There are plenty reasons to visit the Maldives, which is why many tourists return to the islands time and time again. From its untouched and tranquil beaches, splendid corals and sea life, to the picturesque sunsets and magnificent resorts, the islands are unlike anything else in the world.
So it’s no surprise that the islands and its resorts are a celeb hotspot. Everyone from the British royals to Beyonce and Jay Z spend their holidays here. Fortunately, living in the UAE, you don’t have to be an A-list star to visit the Maldives. Just a four-hour flight away from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the Indian Ocean islands are perfect for a long weekend getaway.
Anybody who has been to the Maldives knows it can be pricey affair, which is why we were instantly attracted to Atmosphere Kanifushi’s premium all-inclusive plan. The resort’s Platinum Plus package covers a wide selection of beverages, a combination of buffet, fine dining and theme night dining options, clubbed with an array of activities ranging from excursions, sunset fishing, snorkelling and non-motorised water sports – all of which are included in one price.
Just 133 km from the airport, Kanifushi Island is a 30-minute scenic flight from Male on a sea plane with Trans Maldivian Airways. The short flight is an Instagrammer’s dream, thanks to the breath-taking aerial views of the coral formations and the vivid colours of the archipelago below.
Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives offers 132 Sunset View detached villas and suites, separated by a few metres of tropical vegetation for privacy. All the villas have direct access to a pristine white beach and a beautiful turquoise lagoon beyond, while surrounded by some of the tallest coconut trees in the region and lush tropical vegetation. All the villas are built with natural materials, such as timber, granite and stone.
During our visit, we stayed in A Sunset Beach Villa, which is one of the largest entry level beach-front villas in the Maldives. Elegantly designed with guest comfort in mind, the villas are bright and airy, with high ceilings and bathrooms that are open to the sky. The villas are all nestled along the long stretch of beach with each one of them having direct beach access just a few metres from its large open-air veranda. Needless to say, it’s ideal for honeymoon couples.
Unlike many other resorts in the Maldives, Atmosphere Kanifushi is a large and somewhat lengthy island, so there is plenty to explore.
The resort boasts a number of outlets and public areas. They all have their own individual vibe and atmosphere – you can choose from chilling at the pool bar, trying out a selection of scrumptious culinary treats at the restaurant, playing a doubles game of tennis or spending the afternoon being pampered at Akiri Spa.
As with every atoll in the Maldives, Lhaviyani Atoll has its own unique variety of marine inhabitants and reef formations. As part of the Platinum Plus holiday plan, Atmosphere Kanifushi has put together a selection of seven options, on alternated throughout the week. The package includes unlimited snorkelling excursions, showcasing some of the best spots in the region.
The full allure of Kanifushi exists both under and upon its waters – the sea and air are alive with adventure and the key to appreciating these natural elements lies in the expansive diving and water sports centre. There are several popular dive sites within close proximity including The Shipyard, Anemone Thila, Fushivaru Thila and Alihaa Giri, as well as uncharted areas that the dive team is continuously exploring.
Food wise, you’re not going to go hungry either, thanks to the resort’s diverse selection of dining destinations. The Spice is the main restaurant, serving a wide variety of quality cuisine, buffet-style. The Liquid is the main bar serving poolside snacks, and The Sunset serves up Asian and Mediterranean cuisine next to the adults-only pool.
If you love an authentic teppanyaki experience, head over to Teppanyaki Grill. Here, guests share a table surrounding a large hot plate, where theatrical chefs whirl, twirl, juggle, flip and flame raw ingredients into a delectable dinner. However, our highlight was Just Veg – a pure vegetarian restaurant (a first in the Maldives) serving delightful veggie cuisine from the Mediterranean, Arabia and India. The restaurant redefines contemporary non-meat cuisine by experimenting with original flavour combinations, and is a must-try during your stay (even if you’re a dedicated carnivore).
With so much to eat, see, do and experience on one island, the rather expansive Atmosphere Kanifushi is unlike any other resort we’ve visited in the Maldives. While we generally prefer to spend three nights at Maldivian resorts, we would happily stay a week (or even longer) on this one-of-a-kind island.
INFO: For bookings and more information, visit atmosphere-kanifushi.com