Photos, Reviews, Travel

Hotel Review: Carlisle Bay, Antigua

CarlisleBayfromthewater

View from the water. NHYM 2017. All photos courtesy of NHYM. 

Overall: 4.2 stars

Hotel: 4.3 stars

Beach and location: 4.5 stars

Rooms: 4.4 stars

Food: 4.4 stars

Service: 3.5 stars

Value for money: 3.8 stars

As you – my readers – all know, I have a slight obsession with the Maldives (it is after all, my ‘happy place’). But this year, we decided that we needed to try something different. So, after discussions with many friends, it was decided that Carlisle Bay in Antigua would be our next destination.

CarlisleBayViewfromBeachNHYM

View from the beach Carlisle Bay. NHYM 2017. 

One friend said that ‘it is as close as what you get in the Maldives’ : a luxury, family friendly hotel with beach front villas, a great Kids Club, and clear, shallow waters for the kids. (But I was also told to manage my expectations, because it still isn’t quite the Maldives).

CarlisleBayBeachNHYM

The Beach, Carlisle Bay. NHYM 2017. 

THE HOTEL

As soon as I arrived, I realised why my friends had sent me here: beautiful hotel grounds, a restaurant right on the beach, and the incredibly beautiful and idyllic beach and bay, Carlisle Bay. The beach was one of my favourite parts of the hotel, you couldn’t fault it.

CarlisleBayGroundsNHYM

Hotel Grounds. NHYM 2017.

Antigua is only 8 hours from London, which already gets points for being one of the closest tropical island destinations (Maldives: 10/11 hours, Mauritius 11/12 hours, Asia/Thailand 13+hours). And, you can fly there on British Airways on points.

CarlisleBayRoomNHYM

The Room. NHYM 2017.

It is an all-suite hotel, and we were given a family suite which was the perfect set up for a family: a large main bedroom with living area and a second bedroom with 2 twin beds for the children. This set up, I have to say, was perfect. The room was bright, clean, and crisp. It provides what you ask for. (The only thing I would comment on is that the common stairs were not cleaned regularly which is something they could work on).

CarlisleBayPoolNHYM

The pool Carlisle Bay. NHYM 2017. 

The pool is nice enough, but nothing spectacular. It is also set back so there is no view of the sea from the pool, something I do really love and find in most hotels in the Maldives. The other disappointment was the service around the pool was quite slow at times: ie. we ordered our children’s dinner at 5pm and it arrived at 6pm and as you can imagine, hungry children make for very irritable parents (Free children’s dinners from 5-6pm).

AroomwithaviewCarlisleBayNHYM

View from our room. NHYM 2017.

Another annoying thing was that there was a Mercedes conference/convention while we were there, and we had to change rooms because of the noise they made one night. I would definitely check with the hotel to make sure there isn’t a conference when you are staying there, as it does change the vibe of the hotel.

ACTIVITIES

ShirleyHeightsAntiguaNHYM

View from Shirley Heights. NHYM 2017. 

There are plenty of activities to choose from, from visiting Shirley Heights (above), to going to Stingray cities to pet stingrays (the kids loved it), to going snorkeling on a reef nearby (complimentary). We were spoilt for choice and the hotel does a good job encouraging these activities. We missed out on sunrise yoga on the pier and a hike through the jungle. Another time.

There are also a lot of cool beach restaurants like Catherine’s Cafe and Jacqui O’s that are great fun both for parents and children.

KIDS CLUB 

KidsClubCarlisleBayNHYM

Kids Club NHYM 2017. 

Oh Kids Clubs. They can make-or-break a family holiday. But luckily for us, my children LOVE Kids Clubs. I have trained them since the age of 11 months old to love Kids Clubs. So off they went happily every morning, even though there weren’t many children because of the Mercedes convention. As my husband says, we got free babysitting by a bunch of adults.

One of the highlights was on our last night (after the Mercedes gang had left), when they organised a Pyjama Party from 6:30-9pm with music, cupcakes and games. As you can imagine, all the parents dropped off their kids and went for romantic dinners. Everyone was happy: happy kids, and happy parents. There were also great activities for older children: kayaking, going to stingray city, to water parks, tubing etc…

CarlisleBaySunset

Sunset while my kids were at the Kids Club Pyjama Party. NHYM 2017. 

FOOD

The food was in general very good. We have had mediocre food in the Maldives and in the Caribbean, so we were very pleased with the quality. The only slight comment was that the breakfast buffet didn’t have that much choice relative to hotels in Asia and in the Maldives, but the a la carte menu was very adequate. What was great was that the kids would be happily playing in the sand on the beach while we slowly enjoyed our cappuccino. Bliss.

CarlisleBaySunriseNHYM2017

Sunrise from our room. NHYM 2017.

SERVICE

There were a lot of good things about the hotel as I mentioned above, but the service was one thing that was really hit-or-miss. We had some excellent waitresses like Georgie, who was so nice to the kids and great waiters at dinner time, but we were also faced with some waitresses that looked like I was asking them a HUGE favour to order breakfast, as if they really couldn’t be bothered. For the price we pay (it isn’t a cheap hotel), the service should be 100% top notch, but sadly it failed on a number of occasions, ie. The coconut incident: I ordered a coconut at 10:30am and was told it would take a while: it arrived at 4:30pm!!!

CarlisleBayBeachFeetNHYM

OVERALL

We did have a lovely time at Carlisle Bay and the kids loved it, but we were slightly disappointed in the service, given the standard of the hotel. The beach days and activities were great, the Kids Club kept my kids happy, and the breakfast was really good (my favourite meal of the day). There are a lot of repeat guests because it is an easy hotel: easy to get to, easy to get on the beach, easy to leave your kids in the Kids Club. So as long as you don’t go when there is a Mercedes conference and you don’t order a coconut, you should have a great time.

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

 

Standard
Photos, Reviews, Top 10, Travel, Uncategorized

Hotel Review: NIYAMA, Maldives

NIYAMA’s 50 Shades of Blue

ViewfromourbeachNIYAMANHYM

View from our beach. All Photos taken by NHYM 2016 Copyright. Except the Tiger Shark. 

NIYAMA is a cool, understated, luxury hotel with a modern feel to it, with great original restaurants, a superb kids club and great personal touches like the in-room complimentary popcorn and island-made ice-cream.

