Essence of the Mal­dives

Virtuozity - - Destination -

While the Mal­dives, the re­sort archipelago of about 1,190 co­ral is­lands, prob­a­bly oc­cu­pies the top spot on mil­lions of peo­ple’s dream hol­i­day lists, get­ting in and out is less glam­orous than you might think. Un­less you’re a high-fly­ing CEO of a For­tune 500 com­pany, with a per­sonal he­li­copter at your dis­posal, trav­el­ling to the Mal­dives is some­thing you have to en­dure in or­der to get to the pris­tine beaches and lux­ury re­sorts within the coun­try.

But trav­el­ling to the Baros Mal­dives lux­ury re­sort is some­thing en­tirely dif­fer­ent. Min­utes af­ter touch-down at Mal­dives In­ter­na­tional Air­port, guests are able to travel in style straight to the re­sort, rather than hav­ing to en­dure an­other round of fly­ing via sea­plane. A re­sort host wel­comes guests at the air­port, and trans­port from there is pro­vided by the re­sort’s su­per speed­boats, which are on call 24/7. It’s a nice lit­tle touch that il­lus­trates in and of it­self just what makes the Baros re­sort so spe­cial.

Guests at Baros have a choice of the finest things in life in the lav­ish com­fort. There are 45 beach­side and 30 wa­ter vil­las on Baros Mal­dives. All are beau­ti­fully de­signed, built by crafts­men us­ing sand­stone and tim­ber to blend with the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment. All have con­tem­po­rary fur­nish­ings, large win­dows to let in nat­u­ral light, and are time­less in am­bi­ence. As well as hav­ing a pri­vate ve­randa or sun deck, sun loungers and a teak din­ing ta­ble for two, each villa has a spa­cious,

teak-floored bed­room fea­tur­ing a king-size bed with soft cot­ton sheets and pil­lows, as well as a van­ity desk and a large sofa or day bed. All have direct ac­cess to the beau­ti­ful la­goon by the beach from the ve­randa or by wooden steps from the sun deck. Many have pri­vate pools.

Staff at the Baros are at­ten­tive and sin­cere, with­out be­ing over-zeal­ous or pes­ter­ing. Their op­er­a­tion works as flaw­lessly as the me­chan­i­cal cogs in a finely crafted watch—you don’t really no­tice that they’re there, but all of the be­hind-the-scenes work goes a long way to cre­at­ing a feel­ing of ab­so­lute trust that, no mat­ter what, you’ll be looked af­ter.

The at­ten­tive staff at the Baros are im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous at the Baros—as is the lux­ury of the en­tire re­sort. How­ever, it takes a couple of days for you to re­alise quite how lux­u­ri­ous the set­ting really is. We’ve all seen per­fect im­ages of Mal­dives re­sorts which make it look like the ul­ti­mate beach des­ti­na­tion. But all too of­ten, the re­sorts be­hind those pho­tos fail to de­liver on the lux­u­ri­ous prom­ises that the pic­tures make.

Not so with the Baros. The set­ting—a lush palm tree gar­den sur­rounded by deep-azure wa­ters that you can peer into end­lessly— is in it­self breath­tak­ing. But ev­ery­thing man-made on the is­land re­sort is just as en­chant­ing. The vil­las are mod­ern, yet they still re­tain an el­e­ment of trop­i­cal shab­bi­ness about the de­sign. This is in­ten­tional—there’s lit­er­ally noth­ing shabby about the place in re­al­ity—with the idea be­ing that you end up with the feel­ing of a be­ing on a re­mote is­land, off on a trop­i­cal ad­ven­ture. You could call the ar­chi­tec­ture de­sign of the vil­las dis­tressed chic. They’re made out of sand­stone and tim­ber, and look like trop­i­cal huts. But as soon as you’re close enough to touch them, you re­alise that th­ese houses are built to the finest stan­dards. Ev­ery­thing feels solid, and is fin­ished beau­ti­fully—from the tex­ture of the walls to the colour of the paint and ren­der. It’s all been thought out to the small­est de­tail. It’s the same story with the in­side fur­nish­ings, which are el­e­gant with a touch of ex­u­ber­ance. Pre­cious woods are com­bined with high-end marbles and tiles, which glint from the vast amounts of sun­light be­ing let in through the large win­dows. The am­biance is as close to per­fect as any­where could achieve.

The Baros has been de­scribed by some as the per­fect hon­ey­moon des­ti­na­tion—with its laid-back at­mos­phere and feel­ings of iso­la­tion. And that would cer­tainly be true. If you wanted to spend a couple of weeks sim­ply re­lax­ing on a beach, in supreme lux­ury and com­fort, sur­rounded by picturesque set­tings, you could think of few bet­ter places. How­ever, the re­sort also of­fers fab­u­lous ameni­ties for those who might be­come bored with sim­ply sit­ting on a beach.

For ex­am­ple, the Spa needs to be seen to be be­lieved. Set in the heart of the re­sort, hid­den within lush fo­liage, it spe­cialises in per­son­alised treat­ment for guests’ needs with mas­sages to soothe the mind and nour­ish the body, as well as ther­a­pies from all over Asia and a va­ri­ety of cos­metic prod­ucts. En­hanced by its set­ting of a trop­i­cal gar­den, with flow­ing wa­ter cre­at­ing a re­lax­ing, serene at­mos­phere the Spa in­spires con­tent­ment. Un­der­stand­ing, ex­pe­ri­enced ther­a­pists are on hand to pro­vide all man­ner of treat­ments.

Din­ing is also a high­light at the Baros. In the splen­dour of three restau­rants and two bars, in-villa, or any­where on the is­land or even on a sand­bank, the Pi­ano Deck over the la­goon, or dur­ing a dhoni cruise, the ded­i­cated Food & Bev­er­age team of the kitchens, restau­rants and bars of Baros Mal­dives are on hand to spoil guests with

splen­did ser­vice and fine food and wines. Be sure to opt for the sand­bank din­ing op­tion one day. You can enjoy break­fast, lunch or din­ner in the iso­la­tion of a small sand­bank owned by the ho­tel, with your own chef and waiter to cater for your culi­nary wishes. This makes for a truly unique din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Fi­nally, a trip to the Mal­dives would never be com­plete with­out ex­plor­ing the un­der­wa­ter de­lights that sur­round the is­lands. The Baros has two cen­tres de­voted to div­ing and ex­plor­ing the sea: The Dive Cen­tre and the sep­a­rate Marine Cen­tre. The re­sort has a stun­ning house reef full of spec­tac­u­lar marine life just a few strokes from the beach and there are 30 world-class dive spots within 50 min­utes by boat. At the Dive Cen­tre, guests can learn not only scuba div­ing, but also par­tic­i­pate in Eco Div­ing at the Eco­dive Cen­tre, which is the first in the Mal­dives Is­lands.

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