A large infinity pool with a view of the horizon meeting the ocean, this is what Dusit Thani Maldives offers. Further out are Ocean Villas designed for lovebirds on a honeymoon.
Maldives remains among the most romantic destinations,
and after several years, it has improved itself to indulge holidaymakers
as tourism is the main source of income.
You just can’t get enough of these paradise islands.
STORY & PHOTOGRAPHY
This time, we visit the south of Baa Atoll, comprised of ring-shaped atolls and lush coral islands. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve boasts a majestic view of the underwater world.
DUSIT THANI MALDIVES
Thai hospitality is not just an empty promise here. You are treated as well as you would be in Thailand, plus a view of Maldives. You can choose from Beach Villa, Water Villa and Ocean Villa, each with its own swimming pool. If you like the beach, choose a Beach Villa, but if you’ve always dreamed of being surrounded by the ocean, try an Ocean Villa.
A must-do when you’re here is watching the sunset at Sand Bar. In each season, the sun looks different. Sunset is the most magical time here, and many people would come hang out at the Infinity Pool.
Benjarong, its signature Thai restaurant, lives up to its name. But if you’re in the mood for local food, check out the buffet at The Market or Sea Grill. Local dishes here are grilled seafood and Indian-style curries. While they might not taste familiar, Dusit Thani ensures they appeal of Thai people.
Another must-do is to get pampered at Devarana Spa and snorkelling to enjoy the exquisite nature under the sea around Benjarong. You don’t have to go far — the coral around the resort is simply breathtaking, and you can see colourful fishes swimming around, as well as sea turtles.
CLOSE TO NATURE
1. This beautiful beach makes a great party venue.
2. Dusit Thani Maldives’ tropical lobby blends wonderfully with nature thanks to the natural materials.
In Maldives, the sky and the sea come together as one, and this is what makes it one of the most popular destinations in the world.
While you’re here, go meet the dolphins. They might not come by every day, but Dusit Thani has experts who can take you to them. The most popular are spinner dolphins which like to jump and spin above the sea surface.
You can take a seaplane from Male Airport to Dusit Thani Maldives, or you can fly to Dharavandhoo Airport in Baa Atoll and take a boat to Dusit Thani, which takes around 10 minutes. Local plane tickets are only half the price of seaplane tickets, but there are only a few flights a day while seaplanes fly throughout the day. Dusit Thani has a lounge for its guests at Male Airport. (www.dusit.com/dusitthani/maldives/th)
AMILLA FUSHI RESORT
This hip and modern resort offers great and warm hospitality unlike most hip hotels you might have encountered. The resort has a private zone suitable for families seeking some alone time together — Amilla Beach Villa Residence. It is a cluster of modern homes with contemporary design (www.amillabeachvillaresidences.com).
The resort part is also contemporary and chic, with spacious rooms thanks to the large size of the island. Each room is equipped with a living room, bedroom, and spacious bathroom. There’s a private pool at the terrace, although it is more suitable for lounging than actually swimming. If you want to swim, there’s a main pool as well.
The decor is really modern with signature colours and cozy furniture. The bed is comfortable without being too soft, while the pillows are incredibly comfy.
Its restaurant Lonu by Luke Mangan is famous for Asian fusion food which tastes delicious. It is milder than local Maldivian food, but still tasty and memorable.
Amilla Fushi is surrounded by rich nature and you don’t have to go far to appreciate beautiful corals and marine animals. During June-September, you might even see manta rays right here near the resort. Everything you’ve dreamed about Maldives can be found here.(www.amilla.mv)
DEEP BLUE SEA
3. From the window of the seaplane, you can see colourful coral islands beneath the deep blue sea, as exquisite as meticulous embroidery.
4. Sea Restaurant of Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas embraces you with a view of the Indian Ocean. You can enjoy delicious food while gazing at the underwater view.
The rich nature of Baa Atoll attracts visitors from around the world.
ANANTARA KIHAVAH MALDIVES VILLAS
The underwater restaurant at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas is world-famous and is a place you should experience once
in a lifetime. The 79 villas are spacious and made from wood with hardwood floors and a coconut thatch roof. This means they require more upkeep than concrete buildings, but they also bring guests closer to nature.
The villas have a local vibe with all the modern facilities and amenities. The bed is so comfy you wouldn’t want to leave it. The highlight is the underwater restaurant, Sea, where you can enjoy the underwater view without getting soaked. You can see colourful fishes while enjoying delicious food. Other restaurants here are Fire, Salt and Sky. Fire is a teppanyaki lounge. Salt is a restaurant serving fresh grills cooked to perfection on a Himalayan salt block. Sky is an over water observatory with a gorgeous view of the sea and the sky. Manzaru is a restaurant next to one of the longest pools in the Maldives. Plates, a breakfast restaurant, also serves romantic candlelit dinner in the evening.
There’s a wide array of activities — cooking, water sports, yoga, and diving to see marine animals and corals. You can also relax at the spa to get pampered. (www.kihavah-maldives.anantara.co.th)
5. Unique architecture made with local natural materials.
6. A Dolphin swimming alongside boats.
7. Coral islands have a unique view.
8. Devarana Spa.
9. The sky turns pink, red, and purple before turning dark.
10. In Maldives, you can see marine animals even without diving underwater.
In Maldives, it’s always amazing to look at changing colours of the sky.
11. Golden rays from the sun before it dips into the horizon.
12. What’s better than waking up to a beautiful view, sumptuous breakfast buffet, and knowing that all you have on your to-do list is relaxing?
OCEAN IN LOVE
13. A private corner that brings you closer to the ocean.
1. Going to the south of Baa Atoll requires you to fly on a domestic plane. You can take a seaplane to your resort — sometimes it flies directly to yours, but sometimes it would drop off other passengers at various resorts, so it is a bit of going up and down. The good thing is it takes you right to your resort. If you fly to Dharavandhoo Airport in Baa Atoll, you can take a boat to your resort, but reservation must be made in advance. If your resort is far, you can take a speed boat, but if it’s near, you can take a modified local boat.
2. Travelling to Maldives, smaller bags are better, because the seaplane’s compartment is not big. If every passenger carries a big bag, some of the bags might not get to go on that plane, but will be later sent to the resort.
3. You don’t need to exchange money — major currencies are accepted. You might need some cash at the fisherman’s village, but you can always exchange it at the resort. Is there anything worth buying there? Well, most of the things are also available at Chatuchak Market. However, local handicrafts are nice. They use fresh coconut leaves to make utensils, but after a while they become brittle.
4. Staying in a Water Villa could be the highlight of your trip, but if you are a light sleeper, you could be disturbed by the sound of the water sweeping against the villa’s pillars. During the day, you probably won’t notice it, but at night, this could annoy light sleepers.
5. If you want to send a postcard from Maldives, buy one with a stamp at your resort and drop it off at the airport. It will take a shorter time for the postcard to reach its destination. We’ve tried sending it from a resort in the south of Baa Atoll and it took around a month.