Rating: *****5 star luxury

http://www.scottdunn.com/luxury-holidays/asia/indian-subcontinent/maldives/maldives/per-aquum-niyama

We landed in Male after surviving our flight from London (where we spotted Jemima Khan in Business Class and a ‘Lady Goldsmith’ sign waiting for her at Male airport), and were whisked away to the local Maldivian seaplane ‘terminal’ where we waited for our sea plane:

ViewfromSEAPLANENIYAMANHYM

View from Seaplane. NHYM 2016.

The views of the lagoons and atolls from above where stunning and the seaplane was a novelty for my children – and my husband – who had never been on one.

PowderyBeachNIYAMANHYM

Powdery Beach on Chill. NHYM 2016.

The Hotel

After being welcomed by our Thakuru, Vlad (our butler/personal assistant/concierge and driver all rolled into one), we were driven off for a tour of the hotel in a buggy. The hotel is set on two islands, ‘CHILL’ (for adults/older children), and ‘PLAY’ (for younger families), and is run by Per Aquum who also own Huvafen Fushi and Desert Palm in Dubai. ‘Chill’ opened in 2012 and ‘Play’ opened only just over a year ago, when they decided to cater to families. It has a high hip factor with an underwater club ‘Glow Party’ and DJs on Saturdays and fun touches like an ice-cream bar and complimentary popcorn.

OurkeysNiyamaNHYM

Our room keys; there were lots of cool and hip touches to the hotel. NHYM 2016. 

It tries to be different and original, bold and unique, which it succeeds in doing.

BananaTreesandBicyclesNIYAMANHYM

Bananas and Bicycles in front of our room. NHYM 2016.

When we arrived to our beach hut, we were welcomed by banana trees and bicycles. This would be one of three ways of transportation; barefoot, bicycles or buggies.

IslandPathsNIYAMANHYM

Island Path. NHYM 2016.

There is something wonderfully freeing about walking around barefoot on an island and chose to walk barefoot most of the time. The kids loved the buggy, so we often opted for it for longer rides.

20160213_130340_resized 1

Welcome to Paradise. NHYM 2016. 

The Room

The room was everything you would hope for in a place like this; sea-facing, big enough for a whole family of 2 adults and 2 young children, modern yet welcoming, and had the biggest fridge I have ever seen in a hotel.

In-roomPopcornMachineNiyamaNHYM

Popcorn Machine! NHYM 2016. 

The complimentary popcorn and in-room, island-made ice-cream was of course a big hit for the children.

NIYAMABATHROOMNHYM

The bathroom in itself was quite spectacular with a pond/pool and banana trees. As soon as we arrived, the kids jumped out of their clothes and into the bathroom pool.

ViewfromBedroomNIYAMANHYM

View from our Room. NHYM 2016.

On arrival, we were welcomed by a bottle of Moet, a fresh fruit platter and welcome canapés. Every day, we had a new fresh fruit platter and milk cartons for the kids delivered to our room. Despite the modern amenities, the room still retained Maldivian charm with its thatched roofs and a Dhoni-inspired swing.

OurbeautifulBeachHutNIYAMANHYM

Our beautiful Beach Hut. NHYM 2016. 

ViewfromourroomNiyamaNHYM

View from our room. NHYM 2016. 

This is what I call a proper sea view room…

BeachVillawithPoolNIYAMANHYM

Beach hut with pool. NHYM 2016.

GMDrinksNiyamaNHYM

General Manager’s Drinks at the 3 Bedroom Beach Pavillion. NHYM 2016. 

The Crowd

The crowd was understated cool; Wayfarer and Aviator Raybans, black rimmed glasses, Missoni style kaftans and lovely gay couples were seen around. There is less bling here than at the One & Only (am thinking of the Russian oligarch’s wife dining on her own with a bodyguard lurking around at the Japanese restaurant of One & Only and the Hedge Funders discussing their private jets or lack thereof), and is dominated by Northern Europeans while we are there. Germans are plentiful, as are Danes, Swedes and Brits. There are also quite a few young Chinese honeymooners and Christina the Marketing Manager tells me that their number 1 demographic is Chinese. The Russians have stayed away recently due to the crumbling Rouble but the Europeans have been replacing them.

It is actually a really nice crowd, everyone was very friendly and nice, and sartorially superior. There are no cheesy T-shirts and Birkenstocks here; polo shirts of Phuket, Mustique and Club 55 are more like it. One teenage girl is sporting a Club 55 bracelet, so I know where she will be this summer.

The Food

The food was overall very good, although quite expensive, so we were quite glad to have been on a half board option. Food is complimentary for kids, which is always a nice touch. The breakfast buffet, which is particularly important to me and indication of the entire catering, was stellar. There was everything you could ask for without being too over the top; from congee to gluten free, smoothies to huevos rancheros, crepes and waffles, stir fries to curry, and all the tropical fruit you could ask for; dragon fruit, mango, lychee, rambutan, jack fruit, papaya, guava, melon…

FrutarianParadiseNiyamaNHYM

A fruitarian Paradise. NHYM 2016. 

The restaurants in NIYAMA deserve a special accolade for originality;

EdgeRestaurantandSubsixNiyamaNHYM

Edge Overwater gourmet dining was only accessible by boat.

SubsixUnderwaterRestaurant:ClubNIYAMANHYM

Subsix underwater restaurant was a fun, once-in-a-lifetime-experience, with nemo entertaining the girls while we savoured our Wagyu beef (only open at lunch time).

SubsixUnderwaterClubNiyamaNHYM

Every Saturday and Wednesday night, Subsix turns into a nightclub where they have infamous ‘Glow Parties.’

NestRestaurantinthetreesNIYAMANHYM

Nest, an Asian restaurant set in the treetops, had South East Asian cuisine with Teppanyaki downstairs in a jungle/rainforest setting. This quickly became our children’s favourite restaurant.

TribalRestaurantNIYAMANHYM

Tribal, an African and South American restaurant, was excellent, dishing up tribal African dishes and Argentinian steaks. A must try.

BLURestaurantNIYAMANHYM

Pool and view from BLU. NHYM 2016.

BLU is the main restaurant on PLAY island which served a delicious breakfast buffet in the sand and a casual Mediterranean/European lunch. This is the view we had every morning and the child-friendly pool that we used most of the time.

ViewfromEpicureNiyamaNHYM

View from Epicure. NHYM 2016.

