A quiet, upscale, luxury resort nestled in the turquoise waters of the Indian ocean, Furaveri Maldives, felt like a dream come true.
-Tanya Sehr Godinho
The excitement kicks in high above as the bright blue sky turns into shades of sea green. Flying over the Maldives, it takes a second to realise the magic, allure and thrill you’re in for. Even at midday, with the sun burning a disc above, the water is surprisingly cool and clear as glass. As we landed in Male, we had a representative escort us to the sea plane departures and the ride was an adventure in itself! Overlooking the beautiful coral islands, cobalt blue waters and white sandy beaches, the air taxi is the fastest mode of transport to a resort and this 40-minute journey was probably the world’s most staggeringly beautiful landscape.
Set in the exotic Raa Atoll, there is a scenic, calm and incredibly bright island, Furaveri Maldives. As we landed in clear emerald waters surrounding the property, we were welcomed in true Maldivian style with a garland and refreshment before the staff guided us in. We had a brief yet engaging conversation about the island, its offerings and the itinerary for our four-day vacation before the buggy took us to our villa. With this kind attention, Furaveri takes personalisation to a higher level and forging emotional connections with guests is their main priority.
The property is a tropical 23-hectare natural and unreclaimed island to embrace coastal vegetation. It is integrated into the natural environment; the architectural styles reflect traditional Maldivian style and coral is not used for construction or decoration. Furaveri is one of the few islands pioneering the future of sustainable luxury. Since its inception, the philosophy and values that shaped this unique resort have been the same – nature, wellness and culture.
On our way to the Beach Pool Villa, we couldn’t help but notice rich greenery and warm inviting white sand with a combination of banana, screwpine and coconut trees spread across the property. The villa has a 13-metre pool, minibar, a designated work area and private access to the beach. It is ultra-spacious and offers uninterrupted peace and indulgence, just what we needed! If privacy and seclusion matter, this is the place to be. An open bathtub overlooking the first splash of rain with a glass of wine almost felt surreal and perhaps nothing beats the view from the room, where we sat back and watched a starry night reveal itself.
Life on the island is easy. In the Furaveri bubble, we didn’t have to worry about getting around, meals or activities. The Wellness Village is built around a unique local village concept that creates a balance for the body, mind and spirit. The pavilions have ponds filled with water lilies and tropical fish, creating a magical environment and the perfect setting for an unforgettable massage. Our exceptional therapists, Hany and Pili, left us a lot more relaxed than the day we arrived. They even gave us a new hairdo with braids and flowers! The ever-smiling staff are always there to greet you and guide you no matter where you are on the property and that’s one of the many memories I took home.
All our meals were taken care of at the main restaurant, Jaafaiy, which offered an interesting mix of international cuisines. Through our stay we tasted everything from Mediterranean and Japanese to Italian and Maldivian, but what made me feel homely was the wide selection of Indian dishes served at every meal. Furaveri also has two specialty restaurants over the reef edge, offering Asian fusion and Mexican food.
We took the dolphin cruise one evening, along with fellow travellers from the property, and witnessed the real beauty of Maldives as we sailed through local islands and watched the sun set below the horizon. The cruise started well before golden hour and as we steered into waves of orange, we saw different shades of grey, breaking the water surface rhythmically with soft and shiny skin, a dolphin pod! The crew had organised platters of fresh seafood and drinks to go with this lively experience.
My vacation highlight remains the 24-hour bar, Udhares, adjacent to the main restaurant and pool area, overlooking the ocean. They have a new theme every night and we thoroughly enjoyed our time here playing billiards, table tennis and dancing until the end of DJ night. The day before we left, the staff had organised a Maldivian special. They came together as a community, in local costumes serving homegrown delicacies with dance performances and group songs. It was the perfect way to end our holiday, with a glimpse into Maldivian culture. Luckily, we chanced upon Neeraj Chopra, Olympic champion, holidaying with his brother at Furaveri and they were happy to be clicked with fans!
Our takeaway from the island was the experience, not just the comfort of rooms, but feelings and interaction along with ambiance and intimacy. Furaveri has an edge in emotional character and all the ingredients for a memorable holiday experience.