Ever the escapist, Angela Beitz dips into the azure waters of the stunning Dusit Thani Maldives and discovers a place that never ceases to astonish…
Taking a trip to the Maldives is akin to a perfect summer romance. Everything is fresh and new and you experience a feeling of happiness that you don’t get from
a typical holiday. This is not my first time in the Maldives and it’s amazing how coming back a few years later conjures up lots of lovely memories and familiar feelings. The breeze, the calm turquoise waters, the food, service and sheer beauty of this amazing place. Would it continue to impress me once again?
The Dusit Thani is located on Mudhdhoo Island Baa Atoll. The Maldives’ first UNESCO Biosphere reserve is 35 minutes from Male by seaplane and 10 minutes by speedboat from Dharavandhoo domestic airport. I arrive at the pier of the hotel and am greeted by the hotel staff who are super lovely and professional, yet laid-back. Even our check in was relaxed. We were given a cold lemongrass scented towel and a welcome drink then driven to our room in a buggy.
The idyllic island is lush and green and Dusit Thani have done a stellar job of seamlessly developing luxury villas without spoiling or taking away from the natural beauty of this pristine location. The property is perfectly maintained and there is an abundance of wildlife to enjoy. Birds chirp overhead and small lizards and crabs dart across the sand. This is all such a lovely change from my high rise apartment in the middle of the desert and I dwell on this numerous times during the trip.
I kick off the first evening with dinner by the pool at Sea Grill. This restaurant serves up an array of fresh seafood and succulent steak and is an upscale yet relaxed venue. I opted for a traditional Maldivian curry with fresh tuna – it wasn’t on the menu but the chef was more than happy to make it for me. Huge chunks of super fresh tuna swimming in a flavoursome Maldivian curry sauce on a huge plate served with rice, roti, poppadoms, house made mango chutney and a refreshing raita. It was exceptional. The perfect food for eating by the water in the Maldives. I sipped on a chilled glass of crisp white wine and took in the scenery before heading back to my room eager to get to sleep to await the next day’s activities.
I wake to the sound of the ocean and for a split second I forget where I am. I’m staying in one of the resort’s Beach Villas and it’s absolutely stunning. The room is spacious and filled with every mod-con you can think of, including a flat screen TV, Nespresso machine, TWG tea and products by Molton Brown. The back door leads out to a huge outdoor rain shower and a large tub set in a lush floral garden while the front door leads straight out to a hammock, two sun loungers and the beach. It’s pretty much win-win, any way you look at it.
If you want to take your relaxed vibe to another level, then Devarana Spa is well worth a visit. After a delightful breakfast, I hop on my bike (provided free from the resort – such a nice touch) and casually pedal to the spa which is located in the middle of the island in a section of serene and indigenous rainforest. The spa is cleverly built in the tree tops and is unbelievably peaceful. I’m welcomed with a delicious plum juice and fill out any areas of concern for the 90-minute signature massage I’m about to embark upon. I choose the rose essential oil which is great for hydrating dry skin but there are others you can choose from depending on your mood. I’m taken up one of the large timber staircases by my sweet therapist to the treatment room. The room is large with huge windows that look out onto the rainforest.
Once I’ve changed into a robe, I lay face down on the table and place my head in the hole of the bed to find a dish of sliced lemon and lime in warm water near my face. This is a welcome touch and it feel lovely to breathe in the plucky citrus scent. The deep tissue massage using Thai techniques is nothing short of amazing. Firstly, hot towels are laid on my back to relax my muscles before being soothed. My back is sore, aching and crunchy and my therapist focuses on all these sore spots and being the professional that she is, she can feel the specific knots and tense muscles. She works hard to rid me of my aches and pains and I quickly doze off to sleep. The treatment is finished with an excellent head massage and I leave the spa walking on air. If you are not one for sitting still on a holiday, then snorkeling will be your thing.
The absolute stand-out feature of the property is the house reef. The island is surrounded by this breathtaking 360 degree coral reef which is brimming with tropical fish, turtles and in the right season, manta-rays.
I visit the Splash Watersports Centre and am fitted with a mask, snorkel and fins. I dip into the water off of the jetty and am gob smacked by the plethora of tropical fish and coral. Angel fish and Butterfly fish swim around me in large groups and huge tuna glide by in the deeper waters. I come eye to eye with bright Parrot fish and just when I think this can’t get any better I spot a beautiful hawksbill turtle.
After a relaxing afternoon dipping in and out of the sparkling infinity pool (one of the biggest in the Maldives) I order a refreshing tropical drink and sit on the deck at Sand Bar to watch the sunset. The Maldives easily puts on some of the best sunsets I’ve seen. The bright blue sky changes from burnt orange to bright indigo and then fluro pink for the finale as the sun dips down over the horizon.
Dusit Thani Maldives is the perfect getaway from the Gulf. In a less than five-hour flight you can be enjoying the pristine surrounds of the island with their super friendly and knowledgeable staff. It’s the ideal escape whether you just want to relax by the pool and indulge in the spa and the wonderful fresh food options, or equally if you are the more adventurous type who wants to make the most of the fabulous scuba diving and other exhilarating watersports that are on offer. The only problem with the Maldives? Eventually you have to leave and return to reality.