As part of my trip with Perowne International in October 2019, I was lucky enough to return to the Maldives for a few nights. Having not visited since 2017, it was great to be back, and boy has the place changed! You can read more about this here.
Perowne represents three beautiful properties in the Maldives, and I was lucky enough to experience all of them throughout my stay. All are completely unique, but equally wonderful, demonstrating 5* luxury, with a real sense of place.
Baros was the first island on the list; just a 35 minute speedboat from Male airport, making it perfect for stays of 5 days or less. This was my second visit to the island, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the island has undergone a colour scheme overhaul since my last visit – neutral creams and blues now dominate, replacing the deep reds, to create a much more modern and polished feel.
Believe it or not, Baros is one of the original Maldivian island resorts, and is over 40 years old. This means that they really know their stuff; the service is polished, the interiors are sophisticated, and the foliage is lush and mature. These aren’t things that other, newer resorts always get right, and all are so important for a luxurious, relaxing and private stay.
The real selling points of Baros are its incredible house reef (with over 20 resident turtles), romantic atmosphere (no children under 9 allowed) and it’s stunning signature restaurant and bar, the Lighthouse. This over-water structure is so striking and is a great place for everything from morning yoga, to sundowners.
My favourite room category has to be the Deluxe Villa, as although they are the lead-in, they have beautiful outdoor bathrooms.
A 35 minute seaplane from Male, Milaidhoo is an island that feels truly castaway, something which is becoming ever more rare as the Maldives grows. You could walk around this island in 10 minutes, and it’s got a real focus on intimacy, romance and championing the Maldives. Their slogan is ‘Story of a Small Island’, and this is exactly what they do – from the moment you arrive, you’re welcomed into the ‘family’, and encouraged to tell your own story, whether that’s relaxation & spa, or underwater adventure.
The interiors here are absolutely stunning, with a contemporary beach house vibe, with light woods, bright colours and a warmth that somehow makes your huge villa with private pool feel like home. I have to confess, that this is hands down my favourite accomodation in the Maldives, and the Beach Villas for me, come top of the list.
During our short time here, we actually fit so much in! We went night snorkelling, which was so cool, where we saw octupus, squid, lionfish and even a glimpse of a nursing shark! I was also treated to a signature Milaidhoo massage, which was dreamy beyond belief. And, how could I forget that we were treated to a private yacht trip on our last evening, to see dolphins! However my favourite experience has to be dinner at Ba’Theli. This is the only traditional Maldivian restaurant in the country, if not the world, and it’s designed as a traditional boat would be. It’s a truly special experience, and my favourite signature restaurant!
The Nautilus is a relatively new island to the Maldives scene, and is a very different concept from any other island I have visited before. It’s extremely exclusive, with just 26 beach and ocean ‘houses’ (called this, so that guests feel at home). With its own private seaplane, as well as a unique airport service, the experience starts as soon as you arrive, and I was lucky enough to see this first hand. Their plane is bright purple, and has spacious, large, leather chairs – a far cry from the cramped and often sweaty seaplane experience of Trans Maldivian Airways.
This island is all about freedom. Freedom from boundaries, from menus, and even from time. If you want to eat pasta at 3am in the restaurant, that’s exactly what you’ll do. You don’t fancy anything on the menu, and would actually love a Thai? That’ll happen too. If anything, the staff were disappointed that we ordered from the menu during lunch, wanting to be challenged.
The houses are also incredible. The design is very similar to that of Milaidhoo, but on a much larger scale, and unlike it’s neighbour, invites families of all ages with open arms. The houses are so spacious, and with curved walls, really create a sense of calm and tranquility, as well as luxury, without feeling too decadent.
This place is perfect for those without a budget, looking to escape and have absolute privacy, with a personal touch.
All of these islands sit at varying price points, and can all be found at Turquoise Holidays. As an Indian Ocean specialist myself, I would be delighted to help!