance Resort, Moofushi, a short 30 min hop.


Touchdown on water has to be experienced. It’s just cool, in a sort of 70’s Fantasy Island, Bond kind of way. As we make our way to the resort’s jetty, the aircraft’s rudimentary aircon, otherwise known as two desktop fans attached to the rear of the pilot’s cockpit, appears to be struggling with the outside temperature. But we are soon ushered off into the hands of a welcoming party who greet us like we are old friends, or even the first guests they have received in a long while – which of course is not the case as I am later informed the resort is pretty much full the whole year round. Within moments I find myself mopping my brow with another super-chilled lemongrass soaked flannel while sipping something cold and refreshing, and I think to myself, where did that come from?…but of course, our convivial hosts. Soon after we are taken across the jetty where I cannot help but notice a sign with the island’s only rule; No Shoes, No News. I don’t need telling twice and I am immediately tuned into the vibe here – which means me switched firmly to off.

moofushi-maldives-2016-general-view-09 smaller

After a pleasant check-in and a brief orientation tour, bearing in mind you can casually walk an entire circumference of this island in ten minutes, I was taken to my water villa. Now, I imagine most people may have seen a photo of one of these in some dreamy holiday brochure or maybe in a Condé Nast magazine on a BA flight sometime, but seeing one in the flesh for the first time takes your breath away. Words almost cannot describe the feeling you get when you walk into your stilted residence, then throw the doors open to reveal your private decked area, which leads to steps straight into what appears to be the biggest swimming pool in the world – the waist height warm waters of the Indian Ocean.


In keeping with the incredibly high standards of everything I have experienced so far with Constance, the room is designed to make your stay as comfortable as you could wish for. This even includes a fully stocked bar and fridge which is all part of the package here.

My body clock is telling me to sleep, but it’s the middle of the day and I am far too excited for that. So it’s straight on with the swimmers and straight into the sea. The turquoise water is bath temperature and crystal clear, with very little in the way of what you would call waves. For as far as I can see I believe the water is no higher than chest height – like I say, the biggest swimming pool in the world. Only this one is not man-made, and it’s full to the brim with coral and tropical fish. I need a snorkel to see this properly, so I venture to the dive centre, all of three minutes away, where I borrow a complimentary set. I then head to one of two ‘house’ reefs. These are coral reefs set directly off the island, which means you needn’t go on a half day excursion to go snorkelling. And oh my, this is unlike anywhere I’ve ever snorkelled before. The fish are in abundance and the coral formations are stunning. Not for the first time today I am experiencing another world.


Later that day I make my way to meet my travelling companions at a prearranged wine tasting event by the sea. What they actually meant was IN the sea! In my other life I am a restaurateur and I have attended a fair few wine tastings, but never knee deep in the Indian Ocean, and never being gently nudged by reef sharks. I kid you not! But they are totally harmless, so I am told, so I decided to just go with it. I was all the better for standing my ground against these three feet long fish, as I was about to taste some seriously good wines, presented by a seriously good sommelier.

Then to dinner, and at this point I should mention that this resort is all-inclusive. But dispel any preconceptions you may have of all-inclusive, this is wining and dining at its absolute best. This evening’s meal was in the themed buffet restaurant called Manta. And again, I ask you to dispel any preconceptions you may have of buffets (personally, I’m not normally a fan), the food here is good. Really good. And the wine…well they have a cellar consisting of around 120 labels, all of which are very carefully selected, and all of which are included in the all-inclusive package. Having previously stayed at other all-inclusive resorts this is unheard of. Usually you have a choice of two wines, red or white, and they’re pretty poor. Which means you spend your holiday suffering in silence or paying a hefty surcharge to upgrade. Well, certainly not here.


Our next day was spent taking a yoga class overlooking the water (very Zen), then taking a dhoni, which is a Maldivian boat, for more incredible snorkelling. This time it was around a sandbank in the middle of the sea; another mind-bending phenomenon!

Later that day I managed to fit in a visit to the spa for a massage involving some wonderfully pungent lemongrass oil – which I eventually come to understand is Constance’s ‘signature’ herbal essence. And as I was lying on a bed, with a glass window in the floor facing directly into the sea, while a very professional masseuse was untying the knots in my back, I drifted into a perfect state of calm.


