Since Hurawalhi Island Resort‘s highly anticipated opening in December 2016, guests are eagerly taking the 40-minute seaplane flight from Male and seeing firsthand what this luxurious and eco-friendly sanctuary has to offer. The resort has 90 villas (60 overwater ocean villas, 15 with private pools, and 30 beach villas, 15 with private pools) nestled among the spectacular coral reefs of the Lhaviyani Atoll, a world-class site for snorkelling and diving. The spacious villas feature clean lines, earthy colours and natural materials that harmonise beautifully with the lush, tropical surrounds.
Hurawalhi Island Resort welcomes guests over 15 years of age, and caters particularly well for couples. The scene-stealing 5.8 Restaurant, so named because it sits 5.8 metres under the sea, sets the scene for romance with every table a table for two. The menu concept is a multi-course tasting extravaganza and is available with sommelier-recommended wine pairings.
The best place for cocktails before or after dinner is the Coco Bar on the beach, while the Champagne Pavilion is just the spot for a toast (or a proposal). The overwater Aquarium Bar is another tantalising option.
As for other dining destinations, the Aquarium Restaurant (above water, this time) has a contemporary menu with a strong emphasis on fresh local seafood and top-quality prime beef – the delectable sushi, sashimi and tempura is a highlight. Guests can enjoy sumptuous breakfasts and fine dining of an evening at Canneli, overlooking the tranquil Indian Ocean, while private beach dining under the stars is just the excuse guests need to savour the signature lobster and wagyu beef cooked to order by their personal chef.
The overwater Duniye Spa uses chemical-free organic compound products from Healing Earth. The Signature Maldivian Island Paradise Ritual Treatment is the ultimate indulgence, pampering guests from head to toe over the course of two hours. There are also three decadent spa rituals for couples.
The resort was built and operates with sustainability in mind – protecting the natural environment is as high a priority as the comfort and luxury Hurawalhi provides. The 4243 square metres of solar panels have been seamlessly integrated into the architecture by New York-based architect Yuji Yamazaki, who successfully turned power generation into a stylish design feature. There’s also a water bottling plant to substantially reduce the island’s plastic consumption, a food recycling programme, and a collection of greenhouses producing fresh produce for guests.