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What to expect in a Maldives villa

in Destinations by

When is a villa not a villa? When you’re booking a luxury Maldives getaway, it can be hard to know exactly what it is you’re booking. Villa, suite, bungalow, residence, condo, resort… everywhere you turn someone is using a different word to describe the same thing, or what you thought you were looking turns out to be something different.

So to help you out, here’s a quick cheat sheet to help you choose.

Resorts

Being made of up of more than 1,192 islands, the Maldives is rich pickings for private resorts from the big hotel brands. On the larger islands, you’ll find them lining private stretches of beach, only accessible to guests. More exclusive resorts take a smaller island to themselves, so the only people you’ll see on the island are other guests or staff of the resort.

Either way, they’ll offer a full service with restaurants, a bar and facilities for guests, plus a range of rooms, from hotel style blocks to free standing suites.

Bungalows & water villas

This is usually resort-speak for watertop, stilted suites. It’ll usually include a spacious, en-suite room, plus a balcony with stunning views across the Indian Ocean. More premium suites might feature a separate living space or dressing room as well. Some resorts may use this lingo for detached suites on the shore with a private pool.

They’re still part of the resort, so the accompanying dining options will be the resort’s house restaurants and bars.

Residences

What you might identify as a villa (if you’re European) or a condo (if you’re from North America). The Amilla Beach Villa Residences are four-, six-, and eight-bedroom properties, with their own stretch of crystal white sand beach and private pools, and fully self-sufficient with kitchen, bar and facilities.

The Amilla Beach Villa Residences are on a tiny swathe of land in the Baa Atoll, to the north of the Maldives archipelago. There are eight villas in the collection: six with four bedrooms, the six-bedroom Amilla Villa Estate, and the eight-bedroom Great Beach Villa Residence. The expansive pool-side terraces lead down directly on to each villa’s private stretch of pristine beach.

Each villa is run by a team of staff, headed up by the katheeb (or housemaster) who’s responsible for overseeing guests’ stay at Amilla’s residences,

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Maldives Spa Massages and More

in Wellness by
Comfortable loungers at Maldives beach

It’s hard not to relax at Amilla Beach Villa Residences, surrounded by the pristine sand and glassy waters of the Maldives’ Baa Atoll. But to go the extra mile, check out the Residences’ Javvu Spa.

Everything on offer at Javvu Spa reflects its commitment to the three pillars of wellness: movement, spirituality and spa. The menu offers a holistic approach, with a wide variety of fitness classes and wellness consultations to boost body and mind, and a carefully chosen range of the best therapies harnessing powerful techniques from around the world.

MOVEMENT

A luxury villa retreat on a tropical island paradise may not be the first setting that springs to mind when your goal is getting into shape, but Javvu Spa at Amilla Beach Villa Residences is the perfect place to boost your fitness level. The Maldivian Warrior Workout, for example, makes use of the natural surroundings on Baa Atoll to target different muscle groups; climbing, pulling and pushing against trees on the beach, and sea swimming to increase resistance. There’s also powerful kickboxing classes, to whip yourself into shape, and functional training to build up strength in the muscles you use day in, day out.

SPIRITUALITY

Of course, we could file yoga and Pilates away under movement and fitness; they’re both proven techniques for improving muscle strength and flexibility. But start the day with a round of sun salutations on a yoga deck in the Indian Ocean, and even a hardened sceptic of yoga’s spiritual benefits will crumble. Private sessions in Javvu Spa’s yoga pavilion focus on breathing and meditation to bring you to a state of complete calm and presence.

Maldives massage at Amilla

SPA

Saving the best until last. Javvu Spa’s highly skilled therapists are trained in the Pure Massage Style as well as being fully committed to giving you the best quality treatments with your preferences in mind.

Pure Massage, designed by London-based massage expert Beata Aleksandorowicz, is rooted in the Swedish Massage style, perhaps one of the best-known massage techniques and for good reason. It focuses on healing muscles, with long, gliding massage strokes that follow the direction of blood circulation around the body. These movements not only work out the knots and tensions in muscles, but also decrease toxins and improve circulation,

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Maldives with Kids

in Families by
Maldives with kids - Amilla Beach Villa Residences

Not just for lovers, these enchanted islands also set the scene for idyllic family holidays. While not all resorts in the Maldives are kid-friendly, some, such as the stunning Amilla Beach Villa Residences are heaven-sent for family holidays.

Invite your kids to experience an island escape with endless things to do and tons of independence in a world-class destination. Don’t worry, it’s a relatively small island and you’ll all be looked after royally.

AMILLA BEACH VILLA RESIDENCES, MALDIVES

This sublime family holiday destination in Baa Atoll is a UNESCO Biospere Reserve with pristine beaches surrounded by the richest marine life in the Maldives. Powdery white sand begs to have sand castles built upon it, hermit crabs play hide and seek, boat docks call for exploration, pools invite swimmers, bikes need riders. Nature lovers can snorkel, dive, join a turtle safari, go dolphin watching or swim with mantas.

If that doesn’t appeal to the whole family, let your kids discover the fun of Sultan’s Village Kids Club, a mini resort just for them with a wade pool, whimsical playground and plenty of sand. The air-conditioned fully-supervised club house is packed with toys and games.

