UK TRAVELLERS HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE GREEN LIGHT TO VISIT THE MALDIVES
Travel to the Maldives has finally been granted with the implementation of a ‘travel corridor’, meaning UK travellers can have a quarantine free winter sun escape. Tourists simply need to provide evidence of a negative PCR test issued no more than 96 hours prior to departure and then they are free to enjoy everything this wonderful destination has to offer. From crystal clear waters and guaranteed sunshine to unbeatable snorkelling and world class hotels, it is perfect for winter sun seekers of all ages. Below we have rounded up some of our favourite properties to travel to…
*Top tip: Fly directly with British Airways to avoid quarantining on arrival
BEST FOR…ECO WARRIORS
SIX SENSES LAAMU – A LEADER IN MARINE CONSERVATION & SUSTAINABILITY IN THE MALDIVES
*BOOK DIRECTLY AND SAVE 30% OFF THE ROOM RATES WITH THE EXTENDED SUMMER 2020 OFFER*
The Maldives: where instantly, Robinson Crusoe-esque visions of crystal-clear water and endless stretches of blue spring to mind. In the virtually uncharted territory of the Laamu Atoll, Six Senses Laamu is an understated island paradise of stunning natural beauty that is passionate about preserving the biologically diverse reef communities that surround it. Located just 5˚ north of the Equator, the island is encircled by clear turquoise waters that are home to an array of sea creatures, plants and coral. It is this scenery and wildlife that Six Senses would like to preserve for future generations through sustainable operations and tourism. The island’s flora, fauna and reef have survived for millions of years without human assistance, and Six Senses Laamu adopts a ‘non-interference’ approach. Megan O’Beirne the Sustainability Manager is on hand to meet eco-conscious guests and talk them through sustainability initiatives at resort – from the Earth Lab to the organic gardens to all the wonderful marine work that that The Maldives Underwater Initiative (which is made up of resort marine biologists and three partners, the Manta Trust, Blue Marine Foundation and the Olive Ridley Project) does for marine conservation. At the resort, the 97 sustainably-built villas are strung along the powder soft beach or hover lightly above the crystalline lagoon waters and all have that essential Maldivian ingredient – sublime tropical views. Dining is world-class, with six bars and restaurants, an ice cream studio, a wine cellar and deli. For water lovers, the world-class Yin-Yang surf break is located just offshore. Wakeboarding, diving, water-skiing and windsurfing are all also available. Snorkelling from the Chill Bar is fantastic, where playful Spinner Dolphins enjoy regular morning and evening swims in the atoll. Those looking to truly unwind can enjoy the exceptional Six Senses Spa set right on the beach, surrounded by the island’s natural vegetation. Here, highly skilled Six Senses Spa therapists and Visiting Practitioners use natural products to provide a comprehensive range of award-winning signature treatments and locally specialised holistic treatments.
