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Located in North Malé Atoll, Pasta Point is a crazy-awesome dive spot. It’s often called a wave-machine. For good reason too, because the swells are continuous and impressive!

Pasta Point swells reach average heights of 4-6 feet. These lefthanders are not interrupted by sudden winds and often roll unbroken for a smooth ride. The waves are beautifully identical; even the 1-2 feet waves break like their taller brethren, with a satisfying curl. Plus, it’s easy to access. It’s an absolute favorite among surfers in the Maldives.

Pasta Point belongs exclusively to Cinnamon Island Dhonveli Resort. They accommodate up to thirty surfers at a time. You won’t be welcome at Pasta Point unless you book a stay at the resort. This policy ensures that the resort’s surf break is not crowded, allowing each surfer to have the full experience of Pasta Point unhindered. Besides, a stay at the four-star resort will further enrich your vacation to the Maldives, especially with some good packages.

Cinnamon Island Dhonveli Resort is just twenty minutes away by speedboat from Velaana International Airport. Cinnamon Island Dhonveli Resort offers rustic yet opulent bungalows on the beach and over water. Three adults are allowed per bungalow. The accommodation is spacious and packed with amenities, suitable also for families.

The best time to surf at Pasta Point is May through to August. That’s when southern swells are incredibly consistent, thanks to the south to southwest winds being offshore in that period. Surfers of medium and advanced skill levels will find this surf break a satisfying experience.

Pasta Point is basically made up of three points. When the time is right, and with a keen surfer’s mind, these three points can be ridden in one go. Done right, it could be an uninterrupted 100-yard ride! It’s also very close to other prime surf points: righthander swells Sultans and Jailbreak, and lefthander Honky’s, all within ten-minutes distance by boat from Cinnamon Island Dhonveli Resort.

The post Surfing Chronicles: Pasta Point appeared first on Maldives Travel Blog.

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The dawn of 13 February 1981 brought with it news of the unfortunate demise of Maldives Victory. The 35,000-ton freighter had run full-speed into the Hulhulé reef ledge and sunk, taking with it a wealth of goods.

Back then, this caused much grief. It was a staggering loss of foodstuff and supplies needed for the resorts, a blow to the budding tourism industry of the Maldives. But the passage of a few decades have changed the tune; now, the wreck is celebrated. It has become one of the best diving spots in the Maldives.

The wreck rests at the Hulhulé reef tip in North Malé Atoll. It’s one of the easiest locations to access because the Velaanaa International Airport is built on Hulhulé Island. Travelers can choose between a luxurious stay at a nearby resort or a budget stay at Hulhumalé island of Malé City.

The Maldives Victory lies 15-35 meters below the surface. Coral and sponge growth has been swift in taking over the structure. Scattered across the metallic body of the ship are soft corals rich in algae. Over time, it has attracted a variety of fish to the wreck.

The ship is 110 meter’s long with several nooks and crannies where one can drop in to experience a thrilling adventure; the cabin and stern bridge especially boasts a giddying cornucopia of marine life.

Groupers, batfish, and puffers are among the most noticeable denizens in and around the ruined ship. Schools of fusiliers and jacks swarm around, while a turtle or two forage at the railings and ledges. Moray eels lurk in shadows at the deeper end. The stern and bridge area are heavily populated as well. You can spot lionfish, squirrelfish, and hawkfish scooting around.

Maldives Victory has become a miniature reef all on its own. Compared to the busier reef nearby, the marine life can only be called average… but the sight is still surreal and vibrant. Visibility is good in the vicinity within a 10-15 meter range. But novice divers will have to keep their wits and caution about them, since the current may get a bit too strong at times.

The Maldives Victory is a magical dive that should definitely be on any divers bucket list if a visit to the Maldives is around the corner.

The post Diving for Shipwrecks: Maldives Victory appeared first on Maldives Travel Blog.

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Lhohi’s is a surfing break in the Maldives famous not only for its sweet swells but also because of the fact that it’s accessible from a resort island; Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi.

Lhohi’s breaks off of Lhohifushi, which is the name of the island the resort is developed on. The surfing break is named after the island.

Located in North Malé Atoll, you can reach the island in 30 minutes via speedboat from Velaanaa International Airport.

