Getting to the serene island resort of Jumeirah Vittaveli is a spectacular journey on its own. Once we stepped out of the airport and took in the warm, balmy weather of the island country, we were greeted with a smile by the Jumeirah Vittaveli team, who arranged a private yacht to take us from the airport to the hotel. The five star service really starts as soon as you land.
The second we boarded the yacht, we couldn’t help but beam with excitement at the prospect of living on an island in the Indian Ocean for the next few days. Our journey started with a beautifully presented tray of fresh fruits, refreshingly cool juices and the unforgettable view of turquoise waters, white sands and lush greenery. A short 20 minute boat ride later, we were greeted with a traditional Maldivian island welcome, which involved three gongs and the beating of drums. Anyone who arrives at the resort needs to give themselves a good ten minutes to stand and awe at the stunning natural beauty. For the first time in many months, coconut in hand, I felt a million miles away from the clutches of stressful city life.
The Maldives are blessed with year round tropical climate and beautiful sunshine. With an average temperature of 27 degrees, it provides perfect beach weather almost every day. We were lucky enough to have the sun shining on all four days of our trip. The island that Jumeirah Vittaveli calls home is known as the Bolifushi Island, which is the island of shells. It is full of a natural abundance of coral reefs and marine wildlife. The resort offers some of the most romantic villas in the Maldives including Beach Villas Beach Suites, Water Villas and Ocean Suites. There are currently 89 villas and suites in the resort, each of them with their own private swimming pools along with direct beach or lagoons. We were here however to experience property number 90. A property unlike anything else in the world. The Royal Residence.
Calling the Royal Residence a ‘room’ is a total understatement. My expectations were one thing and the actual reality of what I saw was the other. The second we entered through the double doors of the largest residence on the Island, we were blown away. The five bedroom retreat consists of the main ‘Sanctuary’ bedroom and three guest villas – one king size, one twin size, and a two-storey guest house comprising one king bedroom and one twin bedroom. The Royal Residence has been designed for ultimate privacy, nestled away in a part of the Island providing undisturbed peace and tranquillity. At 3,500 sq. m the Royal Residence can host 10 adults and 4 children or 12 adults comfortably.
If you’re the host at the Royal Residence you’ll enjoy the Sanctuary room, which includes its own living area, indoor and outdoor bathrooms, as well as a private spa and gym. Your guests at the residences enjoy the three adjacent guest villas, which come with their own lavish bathrooms as well as private open air decks. Then there’s the Royal Residence’s joint dining and living room area, which is fully stocked with classic books, a flat screen TV, video games, home theatre system, and comfortable couches to lounge on as well as a dining table that seats eight people. The living room area leads out onto the expansive deck wrapped around a designer pool. The outdoor area also features a sunken seating lounge that is enveloped by a lily pond, a stretch of private beach, your very own open air teppanyaki restaurant, private jetty, sundeck and bar. You literally will never need to leave your residence.— GUIDES (@GN_Guides) March 10, 2017
What to do
Thanks to a partnership with Best Dives Maldives, Jumeirah Vittaveli offers a vast range of water sports and activities. Because you’ve got your own private beach, all hotel water sports can take place right in your front yard. We got to try some radical moves when we enjoyed a session of fly boarding. The team at Best Dive came over on a jet ski with all the equipment for us. All we had to do was endure a 15 second walk from our rooms to the shore of the beach.
Other water sports you can try at Jumeirah Vittaveli include scuba diving, snorkelling and one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life, riding on the Semi-Submarine. This amazing vessel remains above the sea surface at all times while the bottom section is 1.3 metres below the water, which is where we got to sit. The large windows of the underwater hull enabled us to enjoy spectacular views of the underwater ecosystem and reefs, creating the illusion of a real submarine dive. We were lucky enough to enjoy a night dive in complete safety.
Where to eat
Jumeirah Vittaveli offers a wide variety of cuisine catering for every type of palate.
1. Royal Residence
While staying at the Royal Residence, we enjoyed a few of our meals on the property. Whether this was in our private dining room, on the private deck, on the shore of the beach or in our private restaurant, the team prepares whatever your heart desires. We enjoyed breakfast by the water, a Chanel themed afternoon tea in the dining room and dinner in our teppanyaki restaurant. A particularly memorable meal was the barbecue on the sand, where we enjoyed grilled seafood and meat as well as a fire show followed by moon and star gazing.
Opulent and unique Indian cuisine. We had the opportunity to try this exclusive fine dining restaurant, where the menu offers an indulgent “Journey” through India’s rich culinary traditions, including creative interpretations of traditional Indian recipes. On alternating days, guests are served authentic Thalis, designed for traditional Indian cuisine aficionados.
This French restaurant is the Maldives’ version of our very own Pierchic in Dubai. The elegant overwater restaurant was a voyage of culinary discovery with a menu that featured a variety of French classics as well as modern cuisine.
This is the hotel’s main restaurant. A mix of Asian and Western flavours under one roof. Samsara offers a variety of dining options, including themed buffets, salad bar and a la carte menu.
5. MU Beach Bar and Grill
This beachside restaurant offers casual, sharing style seafood, fish or prime steak, grilled to perfection by the talented chefs.
A great way to spend some time poolside and lounge on the sala day beds while enjoying the surrounding views of the lagoons.
Room 5/5 ①②③④❺
Value 4/5 ①②③❹⑤
Cleanliness 5/5 ①②③④❺
Location 5/5/ ①②③④❺
Elegant Resorts offer a four night stay from Dh319,140. The price is based on twelve adults sharing in the Royal Residence. For further information, please contact Elegant Resorts on 8000 3570 2891