22 April 2021
The Maldives is one of the most iconic destinations for unique pool suites, surrounded by pristine white sands and aquamarine waters stretching as far as the eye can see. According to Google, it’s also the most searched destination for a 2021 holiday.
North Malé is one of the most popular atolls due to its close proximity to the international airport, fantastic diving and a huge array of world-class resorts, with Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts presiding over several of the best.
VARU by Atmosphere
The newest and most exclusive of Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts’ Malé atoll offering, VARU by Atmosphere, is “smart yet down to earth and social in equal measures – with everything you want a flick of a beach towel away”. Villas – set either beachfront or overwater - have the option of their own 10m² private plunge pool. All have the same understated yet contemporary character, with earthy tones, splashes of Maldivian print, vaulted ceilings and huge floor-to-ceiling glass doors that bathe the rooms in natural light and give sensational ocean views. Families have dedicated two-bedroomed beach villas which can accommodate up to four children. For a relatively intimate resort, there’s a lot going on with five restaurants (including KAAGÉ, a Maldivian fine-dining restaurant), dive centre, kids' club and the Elena Spa offering treatments in their overwater suites. There’s a vast range of activities to entertain; learn palm leaf origami or the art of local drumming, whilst non-motorised watersports are included.
Oblu by Atmosphere at Helengeli
Just a 50-minute speedboat ride from the airport, Oblu by Atmosphere at Helengeli is a world-renowned dive location thanks to its superb channel diving and protected house reef where giant sea turtles reside. The all-inclusive programme is a hit with customers and includes complimentary spa treatments, sunset fishing, local island excursions and stand-up paddle-boarding or kayaking. There are two two-bedroomed Beach Suites on the sunset side of the island, each with garden, direct beach access and large 20m² pool. Couples may prefer one of the exclusive Lagoon Villas. Airy and vibrant, they’re set half on land, half over-water with outdoor bathroom and deck with large plunge pool surrounded by sun loungers, direct access to the lagoon and serene, horizon views.
Oblu Select at Sangeli
Alternatively, step things up a notch at Oblu Select at Sangeli, the only premium all-inclusive resort in Malé atoll, where all of the deluxe overwater and beach villas come with infinity pools and the evenings are soundtracked by the resort's resident DJ and live music performances. Couples may opt to stay at one of the six honeymoon suites, each with spacious sun-deck with sunbeds, cosy seating and an incredible 13m² private pool. They’re set overwater at One Banyan, a stand-alone adults-only island located at the end of the sweep of overwater villas away from the main resort. One Banyan is also home to its own infinity pool, the Elena garden spa and wellness complex — Where guests receive an included spa treatment as part of their all-inclusive package – and two fine-dining restaurants, both part of the all-inclusive programme.
We can’t leave the Maldives without a nod to the first hotel from the group - the trailblazer - Atmosphere Kanifushi. A half-hour seaplane journey from Malé, the hotel is set on a 2.5km long white island in the sparsely populated Lhaviyani Atoll, chock-full of endemic flora and fauna, fringed by a large, natural lagoon. Billed as ‘the Maldives for millennials’, it revolutionised upon it’s opening in 2013, introducing the signature premium all-inclusive offering and introduced the first vegetarian restaurant in the republic, Just Veg. Now, guests have the choice of staying in one of 40 new overwater villas which opened at the start of the year, including 28 sunset view villas with private pool and 24-hour butler service. A brand-new overwater restaurant, Pier Six, has also been built on the new overwater peninsula, designed in the shape of the native Manta-Ray and offering an array of seafood and Japanese Teppanyaki grill options.
Good to know
As a home-grown Maldivian brand operating only in the republic, Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts has been committed to sustainability since its foundation. Three of its resorts have received the Green Globe certification - OBLU Helengeli, OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo and most recently OBLU Select at Sangeli - considered one of the first globally-operating programmes for the conservation of people and nature, with a local focus.
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