Saturday, April 27, 2013

Naladhu Maldives - A Private Retreat

Maldives being one of my dream travel destinations, a right start to the holiday is very important. A perfect holiday starts with the right companion and of course the perfect hotel. Well, I believe that there is no such thing as the "perfect hotel". However, an extensive research and previous experience with certain hotels will be able to minimize unwanted surprises at any holiday destinations. So far, both of my stays with the boutique hotels from the Small Luxury Hotels group has been more than satisfying. My first stay at St James Hotel and Club in London was so memorable and thus Naladhu (part of the SLH group) was the preferred choice when selecting our trip to Maldives.

Naladhu is located 35 minutes from Male International Airport. Although it is quite far from the airport, the location of Naladhu on an island on South Male Atoll is worth all the travel time. My boyfriend and I took a flight on Etihad Airways which flew directly from Abu Dhabi to Male and upon arrival, we were greeted by staff from Naladhu at the arrival hall which we had earlier arranged with the hotel for a return speedboat transfer.

It's a luxury speedboat with comfortable seats.

The staff were really courteous and helpful as they helped us with all the bags and luggage. All we need is to get our bum on the boat and be comfortable. Although the ride was very bumpy due to the strong waves, it was a comfortable ride with the padded leather seats. One note to take while planning a trip to Maldives is to find out about the boat transfer to the hotel and return as these services are not inclusive in the hotel rates.

On our arrival at Naladhu, we were warmly greeted by Carla (Resort Manager) exclusive concierge, Shareef (butler) and personal assistant for the duration of our stay. Shareef then walked us to our Beach Villa and the luggage were also delivered at the same time.

A beautiful distraction - The view outside our Beach Villa.

The view we had on the beach is truly amazing. It overlooked the clear blue sea that is somewhat turquoise in colour and over the Anantara Dhigu water villas and Baan Huraa (Thai Restaurant). The colour of the water is exactly how it is depicted in the picture above taken from my Olympus XZ-1. Most of the other pictures are taken with my iPhone 5 and my mini iPad.

Shareef led us to our Beach villa which he spent the next 30 minutes explaining to us about the villa and the utilities and amenities. When he started showing us how to use the TV, we just told him that we don't watch TV and when he starts showing us the magazines on the racks, we told him we don't read as well. It's a holiday on Maldives and I'm not going to spend time watching TV in the room or reading!!!

There are only 19 private houses at Naladhu which offers so much of privacy and space. There's beach and ocean villas. We chose a romantic beach villa that houses a large bedroom, a dressing room with a walk in wardrobe, an open-air bath, steam & shower room and garden rain shower, a private pool and garden with hardwood deck and dining sala with a cosy cabana which gives me a very homely feeling. It does not feel like staying at a hotel at all. I secretly wished I have a house like this. My bf jokingly asked Carla if this villa is for sale and she replied with a stern "definitely NOT". hahaha...

The Mini Bar is the most complete with the widest choice available for drinks and wines I've ever seen. Champagnes? Checked. Whites? Checked. Red? Checked. French? Checked. I love the garden shower which feels heavenly if you were to take a cool shower in the hot and sunny afternoon and the pool was so over-used by us that we swam in the morning, noon, afternoon and even midnight. The bedroom is really spacious and it opens up to the private pool which one morning I wrote on my FB that I wished someone would just throw me into the pool from my bed when I woke up. Guess what? My naughty bf did just that and he pushed me into the pool in my pyjamas.

What a wake up call!

The amenities provided in the room were very complete. They provide everything that you can ever think of. I brought my beach bags and a beach hat which is quite unnecessary because they provide that too. Forgot your swimming goggles, sun block and underwater camera? No worries, those are available in the room with a charge of course.

Every villa comes with a Nokia handphone with the number of your own butler which he can be reached at all times even when you're on another island. I think we never need to use the phone. For our one week stay, we only have Shareef calling us and not the other way round. Since I'm afraid of mosquitoes, it's very nice of them to have a mosquito survival kit available in the room and also an overnight kit with the usual cotton buds, sewing kit, comb and etc. There is so many books, magazines and even a CD player on the rack but we didn't touch any of them except me reading a few magazines and only to find out that some of them are in Dhivehi (Maldivian Language). LOL

How nice to have a hammock outside the villa! A place where I spent some time lying there everyday.

The hammock near the Jetty is quite nice too with such a nice view of the ocean.

The attention and level of service extended to us during the stay has exceeded our expectations. We were treated with care and smiling faces everywhere we went. This is such an unforgettable experience! The restaurant, particularly The Living Room in Naladhu is not only excellent but it feels very homely as well since we have been dining there for breakfast and dinner. I shall be writing on the restaurants next in the upcoming posts so stay tuned!

This is the luxury speedboat that sends us to the Male Airport on Thursday. 
Carla, Shareef and a few staff were there to bid us farewell. We had an impulsive thought to miss our flight and extend a few more days here. However, Ms Reality decides that it's time to head home because I still have to file my 2012 Income Tax! It was so incredible that there were 4 staff accompanying the both of us on the trip to the airport. The sea was calm and we managed to catch the sunset. What a heavy feeling to leave paradise.

But we will return!!!

P/S: This is not a paid review nor invited review. The opinions expressed here are independent and are derived from my personal experience with the resort.
Naladhu Maldives
P.O. Box 2014
Veligandu Huraa, South Male Atoll
Republic of Maldives
Tel:       +960 664 4105
Fax:      +960 664 4188
Skype:  naladhu-maldives


Quay Po Cooks said...

What a way to retreat!

Marko said...

It's a living Heaven...

Ciki said...

reminds us of our stay at W at the Maldives! Super gorgeous! Can't wait to see your tan!

Chef and Sommelier said...

One of my next destinations....

eiling lim said...

Quay Po: Yes it's amazingly beautiful.

Marko: It is for me too

Ciki: Ooh very nice!!

Chef and Sommelier: Good. You have to go!

Sean said...

oooh, i've not been to the maldives now, but looking through your gorgeous posts, i'd definitely aim to visit within the next several years (or least before i turn 45, heh)! :D

Rony said...

One of the nice information about the Naladhu -Aprivate retreat.You really did agreat job by posting it.Thanks.

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