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THE M ALDIV ES Your guide to the finest resorts in paradise


World Traveller // We Love the Maldives

2013 / 2014

Welcome to

THE MALDIVES CONTENTS

2 The essentials All you need to know before your visit

5 Where to stay The choice of

resorts can be baffling, so we’ve picked out the cream of the crop

The mere mention of the Maldives is enough to elicit a faraway smile from all who’ve set foot on the archipelago’s powdery sands – and a wistful sigh from those who haven’t. Every cliché is true: from the sugar-white beaches to the sapphire lagoons. Most resorts occupy their own island (the country boasts 1,190 in total), and all feature world-class restaurants, spas, and staff. The Maldives has a colourful culture, best appreciated in its music, dancing, cuisine and thriving seafaring traditions. Once you’ve witnessed the Maldives’ charms for yourself, you’ll be under its spell forever. About the guide We explored the Maldives and its many resorts to ensure you can enjoy the best of what’s on offer. 1

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2013 / 2014

The

ESSENTIALS All you need to know

Getting There

Weather

Flights to the Maldives land at Male’ International Airport, the gateway to the archipelago. A large number of airlines offer one-stop services from the GCC, but for direct flights the choice is a little more limited: key operators include Emirates, Fly Dubai and Qatar Airways. To book, contact dnata (+971 316 6666, dnatatravel.com).

There isn’t a bad time to visit the Maldives: it enjoys sunshine and balmy temperatures for most of the year. For the hottest climes, visit between April and May, when the mercury reaches an average of 31°C. The rest of the year sees temperatures of 23-29°C, and November, December and January are the coolest months. Rainfall between April and October can be nothing short of spectacular, and it doesn’t stay overcast for long. From November to April, diving conditions are excellent.

Getting Around

MONEY MATTERS

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The official currency of the Maldives is the Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR), but most prices at the resorts are also offered in US Dollars. Check with your hotel (and keep an eye on conversion rates) to determine which currency is best when settling up. Introduction

Arriving in the Maldives is just the start of the adventure: it’s likely that from here you’ll need to take a boat or plane to your final destination. The duration will depend on the resort’s proximity to the islands’ capital Male’, so take this into account when booking. Transfers can be arranged through your resort (check when you book your accommodation), and are mostly seamless and picturesque.

Visas There is no need to apply for a visa in advance: the paperwork can be completed on arrival. The general tourist visa allows visitors to stay for up to 30 days, although you must comply with the entry restrictions. For details, visit immigration.gov.mv.

Language Dhivehi is the official language of the Maldives, but the staff in all the resorts will be fluent in English, and signage and documents are mostly bilingual too.


World Traveller // We Love the Maldives

2013 / 2014

Maldives

MUST-DOS

It’s easy to be lulled into the gentle pace of the islands, but there are still adventures to be had…

Dine on a desert island

Watch traditional dancing

Once you’ve feasted on a bounty of freshly-hauled seafood, in the seclusion of your very own sunset-lit sandbank, you won’t want to dine anywhere else again. Perfect for honeymooners and those craving a divine al fresco dinner.

Taking inspiration from its myriad cultural influences, the Maldives boasts a vibrant dance and music scene. Look out for Bandiyaa Jehun, an Indian-style dance performed with drums and harmonicas.

Snorkel with turtles Hover on the surface of the Indian Ocean, and you’ll witness a glimpse of the treasures that lie beneath… Look out for the likes of turtles, whale sharks and manta rays – as well as a bright, busy population of fish on the lagoon’s coral reefs.

Sail into the sunset Hop aboard a dhoni, a traditional sailboat, to experience the islands’ strong marine roots. All resorts can organise boats and experienced crew who’ll be happy to guide you.

Get up-close with whales The whale submarine operates from Male’, and submerges its passengers roughly 40 metres into the Indian Ocean. It’s a spectacular window on a richly-populated world – expect to spot white tip reef sharks, turtles and giant groupers.

STAR SIGNS

Island idler

Reel in a whopper If you’re mind’s more focused on dinner than diving, take to the waves on a sea fishing expedition. With luck, you’ll catch tasty snapper and tuna.