Epicure was the main restaurant on ‘CHILL,’ and is the biggest restaurant of them all, which was a ‘no reservations’ restaurant. Reservations are needed to all the other restaurants, so be sure to plan in advance. They were all very popular and were booked up one or two days in advance.

CoconutStation&BarNIYAMANHYM

Weather Station and Dune Restaurant/Bar. 

Dune Restaurant/Bar was next to Epicure, serving lunch and Cocktails.

IcecreamBaranddeliNiyamaNHYM

Also a big hit with the kids was the ice-cream bar and deli that offered snacks and sandwiches throughout the day.

The Service

The service was 5 star as expected at this level of hotel; nothing was too much, everyone was smiling and friendly, always willing to help. Our Thakuru managed everything from check-in, restaurant reservations, driving our buggy, to sorting out Disney movies for the girls. The local staff were wonderful as were the African staff at Tribal, who were very knowledgeable and friendly. Occasionally we had to wait a little for the buggy rides, but most of the time we could flag a kind buggy-driver to take us to our destination. Checkout was a little haphazard and slow, but perhaps Island-life is a little more laid-back than what we are used to.

The Activities

Outside the perfect, pristine, powdery sand beaches, there was plenty to do on the island if you chose to. The water sports centre was fully stocked with paddle boards, jet skis, para-sailing and surf boards. There were fishing trips, dolphin cruises, the Spa, Zumba, Yoga, meditation etc.. etc… etc… I didn’t manage time for the spa but did manage three dives.

Tiger_shark

Photo of a tiger shark courtesy of the internet. NHYM 2016. 

As an avid and 20 year veteran scuba diver with 200+ dives, I am pretty particular about my diving and I am a fair weather diver. This atoll isn’t known to offer the best diving in the Maldives, but I was still very happy; I still saw lots of white tip reef sharks, turtles, schools of rainbow coloured fish and lots of eagle rays. We also saw the local pod of dolphins on our way to a dive site but the highlight was encountering a tiger shark, my first one ever, which was so enthrallingly exciting. I was in complete shark heaven, which may seem strange to you, but there is very little in life that makes me this happy…

ScottDunnExplorer'sKidsClubNIYAMANHYM

Scott Dunn Explorer’s Kid’s Club

Of course one of the main reasons for coming to NIYAMA was to try out the Scott Dunn Explorer’s Kids Club, which I had heard was one notch above any of other Kids Club. It is complimentary for those over 3 years old, but does take children as young as 1 y.o. It only opened 1 year ago when the island ‘Play’ was opened and is operated by Scott Dunn, meaning that Nikki, the director was recruited and trained by Scott Dunn. Nikki told me that there were over 60 children at the hotel, and the Dolphin cruise recruited 18 kids! That is an excellent turn out and shows that they are really engaging the kids. What was nice at the hotel was that even though there were so many kids, you couldn’t really see or hear them. The children were all beautifully dressed and well mannered, looking like they just stepped out of a White Company photo shoot.

KidsClubHutNIYAMANHYM

Kids Club Thatched Hut and Playground. NHYM 2016.

The Kids Club was divided in age groups, with one hatched hut for the under 5s and one thatched hut for the over 5s, but with activities for 4 age groups: 12mo-2ys, 3-4, 5-7, 7-12 years.

KidsClubWaterPlaygroundNHYM

Water Playground, with new friends. NHYM 2016. 

The Under 5s Kids Club was very impressive with tons of activities from making arts and crafts masks, valentine’s cards, drawing and creating treasure hunts to playing in the water playground and going to the beach to make sandcastles.

5-12KidsClubNIYAMANHYM

5-12 years old kids club. NHYM 2016.

The 5-12 age range group really stood out for their well thought out and enticing activities; dolphin cruises, snorkelling, kayaking, coral conservation programmes with a marine biologist and a lecture at Subsix underwater restaurant. Every day, at 5pm they would take the kids swimming in one of the pools, led by Adam the Kids Club manager. My daughter’s highlight was the dolphin cruise when she spotted dozens of spinner dolphins playfully dancing around the boat.

KidsClubDolphinCruiseNIYAMANHYM

Kids Club Dolphin Cruise. NHYM 2016.

OutdoorTheatreKidsClubNIYAMANHYM

Kids Outdoor Theatre. NHYM 2016. 

For older children over 12 years old, there was an entire ‘Active’ area with a pool table, ping pong table, video games, simulators and more that seemed busy every night.

Overall:

This is a hip, 5 star, Robinson-Crusoe, ultra-luxe hotel that caters perfectly to couples and families, providing top-notch luxury service and amenities. It was everything we could have hoped for and stood out with special touches and details. Of course there was the odd hiccup, but in true 5 star style, it is how it is dealt with that matters, and this hotel manages to live up to its award winning accolades. Kids are definitely welcome with complimentary food and an extensive Kids Club schedule, even the teens love it. The only very slight negatives would be the less abundant marine life around the island compared to other islands and a slightly longer travel time with the seaplane, but the hotel was faultless and we had a great time and can only recommend it very highly. We met another family of Notting Hillers while on the island and it was already their second time there, which shows you that if you try it once, you will want to go again. As my daughter stated as fact the day we were leaving, ‘We’re coming back next year!’

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghiillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

Thank you Scott Dunn for organising this wonderful trip!! I paid for this trip with a few perks from Scott Dunn, but it was organised professionally and efficiently from A-Z by them. 

OurBeachNIYAMANHYM

Our ‘beach.’ NHYM 2016. 

Standard
Top 10, Travel

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love The Maldives

ScottDunnGoodiesNHYM

Scott Dunn Goodies: Two sun shirts for my children by SUNUVA, a beautiful leather passport holder by Ettinger and finally our holiday itinerary. Off to a good start!

As you know, I recently started a collaboration with Scott Dunn, who are a luxury travel agency that recently won the Conde Nast Traveller ‘Favourite Specialist Tour Operator 2015′ and have great Kids Clubs around the world. For our first trip together, Scott Dunn has arranged our half term break to the Maldives to a luxury, boutique hotel, NIYAMA, part of the PER AQUUM group and sister hotel to the oh-so-fabulous Huvafen Fushi (who are putting on a private performance by Joss Stone on February 28th!). Scott Dunn has their own Kids Club there, which I have heard is exceptional.

