TIMELESS SANCTUARY

Swaying coconut trees, lush foliage, white sand beaches and turquoise waters are what you’ll find at the breathtaking Vakkaru Maldives. Located in the island archipelago’s Baa Atoll, this idyllic retreat is the epitome of postcard perfect as OHLALA finds out…

Nothing quite prepares you for your first time in the Maldives. No matter how many times we had Googled Vakkaru, sinking our feet into the resort’s sandy shores, hugged by clear blue waters, was a sight (and feeling) that far exceeded all of our expectations. Is this even real life? We’re greeted by Vakkaru’s warm staff at the arrivals lounge in Malé, which is packed with light refreshments, delicious snacks and drinks and a very comfortable seating area. For those who may have come off a long flight and need

a relaxing rinse, you can do this here. The best bit? You look right onto the docking area for the seaplanes – and soon, we’re hopping onto one for our 35-minute journey to the picture-perfect Vakkaru Maldives. For those who may have a fear of small planes, you can rest-assured that safety is paramount before departing. On arrival at the resort, staff await with drinks, and voila, we’re in paradise.

SUITE INDULGENCE

When it comes to accommodation, Vakkaru Maldives is the embodiment of what you imagine the Maldives has to offer. From beach suites to overwater villas and everything in between, the resort has the ideal choices for couples, groups of friends and families too. There are lush intimate Beach Bungalows all the way up to the big and beautiful four-bedroom Overwater Pool Residence. We check into the lavish Beach Pool Suite with direct beach access and views for days (that’s your next post for the ‘gram sorted). There’s too much to take in, but we’re especially blown away by the breezy open-air vibes and beach house meets tropical touch décor. Drawing on the rich traditions of the locale, design elements are focused on Maldivian style fused with the finest natural elements as we wanted to preserve the integrity of local architecture with a contemporary style. The result is the creation of amazing spaces for guests to connect with each other and the environment around them. We can attest to this being 100 percent effective!

The outdoor rain shower is an absolute highlight, made for those Snapchat stories to garner all the FOMO from your followers. There’s a separate living room which is SO comfy for afternoon naps and quiet reads whilst the 32m2 private pool and private beachfront terrace make outdoor living a necessity here. You accommodation faces the azure waters of the lagoon and at every turn you’ll find that, visually, Vakkaru Maldives is EVERYTHING it promises to be. Don’t forget to make the most of all the different areas within your private quarters to top up the tan and swim to your heart’s content.

The standouts of this suite were in the little details. It is, hands down, one of the best gourmet mini bars of any hotel we’ve ever stayed in. To top this off, you get all your standard amenities like cosy slippers and bathrobes, and sustainable luxury bathroom amenities.

Like in all the rooms, Vakkaru goes the extra mile to provide guests with sunbeds and yoga mats, a beach bag and flip flops, bicycles and even butler service. What more could you ask for?

The Overwater Villa we stayed in for the last couple of nights was nothing short of wanderlust dreams. The ultimate romantic hideaway set over the turquoise lagoon, the Overwater Villas are elegantly designed for two adults looking to appreciate the wonder of their aquatic surroundings. At 140m2, space is no issue whilst the private overwater sundeck, massive king bed with exquisite pure cotton bed linen, and direct lagoon access, are just some of the great benefits of opting for this cosy villa. One feature to highlight would be that guests receive a notification on their TV for each prayer time – brilliant. Again, it’s the neutral interiors and, more specifically, the best bathtub we’ve ever experienced, that leads us to say that this could very well be the number one luxury accommodation that we have encountered in all of our travels. We can’t rave about it enough! for two adults looking to appreciate the wonder of their aquatic surroundings. At 140m2, space is no issue whilst the private overwater sundeck, massive king bed with exquisite pure cotton bed linen, and direct lagoon access, are just some of the great benefits of opting for this cosy villa. One feature to highlight would be that guests receive a notification on their TV for each prayer time – brilliant. Again, it’s the neutral interiors and, more specifically, the best bathtub we’ve ever experienced, that leads us to say that this could very well be the number one luxury accommodation that we have encountered in all of our travels. We can’t rave about it enough!

INNER SERENITY

There are spas and then there’s Merana, where expert therapists at the luxurious overwater spa use the finest natural ingredients and latest treatments to pamper, hydrate and improve your skin as well as delivering a holistic approach to wellness that results in outer radiance and inner serenity. Featuring four couple’s treatment rooms with ocean views, eight single treatment rooms, a nail salon, spa boutique, and outdoor relaxation area, we’re warning you that this could very well raise the bar for all your future spa visits and you’ll forever be left with the feeling that nothing compares to this place. Of course, a massage is a must and we’re soon relaxed and uplifted, ready to explore more of the resort.

