ENTERTAINMENT

Travel: Jump along the promenade in the new Faarufushi Resort in the Maldives


I have never been disappointed by anything at the end of a pier. The hollow tap of every step and the flashes of light reflected from the water below signal impending enjoyment. The legendary pier entrance was a long-term love affair, the seeds of which were sown during a childhood spent in Brighton. He always promised an abundance of joy and was never disappointed. The following years, in which I explored unknown countries and wrote about my experiences, only strengthened these positive associations.

In a world that feels so accessible now, there are few goals that still evoke a sense of awe, and the Maldives are undoubtedly one of them, rightly because of their outstanding approach to high-end luxury and good looks lonely island. In a place that is synonymous with elevated pillars that meander over white sand and crystal-clear water, I was lucky enough to be one of the first to step on the boards at the newly opened Faarufushi resort, and that was easy miss a good opportunity.

Faarufushi, hidden on a remote coral island in Raa Atoll, welcomed its guests in March this year. To fulfill the ideal of the Maldives and much more, it is all blue sky, uninterrupted horizon and of course winding pillars from here on.

View from the deck of the Faarufushi Ocean Retreat

This intimate island only houses 80 villas of various types and sizes, but be sure to ask for an ocean retreat, the overwater bungalows, the real show stoppers. These inspired spaces of the free river, whose clear, modern interior reflects the graphic lines of the seemingly endless horizon where the sea and skyline meet. The floor-to-ceiling windows ensure that you never miss a sunset or sunrise (depending on your location) or even a splash of dolphins in the distance. You will be forgiven for not having closed your blinds during your entire stay. I know I didn't. Fortunately, every villa is completely private, with no curious neighbors who overlook your personal paradise. Enjoy a drink on the terrace, dip a toe in the clear blue sea or slip into your own infinity pool that blends effortlessly into the skyline. From here everything is blue, but the best possible way. The bathroom, a freeflow art installation large enough for three people, looks out to sea and provides another perfect place to pass the time. Speaking of bathrooms, if you choose a beach bungalow, you have a very enviable outdoor rainforest shower. Regardless of the choice of room, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed.

A pier that will never disappoint, the Boli Bar at the Faarufushi Resort in the Maldives

A pier that will never disappoint, the Boli Bar at the Faarufushi Resort in the Maldives

Should you be able to walk away from your villa (there are restaurants in the room and I would not blame you), take a stroll along another scenic boardwalk to the Boli Bar. It towers over the edge of the reef and is complete open. It offers an unobstructed view of some of the world's sunsets. Take a seat to see crunchy blue give way to cotton candy pink, which then gradually fades into a huge darkness that is only interrupted by the starlight. Regardless of the time of day, this view has a special refinement. Trust me to combine it with something as clumsy and predictable as a Pina Colada. Trust me. With this in mind, Faarufushi's mixologists have compiled a botanically inspired cocktail list, a carefully crafted mix of subtle, naturally occurring flavors that have been artfully crafted. (Note: you make a great Pina Colada at the beach bar, there is a time and place for everything! In my humble opinion every day at 4 p.m.).

A restaurant with a view, Faarufushi Resort

A restaurant with a view, Faarufushi Resort

In the middle of the island is the lush vegetation that forms the sanctuary of the Nika Spa. A shady, cool oasis that is the perfect place to avoid the midday heat in case you need even more excuse to hover over the threshold. Carefully cared-for tranquility oozes from the room, accentuated by a spa scent that is so good that you want to bottle it and take it home. The holistic team has taken care to combine Eastern practices with Western science. Pay attention to the special treatments you can use to combat jet lag, which is an absolute stroke of luck. All spas are environmentally friendly in several ways and are 100% organic, environmentally friendly and from sustainable sources. A must, because once you have visited paradise, you are all the more motivated to keep it for future generations. As soon as you enter the spa sanctuary, look up and you'll see a hive of interconnected treatment capsules hidden in the tree tops. Be warned that your massage may be roughly interrupted by the chirping of one of the island's more vocal bird species at the window, but the music gets in my ears as intruders. Would it be too difficult to classify these treetops as a "pier" and add these luxurious spa pods and the wonders they experience to my list of the most popular pier endings?

Treetop treatment capsules at Nika Spa

Treetop treatment capsules at Nika Spa

Surprisingly, enjoying paradise is a hungry job. I would recommend making the most of Faarufushi's all-inclusive options by drinking and dining in all three restaurants and two bars to ensure that no opportunity is missed. As always, I recommend eating locally inspired dishes. Maldivian Thali will forever be one of the most unforgettable meals of my life. For a more unusual experience, visit Athiri, the relaxed beach area with small Spanish and Mediterranean plates. Expect fresh classics. Where the service really stands out from other luxury resorts is the personalization, which is carried out by the attentive team with minimal effort. All dietary requirements are taken into account so effortlessly that after a short conversation the chef will put together a tailor-made menu for your taste so that you can enjoy yourself again.

The crystal clear water shows an abundance of wildlife from the shore, including some adorable (and I'm sure they are absolutely not a threat) baby reef sharks, but the ocean's wealth requires a little more exploration. Visit the water sports center in Athiri, whether paddling, snorkeling by the resident marine biologist, surfing, water skiing or a private boat trip to an uninhabited island. Faarufushi is always dedicated to the preservation of its paradise and is committed to the preservation of marine life. In addition to their numerous ecological practices on the island (these people banned plastic straws before it was cool), they organize weekly lagoon cleaning to protect the reef.

I urge you not to feel calm and a little complacent on your scenic 50-minute seaplane trip back to Male Airport at the end of your stay. Indeed, flying over the different islands is an experience in itself and only confirms your belief that Faarufushi is the best that the Maldives has to offer. Unfortunately, I think Brighton Pier could be ruined for me now.

Faarufushi, www.faarufushi.com (Kuoni (www.kuoni.co.uk) offer seven nights half board at Faarufushi in a beach retreat with pool, including flights with Emirates from London Gatwick and transfers at the resort. The price for selected departures in October 2019, based on the split of two adults, is £ 3899 per person, with savings of up to £ 1841 per couple. To book, please give the tour reference: MV0111)

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