And we all know that I have a slight obsession with the Maldives… A friend the other day told me that she didn’t get why I wanted to go to the Maldives over and over again. ‘Doesn’t it get boring? It’s beautiful but there are plenty of other places to visit in the world. Why would you go there over and over?’ she said. That is true, but the problem with the Maldives is that once you’ve been there, you just keep on wanting to go. The Carribean are great but the hotels just don’t compare. Asia is even further away. As far as beach holidays go, there aren’t a lot of places to beat it. (Kind of like going on Business Class Flights).

And since it’s February, it’s grey, winter is never-ending, a little (a lot) of sunshine can go a long way.

So, what makes the Maldives so great? You may ask…

1. British Airways Direct London – Male.  10 hours there, 11 hours back. You can go to Miami or the Caribbean for almost the same amount of time, but for the same price, the hotels, service and food are just overall better in the Maldives. Going to Thailand is great, but it’s a longer flight and to get to any of the islands, you will need to take another domestic flight. My children already have a playdate booked on the flight coming back with friends. Guaranteed happiness for everyone.

2. The lagoons: They are shallow enough for your 12 month old to toddle, paddle and swim in. The water is crystal clear and just breath-taking. As my children call it, it’s like a ‘swimming pool.’

3. The sea life and the diving: you don’t even need to put your head in the water to catch sightings of stingrays, baby sharks, coral, legendary unicorn fish or multi-coloured picasso fish. Some of the best snorkelling is done on the hotel house reef and for diving aficionados, the Manta Ray and Whaleshark spotting will leave you speechless.

4. The sand: soft, white, powdery, just as in the dreamy postcards.

5. The sun: Even in the rainy season, you are mostly likely going to get plenty of guaranteed sunshine year round. You can still have a fantastic time despite a few hours of Monsoon rains here and there.

6. It is safe: I once lost my toddler on a Maldivian Island when she escaped the Kids Club while no one was looking – cheeky monkey. But I felt safe knowing that nothing would really happen to her. Turns out she hitchhiked a ride on a buggy with a nice Mr. Friday who brought her home to our beach hut safe and sound.

7. The hotels: The quality of the hotels is just unparalleled. What’s great about them is that most of them are relatively new so there are none of the ‘tired, old hotels.’ ie. think Italy or Barbados. And each new hotel tries to outdo the last new hotel, with underwater bars/spas/restaurants, concerts and talks, private residences and private islands. There are also now all kinds of hotels to suit all budgets. Not all are $1,000 a night, with more and more affordable hotels cropping up. After all, it is still the Maldives. The sea, sun and sand is the same wherever you stay.

8. The service: Asians just know how to do ‘service.’ They are always smiling, humble and kind. Forget grumpy French waiters, it’s all about the service here. The Maldivians are lovely, gentle, smiling people who will do everything to make your stay unforgettable.

9. Kids Clubs: For families who want a break, the Kids Clubs are outstanding. From snorkelling to turtle feeding, glass bottom boat kayaking to dolphin safaris, cinema under the stars to treasure hunts. There are even talks by marine biologists and astronomy presentations. There are activities for all ages and your children’s horizons will just keep growing.

10. Complete relaxation: This is the luxury version of Robinson Crusoe or Castaway. You can completely take a break from the hectic pace of modern life and really forget your worries just for a week… You could argue that it gets boring after a week, but to me, this is the idea of bliss.

See you on the other side.

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

** Scott Dunn organised this trip to the Maldives with some perks/discounts, but I still paid for the holiday and the views are all mine**

Standard
Top 10

Top 10 Luxury Family-Friendly Hotels in the Maldives

AnantaraMaldivesNHYM6Pool

All the photos in this post taken by NHYM 2015. Pool at Anantara – it is this beautiful. 

I was recently asked – again – by two different mums about where to go in the Maldives with a family so thought I would go ahead and write up a post specifically focused on child-friendly hotels. I do have an obsession with the Maldives and going there has become part of my ‘annual feel-good programme’ (when I said this to a friend of mine, she rolled her eyes and told me never to repeat these words to anyone else because I sounded like a Monkey’s Ass, but hey, I have a big mouth, here I go again. I just can’t help it).

AnantaraMaldivesBlissNHYM2

White sands? Tick. Clear, translucent waters? Tick. Bright blue skies and sunshine? Tick. NHYM 2015.

We all associate the Maldives with exorbitant prices, but I have found some reasonable prices if you are willing to go during medium/low season. For those who haven’t booked your May half-term holidays, there are great deals to the Maldives with some flights to Male cheaper than flights within Europe. And don’t worry too much about the ‘rainy season.’ I once went to the Maldives in May and apart from a few hours of Monsoon rain, there was plenty of sunshine (unless you are really, really unlucky and that, I can’t help you with).

AnantaraMaldivesNHYM5Beach

Beach on a neighbouring island from Anantara Dhigu. NHYM 2015. 

The Maldives is no longer a faraway paradise for honeymooners, but has become a top destination for families for the shallow, warm lagoons, the superior service and hotels and the Ab-Fab Kids Clubs. It’s a 10 hour direct flight with British Airways, it is a safe haven (where I once lost my toddler who was brought back to me safely by Mr. Friday on his island buggy), with an abundance of sunshine and smiling faces. The Kids Clubs include every possible activity from marine biology lessons to Astronomy courses, via DJ booths, shark feeding and turtle petting…

Top 10 Luxury Family Friendly Hotels in the Maldives:

one_only_reethi_rah_05

The ‘Adults-Only’ pool at Reethi Rah. The kids’ pool is set back in the shade, so children can spend hours in it without sun damage! NHYM 2015. 

1. The One & Only Reethi Rah

Best for: Teenagers

The One & Only, which provides some of the best people-watching (hello Naomi! On a treadmill next to me…) and is one of the top luxury hotels in the Maldives, also excels in the child department. It has food menus for kids, at least 3 different kids clubs and activities for all ages. It especially has a programme designed for teenagers with movie nights, football tournaments, rock climbing, golf simulation, PADI Diving Bubblemaker and a smoothie bar (oh and mani -pedis, but not sure that’s one to brag about). Teenagers will somehow migrate together here, make new friends (and boy/girlfriends). When I was there, one teen ended up in his mother’s best friend’s daughters bed which caused a World War rift between the two mums…Need I say more? A teenager’s paradise… There is a beautiful spa and great, great diving. For New Year’s, you better be a VIP or you don’t stand a chance. The villas are huge and the ‘packing up’ service at the end of the trip was Mr.X’s favourite thing ever (they pack up all your clothes while you spend an extra hour at the beach).

http://www.totstoo.com/hotel/oneonly-at-reethi-rah/

By Seaboat – or private plane should you want to.