Sedentary sun-lover

Laid-back landlubber

Energetic explorer

Take to the skies Charter a seaplane to get another perspective on paradise: viewed from above, the islands make an even more spectacular sight.

Try a cooking class Fresh fish, coconuts, an abundance of spices… the Maldives offers up a natural feast. Embark on a cooking course to add some impressive dishes to your dinner party repertoire.

Intrepid adventurer

chance – many of the Maldives’ resorts offer PADI-accredited dive centres, and there are courses for all levels to choose from. There really is no better way to explore the sea bed. 3

Catch a surf break Explore the reefs If you’ve been thinking of taking a scuba diving course, now’s your

There are great surfing spots dotted throughout the islands, so check with your hotel about the best nearby place. Surfing season begins in May, and lasts until December.


World Traveller // We Love the Maldives

2013 / 2014

Jumeirah Vittaveli Best for... a child-friendly break A 20-minute boat ride is all it takes to reach this Maldivian paradise – making it perfect for impatient young family members. With one look at the resort’s tropical surrounds, we wouldn’t blame you for rushing to reach it: it’s pure magical Maldives, with gem-clear ocean, sugar-white sands and a luxurious array of rooms and suites (the hardest part is choosing between the beachfront and lagoon-side bedrooms). It’s tempting enough to spend your days lounging in the blissful environs – between private pools and palm-fringed beaches, you’ll face yet another tough decision – but active types will want to take advantage of the dive courses on offer. Whether you’re a novice or a water baby, this is a very picturesque spot to pick up a PADI qualification – and the Bubblemaker experience is great for inquisitively-minded little ones too. jumeirah.com

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Resorts


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Huvafen Fushi Best for... water babies Pride of place at this heavenly resort is the ocean: thatched bungalows peer over translucent waters, and you’ll find breathtaking ocean vistas from almost every spot. There’s even accommodation in five traditional dhoni sailing boats and a lavish 68-foot yacht, so you can get right back to nature – with state-of-theart amenities and a 24-hour crew, of course. On dry land, the highlight of the resort’s facilities is LIME, an underwater spa that really is oneof-a-kind. Treatment rooms’ glasspanelled walls provide a window into an underwater world – and, believe us, there are few more relaxing sights than that of exotic fish floating by while your skin is immersed in natural ingredients from the sea. huvafenfushi.peraquum.com

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Resorts

Constance Halaveli Best for... tying the knot You’d be hard pushed to find a more romantic spot than the Maldives, so it’s no wonder that lots of couples choose to marry on the islands. If you’re thinking of sealing the deal, this private resort’s Weddings and Honeymoons package has everything covered – from sourcing the master of ceremonies to providing the wedding cake and canapés. Even if you’re not tying the knot, there’s still romance in the air: tuck into a sunset barbecue at Meeru, sail across the ocean on a complimentary catamaran, and indulge in a couple’s massage in the peaceful Spa de Constance. Better still, the kids’ club will keep little ones out of trouble all day – leaving you to relax in peace. halaveli.constancehotels.com


EFFORTLESS MALDIVIAN LUXURY

A short boat ride from the international airport transports you to this serene island resort escape. Located on the South Male atoll, Jumeirah Vittaveli is a luxury getaway within easy reach. Here you’ll uncover vast stretches of white sandy beaches and clear waters, forming an exquisite image for you to gaze upon, as you let the slow pleasures of life take over.

