I’d long heard rumours of its jaw dropping beaches, water that’s so Turquoise it looks photo shopped and untouched coral and marine life that promotes the Maldives as the ultimate Honeymoon and Beach destination. Having recently joined the company I was obviously extremely excited and grateful to be able to see the Maldives with my own eyes.
On landing in Male after an excellent flight with Qatar Airways, I wasn’t sure if all the hype was going prove accurate. However once I was greeted at the airport by a representative from Huvafen Fushi (my first resort) and whisked away to the awaiting speed boat it took only seconds to see what all the fuss was about.
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The Maldives is naturally very beautiful, made up of over a 1,000 coral islands, the water is as Turquoise as the photos suggest. It was with great anticipation that after only 40 minutes from Male my speed boat pulled up to the Huvafen Fushi.
Huvafen was my first of seven resorts that I would visit over the next week. Check in was easy, it was completed with ease in the Water Villa and part of the seamless orientation of the resort. I was then left to enjoy my room with views of the Indian Ocean that blow you away! Huvafen Fushi is a remarkable resort; its privacy coupled with its very high end facilities including a world first underwater spa, the largest wine cellar in South East Asia and beautiful setting make it a perfect choice for Honeymooners and couples a like.
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Sea plane was my transport onto Niyama, a sister resort of Huvafen so I was expecting great things. Niyama delivered on all expectations and stood out as a resort that cannot be pigeon holed for a particular clientele. It offers something for everyone, but in doing so does not compromise in quality or exceptional service. The resort is very slick, modern and very cool, but at the same time it offers the privacy and discretion that newlyweds and couples request and a plethora of activities for the family to enjoy. Unlike some resorts in the Maldives, Niyama has nightlife! If you crave a little more action after dinner, guests can head down to sub-six, the world’s first underwater nightclub.
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Velassaru my next resort was a short hop from Male, an affordable option it offers smart accommodation and relaxation in stunning surroundings. Whether you want to do simply nothing but relax and unwind be pampered in one of the finest spa’s in the Maldives or take on the many activities on offer Velassaru has it all. Dining is also a big deal at Velassaru, with five dining experiences on offer you will never be short of choice.
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It was south to the unchartered Laamu, and Six Senses was next on the list and something very different. I did not take long to see why it’s a top seller for us at Turquoise, an escape from the norm, the wooden rustic architecture and overwater communal areas make this a very special place. It’s a world away from the contemporary and the little touches such as the ‘no shoes policy’, personalised bikes and 45 flavours of complimentary ice cream on offer make you feel at home and comfortable straight away, an overwater world, with a real sense of place within it’s environment Six Senses is breathtaking, a real ‘pinch yourself’ destination!
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The Residence, located in the southern Atolls was my fifth resort on my trip. It is very classical and colonial in its style with marble floors in the bungalows and dark elegant wood furniture. The water villas have particularly excellent views and access to the house reef which is abundant with life. Siting in almost pure isolation, it is home to a huge pod of spinner dolphins and some of the best dive sites available, a true castaway island.
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The next day I headed onto Park Hyatt and what it lacked in size it made up for in quality. Located only 56 kilometres from the equator, it takes a short internal flight of about an hour to reach from Male. The focus is to mix Maldivian culture and luxury. On entrance to the resort an imposing upturned Dhoni (traditional Maldivian Boat) greeted me and really sets the tone. Contemporary yet authentic and true to its roots, reef is abundant in healthy coral, sharks, rays and colourful fish. The accommodation is immaculate and stylish focusing on dark woods and beige tones, and there is an award winning Spa for those who wish to indulge.
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A quick internal flight and a 20 minute speed boat ride from Male brought me to my final destination and last day in the Maldives, Baros. With restrictions on children under eight staying on the Island and unrivalled privacy, Baros is another great choice for honeymooners and couples. The house reef also plays a huge part in Baros’ attraction, there is a huge amount of healthy marine life here, seven resident turtles have been identified and named and can be often spotted cruising around the island on a regular basis. Marine Biologists have introduced a grow and adopt reef policy that keeps you attached to this little piece of paradise long after you leave.
Baros also offers exceptional dining, the islands icon ‘The Lighthouse’ deliverers’ fine dining of the highest standard. Surrounded by rays, and a multitude of sharks guest can enjoy specialities such as ‘Lobster Bisque’ flambéed in front of you and matched with excellent wines from the cellar.
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Waking early in the morning it was with great reluctance it was time to start my journey back to the UK , the seven resorts I was lucky to visit all offer something different with the common similarity that service, luxury and guest experience is key.
The Maldives is without doubt a special destination; it demands the attention of anyone looking for a uniquely indulgent break, breathtaking nature and sheer beauty that stays with you long after you leave.