LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER

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The Luxury Hotel Insider:Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance.

Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.

| By: Rachael Weir

Taj Lake Palace

Offering a contrast of cultures, religions, and history, India provides a range of experiences for travelers. In this edition of Featured Journeys, we're highlighting royal palace hotels on this multi-destination trip to India. We begin in Hyderabad at the Taj Falaknuma Palace, next we head to a palace in the middle of a lake at the Taj Lake Palace (shown above), and we end our journey in Mumbai, the Gateway to India. 

Hyderabad, India

One of India's former princely states, Hyderabad was once one of the country's largest and wealthiest states. More than 400 years old, the city built its fortune on pearls, gold, steel, fabric, and diamonds. At one time, the city and the Golconda Fort was the most famous dining mining area in the world, as Golconda is where the Koh-i-Noor and Hope diamonds were excavated. Today, the city is the capital of Andhra Pradesh, and it is known for thriving information technology and biotech research industries. There's a vibrant culture here with luxury hotels and regional cuisine. 

Taj Falaknuma Palace

Green palace bedroom at Taj Falaknuma Palae

Formerly the palace of the Nizam, Taj Falaknuma Palace was built in 1894. Perched 2,000 feet above the City of Pearls, the grand palace offers guests a royal experience. Visitors arrive via a horse-drawn carriage, and butlers attend to their needs while staying at the palace. Spread over 32 acres, the palace hotel has 60 guest rooms and suites where opulence, excess, and historical details are honored and revered. Adaa provides a gastronomic experience with fine Indian cuisine, the Jiva Spa has an array of treatments rooted in traditional Indian practices, and afternoon tea is served on the Jade Terrace. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests making reservations through Five Star Alliance receive full breakfast daily and one dinner at Adaa per person, per stay. Also, subject to availability at the time of check-in/departure: a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Check rates at Taj Falaknuma Palace

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Udaipur, India

This picturesque area in Rajasthan is set around Lake Pichola with the purple-hued Aravalli Range of mountains in surrounding the city in every direction. Here travelers can visit colorful bazaars to shop for local goods, take in a lively arts scene, go for a boat ride, and explore city's palaces, temples, and traditional decorated residences called havelis

Taj Lake Palace

Spa Boat at Taj Lake Palace

Built as a pleasure palace by the the young prince, Maharana Jagat Singh II of Udaipur in 1746, Taj Lake Palace is a heritage hotel situated in the middle of Lake Pichola. Restored to its pristine and elegant glory, the hotel's 65 luxe guest rooms and 18 grand suites feature views of the lake, Aravalli Hills, Machla Magra Hills, and Jag Mandir. The site of a variety of movies including the Bond film "Octopussy", this regal property is popular for weddings and honeymoons, as well as travelers seeking a royal experience at the Jiva Spa (including the spa boat shown above) or authentic Rajasthani at Neel Kamal. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive lunch or dinner for two once during stay, a Heritage Walk of the property followed by a glass of sparkling wine, a 15% discount on spa services, Butler Service, daily a la carte breakfast for two in Jharokha Restaurant, and a traditional welcome amenity. 

Check rates at Taj Lake Palace

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Mumbai, India

Once known as Bombay, Mumbai is a fusion of cultures and time periods. Reminders of its colonial past are never far away, and new malls mix with historic sites like the UNESCO-protected Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. The fast-growing city has been the Gateway to India for centuries due to its strong port location, and it continues to evolve while maintaining its spiritual roots. Babulnath Temple is a serene destination for Hindu pilgrims, and Muslims walk to the white marble Haji Ali shrine via the seafront causeway.

The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai

The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai

Within walking distance of the Colaba Causeway, The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai was recently trademarked. Built in 1903, the property has been a landmark in the city's harbour, welcoming kings, dignitaries, and prominent figures from around the world since its opening. Overlooking the Gateway of India, the hotel is strategically located in the city's historic and commercial hub. Close to the financial hub, parliament, stadium, shopping, and office districts, as well as museums, churches, and synagogues, the palace hotel harkens the glamour of a bygone era. Golden Keys Concierge can assist guests with exclusive experiences, authentic cuisine is served at Masala Kraft, and Golden Dragon offers Chinese specialties. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive buffet breakfast for two daily at Sea Lounge and a one way airport to hotel transfer in a Mercedes car on a sharing basis. 

Check rates at The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai

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| By: Rachael Weir

Featured Journeys: Thailand

Featured Journeys: Thailand

From world-class cuisine to luxury retreats, Thailand is a country offering a bounty of arts and cultural experiences, fresh flavors, Michelin Star restaurants, and picturesque beaches. In this edition of Featured Journeys, we highlight a multi-destination itinerary beginning in the northern region of Chiang Rai where guests can explore the Golden Triangle, then on to the cosmopolitan destination of Bangkok, and finishing on the island of Phuket. 