Surfers who flock to the surfing break also enjoy a luxury stay at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi. The lefthander swells there makes it a surfing favorite in the Maldives.

A big southeast swell at high tide connects two areas of the Lhohi’s to create an exciting barrel. While you can enjoy a good surf at any tide at this location, the barrel-ride is the best.

The swells are south and southwest in the northwest and northeast offshore winds. This means surfers can enjoy Lhohi’s from May to October.

From June to August, the waves may become a bit choppy on account of breaking too early. But for seasoned surfers, this makes the experience even better!

Newbies shouldn’t experiment at Lhohi’s. You should have at least a moderate level of skill to truly enjoy the break.

Since the surf break belongs to Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi, surfers will have to book their stay at the resort with a ‘surfers allocation’ option. This grants you access to the break.

Lhohi’s is much more crowded than other surfing spots in the Maldives. For those who love socializing and networking, this is just another addition to the advantages of this particular break.

Surfing Lhohi's - YouTube

The post Surfing Chronicles: Lhohi’s appeared first on Maldives Travel Blog.

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‘Cokes’ is one of the best surfing camps in North Malé Atoll. This world-renowned surfing spot in the Maldives is named after a Coca-Cola factory on the nearby island of Thulusdhoo.

By speedboat, Thulusdhoo is less than an hour and a half away from the main airport island, Velaanaa International Airport. The island is inhabited, with a population slightly over 800.

Guesthouse businesses boomed on the island thanks to the endless flow of surfers drawn to it by the allure of the Cokes surfing spot. In addition to Cokes, many other surfing breaks are accessible via Thulusdhoo. Two of these popular spots are Chickens and Jailbreaks.

Cokes is a surfing favourite because the reef there is really shallow. This causes some pretty impressive swells.

Surfers should be wary of the reef, especially during low tide.

Injuries inflicted by the sharp corals there will not end up well, so the more experienced you are, the better.

In fact, Cokes is recommended for advanced surfers.

Cokes is best experienced during a straight south swell with northwest winds, especially on mid to high tide. It’s easiest to avoid the strong current in the channel during high tide. The same rings true for Chickens.

The prime period of travel to Thulusdhoo and Cokes is March until October. The swells are at their peak in July and August.

Being a surfing hotspot, you’ll easily find several fellow surfers congregating there. They stay on Thulusdhoo, and head out to a tiny island that shares the lagoon to catch the waves; the island is accessible over a makeshift plank-bridge over shallow aquamarine water.

Thanks to the location of Cokes, the swells are consistent. It’s a highly recommended addition to the bucket-list of any surfing enthusiast.

Throw in the prospect of affordable guesthouses on Thulusdhoo, with its laidback rural life, and you can live a backpackers dream!

Cokes Surfing Spot - Maldives - YouTube

The post Surfing Chronicles: Cokes appeared first on Maldives Travel Blog.

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Are you crazy about diving and shipwrecks? If you are, you should head over to the Maldives, where you don’t have to be a top-notch professional diver to delve into the world of underwater ship graveyards.

The Maldivian sea is littered with ships that were wrecked either accidentally or intentionally. Over time, the skeletons of these vessels have become wondrous locations to explore.

One of the most famous shipwreck sites in the Maldives is the British Loyalty. This 140-meter-long cargo ship lies in its watery grave at Addu Atoll, the southernmost atoll.

This shipwreck diving spot is accessible after a 30-minute boat ride from Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa. A trip to this dive site will certainly spruce up your stay at the resort.

The British Loyalty lies on its side at a depth of about 33 meters. The vessel is rightly named; it met its end while in service to the Royal Navy.

It happened in the year 1944, near the end of World War 2. The cargo ship was in Addu Atoll, near the British Royal Navy base at the island of Gan.

A Japanese warship fired a torpedo that managed to avoid the submarine nets between the open ocean and the atoll waters.

The resulting explosion left a gaping hole in the side of the ship. The British Loyalty gradually filled up with water but did not sink.

After the war was over, the British Navy towed it out to an ideal spot in the atoll where it was finally scuttled. The British Loyalty sank and came to rest on its side where it has now become a diving hotspot.