For more information on our special Offers. Please visit Jumeirah.com or contact your local travel agent


2013 / 2014

Dusit Thani Maldives Best for... scuba divers The waters surrounding this peaceful resort aren’t just popular with guests – they’re also home to a colourful crowd of aquatic life. Here you’ll find Hanifaru Huraa and Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, are just a short boat ride away. It’s renowned as one of the best dive sites on earth, brimming with the likes of manta rays and whale sharks – and some of the most vibrant coral reef in the area. The resort’s dive centre is excellently-equipped, and its staff are passionate about exploring – and preserving – their unique surroundings. If you don’t fancy venturing beneath the waves, fear not: you can visit the nearby shallow lagoons with complimentary snorkelling gear provided by the resort. Back on dry land, Sala Bar serves up tasty morsels against a serene ocean back drop, and the beach-side Sand Bar is a stunning setting to catch up on tales of the day’s adventures. dusit.com

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Resorts


hotel experience in Maldives A LUXURY HIDEAWAY If you’re looking to turn your dream of an exclusive luxury Indian Ocean getaway into a reality then look no further than the beautiful 5* deluxe Constance Halaveli. Nestled on its own secluded island in the Maldives’ North Ari Atoll, with powder white beaches and turquoise seas teeming with colourful sea life, peace and relaxation are guaranteed.

Begin the U-experience: call (230) 402 2772/73 or visit us at www.constancehotels.com


World Traveller // We Love the Maldives

2013 / 2014

Lily Beach Resort & Spa Best for... sporty sunseekers If you want more than a sun-andswim holiday, the Maldives still has plenty to offer. Enter Lily Beach Resort & Spa, which offers so many activities you may struggle to fit them all in. The fantastic Water Sports Centre is equipped for all kinds of adventures: canoeing, windsurfing, wake boarding, catamaran sailing and banana boating to name but a few. There’s plenty to keep guests of all ages entertained inside, too, with table tennis, darts, and billiard tables. If you’re feeling sociable, start a volleyball tournament on the beach pitch, or practice your serve on the floodlit tennis court. When night falls, al fresco dining is served alongside an array of shows, concerts and cabaret – plus a disco for night owls too… lilybeachmaldives.com

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Resorts


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Beach House Iruveli Best for... a spacious retreat The Maldives has enough stunning accommodation to please even the most world-weary of travellers, but this northern resort has one of the most beautiful boltholes we’ve ever seen. Check in to the Grand Beach Pavilion to discover the most luxurious home-away-from-home. From the pillow menu and Ploh bathrobes to the rooftop telescope

Vivanta By Taj Coral Reef, Maldives Best for... natural luxury

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The arrival at this far-flung resort is nothing short of spectacular: a speedboat will whisk you from Male’ to Hembadhu Island, in a 50-minute James Bond-style odyssey. It’s a fitting introduction to the wildyet-elegant atmosphere of your new home: the accommodation is sumptuous, featuring beach and water villas with sophisticated, minimalist décor. However, the true charm of this spot is its natural beauty: sway in a beach-side hammock and soak up views of the impossibly lovely sands, seek out the ‘secret sandbank’ location of a candle-lit dinner for two, or simply listen to the chorus of birdsong as you rejuvenate in your very own open-air shower. The chefs take inspiration from their surroundings, too: in the three on-site restaurants you’ll find fine seafood, fish, and an irresistible array of fresh fruit and vegetables. vivantabytaj.com Resorts

and whizzy entertainment system (complete with Wii and karaoke machine), every corner of this notso-humble abode was designed with comfort and fun in mind. With 600 square metres at your disposal, there’s plenty of room to stretch out – as well as the two beautiful master bedrooms you’ll find a private spa treatment area, 13-metre infinity pool, sauna, steam room and elegant living area with separate dining room. It’s all housed in a walled garden, far away from the hotel’s other guests, and the beach is just a barefoot wander away… beachhousecollection.com


A Waking Dream

North MalĂŠ Atoll, PO Box 2017, Republic of Maldives Tel: +960 6644 222 Fax: +960 6644 333 info@huvafenfushi.com www.huvafenfushi.com


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Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives Best for... spa lovers 14

Nestled in tropical gardens and lapped by a crystal-clear lagoon, just the surroundings of this resort’s Jiva Grande Spa are enough to soothe body and mind. Inspired by ancient Indian royalty and the ayurvedic principles, the treatment list includes a deep-tissue warrior massage and time-honoured Indian bathing

Resorts

rituals – we can’t think of a better way to ease your way into island time. When you’ve been pummeled to perfection, stretch out with a yoga treatment – there are no fewer than 15 to choose from, and unwind your mind with meditation guidance too. With fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance, it’s no wonder the resort’s chefs have created a special spa cuisine restaurant too, brimming with vitaminrich superfoods and perfectly placed for a posttreatment energy boost. tajhotels.com


World Traveller // We Love the Maldives

2013 / 2014

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Value Redefined ...