HOW: Six Senses Laamu is offering an extended summer 2020 offer based on a minimum seven-night stay. The offer includes 30% of the BAR rates, 30% off domestic round-trip Malé to Laamu flights, an additional saving of 10% when you book 30 days in advance, a half-board upgrade, and a 30-minute Six Senses Spa Signature massage. Valid for bookings between now and 21 December. Rates at Six Senses Laamu start from $889 (currently approx. £678) based on two people sharing a Lagoon Water Villa on B&B basis. www.sixsenses.com
PER AQUUM NIYAMA HAS AN EXCLUSIVE SCOTT DUNN EXPLORERS KIDS CLUB FOR CHILDREN AGED 12 MONTHS UPWARDS
PER AQUUM Niyama, Scott Dunn’s premier family friendly resort in the Indian Ocean, is the perfect retreat for the whole family. On two pristine islands on the Dhaalu Atoll, Per Aquum Niyama, AKA, “Nature’s Playground” takes barefoot luxury to an exotic new level. Its two islands – Chill and Play – one with a family focus, and the other dedicated to couples are a tropical paradise with lush vegetation, ivory white beaches, crystal clear waters and endless views out over the Indian Ocean. The resort is a mix of modern and traditional Maldivian design and facilities, with a distinctive edgy feel, where guests are wonderfully looked after, choosing between total privacy and an extraordinary range of activities. Children’s playgrounds don’t get more heavenly than this. The Scott Dunn Explorers kids club at NIYAMA is dedicated to children from 12 months to 12 years, making it currently the only resort in the Maldives to fully cater for younger guests. With groups spilt into four age groups with individually tailored activity programmes, it’s run by fully qualified childcare professionals and supported by local team members, with an exceptionally high ratio of carers to children. The club is open seven days a week, from 9am to 6pm, and children can take part in morning, afternoon or full day sessions. Built in a fantastic space on one of the islands, close to some of the resort’s most family friendly accommodation, the club is designed with adventurous spirits in mind. A colourful circus theme runs throughout, and facilities cater for each age range, including a dedicated sleep room for daytime siestas. The nurturing Globetrotter programme (12 months to 2 years) provides the youngest guests with toys, games and books to keep children entertained during the heat of the day, and a playground with a sandpit, water play area and see saws. Snacks are provided, and there’s a sleep room for babies and toddlers in need of a siesta. The club also provides complimentary nappies (including swim nappies) during club hours. There is a charge for children between 12 months and two years, whilst children three years and over can enjoy Explorers free of charge. Located just a 40-minute seaplane flight from Male in the South-Western Atoll of Dhaalu, NIYAMA is situated over the two idyllic islands of Embudhufushi and Olhuveli and blends traditional Maldivian elegance with a contemporary feel.
HOW: Scott Dunn offers seven nights at Per Aquum Niyama from £2,500 per person based on two people sharing a beach studio on a half board basis including flights & seaplane transfers www.scottdunn.com / 020 8682 5055
BEST FOR…EAGER LEARNERS
BAROS MALDIVES IS BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER WITH THE NEW BAROS RESIDENCE, ‘RECONNECT WITH BAROS LEARNING EXPERIENCE’, AS WELL AS A CORAL TRIBUTE TO COVID CAREWORKERS
*SAVE UP TO £535 PER PERSON WHEN BOOKING WITH ABERCROMBIE AND KENT*
Since reopening on 1 October 2020, Baros Maldives is back and better than ever. Guests now have the opportunity to stay in the brand new Baros Residence, offering enhanced privacy and space, as well as some fabulous extras. The 270sqm palatial Residence features 24-hour butler service, a lush tropical garden, an infinity pool and a sun deck with direct beach access to pristine white sand on the Eastern Shore of the island. Additionally, guests will receive return private luxury speedboat transfers from Male, as well as a bottle of champagne and welcome hamper on arrival, daily sunset canapes on your private deck, daily in-villa breakfast, Lighthouse sundowner cocktails for two on one evening and best table allocation for dinner at all outlets. As a tribute to those that have cared for us around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, a permanent mark of appreciation has been created out of regenerated coral in the island lagoon to spell out the words THANK YOU HEROES. The resort’s resident marine biologists collected fragments of living coral from the seabed that had become broken off the reefs surrounding the island. These broken pieces would not survive without this transplantation process. This tribute to health care workers in living coral is also sustainable as it serves to create new habitats for fish and other invertebrates. When visiting the resort, healthcare workers will also be rewarded with the extra benefits of a complimentary massage at the island’s Serenity Spa, a private dinner for two on the beach, champagne upon arrival, and a choice of a free scheduled excursion with social distancing observed. New visitors can be amongst the first to enjoy the new ‘Reconnect at Baros’ essence of island life experience. The special offering includes an array of popular local activities, from fishing to learning the art of cooking authentic Maldivian cuisine. The experiences have been designed to connect guests with nature, as well as providing an opportunity to learn new skills to return home with. Experiences include an ‘Ocean-to-Table-Dinner’, a traditional cooking class, a sunset fishing trip and a traditional techniques workshop to learn more about local skills, such as how to open a coconut, cook over a fire of dried palm leaves and driftwood and how to forage for food, as well as gaining an understanding of local plants and island herbs used in daily life.
