After a 3 year absence from the Maldives, I found myself speeding across its calm waters on a speed boat and being reacquainted with the sea’s varying shades of deep grey-blue, turquoise and aquamarine. Along the way I saw a pod of spinner dolphins and flying fish skimming the surface of the water. The Maldives is indeed a very special country in so many ways.
Unspoiled natural beauty
When we open, Maalifushi will be the only resort on Thaa Atoll. This means that there has been hardly any wear and tear from the normal tourism activity found in resorts closer to Male. The environment is pristine! An initial survey has confirmed reported sightings of blue whales, mantas, hammer heads and the divers’ Holy Grail: the whale shark, AKA the largest fish in the world. The same survey also reported that the coral was among the most unspoiled in the country.
Set in a wide lagoon on the south west of the atoll, Maalifushi is endowed with much natural beauty. So lush is the vegetation that visitors arriving may be forgiven for thinking the island is uninhabited but for the overwater structures extending beyond the islands’ 800 metre length. Only the odd tell-tale thatched roof piercing the canopy gives this away. Once on Maalifushi, natural white sand paths snake through green shaded corridors linking resort buildings which have been designed to blend in with the natural feel of the island.
Maalifushi is flanked by two small but pristine uninhabited picnic islands presenting opportunities limited only by imagination. We’re picturing picnics, children’s treasure hunts, BBQ lunches, surfers’ sundowners and a possible exclusive sleepover with beachside campfires... maybe even a tree house!
Surf and spa
The COMO Shambala wellness centre will offer everything expected of this well-known international brand. Eight over water pavilions large and luxurious enough to be accommodation villas and a sunrise yoga pavilion, complement the land-based fitness areas equipped with the latest Pilates equipment.
The dive and water-sports centre will be the one-stop-shop to organize activities: you can get your mask and fins so you can head straight out on the house reef, book a space on the daily sunset cruise, go fluro-torch night snorkeling, or sail a catamaran.
In a country that is considered to be the fifth best surf destination in the world, it is a delight to discover that Thaa Atoll is home to some of the best surf breaks in the country. Maalifushi plans to take full advantage of this and provide surf friendly services through local guides, expert tuition, photography services and beachside campfires with a cold beer to reflect on the day’s activity.
Family friendly fun
In Maalifushi, the villas are located equally on land and over water. The beach villas and suites have their own pool and secluded private gardens, making them ideal places for parents to experience quality family time with their children. In addition, organized activities for children designed to stimulate imagination and learning mean a break for the grown-ups to head out for a dive.
The free form 50 metre long pool is flanked by the all-day dining restaurant “Madi”, a multi-sectioned bar called “Thila” divided into a social square, sand floor lounge, decking and a cool lounge for the tweens furnished with pool-tables, games and an enormous TV. In between is the wood-fired pizza kitchen which will no doubt find favour with many looking for a level of beach informality.
Loving what you do
It is so great to be part of a place when you can see so much of what you yourself would enjoy. I would expect to come away after a stay at Maalifushi with a sense of seeing the beauty of the Maldives environment at its best, gaining an insight into its culture, and appreciating the adventure of new experiences.
Helping our guests to experience all this when they start arriving in October is something I eagerly look forward to.
Maalifushi by COMO is our newest island resort in the Maldives, located in the Thaa Atoll. It is due to open in October, and for more information you can visit its website.