Chiang Rai

The northernmost province in Thailand, Chiang Rai is a broad valley with tree-lined riverbanks. Separated by Laos to the east and Myanmar to the west by the Mekong River, Chiang Rai offers a lush setting for travelers to relax and unwind before or after trekking trips to the Golden Triangle and Chiang Saen. 

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort

Country Suite at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort

Overlooking the border of Myanmar and Laos, Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort is a luxury resort perched on a ridge in northern Thailand. Offering a tranquil jungle setting, the property is home to an award-winning elephant camp for rescued elephants with scientific and conservation programs. There are 40 room and 15 suites, including 6 family suites, all of which feature indigenous artworks, teak furnishings, and modern comforts like rain showers, soaking tubs, and balconies with daybeds. Guests of the resort have access to an array of one-of-a-kind experiences including cooking and cultural activities, spa services, and elephant encounters. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also include a $100 Resort Credit per room/per stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value), complimentary WiFI, and full breakfast for each guest daily. 

In addition, this hotel offers exclusive 2019 FIVE STAR ALLIANCE SUITE & VILLA PRIVILEGES that can be combined with the FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK (if requirements are met). 

2019 FIVE STAR ALLIANCE SUITE & VILLA PRIVILEGES: Guests booking a stay of 2 or more nights in a villa or suite receive a $100 Spa Credit per stay. This offer is valid for stays of at least two nights through December 31, 2019 in Deluxe Suites. 

Check availability at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort

Explore more Chiang Rai Luxury Hotels

Bangkok

From palaces to street markets such as Chatuchak Weekend Market, Sampeng Market, and Pahurat Textile Market, Bangkok is a city with a variety of tourist attractions. There are famous temples including the well-known Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Wat Phu Khao Thong, Wat Ratchanadda, Wat Traimit, Wat Benchamabophit, Wat Bowon, and Wat Sutat, as well as popular museums in west Bangkok like Don Kai Dee Benjarong Village, Phra Pathom Chedi, Sanam Chandra Palace, Don Wai Floating Market, Sampran Riverside, and Thai Human Imagery Museum. While in Bangkok, visitors will also want to explore the city's prime nightlife scene. 

The Siam Hotel

The Siam Hotel Pool

In the historic district of Bangkok, The Siam Hotel is set amidst 3 acres of lush gardens on the Chao Phraya River. Close to the city's top historical sites and cultural attractions, the property offers guests a private urban retreat with an extensive arts and antique collection, luxurious suites and villas, award-winning Opium Spa, Muay Thai fighter program, and Sak Yant tattoos, which are a sacred Thai tradition. Plus, the property offers the Chon Thai Restaurant serving traditional Thai cuisine within a cluster of three 100-year-old Thai teakwood houses, Deco Bar & Bistro with international comfort cuisine, and the poolside Bathers Bar overlooking the Chao Phraya river. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance will also receive a $100 food and beverage credit per room/per stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full), a selected welcome drink for two on the first evening at the pier or Deco Bar, an afternoon treat from 3 – 4 PM at Deco Bar or swimming pool for guests staying in a pool villa.

Check availability at The Siam 

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Phuket

Located in Southern Thailand, Phuket is a beach destination on an island in the Andaman Sea. Easily reachable via a one-hour flight from Bangkok, Phuket offers some of the world's top beaches including Rawai, Patong, Karon, Kamala, Kata Yai, Kata Noi, and Mai Khao. For one-of-a-kind sunsets, visitors should head to Laem Phromthep Viewpoint, considered to offer some of the most picturesque sunsets in Thailand. Strongly influenced by the Chinese, travelers to the island will see Chinese shrines and Chinese restaurants around the city, and there is a Chinese Vegetarian Festival held yearly, as well as an array of international influences and trendy nightlife scene. 

Amanpuri

Amanpuri

Set on a hillside, Amanpuri is a luxurious place of peace. Interiors feature original artworks, hand-loomed silks, fragrant orchids, and custom-crafted furniture. Elegant dining options highlight Thailand cuisine, as well as fresh Japanese sashimi at Nama restaurant, Italian cuisine at Arva, along with Mexican snacks and cocktails at the Latin American Bar. There's a black-tiled pool, as well as the beach and water sports in the Andaman Sea such as snorkeling, kayaking, and jet-skiing. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include continental breakfast for two daily in the Dining Room or through room service and a $100 USD hotel credit per room/per stay. 

