With the launch of its website, The Nautilus Maldives – a privately-owned island in the heart of a UNESCO biosphere reserve – gives notice that it will be opening this November with the serious ambition of being noted as one of the leading luxury resorts in the world. The inspiration behind this boutique 26-room island is Dr I U Maniku, a Maldivian entrepreneur with over 30 years’ experience in business and resort ownership. Originally thinking about building his dream retreat on the tiny island, The Nautilus has grown to become his personal vision of what the last word in island luxury – in both the Maldives and worldwide – should be.
The Nautilus experience begins on the runway at Velana International Airport, where every guest will be taken straight from the plane to a VIP terminal in the airport for a relaxed customs and immigration clearance. From there it’s a short hop to The Nautilus’ own private lounge to await the 35-minute seaplane flight to Baa Atoll.
“The Nautilus Maldives has been designed for the new generation of luxury travellers; travellers who are looking for transformative experiences and activities that they can share with those who matter the most to them,” states Dr Maniku.
“Before beginning this project we did a great deal of research about luxury resorts around the world to ensure that we can surpass their standards and also launch a concept that’s different. The Nautilus philosophy therefore is one of absolute freedom for its guests, offering a laid-back ‘modern bohemian’ lifestyle where guests can escape from their everyday lives, truly be themselves, and reconnect with their inner being, with nature and with their families – all in a beautiful Maldivian setting. A stay here isn’t like a stay anywhere else.”
This philosophy has meant rethinking how a luxury resort is run in order to base services around the guest and not follow standard operating procedures. With this in mind, service is driven by the House Captains (butlers), who take care of every detail instead of handing over to receptionists, concierges, excursion guides, etc. Restaurants have flexible opening hours; for example, breakfast can be taken at any time of day and not even in the restaurant, if the guest prefers breakfast in bed or by their private pool. While there will be menus in each of the three restaurants, these are seen as starting points for a discussion with the chef about what the guest would like to eat rather than as set guidelines for what can be ordered. Spa treatments can happen without an appointment, and if the urge to borrow the resort’s yacht and head out into the blue yonder for a picnic should suddenly strike, the House Captain (one to every residence) will simply arrange everything as needed. To build on this relaxed feel, guests are invited to casual sunset cocktails every evening and can help themselves to deli-style canapés from the poolside bar throughout the day or ask their House Captain to pick up something for them.
Room rates at The Nautilus Maldives start at US$1967 for two in a Beach House with pool on bed and breakfast basis. Bookings begin in April 2018 for the November opening.