In the past seven decades since it was sunk, the British Loyalty has become the foundation for rich coral growth. Hard coral is flourishing on it as well as various soft corals. The brass propeller is covered in thick black coral growth. There are two holes on the ship, one on the deck and one on the keel.

Divers can easily swim inside through these holes. It instills an exciting feeling of adventure when the flashlight illuminates the dark interior. It lights up an entirely different world.

Inside the ship, divers are greeted by schools of trevally, butterfly fish, bluestripe snappers, glassfish, and fusiliers. Other fauna includes parrotfish, wrasse, angelfish, triggerfish, and clownfish that dart among the soft corals. You can also spot groupers and even turtles.

The British Loyalty shipwreck spot is a good choice for intermediate divers as well. The current is good, and divers at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa will make sure that your dive is safe.

Diving at the location is allowed all year round.

The British Loyalty is an important bit of history for the Maldives. Soon after World War 2, the British left the Maldives. Artifacts of their memorable presence here litter the islands of Addu Atoll. But the British Loyalty is singular in its presence, powerful and beautiful even in death.

The post Diving for Shipwrecks: The British Loyalty appeared first on Maldives Travel Blog.

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Kandima Maldives has quickly built a reputation for awesomeness, barely a year since it opened its powder white beaches to tourists. Reason? It’s fun and cheap! It’s fun because it’s artsy and light-natured, and it’s cheap because of all the sweet deals it offers. Kandima Maldives is the place to be right now!

The rates are low for the modern luxury and lush experiences the resort offers. Mingled with our special offers for Kandima Maldives, your visit to one of the most coveted holiday destinations in the world won’t put a significant dent in your wallet.

Kandima Maldives offers a playfully creative ambiance

Scrutinizing Kandima Maldives makes it clear why it’s ‘your kind of place’, as their motto goes. The resort challenges the status quo on the traditional concept of vacationing in the Maldives.

Kandima Maldives is located in Dhaalu Atoll of the Maldives. Guests at the island resort can enjoy every typical hedonism the Maldives traditionally promises… which is, basically, relaxation.

But perhaps you want a bit more. Have no fear, you have lots to explore. At Kandima Maldives, you can have experiences found nowhere else in the Maldives!

World-class DJ’s belting out dance-inducing party beats at every corner. You can engage in every water sports activity invented by mankind. And at the in-house art studio, creative-juices start flowing freely. Inspiration abounds.

Other adventures that throw you into the midst of Maldivian culture includes island hopping and fishing trips along with several other excursions.

Meanwhile, HQ & Den offers solace for introverts. It’s gloriously stylish with touches of greenery. There, you can swim in a literary wonderland in the library or immerse yourselves in gameplay.

There’s no such thing as boredom on the island.

Let’s first look at the most important thing in life and how it fares at Kandima Maldives: FOOD!

 Foodies won’t be disappointed!

Kandima Maldives houses absolutely stunning restaurants.

Flavor Zest outlets are all-day dining venues located near the resort’s swimming pools. They offer market-style food from around the world. You can just drop in and grab a casual bite when you feel like it.

The Sea Dragon serves authentic Chinese cuisine with modern twists, perfect for families. Aroma is located on its very own lake, a serene little joint where you can have cake and paint with the artists. Azure is a chic beach house with casual dining.

Guests hang out at the Beach Club all day and night. They mingle and sip on homemade Mojitos, freshly squeezed juices, and granitas from the bar; it’s especially cool at sunset. At Breeze, you can have drinks and shisha with a glorious view of the infinity pool. It’s the longest outdoor pool in the Maldives at a hundred meters in length!

Smoked restaurant offers mouth-watering dishes of steaks, smoked ribs, and fresh fish from the open BBQ kitchen. They also serve vegetarian dishes. And finally, the Deli restaurant is devoted to stylish food boutique for a quick bite. Or you can order take-aways to your room.

Speaking of rooms…

Stay in spacious, beautiful villas

Kandima Maldives houses 274 studios and villa’s that are stylish and modern. There’s no conceivable shortage of accommodation choices.

They have Beach & Sky Studios, Beach Villas, and 79 Aqua Villas. Some of these picturesque villas sitting over the turquoise lagoon are exclusive to honeymooners. The rest is OK for families… but it’s best for groups of friends looking for a crazy time in the Maldives.

