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Exciting Updates For Top Luxury Resorts in the Maldives

The Maldives remains the aspirational destination of many Americans for its many luxurious resorts set on small private islands scattered across the Indian Ocean As more and more travelers seek out vacations that offer seclusion, exclusivity and an abundance of fresh air, the Maldives is quickly becoming the most sought-after vacation spot for 2021.

Here’s a rundown of just a few of the newest resort openings and re-openings in the Maldives, as well as new programs at other properties.

1. Patina Maldives

Opened May 2021, Patina Maldives is the first property from Patina Hotels & Resorts. It is a multi-faceted luxury resort and island destination set in the new Fari Islands archipelago in the North Malé Atoll. Guests can choose from 90 one- to three-bedroom beach and water pool villas and 20 studios that sit on the edge of Fari Marina Village and Fari Beach Club, the communal beating heart of this four-island ocean retreat. The resort offers everything from tailor-made wellness journeys and interactive music programs to a multitude of conscious dining options and wondrous art experiences.

2. Cocogiri

Opening in June 2021, Cocogiri is a bespoke island resort situated in the exclusive Vaavu Atoll, an area renowned for its marine life and unmatched diving. Featuring just 20 water villas and 20 beach villas, Cocogiri promises the utmost tranquility and privacy in a dream-like setting, while also offering extensive wellness, activity and excursion programs including its own on-island Dive School.

3. The Ritz-Carlton Maldives

Opening June 2021, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives is another world-class ocean resort coming to the newly-developed Fari Islands. The resort features 100 private villas, each made complete with an infinity pool, sundeck and the dedicated attention of an Aris Meeha, or personal butler. Other highlights include seven globally-inspired restaurants and bars, overwater spa offerings, an indoor-outdoor Ritz Kids Club, and access to the boutique shopping and lively cultural experiences found at Fari Marina Village.

4. Joali Being

Opening November 2021, the resort will be the first and only nature immersive wellbeing retreat, located on the secluded natural island of Bodufushi in Raa Atoll. The retreat, an extension of Joali Maldives on Muravandhoo, will offer an array of the finest wellbeing facilities and unique transformational spaces and experiences, including hydrotherapy, movement, and sound healings, as well as diverse tailored cuisine. Accommodations include 68 exclusive guest villas with pools, including 34 beach villas and 34 water villas.

5. Soneva Fushi

Soneva has announced its summer 2021 programming at the Soneva Fushi in the Maldives, featuring one-of-a-kind experiences, exceptional cuisine with Michelin-starred chefs, and acclaimed visiting experts through the ongoing Soneva Stars calendar. Soneva has developed a program of testing visitors for COVID-19 on arrival, and every five days during their stay, to ensure a COVID-free vacation. Soneva has also developed a unique and eco-friendly process to eliminate 90 percent of mosquitos at Soneva Fushi.

This summer, diners can enjoy Michelin-starred cuisine from a line-up of acclaimed guest chefs at Soneva Fushi over the summer months, including Chef Stéphanie Le Quellec from the two-Michelin-starred La Scene in Paris, Chef Heiko Nieder from the Dolder Grand's two-Michelin-starred The Restaurant, and Chef Paco Morales, the two-Michelin-starred chef at the forefront of Andalusian cuisine. Other experts in residence include glass artists Cheyenne Malcolm and Ben Sharp, who will be at Soneva Art & Glass, the Maldives' only hot glass studio, until Aug. 26.

In the realm of wellness, Tathata Kobayashi, a renowned Tai Chi Chuan teacher, will be sharing his extensive knowledge from Aug. 20-Sept. 10. Those who want to reconnect with nature can join one of Soneva's new "Conscious Experiences." Experiences include a journey around the resort's organic gardens and waste-to-wealth recycling center, as well as learning about sustainable hook-and-line fishing with a family of local fishermen.

Guests can also swim with majestic Manta Rays in the nearby Hanifaru Bay, home to one of the world's largest manta populations.

Younger guests will be entertained with summer camps for children and teens, and mentoring activities from Oppidan Education. Children can take part in treasure hunts, get active in a mini-Olympics, learn how to identify turtles, sail to the sandbank and much more. Teens are invited to learn about conservation and the environment, take a trip to a local island, discover how to cook tasty Maldivian snacks, and end their stay with a disco at The Den. The new Soneva Academy enables older children to learn during their summer stay. The modular courses take children and teens aged 12+ from 'junior' to 'expert', and cover a range of fascinating topics, including the "Night Skies," "Zero Waste and Plastic Pollution," "Marine Life of the Maldives," "Mosquitoes and Disease," and "The Adventure of the Corbin," a quest across the seas in the wake of an ancient galleon.

