As one of the world’s most beautiful destinations, the Maldives is a hugely popular choice for luxury holidays. With this in mind, our travel specialist Poppy jetted off to experience some of the indulgent resorts on offer.
The Olhuveli experience began as soon as I touched down into Male International Airport. Our smiling representative met me at arrivals and walked us straight across the road to our speedboat. The 40-minute transfer time flew by and we arrived to a really lovely warm welcome from the resort team, with a fruity cocktail to top it off – just what I needed after a long flight!
After a seamless check-in experience, I was whisked away to the room that would be my home for the next two nights. As soon as the door to my Grand Beach Villa swung open, I could see that the standards are impeccable. The highlights? A stunning open-air bathroom, complete with a deep bathtub for relaxing, and the incredible view of the Indian Ocean from the floor-to-ceiling windows in front of the bed. To watch the sunrise, all I needed to do was step out of bed, swing open the doors onto my private terrace and step out onto the powdery white sand. Perfection.
I couldn’t wait to see the island and test out the all-inclusive offering, so without further ado, I went to discover the Sun Spa. Nestled among lush vegetarian, the spa takes a holistic approach to health using ancient Indian Ayurvedic techniques to harmonise the body, mind and spirit. After enjoying the complimentary 15-minute shoulder and neck massage as part of the all-inclusive package (perfect for relaxing after a long flight!), I was taken on a tour of the island. The amazing kids club with pool particularly stood out as a great offering for families, but for couples wanting a little more privacy, there are two infinity pools including an adult-only pool.
As the Maldives is famous for its spectacular sunsets, I decided to enjoy a cocktail at the lagoon bar before dinner at the Four Spices Thai Restaurant. The view was wonderful, so I’d highly recommend making time to relax here as the sun goes down! Then, I strolled to the restaurant (located on the jetty next to the water villas). The buffet options here are available on the all-inclusive package with a credit available for the a la carte menu. After a delicious meal of Pad Thai and chilli squid, I walked along the jetty to spot manta rays gliding underneath before retiring to my comfortable villa for the evening.
In spite of the jet lag, I woke up refreshed and excited to explore some more of Olhuveli Resort. On the all-inclusive option, breakfast is a sumptuous buffet at the Sunset Restaurant and I found that there were plenty of delicious options to choose from. After a relaxed meal, I went back to the main jetty to find the dive centre, where guests can find complimentary snorkelling equipment. The house reef is perfectly located near the dive centre and when you can spot so many different types of fish – I even saw a small octopus – the hours fly by in an instant.
All that swimming builds up an appetite so after drying off, I enjoyed the best tuna steak I’ve EVER had at the Lagoon Restaurant. If you’re staying on the all-inclusive package, you can use this restaurant with credit and I’d definitely recommend it.
From tennis and water sports to free kayak hire, there are so many activities to choose from at Olhuveli but I chose to relax in the incredible infinity pool that looks out over the lagoon. From here, I had a great vantage point of some guests learning to sail and before I knew it, the aquamarine water had enticed me in for a swim and I was lucky enough to spot some baby reef sharks! If you’d rather spot the amazing marine life without getting soaked, the hotel has a number of luxury options including the Lucky Dolphin and Sunset Cruise. Seeing the dolphins play and jump with the world-famous sunset in the background was the most fantastic experience and a great way to round off the day.
In the evening, the Sunset Restaurant has a different theme each night with food from around the world, live cooking stations and a hugely varied buffet. There really is something for everyone here! The evening entertainment also changes each day and that night, we were lucky enough to enjoy crab racing before I spent the final night in my beautiful beach villa. It was hard to leave but the large island resort has so many facilities that I’d happily recommend it to both couples and families looking for a holiday to remember in the Maldives.
Have you been inspired to visit the Maldives? Start planning your dream holiday right here. Look out for the next Maldives blog when Poppy will be sharing her experience of visiting the Sun Aqua Vilu Reef resort.