Insight /


Just Back From... Milaidhoo, The Maldives

Laid-back Milaidhoo is the ultimate Maldivian retreat for barefoot-luxury loving travellers. Real Hols’ Catherine Foxton reports back on the sheer relaxation found on the UNESCO biosphere reserve of Hanifaru Bay.

Catherine's Overview

“Milaidhoo makes it just so easy to relax. With no children under 9 and no water sports, you’re guaranteed a peaceful stay in paradise. It’s not flashy here either – it’s understated, but without question, very luxurious.”

    Picture Perfect

    Cradled by a teeming coral reef and lapped by the warm Indian Ocean, Milaidhoo is stunningly beautiful. It really trades on its natural beauty – you won’t find glitzy embellishments here like chocolate rooms or underwater restaurants.

    Milaidhoo is all about enjoying the best of the Maldives’ nature – white sand beaches, lucent blue waters, palm trees and a thriving underwater world. In fact, its ace in the deck is the encircling coral reef – I snorkelled right off of our overwater villa and within a few minutes I’d spotted a reef shark and a turtle, and of tons of brightly coloured tropical fish.

    Smiley Service

    The staff here really add the icing on top of the cake. Having a ‘butler’ felt very grand, but actually being able to ask questions via WhatsApp really took any residual stress away or awkward calls to reception, meaning extras like snorkels and masks to the villa, spa bookings and room service were arranged with very little fuss.

    We liked the way in which staff knew our names and learnt our whims, making us feel very special – like coffee the way we liked it delivered at breakfast time without being asked. We felt very well looked after.

    Beach or Overwater Villa?

    Always a tricky one to decide in the Maldives so we choose to try both at Malaidhoo. All the suites here are decorated in muted tones with a pared-back décor and natural materials with wood floors and thatched roofs allowing the breath-taking Maldives topography to shine through. Whether you pick an overwater villa or beach villa really comes down to personal choice – do you like to dive straight into the azure water, or do you prefer padding through silky soft sand for a paddle?

    Due to the configuration of the villas, you can also choose between shady or sunny, sunset or not, reef or sandy ocean floor. I liked the beach villa with a private pool, shrouded in greenery because I’m a toes-in-the-sand kind of girl!

    Island Life

    As you can imagine, life here is very slow-paced and geared towards relaxation. After a long and slow breakfast, I loved to spend the day on our spacious terrace – sunbathing on the day bed, reading and snorkelling. Lunchtimes consisted of Nasi goreng with an enormous grilled prawn, beef satay and punchy sambal, washed down with a cold Tiger beer – heaven! I’d also highly recommend the tasting menu at the hotel’s restaurant Batheli, set on a traditional wooden boat – you can watch shadowy reef sharks swimming in the shallows below you.

    In terms of activities, there are lots of ways to enjoy being on and around the ocean including fishing, sunrise picnics, lunch on a sandbar and sunset cruises but, a testament to the hotel, I’m afraid we were too busy….relaxing.


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