All the rooms are spacious and an art form in themselves.

The bars and lounges are colorful and airy. The ambiance envelops you in a warm embrace that makes you feel at home. Casual wear is encouraged (so remember to pack light, and pack smart!). You can enjoy electrifyingly good DJ’s and music anywhere on the island, as you soak in the island vibes over amazing cocktails.

Turn your vacation into a lifestyle

Kandima Maldives strives to warp your vacation into a lifestyle. It’s as if you got dropped off into a dream with a wow factor of 100%. Yet nothing feels strange or out of place.

Art connoisseurs can fully appreciate the visual treats sprinkled throughout the island resort. Kandima Maldives welcomes and offers something worthwhile to singles, groups of friends, honeymooners, couples of all ages, and families.

Adventure, sport, wellbeing, and relaxation is taken to the next level on this three-kilometer long island. Families should check out Kandiland; it offers tonnes of fun to the younger guests.

The Aquaholics water sports center will take you on rip-roaring oceanic adventures. You can jet ski and kite surf among an array of other activities. Or go scuba diving to explore the underwater wonderland that surrounds the island resort. Afterwards, you can relax at the esKape Spa.

Imagine how cool (or Kool, as Kandima Maldives stylizes) it’d be to return home with new skills under your sleeve?

You can learn to paint at the art studio. Or take pottery and local handcraft classes. You can enroll in guest photo sessions and classes at the photo studio.

Food lovers can learn to cook or make cocktails. You can also take massage classes (couples… getting any ideas?), DJ workshops, and… wait for it… dance classes!

Talk about lasting impressions. Kandima Maldives gives you skills.

In a nutshell, go for Kandima Maldives!

All in all, Kandima Maldives’ aspirations to become a unique destination in the Maldives is a breath of fresh air that does not disappoint.

The fact that family bonding, friends fun, and romance for couples are all accessible at Kandima Maldives makes the island resort all the more endearing. And of course, who wouldn’t love a vacation which rewards you with amazing new knowledge?

Play, explore, and learn from the living the life!

The post Kandima Maldives: Your Kind of Place! appeared first on Maldives Travel Blog.

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Cocoon Maldives island resort has been nominated for the prestigious 2018 World Luxury Restaurant Awards. The World Luxury Restaurant Awards incentive celebrates excellence in the field of gastronomy, from hospitality and tourism properties all over the world.

The World Luxury Restaurant Awards doesn’t solely look for the best cuisines. They also keep an eye out for the most memorable experiences, outstanding atmosphere, and top-notch services. Cocoon Maldives, designed by Italian-based LAGO, is competing for the award from the Luxury Interior Design/Architecture category. Guests of nominated hotel properties and industry professionals vote based on their personal experiences.

Cocoon Maldives is in Lhaviyani Atoll, a 30-minute seaplane ride away from the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. Located on its very own island of Ookolhufinolhu, Cocoon Maldives is developed with an elegant and modern look that compliments the surrounding tropical vibrancy. The interiors reflect the mesmerizing beauty of the marine world in the Maldives, and an earthy ambiance is provided by furniture hewn from 200-year-old Wildwood. The resort features an expansive reception pavilion, three restaurants, two bars, dive center, spa, lounge, library, gym and kid’s club.  Cocoon Maldives houses 150 villas on the beach and over the turquoise lagoon.

The fantastic interiors at Cocoon Maldives certainly deserve the award for the chic luxury they offer. The South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) recognized Cocoon Maldives as South Asia’s Leading Design Hotel on 28 October 2017, so chances are Cocoon Maldives’ impeccable decor will once again get a prestigious recognition.

The Maldives grabbed several World Luxury Restaurant Awards for 2017. The Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort, of course, won accolades for Global Restaurant of the Year, Luxury Unique Experience, and Luxury Resort Restaurant. Another notable achievement for the Maldives last year was the recognition by World Luxury Restaurant Awards of Samsara Asian Fusion at Hideaway Beach Resort and Spa, which sits on stilts over the island’s heavenly lagoon. Samsara Asian Fusion got accolades for their mouthwateringly scrumptious Asian Cuisines. Last year’s award for Fine Dining Cuisine went to Trio at Sun Siyam Irufushi, and the best Luxury Seafood Restaurant accolade went to Thila at Kurumba Maldives Resort.

