Destination of the World News - - NEWS MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA -

THERE ARE PLENTY OF RE­SORTS IN THE MAL­DIVES, BUT FURAVERI IS­LAND RE­SORT & SPA IS ONE of the few where guests will ac­tu­ally feel like they are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the real Mal­dives – with fives­tar ser­vice and want-for-noth­ing fa­cil­i­ties, of course. The trop­i­cal 23-hectare coral is­land in the Raa Atoll is not only owned and man­aged by a lo­cal Mal­di­vian fam­ily and mostly staffed by Mal­di­vians, but hon­our­ing the cul­ture of the is­land ar­chi­pel­ago na­tion is wo­ven through­out the phi­los­o­phy, and au­then­tic­ity is in ev­ery de­tail, from the 200-sqm Dhoni Pool Vil­las – won­der­fully pri­vate vil­las shielded from view by lush veg­e­ta­tion and in­spired by the lo­cal Mal­di­vian dhoni ves­sels, with wooden ceil­ings that soar up to five me­tres in height and semi-al­fresco bath­rooms – to the ex­cur­sions to neigh­bour­ing is­lands, where guests are wel­comed into the homes of lo­cal Mal­di­vian fam­i­lies for tea, and later given a per­sonal tour of “is­land life”, from the town hall to the school. At reser­va­tion, Furaveri guests are even en­cour­aged to bring a school book from their home coun­try to do­nate to the var­i­ous lo­cal schools in the Raa and Baa Atolls! As well as hold­ing true to the lo­cal cul­ture, Furaveri is al­ways evolv­ing to meet the dis­cern­ing tastes of its lux­ury guests. Guests are spoiled for choice on the is­land, which has a kids’ club, a PADI 5 Star Dive fa­cil­ity, a fit­ness cen­tre and a spa, though fam­i­lies, or those sim­ply seek­ing a lit­tle more room to breathe can re­serve the two-bed­room Over Wa­ter Pool Suite, an ex­pan­sive 200-sqm villa with pri­vate but­ler ser­vice, an over-wa­ter in­fin­ity pool, and di­rect sea ac­cess – just a short swim away from one of the is­land’s two house reefs. Also new at Furaveri for gour­mands, the re­sort’s Asian fu­sion restau­rant, Raiyvila, is just weeks away from open­ing, the à la carte restau­rant of­fer­ing dreamy views over the white-sand beach and the In­dian Ocean. With par­adise seem­ingly at ev­ery turn, it’s easy to fall in love with the Mal­dives, but trav­ellers seek­ing a gen­uine, Mal­di­vian ex­pe­ri­ence may just fall head over heels in love with Furaveri too.

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