Travel Review: Finolhu, Maldives
Think the Maldives is only for romantic couples and family getaways? Think again! If you're looking for a lively party island, look no further than Finolhu...
There are plenty reasons to visit the Maldives, which is why many tourists return to the islands time and time again. From its pristine and serene beaches, magnificent corals and sea life to the picturesque sunsets and stunning resorts, the islands are unlike anything else in the world. But partying? Not so much. Until now, that is.
Meet Finolhu – a refreshing, retro- inspired burst of fun for the region, bringing toes-in-the-sand relaxation to fun-loving visitors looking for the best DJs, live acts and most fabulously chic events in the Maldives.
Located in the UNESCO world biosphere reserve of Baa Atoll, Finolhu is the ultimate island experience for chic couples, fun-loving families and gatherings of friends. In fact, it’s so cool you could go alone! Finolhu’s 125 trendy villas are situated on the ocean, the lagoon or by the beach, and can be reached by seaplane in just 30 minutes from Malé International Airport.
From the moment you arrive at Finolhu, you notice the vibe is different to that of its neighbouring islands. The rooms have a distinct Bohemian feel to them and feature unique furniture designs like crystal chandeliers, retro cane seating and Marshall speakers.
Best of all, the resort is home to a 1OAK beach club, hence its vibrant atmosphere. With established venues in New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, to name a few, the famous 1OAK brand now hosts regular events at the island’s 1OAK Finolhu. The 1OAK Beach Club puts on nightly entertainment at the island’s magnetic two-storey Beach Club Bar, crowned by a lounge with 360-degree views. You’ll get to experience jaw-dropping performances from resident Area 51 acrobats, mermaids and stilt walkers. 1OAK Finolhu also hosts weekly retro pool parties, monthly Full Moon Tribal sandbank events; and six-times-a-year exclusive extravaganzas featuring appearances from the world’s top performers and hottest DJs.
And if you’re not in the mood to dance, the venue’s Cinema Retro screens classic movies and live international sporting events. Alternatively, gamers can get in on the bar’s old-school arcade classic pinball or PacMan action, or soak up the views from the panoramic upstairs bar and viewing lounge.
Helmed by nightlife business originator and Butter Group Founder Richie Akiva, 1OAK remains one of the most popular and exclusive celebrity hotspots since its inception. Since the opening of its flagship location in New York City, 1OAK has been favoured by Hollywood’s biggest celebrities, VIPs, and socialites, including Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Madonna, Katy Perry, Kanye West, Rihanna, Olivier Rousteing, Narciso Rodriguez and Giorgio Armani. So it’s no surprise that celebs have been flocking to the Maldivian venue. Since its launch earlier this year, 1OAK Finolhu has hosted the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Robin Thicke, Cara Delevinge, Kate Moss and Paris Hilton, to name a few. In fact, during our stay at Finolhu, we got to party with actual Leonardo DiCaprio. Lucky us!
And if you want to party like a celeb, but don’t have the cash to do so, you’re in luck. Until December, Finolhu is offering guests unlimited drinks packages, which includes a selection of mixed drinks, assorted house beverages and grapes. The packages can be booked at USD$68++ per day.
Of course, every partygoer has to eat first before hitting the dance floor. Finolhu offers laid-back yet elegant dining options, with the chilled-out Baa Baa Beach Club at its heart. Made for lounging away afternoons, sipping and nibbling from a daybed, Baa Baa is the place to be, day or night.
Other dining choices range from either the Fish & Crab Shack, an oasis of rustic chic deliciousness halfway along Finolhu’s stunning 1.8km sandbank, or the stunning dining venue Kanusan, which spans three areas: a vibrant overwater bar area; a relaxed indoor space and an alfresco lower deck for an archetypal Maldivian experience surrounded by the sights and sounds of the sea. An open kitchen puts the cuisine centre stage, embracing the theatricality of Kanusan’s Asian spirit. Bringing magical Maghreb flavours to the Maldives, the boutique-style Baahaa Grill restaurant celebrates the legendary spice blends of pre-Moorish North Africa, while Finolhu’s old-school tuck shop, Milk Bar, treats holidaymakers to a range of guilt-free wraps, smoothies, and Bodyism Shakes, to carefree ice creams or amazing coffees.
As with any resort in the Maldives, watersports are a must-do. Finolhu’s Marine HUB (which stands for Home of the Underwater Biosphere) hosts epic water activities including diving, snorkelling trips and excursions, all under the watchful eye of the Marine Bio team. The Oceaneers Club, meanwhile, is ideal for tots to teens, with activities specially created to suit the kids who are on island, rather than a prescribed menu. For power junkies and action seekers, Palm Beach’s 1.5km Thunderball lagoon is home to a variety of high-octane watersports and beach games.
With so much to do, see, eat, drink and experience, it’s no wonder Finolhu is fast becoming a celeb magnet in the Maldives. And if it’s good enough for the famous folk, it’s certainly good enough for us.
INFO: Kanufushi Island, Baa Atoll, Maldives, +960 660 8800, for more information and bookings, visit finolhu.com