The Kids Club team have come up with all kinds of fun activities to keep children of all ages entertained for hours. From island-wide treasure hunts to pizza making and snorkeling trips, they are the pros on things to do with kids in the Maldives.

Bigger kids and teens in the Maldives may prefer hanging out at Empire Beach Club where they can shoot pool, play table tennis or get into arcade games, football, volleyball and frisbee. Watersports like wake boarding, parasailing, jet skiing and kayaking are also a guaranteed hit!

There are plenty of eateries for everyone to enjoy. Kids love the relaxed tropical vibe of The Baazaar with its collection of restaurants fanning out around a giant infinity pool.  There is something for everyone, with options including The Fish and Chips Shop, Joe’s Pizza, Barolo Grill, and Wok. Many parents love holiday multi-tasking here, gazing with heart-shaped eyes at their independent happy children whilst enjoying adult company and cocktails expertly prepared by mixologists at the Baazaar Bar.

Going for a family holiday in the Maldives doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy a romantic candle lit dinner on the beach,

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Scuba Diving in the Maldives

in Recreation by
Scuba Dive Site in Maldives Baa Atoll

AN UNDERWATER DREAM COME TRUE

Don’t let the name deceive you. Diving in the ‘MalDIVES’ is anything but mal! Teeming with marine life, the 1,190 tiny islands of the Maldives lie scattered across 800 kilometres of Indian Ocean like jewels escaping from an overturned treasure chest. And they offer some of the best diving in the world.

As the Indian Monsoon Current sweeps across this equatorial island chain, it brings with it nutrients that feed the soft corals and sponges found clinging to rock walls. Caverns and overhangs dotted with mysterious, vibrantly coloured creatures line the ocean channels, while rock pinnacles extend to the water’s surface within crystalline lagoons.

These coralene islands are home to some 900 species of fish. While manta rays, whale sharks, turtles and eels co-exist below the waves, stunningly white beaches provide a dreamscape for visitors looking to get away from it all.

The blissful Baa Atoll is a prime pick for when it’s time to tick ‘Diving in the Maldives’ off your bucket list.

“The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish” – Jaques Cousteau

Diving Baa atoll is an experience like no other. Designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in June 2011, it is the jewel on the necklace that is the Maldives. The atoll is situated on the west of the archipelago and experiences far fewer visitors in comparison to its southerly neighbours. From above, the 61 islands – half of which measure less than 10 hectares – resemble extra-terrestrial orbs spread out over a deep blue canvas. Close up, they offer heavenly visions overflowing with stunning natural beauty.

Our top pick in Baa Atoll is the less-than-one-kilometre-long Amilla Fushi, which translates to ‘your island home’. This quintessential paradise island boasts some of the best dive sites in the Maldives and can be reached in under a half an hour by seaplane from Malé International Airport. From Amilla Fushi, visitors have the opportunity to dive any of the 30 sites of the Baa atoll, including the Blue Hole and world-renowned Hanifaru Bay.

To guide you in your underwater explorations is HUB (Home of the Underwater Biosphere) in partnership with luxury dive pioneers Dive Butler International. Their team includes an international group of highly qualified marine conservationists and dive professionals who can tailor excursions to meet your needs.

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5 Marvellous Facts about the Maldives

in Tips by

There’s more to the Maldives than a blissful island sanctuary with glittering blue waters, private beach villas on sugar-white beaches and coral reefs that teem with exotic marine life. Here are five facts about the Maldives that might just surprise you.

maldives-coconuts1. Coconut suspected of rigging an election

In September 2013, a questionable young coconut found loitering and acting suspiciously outside a polling station during the island nation’s presidential elections was detained by the police. Many Maldivians believe in magic, and coconuts are a common ingredient in black magic spells and rituals. A magician was called to examine the coconut for any threats and curses. Luckily for the coconut, the magician concluded it to be innocent. It was subsequently told it was free to walk – or roll.

maldives-literacy-rate
2. One of the most literate countries in the world

The Maldives boasts one of the highest literacy rates among adults in the world at 98%. Since residents are spread over 200 inhabited islands, a unified education was difficult. However, the nation understood the importance of education for their future success and, with the aid of UNICEF, a unified education programme was created. The internet was used for long distance teaching and children, parents and caregivers were all urged to take an active role in education.

whale-maldives

3. A whale-watcher’s dream

The Maldives ranks as one of the top five places for whale- and dolphin-watching in the world, with 23 different species of cetaceans having been recorded in its waters. Trips run all year round and it’s not uncommon to spot up to 2,500 of whales and dolphins in a single outing. From dwarf sperm whales, false killer whales to real killer whales, you will also see bottlenose dolphins, striped and spotted dolphins and pilot whales. If you’re lucky, you might also see the world’s largest fish, the Whale Shark, cruising the crystal-clear waters of the Maldives.

atoll-maldives4. The Maldives have some of the smallest islands on earth

Apart from its popularity as an amazing island destination, the Maldives is also famous for having some of the tiniest islands on the planet. There are about 1,200 islands in the Maldives and the largest island barely reaches 6 kilometres long. Elite Havens’ Maldives villas are on Amilla Fushi, a tiny less-than-one-kilometre-long jewel of an island on the edge of the Baa Atoll,

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