A year-round holiday destination, Maldives is a heaven for honeymooners, a fantasy for families, and a mecca for those who love water sports. The cherry on the cake is the diverse milieu of holiday resorts on this island country, catering to every kind of traveller.
In the not-so-crowded Lhaviyani Atoll, a lovely 40-minute seaplane ride north of Malé, is Fushifaru Maldives. Blissfully marooned in the middle of the Indian Ocean, fringed by powder white sand beaches and crystalline turquoise waters, the resort offers a laid-back island vibe with luxurious comfort and complete privacy. The island is surrounded by reefs, which are populated by confetti-coloured fish such as clownfish, triggerfish, parrotfish and trumpet fish. Large pods of bottlenose and spinner dolphins swing by at sunrise and sunset most days. There are also a large number of fantastic dive sites in the area.
The design is kept simple, based upon a Maldivian village, with coconut palms and sandy paths leading to peaked-roofed villas and public spaces. The “wow effect” comes from the sensational broad white beach. There are 49 villas tightly woven around the island, including five water villas on the sunrise side (ideal for dolphin-spotting). All the villas lead to the beach and have pleasant outdoor bathrooms with rain showers and bathtubs (18 of the beach villas also come with pools). Interiors feature pitched roofs, slate floors, wooden alcoves, and some very drab brown curtains.
Tropical picturesque views of the ocean fused with Maldivian charm, Korakali – the all-day buffet restaurant – serves around the world and island-inspired flavours on the beach from sunrise to sunset. Breakfast buffet includes fruit, yogurt, breads, cheeses, and a chef whipping up omelettes, pancakes and waffles. If you're on one of the half-board or full-board meal plans, this is where you will also have lunch and/or dinner; a buffet of pizza slices, stir fries, curries, salad, desserts and more. Fanihandi is the main bar on the island where guests can savour signature cocktails, mocktails, tea and coffee or even a fresh Kurumba from the local coconut trees. Enjoy bar bites throughout the day with poolside views gazing into the azure sea, and live music performance in the evening. Raakani draws on the culinary riches of the seas and offers a spectacular seafront dining experience. Dine under a thatched pavilion while feasting on tuna tartare, grilled meats, seafood platters, and lamb chops with beetroot reduction. Dinner comes alive with a live theatre of showmanship at Teppanyaki showcasing flame grilled delights. Feast your eyes on fresh lobster, flame-kissed Angus or Kobe beef or try a selection of everything with the Japanese set menu or à la carte options. At Thundi, chill out on airy cabanas, feel the sand between your toes and sip on cold-pressed juices, immune booster shots and nibble on fresh fruit skewers without leaving the beach.
Step into a lush jungle-like greenery at Heylhi Spa and take a moment to reconnect with your mind, body, and soul. Forget about time, sink your feet into the sand to feel the earth and restore your balance with energising and rejuvenating treatments. Local coconut is used in treatments designed to cleanse, nourish and soften the skin. Featuring an extensive menu of holistic therapies, embark on a blissful journey of relaxation. Other facilities include a small fitness centre, an infinity pool, and a dive centre wherein you can create your own bespoke day at sea with boat charters for fishing, snorkelling, and diving with a Resident Marine Biologist. Other water sports include water-skiing, kayaking, catamaran sailing, jet-skiing, parasailing, kite surfing, sea bob, and windsurfing. For those seeking a more thrilling adventure, create your own castaway sandbank experience with the Resident Host or sail into the sunset on a traditional dhoni with a specially prepared gourmet picnic on board. Enjoy complimentary activities like 6am sunrise yoga twice a week, Thursday's entertaining 'coconut journey', and Friday's Maldivian night, with musicians and dancers visiting from local islands.