AnantaraMaldivesNHYM3

2. The Four Seasons Kudaa Huraa 

Best for: The Four Seasons service and the amazing lobster

In the Maldives, you just need to show up with your babies. No need to lug baby puree, sterilisers, nappies or anything that takes up too much space in your suitcase, they have everything you could ever need. The Four Seasons, as usual, provides its usual exemplary service, including a lovely Kids Club with arts & crafts, a marine life turtle touch tank, fish feeding and island scavenger hunts. The beach huts are lovely and can easily fit a family  of four. We found the food to be particularly good, with all-you-can-eat fresh lobsters on a half board meal plan. If you can’t afford One & Only every year, this one’s a good alternative. One couple I know comes back year after year, requesting the exact same room each time, they love it that much.

http://www.fourseasons.com/maldiveskh/

By seaboat

AnantaraMaldivesGlassboatNHYM9

Glass bottom boat kayaking organised by the Kids Club. NHYM 2015. 

3. Anantara Dhigu

Best for: Value for Money

Anantara is part of a luxury Thai chain, which has beautiful hotels around the world. As with most Thai hotels, the service is exquisite and the design is sleek and sophisticated, while not charging out of the world prices. There are three interconnecting islands to suit all needs, but Anantara Dhigu is the child-friendly one. The Kids club is housed in a beautiful Dhoni, a traditional Maldivian boat, which is air conditioned ideal on really hot days. Some of the top kids’ activities we found were the open air movie night with kids sprawled on beanbags munching popcorn while watching ‘Surf’s Up’ under the stars, and the glass bottom kayak trip in the lagoon to discover the marine life. The only downside is the food at some of the restaurants didn’t live up to our expectations, but we loved the Thai restaurant (we could have gone there every night) and the Teppanyaki on a neighbouring island. On the last day there, my daughter asked ‘Can we live in the Maldives?’

http://www.dhigu-maldives.anantara.com

AnantaraMaldivesNHYM5Beach

Sand, light blue water, deeper water, more light blue water, more sand. NHYM 2015.

5. Conrad Rangali 

Best for: The Underwater restaurant experience

The Conrad was one of the first hotels to bring in the underwater restaurant concept, which I thought was rather cool (of course, others have called it a bit tacky, but to each their own opinions). It is 30 minutes away by seaplane, so it worth noting that you may need to wait at the airport for your seaplane and that it will hotel-hop: it will drop other customers at other hotels as well. The Majaa kids club focusses on Maldivian culture which is rather lovely, by teaching Maldivian Bodubero dancing, Maldivian language, island hopping and pirate dhoni sailing.

http://www.totstoo.com/hotel/conrad-maldives-rangali-island/

By Seaplane 30 minutes

AnantaraMaldivesNHYM10Jetty

This is the jetty you arrive on and are welcomed to the land of bliss. NHYM 2015.

5. LUX*

Best for: All inclusive

For those who don’t want to have to worry about bills and wallets during the holiday, LUX* offers a great all inclusive holiday with multiple restaurant options. There is a great kids club where you can drop your child from 9am to 7 pm, and also Studio17 for teens. But be realistic, it is not in the same league as the One & Only so don’t expect the same level when going there: a friend who had previously been to the One & Only then went to LUX* said when I asked how his trip was: ‘It’s the same sand, sun and sea…’ But all my other ‘down-to-earth-friends who have been there have had a great experience: there are marine biologists on hand to teach the little ones about sea life and marine conservation, which is pretty much as 5 stars Kids Club as it can get.

http://www.totstoo.com/hotel/lux-maldives/

By seaplane

AnantaraMaldivesBeachhutNHYM12

Thatched beach hut, Anantara. Comes in all sizes… NHYM 2015.

6. Constance Halaveli

Best for: 10 Family Beach Villas

With Family Villas measuring 358 sqm with a gated garden, a private plunge pool and fully equipped with pushchairs, sterilisers and cots, there’s nothing more you could need for your bubs. Nearby, the Constance Kids Club for 4-11 years old has a children’s pool, an outdoor space and playhouse, with an emphasis on cooking activities to make pizzas, ice cream and smoothies.

http://www.constancehotels.com/en/hotels-resorts/maldives

AnantaraMaldivesHammockNHYM11

Hammock in the ocean. NHYM 2015.

7. NIYAMA

Best for: the Under 3s kids club

With a brand new kids club in a Manta Ray shaped club and an under 3s kids club, children of any age will be looked after professionals. Children are split into 4 age groups and have activities tailored to their specific age group. There are themed days such as Jungle Safari, Pirates and Princesses and Circus days. There is even an amphitheatre for the older thespians. For the adults, there is the first underwater music club, Subsix to keep you grooving, art events and plenty more to stay entertained.

http://niyama.peraquum.com

40 minutes by seaplane

AnantaraMaldivesBeachNHYM13

This really does exist. NHYM 2015.

8. Kanuhura

Best for: Faraway location

Due to its remote location, Kanuhura has some of the best diving spots around with unexploited waters that some of the other resorts closer to Male don’t have and you won’t have to worry about planes flying over the island or of the pollution other islands may have. It is quite a large island with 100 villas, but feels very private. The kids club runs from 9am to 10pm in 3 slots: 9am -12pm, 2-5pm, 7-10pm, meaning that you can leave your older children at the Kids Club while you have a romantic dinner. Tempting isn’t it?

http://www.totstoo.com/hotel/kanuhura/

40 minutes by seaplane

MaldivesPrivatePoolNHYM14

Naladhu Private Pool, a neighbouring island of Anantara. NHYM 2015. 

9. Cheval Blanc Randheli

Best for: Over the top luxury & design hotel 

I wasn’t sure whether to add this hotel since it is a little too modern and pristine for my liking, but I thought I would include it for those who love designs and brands. Coming from LVMH properties, it of course comes with its own fancy LVMH shop and with people like ‘alchemists’ to create your perfect stay. But, I have to give it to them that their kids club looks great, with a lovely kids’ swimming pool and slide and Le Paddock, the teenagers multimedia room. The astronomy session for the teens sold me, as the star gazing in the Maldives is the best I’ve ever seen. It’s very expensive, but if you can afford it, you might as well give it a go.

http://randheli.chevalblanc.com/en

40 minutes by private seaplane

AnantaraMaldivesNHYM7Poolfeet

Anantara pool, my daily spot. NHYM 2015.