The 2018 World Luxury Restaurant Awards will be announced at a Gala Ceremony on 22 August 2018.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed, wishing for a hearty success to Cocoon Maldives! If you’ve stayed there, you can contribute to the polls as well. If not, why not head over to the Maldives for a unique luxury experience? We have a special offer with some discounts at Cocoon Maldives, which is especially suitable for families with more than one kid in tow. You can also experience the award-winning Trio restaurant by booking a stay at Sun Siyam Irufushi, for which we have a sweet deal as well, suitable for honeymooners, families, and seniors.

The post Will Cocoon Maldives score a World Luxury Restaurant Award? appeared first on Maldives Travel Blog.

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Renowned for year-round equatorial sunshine and its noticeable absence of snowy winter months, tropical Maldives is the last place you’d expect to go ice skating. But you can now add that to your bucket list of holiday experiences in the Maldives; that is if you’re staying at Jumeirah Vittaveli.

This December Jumeirah Vittaveli introduced their very own ice rink to celebrate Christmas. Normally, ice rinks are constructed with a layer of frozen water on top. But since this is impractical in the Maldives where the temperature lingers between 27°C and 30°C, Jumeirah Vittaveli has come up with the novel idea of making their ice rink with artificial ‘ice’ plates which are actually made of plastic. It doesn’t require either electricity or water to function. To all intents and appearances, you can break out your ice skating moves and feel like it’s the real deal. How cool is that?

Another important aspect of the artificial ice rink is that it is environmentally sustainable. According to Jumeirah Vittaveli, the ice rink requires zero-energy levels to function. The artificial ice plates were manufactured by Swiss company Glice, which claims that their products don’t impose common problems faced while skating on artificial ice rinks, such as increased friction.

Jumeirah Vittaveli, part of the world-famous Dubai-based Jumeirah Group, is appreciated by all who choose it for their Maldives vacation for two main reasons: the impeccable luxury on offer, and the surprising rate of new developments.

“We have many guests who keep coming back to us and I often hear that one of the reasons for their returns is that they love to be surprised by our updates and developments each time they come,” said Jumeirah Vittaveli’s General Manager Amit Majumder. “Apart from the ice rink, we have some exciting changes in our rooms and dining outlets upcoming, which we will announce in the near future.”

The news of more developments in choices of accommodation is exciting in itself. Currently, the island resort boasts 43 thatched villas – each with a view of the beach and housing its very own garden and pool – along with 39 Water villas where the turquoise water of the lagoon swirls literally under your feet. By cashing in a bit more, you can stay at one of the seven Ocean Suites, which are completely secluded and accessible only by boat. Then there’s the vast Royal Residence, a completely exclusive experience with crazy perks worth the US $35,000 per night cost. Judging by Jumeirah Vittaveli’s standards, the new developments will no doubt achieve the resort’s goal to ‘always WOW guests’!

Jumeirah Vittaveli is perfect for couples and families seeking a luxury getaway that grants tropical seclusion as well as excitement. The island resort is just twenty minutes away from the main airport island by speedboat.

The post Ice Skating in the tropics at Jumeirah Vittaveli appeared first on Maldives Travel Blog.

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So, you’re all packed and ready to vacation in the Maldives. But before you run out your door, hold up, and recheck your luggage. We’ve to make sure you’ve packed smart for your holiday in the Maldives.

You see, since the Maldives is smack dab in the middle of the equator, the sun’s rays aren’t to be taken lightly. The sun is fun in the morning and evening, but at noontime can become literally scorching. If you have sensitive skin, make sure you throw in some sunblock and moisturizer into your bag. Go for a Sun Protection Factor of 30 to 50. Since a dip in the sea is obligatory once in the Maldives, sunblock is almost always a better choice than sunscreen, because it can be absorbed deeper into the skin for better protection. Get the best moisturizer for your skin as well, preferably with Aloe Vera extract (for improved healing), to rub in at bedtime so that your skin won’t be dried up like a jellyfish on a hot pan by the time you wrap up your holiday. A rash guard for snorkeling will help you avoid a burnt back.