The Firs t Premium All-Inclusive Resor t in Maldives‌

Lily B each Resor t & Spa a t Hu vahendhoo Sou th Ar i Atoll, The Maldives Tel: +960 668 0 0 13 | Fax: +960 668 06 46 | sales@lily beachmaldives.com | w w w.lily beachmaldives.com


World Traveller // We Love the Maldives

2013 / 2014

Anantara Veli Resort & Spa Best for... gastronomy Guests of this resort should be sure to pack their appetites – there are no fewer than seven dining options to choose from, with cuisine from all over the world. Water-side Thai restaurant Baan Huraa is renowned as the finest Thai eatery in the Maldives, and is a spectacular setting when night falls. Dine on Japanese bites at Origami, with the sand between your toes – or kick back beside the lagoon in Dhoni, where light snacks and drinks are served all day. 73 Degrees and Fushi Café offer buffetstyle breakfast and dinner – great for families with kids in tow, or couples craving a more informal dining experience. However, our favourite concept has to be Dining by Design, where a private chef will conjure up a barbecue feast in a romantic secluded beach setting – a truly ‘only in the Maldives’ experience. veli-maldives.anantara.com Resorts

Adaaran Prestige Vadoo Best for... getting out and about At the gateway to the South Atolls, this secluded spot is a mere 15-minute speedboat ride away from Male’. That gives you plenty of time and energy to explore the resort’s plethora of activities – and even the most picky adventurers will be spoilt for choice. Whale-watching takes on a new thrilling edge with the whale

submarine adventure – a state-of-theart passenger submarine which gets you up-close with the blue wonders without even wetting your feet. Budding photographers will love the resort’s photo flights: travelling at low altitude in a seaplane, you’ll be able to bag the perfect shot of paradise. Back on terra firma, the more subdued activities include desert island lunches on powdery sands and local island tours – providing a rare glimpse of the real Maldivian culture and a chance to seek out some souvenirs. adaaran.com/prestigevadoo

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World Traveller // We Love the Maldives

2013 / 2014

Baros Best for... a romantic escape If you’re seeking a truly serene break, Baros is the top spot in the Maldives: it’s an adults-only resort, so you won’t hear a peep out of place. We love the water villas here: perched over your personal patch of Indian Ocean, you can soak up the sun by day, and enjoy moon-lit private dining by night. With silk-clad four-poster beds, sink-in sun loungers and ocean-view baths, every element of these secluded boltholes is designed with romance in mind. For an adventure à deux, explore a nearby dive site to see what treasures lie below the surface – with some 30 sites nearby, you’ll be spoiled for choice. baros.com

Resorts

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Cocoa Island by COMO Best for... barefoot beach living The palm-fringed Cocoa Island is a beach-lover’s dream: whether you’re a sun worshipper or would-be Robinson Crusoe, you’ll feel right at home here. Spend your days fishing for red snapper, diving on the nearby shallow reefs, or just reclining on your private lagoon-side terrace. The quirky overwater suites are inspired by the traditional dhoni boats used by local fishermen, and are brimming with rustic chic: think all-white furnishings and homely hand-crafted touches. Better yet, you can slip straight from the suites into the glassy waters below, or paddle through the shallows to the COMO Shambhala Retreat spa. Dining is ocean-inspired too: you’ll find seafood and fish specialties in abundance, served up in the poolside restaurant or on your very own stretch of sand. comohotels.com

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Resorts


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Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru Best for... eco-friendly fun True to its Four Seasons name, this resort is among the islands’ most luxurious boltholes – and there’s a real emphasis on preserving this slice of paradise, too. The nearby Baa Atoll is a diving hotspot, busy with aquatic life and truly spectacular reef – but the resort’s marine biologists are all-too aware that the Maldives’ ecosystem is fragile, so they’re doing all they can to protect it. Guests can learn about their