In addition, this hotel offers exclusive 2019 FIVE STAR ALLIANCE SUITE & VILLA PRIVILEGES that can be combined with the FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK (if requirements are met). 

2019 FIVE STAR ALLIANCE SUITE & VILLA PRIVILEGES: One lunch for up to two people per room, excluding alcoholic beverages and gratuities, once during their stay (value $100). Note: Nama, Amanpuri Japanese restaurant is not included. This offer is valid for stays of at least two nights through December 31, 2019 in Ocean Pool Pavilion, Premium Ocean Pavilion, 2 Bedroom Pool Pavilion, 2 Bedroom Garden Villa, 2 Bedroom Ocean Villa, 3 Bedroom Garden Villa, 3 Bedroom Ocean Villa, 4 Bedroom Garden Villa, 4 Bedroom Ocean Villa, 5 Bedroom Garden Villa, 5 Bedroom Ocean Villa, 6 Bedroom Garden Villa, 6 Bedroom Ocean Villa, 7 Bedroom Garden Villa, 8 Bedroom Garden Villa, 8 Bedroom Ocean Villa, or 9 Bedroom Ocean Villa. 

Check availability at Amanpuri

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| By: Rachael Weir

What's better than a waterfront villa? The King Pool Overwater Villas at Conrad Bora Bora Nui. Featuring one-of-a-kind horizon and lagoon views, plus private infinity pools, these overwater villas have 1,302 square feet of space. Providing luxurious accommodations, villas have fully retractable windows to bring the outside in, plush king beds with views of the lagoon, separate living areas with HDTVs, Bluetooth sound systems, and minibars, plus spacious bathrooms with soaking tubs. In addition, the villas have large terraces with private infinity pools, over-water hammocks, sun lounges, and direct access to the lagoon where guests can swim or snorkel from their own terrace. Read more below the photo.

Overwater Villa at Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Situated on the private island of Motu To'opua, Conrad Bora Bora Nui is set amidst white sand beaches and the lagoon, with Mount Otemanu as the backdrop. Recently fully renovated, the property offers the hilltop Hina Spa with breathtaking views, six restaurants and bars, an infinity pool, and a variety of activities from hiking to swimming with sharks. Learn about the special Five Star Alliance Perk below the photo.

Infinity Pool at Conrad Bora Bora Nui

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate receive a XPF7000 food and beverage or spa services credit per room/per stay and an in-room welcome amenity.

Check availability at Conrad Bora Bora Nui


| By: Rachael Weir

Nestled amidst the rolling foothills of Mount Meru where the aroma of coffee scents the air, lies the Arusha Coffee Lodge. Hidden in one of Tanzania's largest coffee plantations, the property offers coffee tours where visitors can learn about the bean-to-cup process, the Bacchus Restaurant with chef-prepared local cuisine, and the Peaberries Spa with a variety of treatments. Read more below the photo.

Restaurant at Anusha Coffee Lodge

There's also an indoor pool, picnic lunches are available for guests looking to dine outside while exploring, and there is a Traders Walk where visitors can discover five gourmet and retail boutiques showcasing local traditions. Situated about five minutes from the Arusha Airport, the property offers a luxe setting ideal for before and after East African safaris. Continue reading below the photo. 

Pool at Arusha Coffee Lodge

Comprised of 30 plantation houses nestled amidst the coffee fields, the property offers Plantation Rooms and Plantation Suites. The rooms feature a cozy setting with in-room log fires and verandas overlooking the coffee gardens. For a larger setting with additional amenities, Plantation Suites provide a home-away-from home retreat. There are plush beds with netted canopies, living areas with large sofas, and 32-inch TVs with satellite access. Read more below the photo.

Plantation Suite Living Room at Arusha Coffee Lodge

Bathrooms in Plantation Suites have large soaking tubs and separate rainfall showers. Continue reading below the photo.

Plantation Suite Bathroom at Arusha Coffee Lodge

In addition to the interior space, Plantation Suites have private outside terraces with log fires. Read more below.

Plantation Suite Exterior at Arusha Coffee Lodge

Featuring an omnipresent coffee theme, the Arusha Coffee Lodge was designed around the original landowner's home, which dates back to the early 1900s. The main Plantation House has an 'a la carte' restaurant and an intimate cafe bistro, each with open log fires for guests to relax after a day of exploration. 

Check availability at Arusha Coffee Lodge

 


| By: Rachael Weir

Nestled on a private island, the Boutique Resort Bikendrik Island is an all-inclusive eco-resort in the northern Majuro Atoll of the Marshall Islands. Amidst 3.6 acres of land, the retreat occupies the site of a former colonial coconut plantation. Providing accommodations for just three couples at a time, and surrounded by crystal clear waters and coral reefs, the property is an idyllic destination for honeymooners and those seeking a secluded, romantic retreat. Read more about the resort below the photo.

