Hotels of the Maldives
As we approach the landing strip of the capital city of Malé, we begin to realize the extent of the Maldives archipelago: about 1200, for the most part uninhabited islands, spread throughout the Indian Ocean south of India, with a total surface of 225 square kilometers of land emerged from the surrounding water. And on some of the 202 inhabited islands, we find luxury hotels. The economic concept of the Maldives government is “one island, one hotel.” Developing upscale luxury tourism by offering concessions to international hotel groups has been the policy of the Maldivian authorities since the end of the 1980s. The result is that every year, nearly a dozen new hotels open their doors. In spite of this competition, each establishment manages to position itself differently from the others to the point that the offer is large and varied enough to satisfy all types of vacationers, including couples in search of romance, families, deep sea diving enthusiasts, lazy, laid back vacationers and fans of ecology. And so, with our sarongs and flip flops in hand, let’s embark on a journey to 17 ports of call representing the finest addresses in the Maldives.
The romantic Maldives
White sand, turquoise water, eternal sunshine, palm trees and a seemingly endless horizon are the ingredients common to all hotels in the Maldives, offering visitors a sneak preview of a veritable heaven on earth, especially popular with couples, whether they are on their honeymoon or not. Since there is almost no competition regarding the site, hotels have to invent original services and activities in order to attract guests, and a number of these establishments fully understand what couples are seeking.
“If one day,I’m asked what paradise is like, I will answer : Naladhu” . The Anantara Naladhu is an exception in the Maldives. No extravagance, no flashiness…just an atmosphere, a décor, an ambiance, a sensation: nineteen magnificent villas on a tiny, totally round island with unlimited, made to measure surface 24-7. Maldivian architect, Mohamed Shafeeq, in charge of the project, respected the wishes of the owner : to build bath houses and not bathrooms for the villas. The result is an incredible elegance and refinement.
Rather than a typically Maldivian construction, we find a contemporary and spacious architecture. This is the leitmotiv of this unique hotel which proposes villas on stilts and others on the beach. They are all gigantic with the smallest measuring 210 square meters. Since they are isolated from each other, guests have the impression of being alone in the world facing the turquoise ocean. Thanks to the combination of modern, discreet architecture and extraordinary service, the Jumeirah group’s Maldivian establishment is particularly successful.
Since this island is completely artificial, the architects created a dozen coves which form as many beaches. The 130 villas, either on stilts or on the sand, have direct and private access to the sea. A wide variety of trees assure privacy for each accommodation. The interiors were designed by Jean-Michel Gathy with warm, comfortable furniture and accessories especially created for the hotel.
Thanks to its 43 subtly decorated villas with Asian influences facing either a private beach or an infinity swimming pool, the Huvafen Fushi is a hotel made to order for romantic couples. To be fully convinced, one has to try the ultimate experience of its Per Aquum spa, the first underwater spa in the world! Couples can be massaged with only the surrounding fish looking on. It’s a truly unforgettable moment for those lucky enough to experience it.
With its glass panels, wooden partitions that disappear into the walls, large openings and the absence of doors, the decor of the Coco Palm is totally and intentionally sober and modern since when you find yourself at the end of the world, you don’t necessarily feel like living in typically local architecture. Lovers of design and purity are well served here, facing the immensity of the ocean.
A vacation in the Maldives naturally responds to the expectations of those who go there, whether it’s for a 21st century Robinson Crusoe experience, for the splendor of its ocean depths, for the delightful spas, for the variety of the gastronomy, the quality of service, the delicate nature of its décor or for the magnificent blue sky and turquoise ocean, the luxury hotels in the Maldives possess everything guests dream of in the way of services. And for those who are afraid of being bored on a semi-deserted island, a bit of advice: change the type of accommodations within the hotel, or why not stay in two different hotels? Just take advantage of the fast hydroplane shuttle service…