Satellites and shooting stars flickered high above the Indian Ocean while dark waves licked at the shore only meters from where we sat. The moment was briefly interrupted by our waiter, Ahmed who asked if we were finished with our first course – a Peruvian ceviche made from a local reef fish caught that day.
He disappeared from our candlelit table, which stood alone on the white sand beach, encircled by glowing lanterns – only to return moments later with a palette cleanser of freshly made coconut gelato before moving onto the mains.
This meal was one of many that we enjoyed at the Outrigger Konotta Maldives, located in the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll; which is a 55-minute flight + 30-minute luxury yacht transfer from Malé. A la carte meals are one of the unique differences that the resort prides itself on – you won’t find a buffet anywhere, which is a first for the Maldives. Even Breakfast is prepared to order including a wide selection, ranging from handmade Chinese dumplings to waffles or a classic Eggs Benedict.
The importance of fresh and healthy dining is obvious, which is often promised – but rarely achieved at five-star island resorts. Chef Wayan makes it his mission to personally greet all guests, making sure their stomachs are singing during their stay.
Personal attention doesn’t stop at dining at the Outrigger though, their extensive offering of water sports will keep even landlubbing visitors engaged for days. Quality snorkels and masks are complimentary to guests during their stay, which definitely comes in handy as every villa on the island boasts direct access to the crystal blue waters – either via stairs leading from overwater ocean villas or a few steps across white sand from beach villas.
When the excitement of snorkelling wears thin it might be time to upgrade to a SeaBob. I felt like James Bond darting and zipping between coral reef, chasing schools of blue and yellow fish while circumnavigating the island on a guided adventure. Likened to riding a motorbike under the sea, the Seabob adds a dash of exhilaration to a snorkeler’s repertoire. Surprisingly easy to operate, we took off from knee-deep water with only minor instructions from water sports Manager, Rocco –
“Don’t forget to breath”
After returning to the beach we decided to give windsurfing a try, then stand up paddle boarding – but declined an offer to parasail behind their speedboat because it was time for a well earned snack – and the wind had picked up.
The next morning we decided to try our first-ever scuba dive. Our smiling Russian (rare!) dive master Andrei whisked us through the short theory introduction and within minutes we were a few meters underwater following needlefish and reef sharks. He warned that we may become addicted – and he may be right as I’m already looking into booking a PADI course back in Australia!
After a few days of sand, sun and seafood there was one last thing to try: the Navasana Spa. We were warned to arrive at least thirty-minutes early so we could properly enjoy their truly gorgeous indoor pool area (open to all guests) before indulging in a sixty-minute couples massage. After the world-class massage, we finished the afternoon by listening to rainfall with ginger tea. Absolute bliss.
Getting there: Singapore Airlines offers daily flights to Malé via Singapore from Australia and other worldwide destinations. The resort will organise domestic flights and yacht from there.
Weather: The Maldives has a year-round hot tropical climate. There are two monsoons, the southwest from May to October and the northeast from November to April. Generally the southwest brings more wind and rain in June and July. The temperature rarely falls below 25°C (77°F).
Booking: Contact your local Travel Agent or visit the Outrigger website. Beach Pool Villa from $769 USD++ inc breakfast per couple.
- The Author was hosted by the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort.