Apart from the sun and sand, here are the top experiences to book in the Maldives
The beach, the grand blue, and everything new in summer’s eternal paradise
Winter spreads its cloaks all over the west, but in the middle of the Indian Ocean, summer thrives like it was never gone. The Maldivian atolls revel in the sweet kiss of the north-easterly wind a dry season stretches from November till May. There’s less humidity, but the region retains its natural candour, thanks to a host of resorts constantly indulging lovers of the sea all throughout the year.
In GaafuAlifu, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo celebrates tranquillity and healing in its overwater Raffles Spa. This sanctuary appears to float over the blue pool, like a lotus on a pond, affording magnificent views of the ocean during the enriching treatments. The spa uses products from Biologique Recherche, Aromatherapy Associates and Margaret Dabbs London for its body, skin and hair treatments. For getting motivated to stay fit, the facilities offer ocean-view yoga, a 24-hour fitness centre and a garden-view jogging track. www.raffles.com/maldives
Jumeirah Vittaveli Superyacht Villa indulges with a ‘luxury ocean gypsy’ vibe, literally, with opportunities to cruise and snorkel the marine treasures of the Maldives without leaving the comforts of a grand suite. The expansive 85 ft of private space is complete with two master cabins and two twin cabins, all befitted with hypersonic massage bathtubs and Hermes amenities. MY Vittaveli’s three decks lavishly accommodates 8 guests for overnight stays or 20 guests for day-time cruises with four-person Jacuzzi on top deck, jet ski and interiors for a yacht party as if you were the Great Gatsby. Jumeirah’s superyacht opens up opportunities for island hopping, fishing or lazing on a virgin beach. www.jumeirah.com
Lux* South Ari Atoll lures with a taste of la belle vie, throwing in a diverse mix of epicurean experiences. Floating above the azure waters is the East Bar, a glorious deck with loungers on catamaran nets, offering an atmospheric setting for evening cocktails. Pure island living becomes the highlight of MIXE, starring fresh meals done in live-cooking stations with tables set out on sand under thatched roofs. The more elegant Senses is the hub for Middle Eastern & Indian Ocean flavours, presenting a mix of fresh salads and grills, served beside the infinity pool under the stars. www.luxresorts.com
One can get a close view of the corals in a DeepFlight submarine, a breath-taking experience at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at LandaaGiraavaru. The hour-long underwater adventure for two, in addition to an experienced pilot, descends 120 feet below the surface at the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve home to a huge variety of marine biodiversity in its many vibrant reefs. Up in the air, view the string of islands in the hotel’s Flying Triggerfish seaplane. www.fourseasons.com
Raa Atoll, a popular dive area due to its submerged islands and excellent marine life, is another UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and home to InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau. A leisurely holiday here extends opportunities in contributing to marine life conservation, including adopting a manta, and a fascinating excursion to Hanifaru Bay, the famous nursery ground for grey sharks. www.ihg.com/intercontinental
The Maldives continues to be summer’s lingering kiss, gurgling with fresh ways to celebrate the sea, and the many stylish serendipities on it. ◼
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© This article was first published in Feb-Mar 2020 edition of World Travel Magazine.