Sunseekers in The Indian Ocean
Business Traveller UK|December 2021 - January 2022
As temperatures drop in Britain, escape the shorter days and cold weather by heading to the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean for a relaxing break
By Hannah Brandler. Photographs by GG Archard, Elsa young
Plans for winter sun in 2020/21 may have been scuppered by the ongoing pandemic, but with the vaccine rollout and easing of restrictions around the world, now’s your chance to explore recently reopened, new and renovated properties across the Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Zanzibar and Madagascar – from exclusive private islands to boutique boltholes and resorts specialising in watersports and other fun activities.

MALDIVES

OBLU RESORTS, NORTH MALÉ

Best for: All-inclusive packages Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts is set to debut two brand-new resorts in its Colours of Oblu brand in the North Malé Atoll next year. The adults-only Oblu Select Lobigili will open in February on Lobigili island – known as ‘Island of Love’ in the Maldivian language of Dhivehi. It will feature 68 chic beach and overwater villas, three restaurants (including one underwater), two bars, a spa, and an overwater gym. Guests can opt for the Lobi Plan which includes all meals, daily snacks, unlimited beverages, spa services, excursions, a selection of non-motorised watersports and a fully stocked minibar. A month later heralds the arrival of Oblu Xperience Ailafushi, a 268-villa, family-friendly resort with activities including a Kids Club, Zumba classes, and a 15-metre theatre and entertainment centre (to follow in June). Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts currently operates eight resorts within the Maldives. atmospherehotelsandresorts.com

VELAA PRIVATE ISLAND, NOONU ATOLL

Best for: Privacy and high-tech experiences This ultra-luxe resort comprises 47 private villas, houses and residences, with a maximum occupancy of 134 people. The resort has recently invested in new facilities and experiences to coincide with the return of guests following the pandemic – these include a new padel tennis court and Krash Predator jet-ski, while wellness practitioners have joined the property to provide integrative body work, sound healing and mind training workshops. Existing highlights include an aquatic hoverboard which reaches speeds of 16 miles per hour, and an aquatic jetpack that uses water pressure to send riders 30 feet high. Meanwhile, dining venues range from the all-day Athiri restaurant and Avi poolside bar to fine dining options and Japanese teppanyaki accompanied by wines from the island’s cellar. velaaprivateisland.com

MAURITIUS

LUX GRAND BAIE RESORT AND RESIDENCES

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