3 Most Unique Hotels in the Maldives
✨ LUCY EATON
We were lucky enough to spend the first part of May swanning around the Maldives on a recce. We're hoping to start offering our service as luxury holiday entertainment there, and it got us thinking about all the magnificently unique hotels and islands across the Maldivian atolls. The world's most famous honeymoon destination doesn't need to be just for loved up couples; it's a great spot for families and groups of friends too. And with all-inclusive bars to provide sundowners, tennis courts to work up a sweat on and beach-side cinemas for catching the latest blockbusters, it's a sure fire winner for any holiday makers. We've been inspired by our stay on Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu and scoured the internet to find the 3 hotels/islands with offerings that make them stand out from the rest.
For up-close turtle experiences...
If you want all the luxuries of a classic Maldivian holiday (ocean front villas, spa treatments and delicious fresh fish dinners) but with the added benefit of a little environmental philanthropy, head to Coco Palm. Not only is the entire hotel sustainably-minded, but the island is home to the Olive Ridley Project, a marine turtle rescue centre that provides veterinary care and rehabilitation to injured sea turtles rescued across the Maldives.
The rescue centre opened in 2017 and has already treated 68 turtles in its first two years. While we were staying on the island, they were actually over-capacity but couldn't bear to turn any turtles away. We checked in every day to see how our flippered friends were doing and it was incredibly rewarding to be able to drop in on such an important and wonderful centre at any point; on one afternoon we were even able to travel out on a boat with a healed turtle, to be present in the water when it was released back into the ocean. The experience was incredible and utterly unique to this island. It certainly opened our eyes to the issues surrounding ghost netting and gave us the chance to see some of these beautiful beasts up close every day.
2. SONEVA JANI
For private water slides...
Brought to you by Sonu and Eva Shivdasani, the couple behind superior Maldivian success Soneva Fushi, this new opening for 2019 is located on the island of Medhufaru in a 5.6 km lagoon in the Noonu Atoll. Soneva Jani features three and four-bedroom water villas that open onto their own stretch of lagoon, each with a retractable roof to allow stargazing from you very own bedroom. Having spent a week baking in the Maldivian sun though, I can say with certainty that my favourite feature above all others are the water slides that some villas have from the top floors. After a little sunbathing, release your inner child and slip into the turquoise lagoon below via water slide. Who wouldn’t love that?! (And if your villa doesn't come with its own waterslide, you can pay to add one!)
On the island, the magical labyrinth gardens are also a perfect location for A Midsummer Maldivian Night’s Dream. We'd love to provide a little classic Shakespeare while guests relax with a chilled glass of bubbles; the sound of the lapping waves playing as backing track to the lyricism of the Bard's best-loved comedy.
For underwater sleeping and eating...
We love a first. Here at Revels we’re the highest theatre in London and we’re gunning for a few more records with our unique personal theatrical experiences (watch this space). When it comes to Maldivian resorts, it doesn’t get more unique than the breathtaking Muraka. Sitting beneath the ocean and bathed in turquoise light, the bedrooms and dining experiences here are unlike any other the Maldives has to offer.
Imagine The Tempest, played out before you on a stage surrounded by wafting coral, trigger fish and tuna. The master suite, 16ft beneath the sea’s surface, cathedral-like and shimmering above you as Prospero casts his spells to create the mother of all storms.
And if sleeping with the fishes isn't enough (don't worry - not that kind of sleeping with the fishes) you can dine in their underwater restaurant: Ithaa is also 16 ft below the waves, and features panoramic views of the surrounding coral. It won Global Restaurant of the Year in 2017 as well as Luxury Unique Experience, and we couldn't agree more.
Let us know if you've visited a particularly unique island on the Maldivian Atolls, and if you'd like us to bring some special private theatre to your holiday destination, just get in touch.