Before starting this article, I asked a few of my colleagues what was the one destination that most resembles their perception of ‘heaven on earth’. A few people said ‘The Maldives’ instantly – without even thinking about it. And who would disagree? The Maldives is one of those places that don’t need an introduction, it’s a place that’s on virtually everyone’s bucket list, a tropical paradise that looks too perfect to be real. Home to some of the best beaches in the world, powdery white sand, swaying palm trees, warm, crystal clear, cyan-blue water and a dazzling underwater world – The Maldives truly is a dream destination.
In addition to its out-of-this-world setting and excellent diving and snorkelling, The Maldives is also known for its unmatched hospitality, being referred to as ‘one of the most sophisticated holiday destinations in the world’. The Maldives is made up of 26 coral atolls, with roughly 1,200 islands within them. Around 200 of these islands are inhabited and 100 of them are private-island type of resorts, all pushing the boundaries of luxury.
And in terms of exclusive luxury, Naladhu Private Island is one of the jewels in The Maldives’ crown, guaranteeing to provide its guests with a holiday of a lifetime. Let me tell you all about it.
Welcome to Paradise
Naladhu (meaning ‘beautiful little island’) Private Island sits in the South Malé Atoll, perched on the edge of an aqua lagoon shared with sister islands Anantara Dhigu and Veli. The three Anantara islands are only a short 35-minute trip from Malé International Airport by boat, which makes getting there ridiculously easy, as opposed to some of the most isolated islands in The Maldives that require a connecting flight on a seaplane. Naladhu can also be reached by a private yacht or chartered seaplane.
There’s a laid-back, mellow feel at this tranquil hideaway, with an air of easy tropical chic weaving through the island. The 20 private houses, each named after an indigenous plant, are either on the pristine beach or are hidden amongst lush tropical greenery – facing the ocean. Perfectly spaced apart, they guarantee matchless privacy. The design of the villas fuses timeless elegance and antique furnishings with beachy accents, whilst the indoor and outdoor spaces flow between each other. The highlight is the open-air bathroom that comes with a sunken terrazzo soaking tub which flows into your private glass-tiled swimming pool, a waterfall shower in your back garden and a steam room. Outside your bedroom, you’ll find a wooden sundeck with an oversized swinging daybed and a shaded veranda – the ideal spot for a candle-lit dinner where the waves lap mere metres away. A pillow menu, Elemis toiletries and state-of-the-art comforts, as well as a 24-hour House Master service add to the unrivalled luxury of the homes.
And just when you thought things couldn’t get any more opulent than this, Naladhu’s oceanfront 600 sqm residence comes in. With its two stunning bedrooms, spacious living area, a pool and its own private beach, it truly is what Maldivian dreams are made of.
You’d be forgiven for never leaving your Naladhu house, but the extensive list of activities and experiences on offer is truly impressive. If idyllic beach-lounging isn’t enough, try yoga by the ocean or work up a sweat with a personal trainer in the island’s fully equipped gym. Pamper yourself in the atmospheric spa or head to Naladhu’s sister islands (Veli connected by a wooden walkway and Dhigu accessed via dhoni boat) where you’ll find an abundance of additional facilities. Aquafanatics offers snorkelling and scuba diving, as well as kite surfing, parasailing or jetskiing. Whether you’ve never tried surfing or are an experienced surfer, expert trainers at the Anantara Surf School, run by Tropicsurf, will tailor an experience that will match your skills. Additional recreational facilities include tennis and volleyball courts, bicycles, interactive cooking classes, cinema under the stars and day trips to a nearby local island or the island nation’s capital, Malé.
Cuisine at Naladhu Private Island and its sister Anantara islands is hybrid of Maldivian, Sri Lankan and Western influences. Native dishes such as tuna curry and fiery crab cakes are available, but the menus focus on lighter, more international flavours, reflecting the island’s setting with many seafood options.
Make sure you do a safari of the restaurants that the three islands offer, as each provides a unique experience. For an intimate meal, stay on Naladhu and sample The Living Room’s menu or dine in the restaurant’s wine cellar. For a hushed romantic dinner, ask the team about the Intimate Dining Affairs special. Choose a setting anywhere, on any of the three islands, and they will happily turn it into a dreamy private dinner spot, tailor-making your experience for an unforgettable meal under the stars.
For a more relaxed affair, hop over to either Veli or Dhigu and browse their range or restaurants and bars. Catering to every taste, they invite guests to try royal Thai cuisine, Japanese sushi and teppanyaki, Maldivian specialties and freshly-caught seafood.
For more information, please go to: https://www.anantara.com/en/naladhu-maldives