6. Niyama Private Islands

Guests at this resort can parachute into paradise with a new tandem skydiving experience, which has just launched for guests. It takes off from Dhaalu Airport just a short speedboat ride from the resort in the Maldives’ southern Dhaalu Atoll. Tandem skydiving is the best way for dare devils to experience this adrenaline-fueled sport in the safest and most stunning of environments. Guests play an active role in the jump, descending by freefall over the tropical islands of the Indian Ocean from a height of 12,000 feet, with a seasoned instructor connected from leap to landing. The jump involves a one-minute freefall at the extreme speed of 200 kilometers per hour before the parachute opens for a five minute ride down to the white sand beaches, set to a backdrop of birds-eye views of the resort and the wider atoll. For photographic evidence, the dive can be captured by a hand camera, while for those wishing to share their full dare-devil experience with family and friends and on their social channels, an outside camera can be arranged with a separate skydiver, to create the ultimate memories.

7. Kudadoo Maldives Private Island

This exclusive private island features just 15 over-water villa and is the only Maldives resort offering guests a fully-inclusive “Anything, Anytime, Anywhere” approach. All private dining, access to an expansive wine cellar including seven different champagnes, spa treatments and private water experiences are fully included in the price per night. Guests wanting to “own” their own private island with close family and friends can also buy out the entire island for their stay.

8. The Nautilus Maldives

This ultra-luxe private island also has launched its brand-new skydiving adventure. Guests can jump from heights of 12,000 feet above the Indian Ocean and enjoy a full 360-degree view of the baa atoll. The Nautilus epitomizes spacious seclusion and sublime service, with consciously minimal interaction from the moment guests step off the plane at Velana International Airport and into the care of island’s exclusive free VIP arrival and transfer service. As the only Relais & Châteaux member resort in the Maldives, The Nautilus provides the ultimate Maldivian haven for its guests post-pandemic. The skydiving experience is perfect for everyone, from those who are already professionally licensed skydivers, extreme adventure enthusiasts and even first-time adrenaline-seekers who can tandem jump with one of our seasoned instructors. Just a 20-minute yacht ride from The Nautilus at Dharavandhoo domestic airport, where participants will be greeted and fully briefed by the expert skydiving team. They will then get into their jumpsuit, strap on their goggles, board the aircraft join their experienced instructor edging towards the door to skydive down to the Maldivian seas.

8. Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

This resort has unveiled a collection of the largest private pool residences in the world with the completed renovation of the resort’s two-bedroom overwater pool residences. A multi-million-dollar project that started in 2020 with the redesign of its four-, three- and two-bedroom beach pool residences, this collection of seven private Maldivian accommodations is ideally suited for multi-generational vacations and larger group travel. The renovation of the residences included careful preservation of the element of space while marrying a light and airy interior refit with smart home technology, thus creating a balance between an utterly brand-new look and a welcoming familiarity that repeat guests have come to expect in the resort’s 10th year of service excellence.

Perched over a lagoon and offering views of the Indian Ocean, both units of Anantara Kihavah’s Two-Bedroom Overwater Pool Residences were completed in early 2021. These overwater retreats are generously spaced at 1,500 square meters and feature expansive floor-to-ceiling windows. Outfitted with a professional working kitchen in the living and dining room, these villas each have ensuite bedrooms with an individual outdoor living space, an infinity pool and shaded outdoor dining sala.

The redesign of these residences also saw the addition of a gym fully equipped with the latest in TechnoGym machinery and a couple’s spa treatment room. Both rooms are fitted with retractable blinds, allowing for ample sunlight by day and unfiltered stargazing at night.

Glass-bottomed whirlpool bathtubs have also been fitted in each bathroom, providing therapeutic massages and astounding underwater views even during bath time. Staying true to the heritage of the Maldives, each residence features Kajan thatched palm roofs and Balau hardwood flooring spanning the entire length of its expansive outdoor deck, accompanied by netted hammocks suspended over water. Tiled in natural Sukabumhi stone, the infinity pool presents an ever-shifting overtone of green and blue with each movement of the sun, mirroring the hues of its turquoise-colored surroundings.

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