A Unique Maldives Paradise
by: Marie Hernandez; www.SeriouslyTravel.com
aafushivaru is a 25-minute flight over the Atolls of the Maldives. On the first day of my visit the weather was clear giving me panoramic views of gorgeous azure waters, crystal clear as far as I could see. After landing in the middle of the ocean near a floating landing pad I was greeted personally by one of the managers of the resort I would call home for the next week. A beautifully cared for wooden boat took us the short trip to the long planked walkway leading up to the reception area, adding to my anticipation for the experiencing that lay ahead. As we walked toward reception the manager explained the layout of the resort, where I would have my meals, where the all-important spa was, and where to go for activities. The resort has a unique booking system where guest can “do it yourself” on convenient iPads which I thought was brilliant! Along the walkway I saw reefs teaming with marine life and was told that some of the island’s best snorkeling could be found off the water bungalows. I was thrilled to see a baby black tip shark happily swimming in the shallows. I stepped off the wooden walkway into soft white sand and an ever-smiling staff. I was immediately handed a cool towel and tropical drink to enjoy while the check in process was taken care of. I found myself immediately relaxed; I think the fact that the common areas, including reception, was in the sand…how could you not be peaceful?! Luxurious Villa I was shown to my over water bungalow; this is what I’d been dreaming of all my life! This was my ‘get’, my travel dream and here I was, wandering around a luxurious water villa, comfortably and lavishly decorated and literally on a shallow sandy reef. Maafushivaru has three types of villas – Beach, pool and water. Each one catering to various tastes and budgets. The lush tropical vegetation that surrounds the resort along with it’s thatched roofs, and it’s small size is perfect for couples, families, and yes, even solo travelers.
Delectable Meals Mealtime is a gastronomical affair and the buffet style Cuisine Gallery offers endless options, even catering to those with dietary limitations. I’m a gluten watcher, avoiding it as much as possible. I let the head Chef know about this before hand and was delighted to find him walking me through the buffet at each meal, ensuring that I chose the correct dishes. Breakfasts were one of my favorite times as I enjoyed fresh and perfectly made Cappuccinos from the Library Lounge, a wonderful coffee house and actual library (which is also in the sand!) adjacent to the restaurant. I made it a habit of borrowing one of the various genre books each morning and leisurely enjoying my coffee and breakfast. Each night the restaurant offered a different cuisine from Mexican, to Italian, to Asian. The options were endless, plentiful, and fresh. In addition to the buffet restaurant and it’s infinite choices the resort is home to 135° East a Teppanyaki and Sushi restaurant servicing some of the freshest seafood I’ve ever had. Its house in a quaint over water open kitchen thatched roofed building a very short walk from the water villas. 43