The gorgeous sandy white beaches and breath-taking underwater world of the Maldives have often been referred to as paradise on earth by visitors. And rightly so! With over 1,000 small tropical islands scattered over the Indian Ocean like a string of pearls, it is one of the most geographically dispersed countries in the world. In fact, the Maldives is only 1% of land and 99% sea. A statistic that has contributed immensely to the development of various innovative ‘tourist attractions’ inspired by and from the sea that surrounds the beautiful island nation.
Accommodations: From Maldives style water villas to Bubble
The luxury overwater villas of Maldives (usually referred to as “Maldives-style water villas) are famous across the globe, and it is a concept that many countries have taken inspiration from when designing accommodations for the upmarket and luxury travelers. Even India, Dubai, Qatar and other popular tourist destinations have developed ‘Maldives-style’ water villas to add to their list of accommodation types.
However, for Maldives, it does not simply stop there. Overwater villas are now considered a basic room type, and even slightly anachronistic as there’s nary a resort that does not have at least one. Resorts like Conrad Maldives Rangali Island raised the bar recently by introducing the world’s first underwater villa. The jaw-dropping design is named Muraka (“coral” in Dhivehi, the local language of the Maldives) and sits 16 feet and 4 inches below the surface of the ocean.
Another innovative guest accommodation which made headlines all over the world is the Bubble. Guests can now either spend a cozy night inside a bubble on the beach at Seaside Finolhu or a Skyhouse Bubble at Amilla Fushi for an extraordinary experience with amazing views of the sunset.
Dine-in options: Dinner at Underwater restaurant? Or inside a submarine?
Many tourists agree that the real beauty of Maldives is below the surface of its beautiful crystal clear sea. Diving and snorkeling are time-honored activities that everyone who visits the country will experience, but why stop there? Over the years, Maldives has taken it to the next level and dining under the sea has become a trend. Luxury underwater restaurants are among the most unique dining experiences available in the world. Not everyone can boast about being able to dine with the fishes.
Currently, there are 6 underwater restaurants in the Maldives. They are Ithaa at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, 5.8 Undersea at Hurawalhi Island Resort, SEA at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, SUBSIX at Niyama Private Islands, M6m at OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo, and H2O at You & Me Maldives.
In addition, while celebrating its 10,000th dive, Whale Submarine Maldives launched the world’s first underwater dinner in a submarine option. That’s right, visitors to the Maldives now have the option to be served their lunch and dinner 120ft under the most beautiful marine environment on the planet.
Remote rooftops and observatories
The beauty of the Maldives is not just limited to the beaches and underwater marine life. Guests can get to see the mesmerizing sky views and indulge in stargazing.
Soneva pioneered the opportunity to see the stars in the middle of the ocean. Soneva Fushi is the first resort in the world where guests can get acquainted with 3D astronomy.
The Soneva group went on to take star gazing to the next level and installed retractable roofs at almost all of its villas at Soneva Jani. It opens in about 22 seconds and spans a spectacular 4 by 4 meters. The system is equipped with a rain sensor. When rainfall is detected the roof closes automatically.