Boutique Resort Bikendrik Island

Guests of the resort fly into the Amata Kabua Airport in Majuro, where a shuttle takes guests to the jetty. From there, visitors board a private boat for a 45-minute trip along the atoll through scattered, mostly uninhabited islands. Continue reading below the boat photo.

Boutique Resort Bikendrik Island

Once guests arrive, they spend their time on the island in either one of two bungalows or a beach house. Featuring traditional colonial styling, accommodations have private en-suite bathrooms, exclusive works-of-art, antiques, daily turndown service, and complimentary minibars. Fresh fruits are delivered daily, and all-inclusive Cordon Bleu dining is available in the main house. Read more below the photo.

Boutique Resort Bikendrik Island

Surrounded by coral reefs, the eco-resort offers guests a variety of water-focused activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and fishing. There's aslo a well-stocked library on the island, and visitors can schedule in-room massages and beauty treatments.

Learn more about the Boutique Resort Bikendrik Island


| By: Rachael Weir

Mixing local culture with indoor tropical gardens, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore is a lush urban retreat. Accommodations are spread throughout three distinct wings: the resort-like Garden Wing, the recently rejuvenated contemporary Tower Wing, and the prestigious Valley Wing. The property is the original property for the Shangri-La Brand, and features CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La with Asian-inspired holistic treatments, an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, and fully-equipped health club. Continue reading below the photo.

Blue Bar at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore

One of the hotel's unique suites is the Honeymoon Suite. Situated in the Garden Wing, the Honeymoon Suite has interiors inspired by nature, a pillow menu, and a large balcony with sun loungers, outdoor Jacuzzi, and barbecue area. Read more below the photo. 

Honeymoon Suite Balcony at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore

The spacious living room has large floor-to-ceiling windows with city views, dining area for romantic dinners, and a plush living room for couples to relax. Continue reading below the photo.

Honeymoon Suite Living Room at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore

In the bathroom, there's a deep-soaking tub, soothing lighting, and an ideal spot for a bottle of chilled Champagne. Learn more about special Perks for Five Star Alliance guests below the photo. 

Honeymoon Suite Bathroom at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive daily full breakfast for two, a per room SGD 100.00 food and beverage credit (not valid for room service or minibar), and in-room welcome Chinese Tea and Fruit.

Check availability at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore


| By: Rachael Weir

Perched above a turquoise lagoon, the award-winning Rehendi Presidential Overwater Suite with Pool at Taj Exotica Resort and Spa features an ultra-luxe setting in Maldives. The spacious two bedroom suite has a large sundeck with a freshwater pool, salas, and hammock suspended over the water. 24-hour butler service is included, as well as daily newspapers, housekeeping, and turndown service. Read more below the photo.

Rehendi Presidential Overwater Suite with Pool at Taj Exotica Resort and Spa

The master bedroom has a plush bed topped in Frette linens, pillow menus, a seating area, desk with ocean views, and direct access to the sundeck. While the glassed bathroom has infinite ocean views, Molton Brown bath amenities, Ploh bathrobes, and a bath menu with bath salts upon request. Continue reading below the photo.

Rehendi Presidential Overwater Suite at Taj Exotica Resort and Spa

In the living area of the Rehendi Presidential Overwater Suite there is a large flat-screen LCD TV, media center with DVD/CD/MP3 player, mulit-media port, & LAN adaptor. Read more about the resort below the photo.

Presidential Suite Living Room at Taj Exotica Resort and Spa

The Taj Exotica Resort and Spa is a private island resort surrounded by the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean. The romantic destination offers pristine beaches, and 64 sea-view villas set delicately over the lagoon. Situated on Emboodhu Finolhu island, the property provides an idyllic tropical retreat with water sports, scuba diving, fine dining at the Deep End, and crafted cuisine at 24 Degrees. 

Check availability at Taj Exotica Resort and Spa


| By: Rachael Weir

In June 2018, the Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas unveiled a new two bedroom villa.

Nestled amidst the Bill Bensley gardens, the Two Bedroom Royal Villa by Jim Thompson at Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas is an ultra-luxe villa steps from Mai Khao's white-sand beaches with a private pool, traditional Thai sala over the lagoon, and a sundeck. Inspired by the villa's natural surroundings and fashion connoisseur Jim Thompson's silk designs from the 1950s and 60s, the exclusive sanctuary highlights multiple Thai silks throughout. Natural Thai Makha hardwood flooring provides a unique patina throughout the villa, there's Thai artwork and carvings, as well as classic Thai Pikul flower designs. In the living room, Thompson's fabrics mingle with woods and sandy hues to create a nautical feel. Read more below the living room photo.