Dinner that evening was on the beach in the Alizee restaurant. The food here is seriously good and the setting is stunning – lots of candles in the sand and the sound of lapping water right next to you.

The following day we head to our next destination, Constance Halaveli. But as I wander through the sandy pathways leading to reception, I’m moved by the way in which everyone greets you with a warm smile and hello. From the gardeners to the maintenance team fixing a roof after a bit of damage from a recent storm. Even the GM, Olivier, who’s calmly in control of his 250 strong team and about half that number again of guests, manages to purvey a sense of serenity.

So, with a heavy heart we depart this beautiful place and head by speedboat to Halaveli. But as we approach our next island the excitement begins to build once more for the next experience Constance have in store for us. Once again we are met on the jetty by a welcoming party. More of those lemongrass flannels that I now find I miss almost more than anything. And a wonderfully refreshing drink to wash away the salty taste of the sea.


I immediately get a sense of the difference between the two Constance resorts. The first, Moofushi, is what I would describe as natural. At ease with itself. Here at Halaveli there was a sense of refinement. A little more tailored, yet none-the-less relaxed.

Once again we stay in a water villa, which comes as standard here. This is unusual for the Maldives as it’s more common to have to pay to upgrade to a water villa. And the water villas here are off-the-scale! With a vast bedroom and not much smaller bathroom, complete with egg-shaped bath, the villas are wrapped around a stunning deck with your own infinity pool, and of course, steps that lead directly into the Indian Ocean. The décor is chic right the way down to the entertainment system and Nespresso coffee machine. It’s no wonder the beaches and public areas are all deserted despite the hotel being virtually full, everyone is just hanging back in their villas. Why move?


I have to steal myself away to meet my companions for another in-sea wine tasting session followed by dinner in the beach restaurant, Meeru, where I try Wagu beef for the first time. It had been cooked on a special Japanese grill and the flavour was…well all I can say, a near religious experience.

The best thing about staying in a water villa is leaving all the blinds open – don’t worry they are designed at such an angle so that no one can see in. You wake up with a near 180 degree view of the Indian Ocean right at your feet. It’s an awe inspiring sight to awaken to. So up and out, and after a healthy breakfast we head for another session with lemongrass oil in the spa – which once again sends me into a Zen-like state of mind.

After lunch in the sushi restaurant, which if you’re a sushi fan like me doesn’t get any fresher than here, we head off on a turtle adventure excursion. Sadly we didn’t encounter any turtles on this occasion, but we snorkelled off an underwater shelf where the sea life was even more varied than that of the house-reefs.

And finally to what was the culinary pièce de résistance, dinner at Jing. The chef here, Jordi Vila, counts the once ‘best restaurant in the world’, El Buli, on his impressive CV. I wouldn’t wish to attempt a critique of his food or spoil your surprise, you simply need to experience it. And that is exactly what it is. An experience. An immensely unique and memorable experience.


Things to know

Constance Moofushi is on an all-inclusive basis, and you will need or want for nothing! The standard rooms are beach villas which sleep 2 adults (+2 young children or 1 older child). There is a surcharge to upgrade to water villas which is well worth doing. And if you can push the boat out a little further I would recommend a senior water villa as they have double aspect windows overlooking the sea, an outside bathroom and are slightly larger with a little more privacy. There is no kids club in this resort.

Visit  Moofushi website

Watch Halaveli video

Constance Halaveli is on a half board basis, but they do offer an all-inclusive package, which, if like me, you eat three meals a day and enjoy a glass of wine or two (or three), then it’s well worth considering. Almost all of the dishes at the four restaurants were included, with those that weren’t included available at a surcharge. The package also includes a choice from 150 wines! The water villas sleep 2 people or there are a choice of stunning beach villas which can sleep 4 or more people (up to 8 in the presidential villa). The resort has fabulous kids clubs for both younger and older children.

Visit Halaveli website

Watch Halaveli video

Constance resorts and hotels have seven properties in the beautiful locations of Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and the Maldives.

Visit Constance Resorts website

We flew Emirates via Dubai on the stunning A380, which was without doubt the best experience I have had on a long haul flight. This naturally works well with a 2-3 night stopover in the magnificent city of Dubai.

Visit Emirates A380

Mark Colley

Managing Director – Sunways Travel

Call me on 01474 706 976 to personally discuss this destination or email

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