The first-ever resort in Thaa Atoll is this splendid creation of the COMO group. An otherwise seductively low-key property, COMO Maalifushi, since commencement, is attracting popular Hollywood celebrities and fashion designers with its minimalist vibe, unparalleled food and facilities, and warming service.
Dotted around the remote island are 65 villas, ranging from sweeping over-water huts to beach suites surrounded by clean white sands, with majestic sundecks, infinity pools, full-length pools, and waterside cabanas with a backdrop of dreamy sunsets. The beachfront suites are private, peaceful places to hangout, with lush little gardens and roadways leading to the subtly lapping shoreline. Needless to say, in an ultra-luxe property like this, the bathrooms designed are gigantic, with large Japanese style soaking bathtubs, premium COMO Shambala toiletries, and indoor and outdoor showers. Other than massive marble baths, the property is overall adorned with giant mirrors mounted in dark, heavy wood.
The sharp-eyed property investor, Ong Beng Seng, and wife Christina Ong are the brains behind COMO hotels. The duo picked the half-left property, dusted it down, strategized a feasible plan, and then turned it into a serious success, which is reflected through Maalifushi. COMO Maalifushi is a sister hotel of the much-esteemed Cocoa island, except for that the newest addition holds a few lingering signs of Regent glossiness. Where Cocoa mostly caters to couples, Maalifushi is typically family-focused, with snorkelling trips and children-friendly picnics on offer, and caretaking at the kids’ club Play by COMO. With the provision of services exclusively planned for children, it goes without saying that here, they can have a complete section of the island for themselves. Near enough that guests need not worry, but private enough that they can still find some time to relax. At present, COMO Maalifushi is the only property to inhabit the serene Thaa Atoll, accessible through an unmissable 60-minute seaplane flight from Male. The secluded island is almost fully surrounded by some of the world’s best coral reefs, making for exceptional snorkelling and diving. Interestingly, the stunning 44m free form infinity pool has been mapped to weave around islands of palm trees. If there’s one thing out of the many others that the property is worth appreciating for, it is the driving force of the property – the 300-odd staff that individually as well as together put in their efforts for maintaining Maalifushi. And resultingly, no other island smells as great.
Other than external recreational activities, COMO is most popular for its holistic Shambala Spas, and expectedly, its own brand-potions are disseminated in mini bottles in the guest washrooms and no doubt in the staff quarters, too, since every encounter on the lone island comes with a breath of camphor or eucalyptus or bergamot, leaving an olfactive impression of calm goodwill. Guests can also enjoy holistic Asian therapies; including Taksu, Thai Massage, Foot Reflexology, Indonesian Massage, Indian Head Massage, and Yoga at the COMO Shambhala Retreat, with the whole guest experience well-defined by the property’s rigorous, passionate service. You can begin your day by cycling for some sunrise view or go snorkelling, windsurfing, kayaking, or deep-sea fishing on the hotel’s yacht and conclude the evening on a cruise or by night swimming with whale sharks. Alongside this, enthusiasts; especially photographers, can even connect with marine life under the guidance of some of the leading divers and underwater photography experts. Those new to this process will be guided throughout – right from setting up camera gear to making the best use of time underwater! The lessons and briefing by instructors that accompany participants ensure they attain the best possible opportunity to create eye-catching images, no matter their degree of experience.
When it comes to food, the chefs at COMO Maalifushi rely on the principle of serving what’s fresh and accessible: local seafood. At their popular Japanese restaurant, Tai, what’s most commonly served is sushi and sashimi, along with organic produce extracted in all-day dining at Madi, Thila, and on Shambala’s menu. COMO Maalifushi, a paradise in itself, is the ultimate away-from-it-all destination for couples, families, divers, surfers, with some exceptional breaks nearby and a perfect castaway experience like never before!