Head to The Maldives for a spot of holiday healing
seafood or grilled meats at Kandu Grill, as spiny lobster, king prawns and wagyu rump beckon. The 1kg Australian Tomahawk steak could well be in your sights. However, for guests like me, still recovering from breakfast, the Reef Club might be more your style; perched by the picturesque pool, it offers modern Italian dining with an island twist. My oven-baked Parma ham, rocket, parmesan, cherry tomato, mushroom and spinach pizza topped with ricotta cheese and pine nuts, is only to be outdone by my wife’s choice of pan-seared prawns, scallops, fillet of reef fish and braised fennel in a shellfish vinaigrette. Both restaurants are also open for dinner. OK, so it’s time to lie down.
Where better to sleep than the Kuda Huraa spa? After a short boat ride I arrive on a tiny isle for my coconut oil massage. Individual treatment rooms are arrayed over the ocean with glass panels in the floor through which fish pass so slowly they appear to be sauntering. The combination of warm coconut oil, the mesmerising marine life and the therapist’s expert hands has me dozing off within minutes.
Our dinner choice is Baraabaru, featuring southern Indian columned decor and traditional tableware. Located on a pier and lit by fire torches, the water gently laps beneath diners as a mesmerising array of bright stars light up the clear, dark sky. Scrumptious hors-d’oeuvres, curries and seafood dishes appear, each outdoing its predecessor, from yoghurt fritters flavoured with roasted cumin, coriander and cardamom to tandoor specialities and basmati rice biryanis studded with reef fish, shrimps and lobster.
Accommodation at Kuda Huraa consist of beach and water bungalows as well as specialty suites. Sunrise and sunset bungalows with private pools loom above the lagoon on stilts and offer breathtaking views across the ocean. All guestrooms are beautifully finished with teak furnishings and feature classic Maldivian thatched roofs. Light, airy and comfortable, most come with a private pool, and all have easy beach access or a short trip by golf buggy will have you anywhere on the island in moments.
Landaa Giraavaru, the larger of the two resort islands, provides opulent sunrise and sunset villas as well as family and beachside options with all room types available with or without a private pool. Like the accommodation at Kuda Huraa, our beachside villa is bright and spacious with a mix of local and contemporary-luxe decor and a generous-sized pool and outdoor area. Landaa Giraavaru is densely vegetated and comes complete with jungle retreats and your own bicycle for exploring the island. However some of the biggest discoveries come offshore
Pool at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, top; snorkelling at Landaa Giraavaru, top left; beach bungalow with private pool at Kuda Huraa, left