Thursday, 30 July 2020

The Maldives has reopened to tourism – and this secluded island is its best-kept secret

*Produced by SilverKris for Lily Hotels*

The Maldives made international headlines recently by reopening its borders and welcoming tourists from around the world again. With 26 atolls and 1,190 different islands, many of them uninhabited, social distancing is theoretically built into the geography of the country and contact-tracing relatively straightforward to carry out on resort islands should the need arise.

Though tourist arrivals are generally low this season, for a truly remote getaway, consider the island of Dhonakulhi. Located at the northern edge of the Maldives, in the Haa Alifu Atoll, the 33-hectare, crescent-shaped island is a hidden gem and perhaps one of the Maldives’ best-kept secrets. On that island too is the Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, which offers a cornucopia of luxury experiences.

Hideaway Beach Resort Maldives
An aerial view of the crescent-shaped island of Dhonakulhi, which is home to the Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa

Far from the madding crowd

Hideaway’s unspoilt beauty and otherworldly quiet is in large part due to its remoteness. To get to the resort, travellers take a 45-minute domestic flight from Velana International Airport in Male to Hanimaadhoo, itself situated on a remote island noted for its isolated observatory. From there, it’s a further 30-minute boat ride to the island. Direct seaplanes from Velana International Airport take 75 minutes, but do not take off without a minimum number of passengers.

All this to say that Hideaway has an unparalleled serenity, and those making the journey here are after that elusive edge-of-the-earth feeling that’s hard to come by, even in a tropical paradise like the Maldives.

Your own private paradise

A great place to hide away from the bustle of city life, this resort is set to reopen September 2020. The 103-suite sanctuary also has social distancing built into its architecture. Located either among coconut groves by the beach, or on stilts over a natural lagoon, each villa is purposefully designed for maximum privacy – with a backyard, a pool and private access to one of the most stunning beaches in the world. With all the mod-con luxuries you’d expect from a top resort, your villa also comes with two bicycles for independent exploration, as well as butler service.

Across the eco-conscious resort, facilities are designed to have minimal impact on the environment, with local line-caught fish, an on-site vegetable garden and water bottling plant all part of daily operations. This thoughtfulness extends to the resort’s recreational offerings, which include a world-class spa, yoga classes and tennis lessons. And with wood-fired pizzas and grilled seafood at the poolside Meeru Grill and international cuisine at the oceanfront Matheefaru, it’s all too easy to cocoon up in your own little hideaway.

There’s no shortage of things to do either at Hideaway, which offers adventurous fly-fishing, snorkelling and scuba diving excursions, as well at kite-surfing, kayaking and all manner of water sports, led by a team of experienced instructors. If you’re looking for a more laid-back vacation, head to the resort’s spa for a detox treatment or savour the abundance of gourmet dishes at its wellness-focused, on-site restaurants.

Best of all, the September reopening comes with new sanitary measures and, more excitingly, several all-inclusive packages suitable for couples and families.

Lily Beach Resort Maldives
Nestled on the private island of Huvahendhoo, Lily Beach Resort & Spa offers absolutely stunning views

Closer to the action

If your preferred dates are booked out for Hideaway, or if you’re looking for jaw-dropping beauty and secluded villas closer to Male, consider Hideaway’s sister property Lily Beach Resort & Spa.

An award-winning, all-inclusive resort in the Maldives that was named the best, all-inclusive resort in Asia by TripAdvisor in 2020, Lily Beach on Huvahendhoo is the country’s pioneer in all-inclusive tourism.

It’s 25 minutes by seaplane from the airport, and its Platinum Plan covers everything from food and drink to snorkelling equipment and fitness classes to multiple excursions, offering the most value for money among the country’s resort offerings.

For years, the Maldives has offered respite and sanctuary to the weary traveller in search of peace and awe-inspiring natural beauty. And after a difficult few months, Hideaway and Lily Beach are pleased to offer that once more.

For more information on Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa and Lily Beach Resort & Spa, visit their respective official websites.

Travel Advisory: Please refer to the latest travel restrictions of your country before making any reservations.

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