Now it’s time to double check your choice of clothes. Heavy clothing is guaranteed to make you miserable here in the equator. Go for thin, cotton clothes. Guys will be content with loose fitting shirts and polo shirts along with boardshorts or perhaps roomy running shorts. Ladies will be delighted to wear diaphanous blouses, maxi dresses, sundresses; these are great coupled with pashmina’s or shawls thrown over bare shoulders. Kaftans and rompers aren’t bad in the Maldivian climate, either. Cram in as many swimsuits as you can. Sarongs are heavenly in the Maldives climate, for both men and women. But you can choose to overlook this item when you’re packing and buy a sarong in the Maldives when you get here. That way you’ll have a cool souvenir to take back as well.

Don’t forget to pack sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats (yes, guys as well), tank tops, and sandals or flipflops. This last is crucial: do not pack your high heels, ladies. Wedges are fine but high heels are just not going to cut it on the powdery, soft sand on the resort islands.

Your camera needs underwater casing/protection because that’s how you’re going to get the best pictures you can possibly take in the Maldives, which is underwater. Without a doubt, your Maldives holiday will be best captured by GoPro’s and drones. Your day-bag should be waterproof so that you can keep your phone safe and close by when you’re taking a dip.

You’d also need to pack some medications and supplements. If you’re prone to dehydration, pack some oral rehydration packets along with your choice of headache medication. Insects aren’t so much of a problem in most resorts, but it’ll be great if you have an insect repellant handy. Also important are antidiarrheal medication, decongestants, and allergy medications; always best to be prepared in this department. Another priority in your first aid kit should be anti-motion sickness medication. Your trip will most probably start with a speedboat transfer or a seaplane ride. Almost all excursions involve traveling on the sea. If you have a weak stomach, those anti-motion sickness pills will be a lifesaver.

Lastly, have you packed a plug or adapter for your electronics? Most resorts have standard UK three pin sockets with a voltage of 230 V and frequency of 50 Hz, but there’s no way to be sure whether you’d need flat prongs or round prongs since both kinds are used equally often in the Maldives. Make sure you pack some universal travel adapters. Examples are Bestek Travel Converter and Adapter, and the Xcords Worldwide All in One Universal Travel Plug; both are available on Amazon for reasonable prices.

You might wonder what the whole fuss is about… you might assume that you can just buy whatever you need at the resort. But, you see, each resort in Maldives sits on its very own private island. There is no assortment of malls on resort islands to choose from. Each resort houses a clinic and a couple of tiny shops. Although you will still be able to purchase some items in an emergency, you’ll have to brace yourself for the enormous price tags and the possibility that you can’t find exactly what you want. Packing smart guarantees less financial stress and hassle during your holiday.

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Like a leaf floating in a pool, Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa is a tiny patch of verdant green in the sapphire sea of South Ari Atoll. Approaching Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa, I immediately noticed the rich growths of coral that bloom under the aquamarine waves of its lagoon.

I visited the resort at a time when the winds had picked up and waves were being a bit friskier than usual. So I arrived by speedboat at the eastern jetty. From there, I was introduced to the Coral Bar. The vibrant colors and cozy décor of the bar immediately made it feel like home… a fun home! Out on the deck shaded by bright umbrellas, I could see the outdoor pool with two sculpted fish spitting up jets of crystal clear water heavenwards. There were rows of sun loungers arrayed up to where the deck abruptly ended at the edge of the lagoon. Indoors on the counter reposed trays of tasty pastries for all to grab. The comfortable seating and lovely little swings indoors made me want to sit there forever. But I perked up at the mention of the ‘E-Zone’ and absolutely had to see it.

The E-Zone sits over the Coral Bar, being a spacious area meant for recreational activities. It was a fun few minutes in there! I tried my hand at table tennis and pool, before throwing myself into the large beanbags on the floor and sinking down into its heavenly depths. In the E-zone one can enjoy computer games or read books. Younger couples on their honeymoon would surely love the hang-out area, as would children of families who visit the resort for vacation.  The gym is close by, too, along with a small sandy area in the bar reserved for cultural boduberu dances during the weekends. For a moment I wondered why anyone would want to step away from the Coral Bar and its immediate vicinity. I could just remain there for the duration of my stay and still be happy.

