Twice Removed From Reality
Outlook Traveller|June 2019
Twice Removed From Reality

After a double-date with luxury at the Adaaran Club Rannalhi and the Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi in the Maldives, cupid strikes Manek S. Kohli two times at once.

Somewhere near the equator, right off the coast of an island, four friends danced to the upbeat ‘Zingaat’ from the movie Sairat, without a care in the world. They swayed and skipped to the music inside a villa supported by stilts over aquamarine waters, making a dance floor of the see-through glass tile bang in the middle of the room. The quartet stepped out onto the sun deck, now effectively a moon deck, for the occasional smoke and to muse on the infinite expanse of a calming, crystalclear sea. The rest of the villas formed the backdrop, but at a considerable distance. This might as well have been the group’s private island. Maybe it was.

Adaaran Club Rannalhi is the kind of resort that makes everything appear nicer that it actually is. Here, you fall more in love with your beloved, you bond better with your children. And if you are a rare friends’ group such as us in a place seemingly curated for couples— candlelights, sangrias, hammocks and quiet corners—you grow more fond of each other.

It all started that morning with local boduberu drummers and coconuts carved to resemble mice, meant to welcome us at the reception. If you know the Maldives, you know a few things: atolls with tens of coral islands, most less than a square kilometre in area. Extraordinary avifaunal and aquatic diversity. Waters in more shades of blue than can be counted. And, unfortunately, island resorts that are different and, yet, identical. Each a paradise unto itself, but not quite.

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June 2019