Marco Den Ouden, GM of Patina Maldives Fari Islands, does not believe in Googling people, and this undoubtedly helps attract real top-flight celebs.
“Look, privacy is an important reason why knowledgable travellers choose to stay here rather than elsewhere in the Maldives,” says the charismatic Dutchman, a would-be artist who was diverted to hospitality.
Patina Maldives Fari Islands, which only opened mid-May 2021, is already on many ‘world-best’ lists.
The property occupies all of a 41-hectare island, one of four of the Fari Islands in the North Male atoll, 50-minute speedboat from Male International Airport.
Average stay of 5.5 nights is attracting multi-generational families, and small groups, say girlfriends in the 32-52 age range (young-at-heart and active are key words, it seems). Premium is the 1,800sq m Beach House, two floors, three bedrooms that sleep a maximum nine, a 21m-long pool. Patina also has 90 pool villas, interior+garden size from 240sq m, plus 20 Beach Studios, no pools.
You can opt for full-board or all à la carte but most popular is half-board, alcohol extra. There are 12 eating venues, including the increasingly-popular plant-based Roots. Try the best-selling butternut squash ragout with caramelised onions and Asian-herb crumble. Breakfast, such a vital element for some, is buffet or served, health through to heavy-carb.
Stay at Patina and you will have another seven dining options when a sibling hotel, Capella Maldives Fari Islands, opens in 2023 on another island, five minutes away by non-stop dhoni shuttle. Charge, wherever. Among the many Patina freebies, incidentally, are welcome bubbles, daily gelato, evening cocktails and camp fire marshmallows, bikes and paddleboards, laundry, kids’ club, and, whenever you know you need it, the 24/7 Reboot gym.
Groups of girlfriends could, however, well spend lots of time luxuriating around their pool, smothering their elegant cheeks in Haekel’s eco-marine face cream while chewing bespoke nutritional lozenges from Melissa Snover’s Nourished company. Marco Den Ouden, by the way, has deliberately gone for 2021 lifestyle products from small companies rather than old traditionals.
“I did the same when choosing our house Champagne, Duval-Leroy Femme de Champagne Grand Cru Brut, I researched this family-owned house and admired not only its vivacious taste but the fact it has been run since 1991 by Carol Duval-Leroy,” he says. When it comes to bubbles in bottles, he searches minutely. When it comes to bubbly people, he respects their privacy.