Just to prove I really was there. And for those who are still trying to figure out whose toes these belong to. 

10. Soneva Fushi

Best for: Barefoot luxury 

More my style, Soneva Fushi is known for it’s motto ‘No News, No shoes,’ so you can put your mobile phones away, throw away your shoes and stay away from modern life for an entire week. The decor blends in with its natural surrounding and it is pure bliss. What’s exciting for 2015, and why it is included in this list, is that they are creating a new Kids Club this year promising 2 swimming pools, a mocktail bar, a lego room, a dressing area, a cinema, a tunnel, an organic garden and for the teens a zip line and DJ corner. I don’t think there’s anything else you could ask for as a child or a teen, and it’s creeping up my list as my no 1 next family friendly holiday destination, all fresh with a kids club.

http://www.soneva.com/soneva-fushi

30 minutes by seaplane

This is a sponsored post by Tots Too, http://www.totstoo.com, the luxury family holiday specialists. All the reviews and thoughts are my own. If you book by the end of April, Tots Too will offer a £100 Spa voucher at any of the Tots Too hotels for all NHYM readers. Please mention NHYM when booking: http://www.totstoo.com/hotels/destination/maldives/

LUX* Maldives is offering a 10 days for 7 offer through Tots Too. http://www.totstoo.com/hotel/lux-maldives/

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

Standard
Photos, Social Commentary

‘Are you Sun or Ski? Top 10 Reasons why I choose Sun over Ski Anytime’

AlpsNHYM2014

Copyright NHYM 2014

There are two camps in this Battle: the Skiers and the Sunners. The Skiers tend to be athletic, sporty and have a need for an Adrenaline Rush, the Sunners, well, you could either call them the Lazy Ones or the Intellectual Ones. I’d rather call them the Intellectual Ones, who, like myself, are satisfied with the only activity of reading books while sipping a margarita cocktail on my sun lounger with waiters coming by with fresh fruit ever half hour while working on my tan.

After coming back from a week’s holiday of Skiing in the Alps, to a place we shall call Valdeblore, I am reminded that I am firmly, and always will be, in the Sunny Holiday camp. I was swayed this year into thinking that a Snow Holiday would be great for the kids, who are ready to learn to ski, just as they should learn how to swim. Very valuable asset to have. Therefore, off we went on a Ski Holiday with 2 young children in tow. I quickly realised my mistake and longed for the tropical holidays my friends were sending me messages from; ‘Happy New Year from the Bahamas!’ Hello from Hawaii!’

Top 10 Reasons why I choose Sun over Ski

1. Packing: Packing for a Sun Holiday is the easiest packing you will ever have to do: bikini, sarong, flip flops, sunglasses and you are set. Now that the Kindle exists, it is even easier, no need to lug 7 paperbacks like I used to (ave. 1 book read per day in my heydays). I can fit my clothes and two children’s clothes in just one suitcase! Amazing! This past week, I had to pack for myself and my two toddlers, my husband, my mother which meant 10 thermals, socks, 5 Snow Suits (which take up a lot of space), 5 snow boots, 5 regular boots, 5 Ski-Warm Clothes and 20 town outfits, and the list goes on until we somehow ended up with 7 suitcases, 2 backpacks (one for skiing, one for carrying children), 1 travel cot, 1 buggy, and all of our Ski equipment.

2. Equipment: Like I mentioned before, the Sun equipment necessary now really boils down to a Kindle and Sunglasses. Perhaps a Dive Computer for the Dive Aficionados. But Ski Equipment? Ski Boots, Ski Poles, Skis, Gloves, Goggles (in case you get stuck in a Snowstorm like we did last week), and then you actually have to carry it all! And your children’s. And then you end looking like a Robot from Transformers will all this gear. I watched parents struggling to carry all of their and their children’s equipment down some stairs while their children were too scared to walk down by themselves, screaming and crying out of exhaustion and cold while I watched on, feeling sorry for them but unable to help because I was already carrying my own ski equipment plus my daughter’s helmet, gloves, skis, ski boots and prayed I wouldn’t lose any of them, which could set off a world-war-3-tantrum.

3. Travel: So both require plane travel in general (except those who want to brave a 13 hour car ride with their children in the back, but no thanks, better you than me or overnight train rides. Really? Again, not for me), but at the other end, car rides are almost essential for the Skiers. For Sunners, the best case scenario is to get to your final destination by speedboat from the airport like in the Maldives, (https://nottinghillmummy.com/2014/04/19/top-ten-best-hotels-in-the-maldives/ ) which frankly is just much sexier than you in an oversized 7 person Family Car rental full to the brim of ski equipment and bags falling over right, left, and centre with each turn. And you know how much I like Boats. https://nottinghillmummy.com/2014/08/07/i-like-big-boats-and-i-cannot-lie/ Then to reach the mountains, it will take a few hours drive from the airport to the final destination, in what are not the most easy conditions. Windy, icy roads on a mountain’s edge which threatens you at every turn to fall into the abyss, while my children both turn Green after the third windy turn. Eldest daughter vomited on the way up, youngest daughter vomited on the way down. Cleaning up vomit in a car on the side of a dangerously freezing road with one or the other child crying is just not very fun.

4. Clothes: This is really an extension of points 1 & 2. The ease of slipping into a bikini and pareo in the morning before heading off to a luxuriant laid out tropical fruit breakfast on the beach is just so much more appealing than waking up early to make sure you’re not missing any daylight skiing and getting dressed which requires military precision: Special-Socks-to-Keep-Your-Toes-Warm, long johns, Thermal long sleeved shirt, Special-Keep-Warm-Shirt-On-Top-of-Thermals, Ski Trousers, Ski Jacket, Ski Hat, Ski Gloves, Ski Boots. Not only do I have to put on all these layers, but then I have to help both of my children put on all of these layers, which if you are a parent know how difficult dressing time can be. By the time they are all dressed up, there are so many layers, they could barely move and found it easier to slide down a snow hill than to walk. All the while, they are complaining about something; too hot, too cold, too tired, ski boots hurt, too grumpy. Why are my children never happy?!

