Isolation inspiration: Maldives

BBC Good Food ME|May 2020

Isolation inspiration: Maldives
What will travel look like when we’re able to vacation again? We’re thinking somewhere secluded, away from the crowds – say, in the middle of the Indian ocean. Use your time in lockdown to start planning for when the world’s in a healthier place. Whether it be for an island-hopping adventure or a long-stay at an isolated resort, we have three tempting picks to choose from in the Maldives.
Sophie Voelzing

WHERE? Naladhu Private Island Maldives CY

WHAT’S IT LIKE? Unwind in blissful seclusion at Naladhu, an ultra-exclusive private island resort boasting just 20 villas, or houses as they’re known here.

All about privacy and personalisation, Naladhu’s key messaging centers around making each and every guest feel at home, and from the moment your speedboat transfer from Male Airport arrives at this island, that’s exactly how you’re made to feel, at home.

No check-in desk faffing happens at Naladhu, as each guest is escorted directly from the boat by foot – not a car in sight – to their house, where the hasslefree admin takes place alongside welcoming refreshments of freshly baked cookies, juice and cooled towels. From here and for the entirety of a stay, all guests receive a 24-hour dedicated butler, with a dedicated employee to ensure familiarisation.

All houses feature private pools, and come with the option of being ocean-facing or on a private beachfront, or if you want the best of both worlds, you can opt for the two-bedroom residence that offers a slice of each. The décor in each of the houses is homely and elegant – making you feel like you’ve just arrived at a timeless beach house of dreams – the place you never want to leave, and where memories to last a lifetime are made.

Inside your very own secluded sanctuary, you’ll find everything you need – if you didn’t want to leave your house for duration of the stay, you’d be able to do so more than comfortably. The spa even comes to your home if you’d like to enjoy a treatment in-villa.

Pools within the houses are large enough for length swimming, but if a dip in the ocean sounds better, each house comes with its own private beach hut and set of beach loungers reserved just for you a few minutes’ walk from home.

What’s great about Naladhu is that it’s part of a lagoon of three sister resorts – Naladhu being the smallest and most exclusive. The other two resorts, which are accessible by shuttle boats whenever you need them, are Anantara Veli and Anantara Dhigu.

Guests at Naladhu are able to explore all three islands and their F&B offerings, while guests of Veli and Dighu are only able to visit Naladhu upon request or for a special dining experience.

When it comes to dining at Naladhu, experiences are intimate and tailored to all tastes and dietary requirements.

“It’s all about personalisation and ensuring that a guest’s requirements are always met. Guests are able to request specific ingredients that they’d like to enjoy, and if they are staying for a long time we can even get the special produce for them during their stay upon request,” said Cluster Executive Chef Christof Egli.

Unlike most resorts, breakfast served in-house is included in the price and is available at any time you’d like it.

For when you may want to venture out, intimacy can still be maintained at a picnic set up by the Naladhu team on a nearby deserted island, or dinner by candlelight on a sandbank or coconut grove.

On-island, because most dining is done within the residence, privately or on the sister islands, Naladhu features just one restaurant and lounge, known as The Living Room. It’s a relaxing, welcoming space where guests can wander in for a bite at any time of day and enjoy a varied menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Over on Veli and Dighu, expect to find modern Japanese cuisine at Origami, signature Thai at Baan Huraa, international menus and Maldivian highlights at Fushi Café, grilled meat & seafood delights at Sea.Fire.Salt., and authentic Italian dining at Terrazzo. There are also a couple of bars that are situated perfectly for sundowners, or afterdinner drinks.

Whatever your culinary preferences may be, there’s certainly something for everyone at Naladhu.

Serving all guests with ultimate privacy and exclusivity, this island offers the epitome of barefoot luxury.

VISIT: To book your stay, e-mail stay@ naladhu.com or visit anantara. com/en/naladhu-maldives for more information.

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May 2020