A New Slice of Paradise in the Maldives

By Hermoine Macura-Noble

Special to The Times Kuwait

Nestled in the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is a tropical paradise renowned for its pristine white-sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise lagoons, and unparalleled luxury. Made up of various coral atolls, this exotic archipelago offers an exclusive escape for discerning travelers seeking the ultimate luxury vacation. With its opulent resorts, world-class amenities, and breathtaking natural beauty, the Maldives has earned its reputation as one of the most sought-after luxury tourist destinations on the planet.

With a variety of luxury properties to choose from, the demand for something more laid back is what led to the opening of the Avani+ Fares resort. The property opened its doors this Summer, offering a new atmosphere on the western edge of the Baa Atoll.

“The ideal Avani+ guest is a millennial-minded traveller whose priorities are style, comfort, and good value. Avani is a brand that caters to the preferences of these travellers, offering an upbeat and contemporary experience… Avani is particularly appealing to digital nomads, bleisure travellers (those who combine business and leisure), fitness and wellness enthusiasts, and those seeking unique and immersive travel experiences. We aim to create an environment where guests arrive as strangers and leave as friends,” explains Avani+ Fares Maldives Resort, General Manager, Riaan Sinclair-Drever.

Located just 35 minutes away from Velana International Airport, the resort features ten stunning overwater pool villas as well as a variety of other accommodation choices, overlooking the two lagoons of Dolphin Bay. Gulf travellers will be impressed by islands picturesque sanctuary as well as the privacy and connectivity offered at the resort.

“Avani+ Fares caters specifically to GCC residents through a range of features including halal-friendly facilities and halal food options…The resort has Arabic-speaking staff to facilitate easy communication with GCC guests. Arabic-inspired dishes are included in the menus, providing a taste of home. Private villas with exclusive pools offer privacy and tranquility,” shares Sinclair-Drever.

Avani+ Fares Maldives
Resort, General Manager, Riaan Sinclair-Drever

The highlight of the resort is that guests can experience the fascinating marine life of the Baa Atoll’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.As one of only 61 islands situated in the marine protected waters of the reserve, guests have easy access to two of the area’s top attractions: Hanifaru Bay, a protected marine area where at certain times of year, over a hundred mantas can be seen feeding and performing mesmerising acrobatic displays, and the awe-inspiring five islands landmark featuring a chain of perfectly formed ring-shaped islands.

There are also fourteen dive sites right off the beach, a 220-metre house reef bursting with life, and an additional Fares reef that is just 600 metres away from the shore. Complimentary snorkel gear comes as standard and guests can expect to encounter reef sharks, whale sharks, stingrays, eagle rays, green sea turtles, spinner dolphins and a wide variety of marine life during their stay.

Night-time snorkelling provides a captivating experience, allowing guests to witness the nocturnal habits of parrotfish, groupers, snappers, lionfish, garden eels, and crustaceans illuminated by torchlight. They can immerse themselves in a mesmerising environment surrounded by blankets of bioluminescent plankton.

When it comes to gastronomy – The resort boasts a diverse range of world-class restaurants helmed by acclaimed chefs, serving a fusion of international and local cuisine. From private candlelit beach dinners to 5 star dining, Avani+ offers a gastronomic journey that tantalizes the taste buds of even the most discerning food connoisseurs. With a focus on fresh seafood and locally sourced ingredients, every meal becomes a memorable culinary affair, with seven trendy restaurants to choose from.

“The resort has a mini farm that provides organic produce, and locally caught catch of the day is also used. This ensures that guests can enjoy fresh and high-quality culinary experiences during their stay. The resort offers a diverse selection of dining options, with seven trendy restaurants to choose from, including local and international cuisine, grilled dishes, grab-and-go snacks, molecular cocktails, and even a kids-only restaurant called Petit Bistro,” adds Sinclair-Drever.

Guest favourites include the local and international cuisine at Ocean Terrace and at the poolside café Skipjack, which has amazing seafood dishes such as fresh Tuna ceviche and gigantic grilled prawns with pasta – amazing dishes to be enjoyed while enjoying breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean without almost no plastic in site. The property is refreshingly, almost 100% plastic free.

“Avani+ Fares Resort follows the ‘4R’ principle (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Replace) to minimize our environmental impact. Our goals include a 75% reduction in single-use plastic by 2024, and we prioritize environmentally friendly alternatives. We collaborate with conservation agencies to protect turtles, marine life and their habitats,” concludes Sinclair-Drever.

While many people are familiar with its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, here are 5 intriguing facts about the Maldives for tourists:

1) A Nation of Islands: The Maldives is not just a single island, but an entire nation comprised of 26 coral atolls. These atolls consist of more than 1,000 individual islands, with around 200 of them inhabited by locals and dedicated to tourism.

2) The Lowest Country on Earth: The Maldives holds the distinction of being the lowest country on Earth in terms of average ground level. Its highest natural point is only about 2.4 meters (8 feet) above sea level. As a result, the Maldives faces the real threat of rising sea levels due to climate change, making it an even more precious and time-sensitive destination to visit.

3) Underwater Cabinet Meeting: In 2009, the Maldives made international headlines when the government held an underwater cabinet meeting to raise awareness about climate change and the rising sea levels threatening the country. The president and his cabinet members donned scuba gear and held a meeting at a depth of about 6 meters off the coast of the capital city.

4) Island with a Manta Ray Cleaning Station: Hanifaru Bay, located in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Baa Atoll, is a renowned manta ray cleaning station. During certain months of the year, this area attracts large groups of manta rays that gather to be cleaned by smaller fish.

5) The Maldives’ Own Time Zone: The Maldives operates on its unique time zone, which is GMT+5.

The Maldives stands as an unrivaled destination for luxury travelers, where paradise meets opulence. Its pristine beauty, luxurious accommodations, world-class spas, underwater wonders, and culinary delights combine to create an unforgettable experience. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or a combination of both, the Maldives promises to deliver an extraordinary luxury vacation that exceeds all expectations.

By Hermoine Macura-Noble The first Australian English speaking News Anchor in the Middle East. She is also the Author of Faces of the Middle East and Founder of US-based 501c3 charity – The House of Rest which helps to ease the suffering of victims of war. For more from our Contributing Editor, you can follow her on Instagram, here.By Hermoine Macura-Noble
The first Australian English speaking News Anchor in the Middle East. She is also the Author of Faces of the Middle East and Founder of US-based 501c3 charity – The House of Rest which helps to ease the suffering of victims of war. For more from our Contributing Editor, you can follow her on Instagram, here.

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