Review: Blue skies, sun and sand? We’re in…

Stepping onto a Maldivian island really is the closest thing to paradise that we can imagine. The picture-perfect nirvana is on the top of every honemooner’s list and in recent years – particularly for UAE residents – it has become a family vacation destination, too. With aquamarine water as far as the eye can see, set against swathes of pristine white beach and lush vegetation, you can quite literally leave your troubles behind.

For those who have been to the Maldives, it’s the type of place you think about when you close your eyes. Here, you’ll experience the highest levels of service and hospitality that the world has to offer.

One such otherworldly resort is Atmosphere Kanifushi. To reach the resort, guests land in Male’s Velana International Airport. From there, you’re greeted by a smiling representative from the hotel who whisks you off to a seaplane hangar where you take a short 20-minute ride to Atmosphere Kanifushi.

This five-star, all-inclusive resort offers the ultimate vacation for both couples and families, with a range of incredible accommodation, from luxury overwater villas – complete with private plunge pools – to beach villas with direct access to the shore. Prices start from Dhs2,393 per night (all-inclusive) for a standard sunset beach villa.

Things to do in Atmosphere Kanifushi

1. Snorkel or scuba dive

In the Maldives, water is the way of life. For the locals it is how they get products delivered – where they get their food and how they make their money. For tourists, it’s how they arrive at the resort and where they have their fun. Whether you simply snorkel around the lagoon, or you choose to scuba, you’re guaranteed to see colourful fish, green turtles, manta rays and even some reef sharks.

2. Cycle around the island

One of the most enjoyable things to do on the island is to hire a bicycle from the resort’s reception and head off exploring. Meander past the waves crashing against the shore and on through the island’s dense forest, and you’ll feel like you’re starring in your own love song music video. It’s truly epic.

3. Set sail on a sunset cruise

Not all cruises are created equal. But a sunset boat ride cruising around the calm waters of Kanifushi island has to be one of the very best. You’re almost guaranteed to see a pod of playful dolphins who seem only too happy to put on a show. Watch them race alongside the boat or spin up in the air as you enjoy sundowners from the top deck.

4. Visit Akiri Spa by Mandara

Nothing accomplishes relaxation quite like a good day at the spa, especially when your beautiful treatment room features wide open windows that welcome a sea breeze. The holistically-focused spa menu features a range of treatments fusing spa traditions from India, Bali, Hawaii and Thailand. Be sure to add on one of the resort’s signature body scrubs, which are prepared daily using natural ingredients from the island.

Where to eat

1. Pier Six

Pier Six is the resort’s romantic overwater restaurant that specializes in freshly-caught seafood, such as steamed lobster or banana-wrapped reef fish. Alternatively, bag a seat at the Teppanyaki counter and watch the skilled chefs put on a show as they prepare your food.

2. Ceylon Bliss

There are serious Castaway vibes at Ceylon Bliss, which serves up delicious Sri Lankan street food from a rustic wooden shack, tucked away among the dense forest trees.

3. Just Veg

There’s never been a better time to be meat-free in the Maldives. At Just Veg, the country’s first vegetarian-only restaurant, diners are welcome to try a range of Mediterranean, Arabic and Indian specialities. Trust us, you won’t miss the meat.

Where to rest your head

1. Overwater Villas

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If you’re aiming for the wow factor, book one of the Overwater Villas, which come with heir own infinity plunge pool and look out over the ocean.

2. Sunset Villas

Can’t decide between a private pool or direct access to the beach? Opt for the Sunset Beach Villa with its own pool and the beach beyond. We love the open-air bathroom.

Travel rules and guidelines

To travel to the Maldives you will need to have a PCR test within 96 hours before your departure. You’ll also need to fill out a Health Declaration form to travel to the Maldives, and fill it out again before travelling back to Dubai. You’ll also be required to take a PCR test three days before your return. This should be provided by your resort.

Atmosphere Kanifushi, Maldives, prices start from Dhs2,393 per night (all-inclusive). atmosphere-kanifushi.com

Images: Provided