The worst case scenario in a Sun Holiday, like the (only) time my husband was in charge of packing the kids’ bag to go to the beach, is that you forget their bathing suit, which he literally did, and which meant two frolicking naked children on the beach, which is fine if you’re in France, and is even recommended in some places, although, if you were in the US you’d probably end up in jail for child abuse, while they wouldn’t bat an eyelid at the firearm in your purse.

5. Style: Ok, so the Ski Bunny look can be cute and charming with its Furs and Fur Trimmed jackets etc… But then you’d have to fend off PETA Supporters and Avoid Tomato-Snow-Balls headed at you, but seriously, the white sun protection lip block which covers half your face and the frozen, windswept hair and bright red, coarse cheeks after a day of skiing just isn’t a good look. And most Sunglasses/Goggles for Skiing really are just not that Stylish and the suntan around them just really looks daft. Sunny Holiday Sunglasses, on the other hand, can make anyone look good. The bigger the Sunglasses, the better you look and literally anyone can look good in large sunglasses and a Melissa Odabash kaftan. ‘Nuf said.

renee-zellweger-and-snow-skiing-gallery

6. Food: Perhaps it was the Ski Station we were staying in, but Ski Food becomes quite nauseating and redundant after a while. After a few days of Tartiflette, Raclette, Fondue, Sausages, Frites, Burgers, Pizzas and More-Cheese-Than-You-Need-for-A-Year, you start to crave fruits and vegetables. The Alps evidently did not get the ‘Five-a-Day-Fruit&Veg Pamphlet from the Government Officials. Perhaps they got car sick and had to go home. But then, when I wanted vegetables or fruit, there were none to be found! In one restaurant, I asked if I could get a side of vegetables, and the waiter looked at me with a blank face, like I had asked for a rare caviar from Odessa. And don’t even think about looking for fruit, it is literally an endangered species up there. So, not only did we all gain 5 pounds and became the chubby family version of ourselves, by Day 5, I felt nauseous just looking at anything with cheese anymore. Not great for my #1 New Year’s Resolution of losing weight, ‘Fighting the Flab,’ and eating healthy.

7. The Actual Sport: For anyone who is like me, a part time exerciser, skiing is hard work. I can just about ski any colour of the rainbow, red, green, blue, white or black, but it isn’t without huffing and puffing, feeling the lactic acid buildup in my legs and being exhausted by the end of the trip. Isn’t a holiday supposed to be relaxing and rejuvenating? Skiing, unfortunately, does the opposite to me; exhausting, stressful with kids who don’t want to carry their skis, and I come home more tired than I left. Another notch against the Ski Camp. Sun Holidays encompass all my favourite things in life; swimming, reading, eating well, and sleeping (whilst it is positively encouraged to wake up at 10am on a Sunny Holiday, the Die Hard skiers/snowboarders will look down at you with contempt should you try to show up on the slopes at 10am).

AlpsduskNHYM2014

Copyright NHYM 2014

8. Weather: For those who haven’t been in Western Europe for the past week, the week started out snowless. There was barely any snow in the Alps or anywhere in Europe. Even the fake snow machines couldn’t save the day and many stations were shut. The day after our arrival, beautiful snowflakes appeared outside our window, and thinking we must make good use of this fresh snow and powder, we rushed out, early morning to hit the slopes. By mid-morning, no one else seemed to be skiing apart from a few like us. When we arrived at the top of the mountain, we couldn’t even see in front of us. It was freezing at -13C and we couldn’t see anyone or even the piste in front of us. This was a definite sign to go home. By that time, I couldn’t feel my toes or my fingers, my hair was caked in snow and my lips had become so numb and frozen that I could barely form my words, I sounded like I had had too much dental anaesthetic or an overdose of Valium. The skiing was bitterly cold and unpleasant as I began to wonder why in the world we have decided to come skiing to get frostbite in the process. Later, I found out that this heavy snowfall caused massive chaos and stranded 15,000 cars, with people needing to go into emergency shelters in school halls and sports centres. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11314946/Chaos-in-the-Alps-as-massive-snowfall-traps-15000-cars.html

9. Threats to your Life: At the precise moment in time we were stuck in the blizzard I started thinking of who we would sacrifice first, me or Mr. X. I definitely decided Mr. X. This part is actually serious, but Snow & Ski holidays leads to a huge number of accidents; avalanches, head injuries, snowstorms. Unfortunately, I remember last year hearing about Michael Schumacher’s accident, while he had a helmet on, and thought that I would never go skiing again, and here I was stuck in a snow blizzard. Sun holidays do have their risks, but generally speaking and excluding exceptional natural disasters, risks of accidents Skiing vs. going to a Sunny, tropical destination don’t really compare.

10. If I were Ever Stranded…Mountains or Beach? Of course as we were skiing down the slopes literally in the white darkness, I thought about being stranded in the mountains like in the movie ‘Alive’ and about Alexander Supertramp in the movie ‘Into the Wild’, and whether anyone survived. The question of mountain or beach is a no-brainer; if I were to be stranded somewhere, I would rather be on an island somewhere off the coast of Thailand, me and Leonardo di Caprio on our ‘Beach’ (without Tilda Swindon the dictator of course), drinking coconut water (which happens to be very trendy at the moment), fishing and eating sushi everyday, with grilled banana for dessert. I can’t think of a better way to be stranded.

Eventually, we returned to the Ski station, safe and sound, I hugged my two children, thanking whoever was listening that I had made it back into one piece.  There you have it. Beach holidays always win. Even in the movies.

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

 

Standard
Photos, Top 10, Travel

Top Ten: Best Hotels in the Maldives

 

P1000111

1. Best for A-list New Year’s Eve Party: One & Only Reethi Rah 

http://reethirah.oneandonlyresorts.com

Reeti Rah is like a private island for the super-rich. As soon as you arrive on the island, you are surrounded by CEOs of investment banks, fashion houses, Formula 1 and hedge funds. (Not to mention the Russian oligarchs who leave their wives with their bodyguards while they go to another island to see their mistresses). Only on Reeti Rah Island is there a 100 person waiting list for the Christmas – New Year’s week and NYE party for those too cool for St. Barth’s and guaranteed to be paparazzi free (even Mustique has been papped, but Reethi Rah is still virgin territory). Supermodels, fashion designers, hedgefunders, and CEOs congregate for the countdown, wondering how the new year could be even better than the last. Everyone knows each other and conversations at breakfast are about international real estate, mega-yachts and private jets. Even dropping £100,000 on two Grand Beach Villas during the Easter Break and organising a lavish beach BBQ with grilled lobster and Dom Perignon flowing all night won’t guarantee a place at the New Year’s Eve party. It is a teenagers’ paradise, who can roam freely on the island, ordering cocktails on daddy’s tab, travelling on bicycles to mingle with other super-rich teenagers and staying all night star-gazing, both at Orion and real superstars.