But apparently, there was more to the little island. I bade farewell to the Coral Bar and started off down the sandy path winding through shoreline bushes. The main Reef Restaurant was nearby with a tasteful interior and offering meals ranging from Japanese to Brazilian cuisines. There’s a teppanyaki table which has to be pre-booked, for those who need more excitement in their meals. I also passed by the Thai restaurant Suan Bua, standing by a lotus pond. I was told that there was a specialty Italian restaurant as well, the over-water Azzuri Mare. These also had to be pre-booked, a chance I would have liked to explore had I more time.

I was introduced to The Club shortly after having a look at the compact spa. The Club is an exclusive hangout for guests who may want to enjoy the luxuries of food, drink, and relaxation away from the other facilities on the island. Supplements available at The Club include a private chef and a private team of Centara staff. The area reserved for The Club is airy and regal, with a pool on which there’s an overwater dining spot. There’s a library and an air-conditioned indoor working area, along with recliners to lounge on while waiting for private lunch and dinner. The Club will suit those seeking a lavish and cossetting atmosphere, while the Coral Bar will be best suited for those who thrive in exuberance and activity. From here it was clearly safe to say that Centara Grand had something for everyone: from young to old, and singles to couples.

Beyond The Club I walked onto the timber walkways that have become a trademark of almost all resorts in the Maldives, extended out into the lagoon, a means of accessing the 112 water villas flanking the island. The Sunset Ocean Pool Villa, Deluxe Water Villa, and Ocean Water Villa are all breathtakingly quaint, perfectly whitewashed little love-nests for honeymooners. Each villa has a terraced area with outdoor shower, sun loungers, and stairs leading down to the sea if the tenants spontaneously wanted a dip. The Ocean Water Villa is the highest you could aim for, with its very own private pool and absolute privacy.

The Family Water Villas are located further south of the island. They’re markedly different from the others, having safety features such as railings around the terrace. The 93 square meter rooms have bunk beds for kids, PlayStation gaming setup, Jacuzzi, and free wireless internet access. With in-villa dining available around the clock, families will find a lot of time saved while getting the most out of the magnificent scenery.

Walking down the walkway, I could see swathes of coral growth here and there in the lagoon, and I was told that the management gave priority to coral health, even bringing in coral specialists and doctors annually to check up on the local marine ecosystems. The corals help attract a myriad fish for snorkelers to enjoy. The lagoon area is not prone to strong currents and is relatively safe and calm all year round for snorkelers to explore.

Centara also offers three choices for beach villas, which gives direct access to the pearly beach where vegetation gives just the right amount of shade when you need a time-out from working on your tan. The paths through the island almost seem to be tunnels of greenery, and I can vouch for the privacy of the beach villas.

At noon, to get the adrenalin pumping, water sports are all the rage. Non-motorized water sports were all complimentary, with a chance to get one ticket for one motorized ride. Needless to say, a veritable battalion of children were enjoying banana boat rides, tube rides, and various beach games. In the lagoon bobbed a red half-submerged submarine; I was told that it had a clear bottom that would offer the sights of the house reef in all its glory, with seating for a dozen people.

The PADI dive center on the island is always eager to take guests for some serious diving if the need arises to delve deeper into the aquatic wonderland of Maldives. Centara Grand is not far from one of the best dive spots in South Ari Atoll, where forests of coral attract turtles, whale sharks, manta rays, and throngs of varicolored fish. The best thing is that there’s a shipwreck as well, which is exactly the kind of thing that appeals to eels and sharks.

My departure was from the western jetty, timed perfectly with the sunset. The sun cast its last rays over the overwater Aqua Bar, a cool breeze passing through its interior unobstructed. Sundowner parties are often held there, and the vibe was electrifyingly positive. Three seats floated over the water, the perfect nests for couples to cuddle on while sipping pre-dinner cocktails or nightcaps. Centara Grand Resort and Spa may be a small island, but it packs a punch of a lifetime for vacationers. The island surely left me breathless for more.

The post Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa offers adventure for all appeared first on Maldives Travel Blog.

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