Picasso would be envious of this mesmerising ‘study in blue’. An archipelago ensconced in crystal clear shimmering water. A hidden submarine mountain range forming a beguiling tropical paradise. Our destination is the Maldives, specifically, Amari Havodda Maldives. A vacation no-one returns from without waxing lyrical. Having experienced the fabulous hospitality of Amari Phuket (review published in Travel Pass Magazine Nov. 18, 2017) Amari Havodda Maldives is highly recommended to spend 5 days in paradise!
Getting to Malé International Airport is relatively easy. Many international carriers fly direct to Malé. If yours doesn’t, flying via transit hubs (London, Dubai, Bangkok, Singapore or Hong Kong) is the next best option. Once at Malé International, Amari Havodda Maldives hospitality begins. Don’t worry about your domestic connection, onward baggage check or speedboat transfers. Simply sit back, enjoy the VIP lounge refreshments and Amari Havodda will take care of the rest.
Your domestic flight takes about an hour. Hope for a window seat, the views are spectacular. At Kaadedhdhoo Domestic Airport, your bags are collected and in no time you’re heading across the glimmering ocean to your slice of paradise. A warm Maldivian welcome with cold towels and refreshing drinks greets you at the private pier before a meandering buggy ride through the tropical forest takes you to your accommodation.
Overwater and Beachside Private Villas.
Overwater accommodation is synonymous with the Maldives. At Amari Havodda there are 60 overwater villas thoughtfully designed to maximise your view and privacy. Waking surrounded by water is high on the list of reasons this accommodation is so popular. Inside it's a tranquil space drawing on the environment’s natural colours and textures.
If you’d prefer closer proximity to the beach to amble from your bed onto the sand and into the water, then a beach villa is for you. Beach villas sleep 4 in 95 sqm to 121 sqm of space. Some have private pools either on the beach or in the garden. In both overwater and beach villas, bathrooms are indoor/ outdoor offering luxury and space to ablute. Hot water comes from the heating device in your air conditioner. One of Amari Havodda Maldives’ sustainability initiatives. On the front deck of both villa styles find sun loungers perfectly located to water-gaze, finish your book or nod off in your picturesque surroundings.
Amaya Food Gallery is Amari Havodda's main dining venue centrally located with beach and water views in an open-air pavilion. Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets rotate with a tremendous variety of delectable offerings. Maldivian, Thai, Indian and Chinese cuisine are generously represented while the open chargrill sizzles with seafood, chicken, lamb, pork or beef. International favourites make an appearance along with special additions of Malay, Japanese or Singaporean dishes. Enjoy with a chilled glass of wine.
Take a snooze on your sunlounger or, if there’s still some pep in your step, wandering the perimeter of the island is a relaxing way to get to know your surroundings. Amari Havodda are serious about sustainability. Indigenous saplings are cultivated behind the scenes and replanted to combat erosion of Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll (Amari Havodda’s island). Amari Havodda’s water treatment facility is hidden behind the trees. Wastewater recycling, seawater desalination and bottling of drinking water all happen on the island. Amari Havodda are proud supporters of the elimination of single-use plastic and the #banplasticstraws movement.
Cocktail evenings with canapés are a weekly occurrence at Thari Bar. Specialty cocktails are served with the rest of the bar open for pre-dinner drinks. Thari Bar, open from 10am until late, is perfectly located by the infinity pool. Recline in bean bags or on cosy lounges. Take a dip or just gaze off to the horizon, cocktail in hand.
Dinner is a completely new array of dishes from lunch so that thought of a small plate will only be maintained by the strong willed. Can you do it? Hmmm, I bet you can’t.
One of the joys in life is to fall asleep to lapping waves or the gentle swoosh of an overhead fan. You’ll notice when opening the doors to your deck a sensor automatically switches off the aircon, another sustainability conscious effort by Amari Havodda.
Is there anything better than waking up with the sun and stepping into the ocean?
For your morning caffeine injection, there’s a coffee machine in your villa. Breakfast can be delivered or enjoy the spread at Amaya Food Gallery.
Take a yoga class, snorkel the house reef or do nothing, it’s your holiday, spend it how you like.
The Water Sports & Dive Centre, offer PADI Scuba certification and for experienced divers, equipment and tours are provided. Fancy a spot of fishing? these guys set you up for that too. Jet ski hire is an option, but in these surrounds, kayaking and windsurfing seem more fitting.
Iru Bar is the place to be. Iru, meaning sunset in Maldivian, opens from 5 - 7 pm only. With bean bags on the beach, it’s a perfect location to wind down with the sun.
Dial 0 for a reservation at Ember Grill. Two things are a must at Ember Grill. Firstly, order the surf and turf, it’s divine. Secondly, only order one between two, you’ll see why!
What’s on today?
One activity not to miss this afternoon is the sunset cruise and dolphin search. Dial 0 and it’ll be arranged. Dolphins playing while the sun sets, could it get any more relaxing?
Well, there is a spa….
Breeze Spa has a multitude of ways to ensure relaxation. (Be sure to dial 0 to reserve the time) Body scrubs, masks and massages are sure to beat any remaining stress. Facials and natural therapies remind you, it’s all about you!
With the magnificent food at Amari Havodda, it may be time to hit the gym. FIT Centre has all you need for your cardio and strength training. Tennis courts and racquets are available and there’s volleyball too!
Destination Dining is an unforgettable romantic experience. Choose your location, your overwater villa deck, on the beach or even a deserted island. Advise food allergies or preferences and Amari Havodda prepare your customised degustation dinner.
Take advantage of Amari Havodda’s professional photographer and a complimentary photo shoot. Select the ones you’ll take home to remind you of your stay in paradise.
Wander the island!
The Maldives' prominent economic activity is fishing. Award-winning designer, Isabelle Miaja incorporated fishing through her design of Amari Havodda.
Roofs and ceilings are styled on upturned fishing boats, as if left at the end of the work day. Striking pom-poms made from nylon fishing nets look like sea creatures adorning villa walls. String nets under tables, as hammocks and in free standing chairs are subtle reminders of the fishing trade.
Maldivian musician/ songwriter Mezzo (Mohamed Majid) performs regularly at Amari Havodda. With a music career spanning 4 decades he has a loyal following. Playing solo and acoustically at Thari Bar, he’ll entertain with covers and his original music all the while gauging the audience and adapting his set list to the response.
Traditional Maldivian dancers entertain at Thari Bar. Commencing with a slow percussion introduction, the pace increases until there’s not a stationary body in the house.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end and it’s time to say “Dhanee” (goodbye). As per your arrival, everything is taken care of. Your check out time, speedboat transfers and domestic flights are all based on your international flight time from Malé.
If you have the sudden urge to experience Amari Havodda Maldives, check Amari Havodda Maldives site for packages including complimentary domestic transfers and savings on prepaid stays.
5 days in paradise at Amari Havodda Maldives: it’s a thing we love….
Shona’s award winning travel blog shares tips and tricks on where to eat, drink, explore & shop in any given destination. At home ordering street food or perusing a fine dining menu, she seeks out venues with a conscience who promote local produce and sustainability. Find her in markets, museums, art galleries and on walking tours as well as wineries, breweries, distilleries and restaurants. Wherever she is, she’s always looking for something a little different to share with her readers. Follow her travels at www.paraphernalia.co or subscribe to her Shenanigans Report http://paraphernalia.co/subscribe-form/ so as not to miss a post. firstname.lastname@example.org.