There are a thousand reasons to take a trip to the Maldives. An archipelago of 1,192 coral islands and 26 atolls, it is the ultimate coastal paradise, a postcard destination, and an epitome of leisure, nature and luxury all rolled in one. While it might be easy to visualise little blue islands floating over the dreamy lagoon, imagine this set up with tons of luxury properties that bring this place to life.
Finolhu resort, set in the postcard-pretty Baa Atoll, has been winning hearts since its inception. It can be reached in half-an-hour by seaplane or by a domestic flight and speedboat from Male International Airport. The tropical resort is best known for two things: the Beach Bubble Villa and the fact that it has the longest sandbar of any property in the Maldives. To stay on this island is to take a trip back in time. The resort epitomises retro luxury, with fun, bold design touches throughout: sheep sculptures that playfully make reference to the fact you’re in the Baa Atoll, vintage-style telephones that only call for champagne, record players in the bedrooms, and rustic signs declaring holiday mantras.
Make yourself at home in one of the 125 individually decorated guestrooms, featuring minibars and flat-screen televisions. Your bed comes with down comforters and Egyptian cotton sheets. Their entry-level rooms are over the water, with direct access to the sparkling lagoon and its magnificent marine life, as well as beautiful views of the sandbank, the longest in the Maldives. Getting from the enormous, comfortable bed to the warm Indian Ocean takes less than ten steps. All the rooms have private furnished patios. Complimentary wired and wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and satellite programming provides entertainment. The colour scheme is full of golds and purples, while the bathrooms are enormous, with large standalone baths, an abundance of Neal’s Yard products, and both indoor and outdoor showers.
There are four restaurants and two bars, from relaxed, beachside snacking to more formal dining: among the options are Asian-style Kanusan, Baa Haa Grill, which serves North African flavours, and the 1 Oak Beach Club, where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner while trying to spot dolphins in the sea. The most spectacular restaurant of all is the Fish & Crab Shack. Once you’re there, it’s relaxed, unpretentious and simple, a rustic shack with plenty of delicious dishes and cocktails: you’d be hard-pressed to match these surroundings anywhere else. Wherever you dine at Finolhu, the cuisine is characterised by a highly refined mixture of craftsmanship, individuality, international style and local ingredients, but freshness always takes top priority.
With a tennis court, top-notch gym, yoga pavilion, four restaurants and a lively pool area full of bright inflatables, pumping music, stilt walkers and acrobats, you certainly won’t be bored. Enjoy kayaking, stand-up paddling, windsurfing or sailing with a catamaran. All equipment for non-motorized water sports activities are free. The spa, named The Cove Club, is a real highlight: you’ll enjoy a pampering treatment in one of ten charming pastel huts, each of which celebrates a famous musical diva. Rather than typical spa music, you’ll have the choice of playing these divas’ hits; it’s unusual to have a massage to the sounds of Aretha Franklin or Janis Joplin. As for service, the staff is friendly, helpful, and energetic. You’ll be looked after by a 'Mojo Agent' who can book you dinners, tennis lessons or simply whisk you around in a buggy.
Here in Finolhu, kids are referred to as “Oceaneers”. Their Maldives Kids Club is a world that enchants and encourages creativity – in playing, cooking and baking and of course during guided excursions on and below the water. At the Oceaneers Club, well-trained staff is available for teenagers and toddlers from morning till night. There are also children's menus in the restaurants.
At Finolhu, there’s never a dull moment. Since its atmosphere is playful and the experiences are inspiring, the resort has been attracting huge number of visitors from across the globe.