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Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

Resorts

surroundings through the Marine Discovery Centre, and take guided naturalist snorkelling tours. You can even do your bit to help the cause by building a piece of the nearby artificial reef, or sponsoring your own coral frame. So you can see the good work for yourself, the resort’s five-star PADI dive centre offers courses and day trips aplenty – and there’s even a nearby shipwreck to explore, plus drift dives and manta ray experiences too. fourseasons.com


World Traveller // We Love the Maldives

2013 / 2014

Park Hyatt Maldives Best for... budding chefs The Maldives is famed for its Indianstyle fare, with fresh coconut curries and spicy grills galore. If you’re inspired by what’s on the menu at this resort, then seize the opportunity for a one-on-one cooking session with the head chef. In a team of just two adults (or four children), you’ll create a traditional Maldivian soup, curries and a whole marinated reef fish – a repertoire that’s guaranteed to impress dinner party guests when you return home. Adventurous types should try their hand at traditional Maldivian fishing, too – in a wooden dhoni using a hand line, hook, sinker and bait. If you prefer to leave dinner to the experts, The Island Grill serves spectacular authentic cuisine right on the beach. maldives.hadahaa.park. hyatt.com

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Kanuhura, The Maldives Best for... indulging little ones Great news for parents: while the majority of the islands’ kids’ clubs have a minimum age of four, children are welcomed here from the age of two – provided they’re accompanied by a parent or babysitter. The resort owners know that the whole family deserves a holiday – so there’s plenty to keep kids of all ages entertained. They can let off steam with sports and beach games, and quiet types will feel right at home in the childfriendly internet café and library. Outside, there’s a natural world of wonders at their fingertips; inquisitive kids can discover the island’s flora and fauna with the help of an expert guide. Meanwhile, you can rest easy at the lagoon-side massage pavilion or head beneath the waves on a diving excursion. Come nightfall, trained babysitters are on hand to bed your babes down, while you unwind at the beach-side lounges and restaurants. kanuhura.com

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi 24

you can guarantee the journey will be picturesque. After all that leg work, the powdery sands of this southern Best for... remote relaxation bolthole feel all the more welcoming – and the all-suite accommodation offers seclusion and serenity in Reaching this far-flung retreat calls for a sense of adventure: after landing abundance. If you can peel yourself away from your private pool or beachat Male’, it’s a 55-minute domestic side cabana, be sure to explore the flight and 15 minute speedboat ride to your destination. For a more restful watery depths with the resort’s dive centre: just off the coast lies a vast transfer, opt for the private seaplane coral reef, teeming with weird and transfer (one hour and 45 minutes) – but whatever your mode of transport, wonderful marine life. jumeirah.com

Resorts


Beach House Iruveli

AT BEACH HOUSE, DREAMS COME TRUE Today we have immersed ourselves in rich culture, uncovering deep layers of artisanal, artistic and culinary tradition. We have listened to ancient stories shared by warm local people, entranced in the magic of their world. We have been lavished with visionary service, have tasted exceptional cuisine, have explored land and sea, and been soothed by intuitive touch. And in perfect harmony, we have laughed, dancing across gentle sands warmed in celebration, as the beat of the bodu beru plays on. Here, at Beach House, we experienced the extraordinary. We invite you to do the same.

Beach House Iruveli, A Maldivian Sun | Beach House Pasikudah, A Sri Lankan Sun – opening 2014 www.beachhousecollection.com


THE MOST ROMANTIC RESORT IN THE MALDIVES

Hidden away on the south end of the rich Maldivian landscape lies the enchantingly sublime Jumeirah Dhevanafusi. Instantly informal and inviting this is where the slow pleasures of unparalleled service and luxury captivate and spoil you. With your own personal butler, the remote luxury offered by this untouched blissful hideaway is truly beyond imagination and compare.

For more information on our special Offers. Please visit Jumeirah.com or contact your local travel agent


WeLove Maldives Guide Sep'13