I have just returned very relaxed after a visit to two beautiful Islands in the Maldives courtesy of Carrier.
As soon as we arrived at the new Island of Niyama, in the southern Dhaalu Atoll, reached by seaplane, we were greeted by a sea of smiling faces who welcomed us and whisked us off to our homes for 2 nights.
Mine was a new and very fresh modern water studio, packed full of the latest gadgets and gizmos including an Espresso machine, Ipad, and a mini bar to die for. There was also a full sized fridge stocked with everything you could wish for should you be feeling a bit peckish ! . I had just enough time to quickly explore the room, take in the breathtaking view, and change into something more fitting for a walk around the Island.
Niyama has a very chic feel to it, from the trendy bar (complete with DJ) on the top deck overlooking the pool to the underwater nightclub for the super cool.
All of the latest gaming products for younger, and not so young, guests are also available. We had an afternoon of rain and just had to sample the Wii and PS3 games on huge screens in Active, a great place to escape the odd shower or the hot sunshine.
Dining at Niyama is varied, and all excellent. There is the all day dining at Epicure for International cuisine, a deli for ‘grab n go’ snacks, Edge an exclusive overwater restaurant (only accessible by boat), and my favourite Tribal . This is a very different dining experience for the Maldives, mixing Africa, Asia and South America in a modern campfire setting with outdoor kitchen, where you are encouraged to learn about the food as well as enjoy eating it.
We enjoyed 2 lovely days here before heading back to Male by floatplane, and then taking a 30 minute speedboat transfer to Huvafen Fushi in the North Male Atoll.
The Island, small, and just re-opened after a refurbishment immediately blew me away. As soon as we stepped off the boat onto the perfect white sand there was an instant feeling of relaxation. With its established vegetation it manages to make a small island feel spacious, but at the same time feel intimate and private. I popped my shoes into my bag and didn’t need them again until we left. The staff were welcoming, friendly, and so attentive.
I have to tell you about my room as we were lucky enough to be able to experience the Ocean Pavillion’s – Wow! - Two buildings on stilts, way out to sea at the end of a private jetty, each with two bedrooms, full kitchen, dining room, lounge with indoor/outdoor pool, bar (not mini) and a double sun deck with pool jacuzzi and an array of day beds. The view ……. just ocean. Definitely fit for a star.
I would have been more than happy with one of the gorgeous, well equipped, beach villas. To step out of your front door right onto the white sand, and then into the turquoise ocean was idyllic and if that’s not enough there is a plunge pool in a private courtyard alongside your own outdoor shower.
Food here is top class with everything from Lobster in the overwater restaurant Salt to pizza from their own ovens on the beach.
The highlight here for me was the underwater spa room. Imagine having a massage whilst surrounded by marine life….. simply magical. The experience continued after the treatment as we sipped fruit tea, on a huge white leather bed, with all manner of fish swimming by.
All too soon it was time to put my shoes on and step back onto the speedboat. I have so many photos and memories which I would love to share. I will have no hesitation in recommending either of the two Islands, Niyama or Huvafen Fushi, each with something special to offer.