2761657

2. Best for Robinson Crusoe Romance: Gili Lankanfushi 

http://www.gili-lankanfushi.com/crusoe-residence

Stay in a Crusoe Residence, a 250 sqm stand alone villa in the Indian Ocean only accessible by your own motorised rowboat moored on your villa’s private pontoon (My personal favourite, although I am biased as it was my honeymoon destination). Everything can be done from your villa; snorkelling, star gazing on the upper deck, watching stingrays around your pontoons, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner on the different decks, your own open air shower, and anything else you can think of… The hotel only has 45 gigantic, overwater villas in total so expect to spend days without seeing anyone else but your fiancé/husband/lover/child bride.

3. Best for Knowing what to Expect: Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

http://www.fourseasons.com/maldiveskh/

One of the best Canadian exports, after Ryan Reynolds, the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa is a wonderfully, lovely resort with beautifully appointed rooms, a very nice kids club and very good food (especially the grilled lobster on half board). It is perfect for the travel risk-adverse, knowing that you will get great quality without any unhappy surprises (unlike when we went to the Touessrok Mauritius resort which was a big disappointment compared to any Maldivian resort). It is popular with groups of young, 20 something, moneyed, future billionaire Chinese, who hop over for a long weekend from Shanghai or Beijing. Its only problem is that it is like Ryan Reynolds: beautiful but boring.

P1000108

4. Best for Low Key Luxury: Cocoa Island by COMO

http://www.comohotels.com/cocoaisland

‘Simple yet sophisticated, contemporary yet indigenous, and always deliberately restrained’ as described by the hotel’s website, Cocoa Island prides itself in its uniqueness and understated luxury. Instead of glamping, stay in a Dhoni suite, a villa inspired by Dhoni boats, the local fishermen’s sailboats, decorated in blues and whites reflecting the soothing colours of the Indian Ocean. With only 35 villas, this small island is perfect for intimate privacy.

5. Best for Barefoot Luxury: Soneva Fushi

http://www.soneva.com/soneva-fushi

One of the original luxury resorts in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi is the perfect castaway island, with beachfront villas dotted around the island privatised by the surrounding jungle and trees. ‘No News, No Shoes’ is Soneva Fushi’s mantra, like all Soneva resorts, so crackberries and android phones are best left at home. It excels in rustic chic, with warm colours of orange, browns, and yellow, blending in with the birds and tree houses.

P1000072

6. Best for Huevos Rancheros Breakfast: Taj Exotica

http://www.tajhotels.com/Luxury/Exotica-Resort-And-Spa/Taj-Exotica-Resort-And-Spa-Maldives/Overview.html

Taj Exotica is one for the foodies. The Taj has the best breakfast Huevos Rancheros in all of the Maldives and its chef strives to perfect local cuisines working with local organic products. Taj Chefs have their own ‘Food Philosophy’ striving for culinary innovation ‘at the heart of the Taj Hotels dining experience’. After catching your own line-caught groupers and snappers during the sunset cruise, the chefs will prepare the fresh, grilled fish to perfection for next day’s lunch, which doesn’t get fresher and more blissful than this. (It is one of the few resorts where I would recommend the beach villas over the water villas, which are small and close together relative to the other Maldivian water villas).

7. Best for Minimalism meets the Royals: Cheval Blanc Randheli

http://randheli.chevalblanc.com/en/

LVMH’s new luxury hotel has already bagged its marketing campaign by inviting Prince William and Kate to stay at the Cheval Blanc and letting the media do the rest. It is the biggest Maldivian opening in years. Straight lines, modern art, white minimalism and exorbitant prices will appeal to the Nouveaux Riches, Royals and Russians, and is already  at the forefront as the most O.T.T. hotel in the Maldives. Alchemists, ‘genuine experience designers’, create and compose ‘bespoke and unique experiences for their guests.’ Seriously?? This is one hotel that takes itself way too seriously. Hopefully, it won’t become a ‘Russians Only’ resort, hotels so expensive that only Russian oligarchs can afford, but personally I find that the minimalist, extreme luxury takes away from the Maldivian charm, which is a real shame.

P1000093

8. Best for ‘Affordable’ Family holidays: LUX* Lighter. Brighter.

http://www.luxresorts.com/en/hotel-maldives/luxmaldives

Ok, so no luxury hotel in the Maldives is really affordable, but by booking through the British Airways combined online flight and hotel booking system, you can get a week’s stay for less than £10,000 including flights and accommodation for a family of 4, outside school holidays, which in the Maldives is a bargain. The Play Kids Club and Studio 17 Teenagers Club are open from 9am to 9pm. Need I say more? For some peace and quiet, diving and massages, the all day kiddy entertainment will keep them occupied all day long. And with 7 restaurants to choose from and 4km of beaches, they will never get bored.

9. Best for Cool and Trendy: W Retreat & Spa

http://www.wretreatmaldives.com

A playground for adults with its own resident DJ, underwater weddings, WET Pool Parties and mixologists creating signature cocktails, this is for those looking for a bit of nightlife and cool factor. Expiration Date: Kids.

10. Best for Underwater Spa: Huvafen Fushi 

http://huvafenfushi.peraquum.com

Housing the world’s first underwater treatment room, indulge in the LIME Light Crystal Ritual for 180 minutes, their signature underwater experience involving a coconut, lime and mineral massage and ice cubes, while watching triggerfish, stingrays and clownfish dancing around the lagoon making you feel like the Little Mermaid. The Per AQUUM resort and spa has ‘stand out, one-off events, bringing musicians, artists and creative stars from around the world’ each month. Currently, you can create your own Irma style Avatar with creative artist Jasmin Kherzi and view their Phantasy Fairytale Underwater art exhibition in the Spa. If that doesn’t take you out of this world, nothing will.

P1000071

 

Standard

Gili, Lankanfushi Maldives

Courtesy of the Gili Lankanfushi Hotel, Maldives

Photos

Gili Lankanfushi Maldives

Image