HOW: Abercrombie & Kent offers seven nights at Baros Maldives from £1,450 per person saving up to £535 per person, excluding flights. Price based on two adults sharing a Deluxe Villa. Valid for travel from now until 12th April 2021. www.abercrombiekent.co.uk / 01242 386 469
BEST FOR…STYLISH ESCAPES
A SPECTACTULAR MALDIVAN RETREAT AT MILAIDHOO ISLAND
*SAVE UP TO 50% PER PERSON WHEN BOOKING WITH ABERCROMBIE AND KENT*
Milaidhoo Island Maldives is set over 13 acres atop the Baa Atoll’s beautiful UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is the ultimate Maldivian escape for stylish travellers. All villas are just a short, barefoot stroll away from incredible watersports, fitness, spa, yoga, world-class diving and three world-class restaurants, one of which – Ba’theli – is the only Maldivian restaurant in the country. Milaidhoo’s spectacular Ocean Residence and Beach Residences is some of the most sought-after accommodation in the Maldives. Water babies can opt for the breath-taking 475sqm Ocean Residence – an incredibly spacious and elegantly but authentically designed, thatched-roof villa, on stilts with unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean. There is even a ‘secret’ loft deck hidden inside the roof of the villa, which is the perfect place for guests to chill out with a glass of wine, taking in the views at the end of the over-water jetty. The completely private sundeck comes complete with swing chair, sun loungers, huge freshwater and infinity swimming pool, with steps straight into the sea, allowing guests to explore Milaidhoo’s spectacular house-reef direct from their villa. Those who prefer dry land can choose one of Milaidhoo’s two 490sqm Beach Residences, created to showcase luxurious, informal, outdoor island living. The Beach Residences comfortable, circular living rooms offer an adjoining kitchenette and views of the beach and ocean beyond. Their huge bathrooms have indoor and outdoor rain showers and separate deep bathtub. Guests of the Milaidhoo Residences receive a number of extravagant benefits during their stay, including a dedicated, 24-hour butler, Champagne on arrival, a dedicated chef to personalise all meals according to preference, a pop-up cinema experience on the deck of their villa, one private, half-day boat excursion during their stay and lots more.
HOW: Abercrombie & Kent offers seven nights at Milaidhoo from £3,269 per person saving up to 50%, excluding flights. Price based on two adults sharing a Water Pool Villa. Valid for travel from now until 22 December 2020. www.abercrombiekent.co.uk / 01242 386 469
BEST FOR: UNIMPEDED LUXURY
THE NAUTILUS, THILADHOO ISLAND, BAA ATOLL
The Nautilus is a luxury bohemian hideaway in The Maldives, located a 35-minute private seaplane journey from Malé. Situated on the reef-ringed Thiladhoo Island in the Baa Atoll, The Nautilus boasts just 26 pool villas, offering an exclusive and intimate hideaway. Each villa is palatial in size, accommodating a maximum of two adults and two children, with several multi-bedroom villas making the island a perfect choice for families or groups of friends. A choice of three restaurants awaits guests: fine dining at Zeytoun, which offers Middle Eastern/Mediterranean fusion cuisine, all-day on the beachfront at Thyme and Ocaso, which specialises in Japanese, Mexican and Peruvian cuisines. The poolside bar, Naiboli, serves delicious tapas with complimentary gourmet canapes available throughout the day. Guests can indulge in the over-water treatment rooms at Solasta Spa or enjoy a sunrise yoga session, before exploring the beauty of the Baa Atoll’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. For the ultimate luxury, guests can opt to enjoy a signature Nautilus experience, including arrival by traditional Bokkura boat, sandbank barbeques and a cinema under the stars.
HOW: Scott Dunn offers a 7-night trip to The Nautilus, Maldives, starting from £9,100 per person from November – April, based on two people sharing a Beach House on a B&B basis including international flights and private boat transfers. www.scottdunn.com (020 3131 8395)