Two Bedroom Royal Villa by Jim Thompson Living Room

In the master bedroom, Thompson's Heliconia Dreamin' provides a vibrant and whimsical style that extends to the swimming pool and sala. The design was inspired by the Heliconia flower that continues to flourish today at Jim Thompson's former home. Overlooking the pool and gardens, the twin bedroom showcases the Floriential print, highlighting whimsical birds and butterflies frolicking amidst peonies. Continue reading below the photo of the twin bedroom. 

Two Bedroom Royal Villa by Jim Thompson Twin Bedroom

“We have a passion for enhancing our pool villas so that guests can enjoy the full beauty of Anantara Mai Khao, inside and out,” explains Nikolaus Priesnitz General Manager of Anantara Mai Khao. “The Two-Bedroom Royal Villa by Jim Thompson offers a secluded retreat with luxury amenities and is ideal for families, while highlighting the gorgeous designs of a truly beloved Thai treasure.” Read more below the photo of the exterior of the villa. 

Exterior of the Two Bedroom Royal Villa by Jim Thompson

Guests of the Two Bedroom Royal Villa by Jim Thompson are welcomed with fresh flowers and fruit juices upon arrival, as well as personalized Villa Host service, Anantara Spa products, and a complimentary set of the Bvlgari Guest Collection. The Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas is located on the island's secluded northwest coast. Along the Andaman Sea, the property offers locally-inspired architecture, indigenous gardens, and excursions to Sirinath National Park's tropical mangroves, dives to coral reefs, and strolls through local villages. 

Check availability at Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas


| By: Rachael Weir

Providing a secluded retreat in Bali's central foothills, Alila Ubud is a luxury hotel located about 15 minutes from Ubud, the island's cultural center. Set on a hillside on the edge of the Ayung River valley, the property provides guests with an immersive experience through the guidance of the Alila Leisure Concierge team for active pursuits, such as exploring rice terraces at Tegalalange, visiting the Goa Gajah Elephant Cave, or taking cooking classes. Learn more about a special perks offer for Five Star Alliance guests below the photo. 

Valley Villa at Alila Ubud

Accommodations at Alila Ubud include Superior and Deluxe Rooms, Valley and Pool Villas, plus Terrace Tree Villas, and Two Bedroom Terrace Tree Pool Villas. Furnished in contemporary Balinese style, there are private balconies with daybeds, in-room safes, minibars, and coffee & tea-making facilities. Continue reading below the Terrace Tree Villa Bathroom photo.

Terrace Tree Villa Bathroom

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests making reservations through Five Star Alliance receive full breakfast daily at Plantation restaurant, $50 food and beverage or spa or Alila Experience credit, per room, per stay, and a welcome fruit basket. Plus, based on availability at the time of check-in/departure: a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Check availability at Alila Ubud

 


| By: Rachael Weir

Set along a lagoon in the North Ari atoll, Constance Halaveli Maldives offers a romantic setting with unspoiled beaches, unforgettable diving with whale sharks, and sunrise meditations with yoga masters. Providing guests with the ultimate retreat to disconnect and reconnect, the luxury resort provides barefoot luxury with a full-service spa and three gourmet restaurants. Continue reading below the photo of the overwater Jing Restaurant. 

Jing Restaurant at Constance Halaveli Maldives

The private island resort offers a variety of villas including Family Beach Villas and the Double Storey Beach Vilas. All accommodations feature contemporary island architecture with indulgent amenities. One of the most unique villa options is the Water Villas with an over-water design and its own private plunge pool. Furnished with modern wood and marble, each of the villas is air-conditioned with separate living and sleeping rooms, 42-inch flat-screen TVs with satelittle channels and DVD players, iMac systems for streaming, minibars, and wine coolers with a selection of wines. There's also furnished over-water sun decks, and luxe bathrooms including some with separate outdoor showers. Continue reading below the photo of the Water Villa. 

Water Villa at Constance Halaveli Maldives

Guests of the resort have access to a variety of complimentary activities including tennis courts, beach volleyball, badminton, and table tennis. There's a state-of-the-art fitness center with cardio machines, rowing machines, Kinesis wall, and spinning bikes. Plus, the TGI Diving Center with diving courses and experiences, canoes, windsurfing, dolphin watching cruises, fishing trips, snorkeling, and excursions to nearby villages. 

Check availability at Constance Halaveli Maldives


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