GASTRONOMY GENIUS

Just because you’re in the Maldives, at a 5-star resort in one of the most secluded spots in the Indian Ocean, doesn’t mean that the food is slacking. It’s very much the opposite at Vakkaru, where the culinary game is super strong. World cuisines are represented through the resort’s four restaurants and two bars, offering the perfect environment for everyone to relax, unwind and indulge in chic island style. You can also enjoy handpicked fresh organic ingredients from their very own farm and sample flavours from Europe to Asia as you soak up the tranquil atmosphere with a table under the stars or dine amidst elegant, locally-inspired interiors. As true food connoisseurs, we can testify to the amazing dishes being plated up at each venue.

– Amaany

Tranquil, bright and airy space to start the day; to experience flavour, comforting and nourishing, confident and refined offering an interactive presentation of international cuisines and inspired dishes accented with local tastes and tropical tones. Breakfast is a complete feast and we love that there are plenty of yummy Arabic delicacies making an appearance too; the shakshuka, foul and even a selection of cheese, were all excellent. A stage of luxurious live cooking featuring the freshest produce presented proudly and innovatively, whether a wake-up breakfast or an inspired evening affair, a showcase focused on memorable and global trends, health and wellness, super foods and dietary preferences, enhanced with a la carte menu choices. The sunshine venue is seasoned with taste, promising a sensation and inspirational dining experience.

– Vakku

Voguish beach luxury grill hosting the best, simply grilled fare – island style. Decked out, open-air, lapping waves, a holistic gastronomic experience with an open kitchen, alluring guests to savour their food from preparation to table service. Red-hot elegant signature venue to sip timeless elegance and enjoy the finest selections and classics. Bespoke sophistication, this is where to enjoy the luxurious destination bliss – a perfect combination of food and setting.

– Onu

Asian Chic. Fresh, enthusiastic and committed to promoting South East Asian tastes, authentic and curated. Drawn from modern Vietnamese inspiration yet honoring the regions current and past influences.

An elegant bamboo fashioned culinary theatre within a tropical plantation offering a dining experience inside and out, seasoned with tropical ambiance, idolising the finest from the organic farm. A designed space with showcase kitchen, counter dining, garden pavilions and lounge areas. Eastern philosophy balanced; crafted, opulent, graceful and auspicious.

– Isoletta

Vibrant, inspired by the seaside, Italian fashioned with flair. A poolside piazza, relaxed and alive with style, serving contemporary classic lunch and dinner, complete with communal dining table, lounging space and two seaters a la Milano. Cool and hip, enjoy a fashioned experience and authentic charm, uncluttered sophistication and whimsical design.

– Cabana

Al fresco poolside lounge designed for classic comfort, creative inspiration and a relaxed ambiance. A comfortable enduring space to relax and unwind, enjoy a laid-back afternoon or pre-dinner drink, the place to be after a day of island activities. Hosting modern classic beach club exclusivity

– Lagoon

Bar Ocean Oasis, serene or invigorating, relax, stay, sip and cherish a bucket list sunset venue to revive from noon until late. A stylish mature venue with lounging space, a sushi bar, tapas and Indian Ocean breezes. A romantic destination assured to allure timeless memories. Celebrate the ocean surrounded by premium collections and crisp vinos, 360-view and numerous shades of turquoise.

IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES

Ultra-immersive experiences in an idyllic island paradise whether you are feeling energetic or prefer to relax.

In Baa Atoll, plankton blooms during the months of May to November attracting mantas by the hundreds, often accompanied by whale sharks feeding alongside. Year-round endless aquatic adventures include snorkeling on the house reef, sunset fishing, dolphin cruise, diving off many incredible sites close by..

 “World cuisines are represented through the resort’s four restaurants and two bars, offering the perfect environment for everyone to relax, unwind and indulge in chic island style.”

The resort has a plethora of activities on both land and sea, and for all ages – enough to keep even the fussiest of travellers entertained. Here are just some of the best excursions and pastimes that we’d recommend: for an invigorating day spent out at sea, enjoy scuba diving with accredited PADI dive instructors from beginner to advanced level. Alternatively, choose from a host of water sports, including snorkelling on the house reef and the unique “blue hole” within the lagoon, sunset fishing, dolphin cruise, whale shark spotting, manta ray snorkelling, sea bobbing, jet skiing, catamarans, kayaks windsurfing, kite surfing, paddle boats and expeditions with a marine biologist.

Exhilarating aqua escapades abound in the Maldives. From adventurous boat trips to catch a magnificent fish which the chef will prepare for your evening meal. Try parasailing with a breath-taking view of the stunning islands below.

When you are seeking more serene aqua activities you may choose to take a kayak and paddle around the protected lagoon or relax in the sun on the ocean with a private dhoni journey at sunset.

The resort also serves shisha and there’s live entertainment by a belly dancer too – for anyone who wants to amp up their stay and liven things up. For travellers seeking an intimate getaway, Vakkaru Maldives is arguably one of the most desirable island destinations on the planet.

Fly with Emirates via Dubai to male.

Visit www.vakkarumaldives.com or call +960 660 7000 for reservations and more information.

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