If you imagine escaping to paradise, you probably conjure images of desert islands, turquoise seas and nothing but clear blue skies all the way to the horizon. Throw in a luxurious bolthole set in white sands, and the picture is perfect.
But in reality, it’s the kind of place you think probably doesn’t actually exist, certainly not for your average traveller. But on a recent visit to the Maldives I was amazed by what I found - exactly what I imagined.
The Maldives is one of those places that lives up to expectations - iconic water villas, flawless white sand beaches and an impossibly blue ocean that invites you to dive in. Home to more than 1,000 islands, it is paradise in abundance.
It’s all about the luxurious resorts here; most tucked away on their own private island, reached in true five-star fashion via boat or seaplane from the Maldivian capital Male. There’s a real sense of exclusivity and privacy that is all too rare in popular tourism destinations. In the Maldives, it’s still possible to find a private stretch of beach to lay your towel, or an unspoilt coral reef that feels like you’re the first person to have come across it.
On my next trip to the Maldives, there will be a new experience awaiting me as Emaar Hospitality Group has selected the Maldives as the destination for its first expansion into South Asia, with Address Madivaru Maldives Resort + Spa. Sure to be the top of the list for any traveller looking for a plush new paradise stay, the resort will be located on an exclusive private island on Ari Atoll, spanning a total area of 75,000 square metres. And at just a 20 minute seaplane flight from Male International Airport on the mainland, you can minimise your travel time and make the most of your holiday.
Needless to say, Olivier Harnisch, CEO of Emaar Hospitality Group, is excited about the new property and about Emaar Hospitality Group’s expansion with this new adventure in paradise.
He tells me: “As one of the world’s most amazing holiday destinations, there’s no question that the Maldives is the right fit for us. It doesn’t get more spectacular than a stay in your very own corner of paradise. We’re excited to bring our distinctive sense of luxury to the islands, plus it’s a chance to add value to the local economy.”
I was treated to a preview of the distinctive island before development of the resort began. As you may expect, crystal clear water is everywhere you turn. For adventurous guests who want to explore the underwater world, the resort will have plenty of options. You will be able to snorkel mere steps from your water villa, or explore the thriving reefs. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, the atolls are home to some incredible dive sites. The array of wildlife is mind-blowing with schools of tropical fish, sea turtles, manta rays and even whale sharks that can be spotted.
We’ve got a bit of a wait until the new property opens its doors, but there’s plenty to get excited about in the meantime. For one thing, there’s a dedicated spa Island, for the ultimate in secluded relaxation. A floating restaurant will make the most of the oceanfront location, and a special watersports island will be the go-to sport for adventurous holiday makers who want to snorkel, surf, dive and more. Plus, there are water villas and presidential suites.
Personally, when I get to experience the new resort, I will be doing what comes most naturally to me here, and settling down on the sands for some sunbathing. That’s the beauty of the Maldives - it offers the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation. See you there!
Sandra L. is an expert in travel industry trends and passionate traveller