Remember one useful tip if you plan a trip to the Kanuhura islands in Maldives – leave your heels behind. Holidays, these days, may all be about flaunting your fashion statements for Instagram and Facebook likes but shoes are a serious liability at Kanuhura. Wondering why? Simply because there is no greater joy than sinking your feet into the powdery, white beaches of the island and walking barefoot, feeling the breeze, enjoying the crystal clear waters and soothing vibe.
Of late, Maldives has been on the radar of every avid traveller. An endless expanse of ocean, jaw dropping marine life and luxurious resorts make it a must-go destination but frankly, there is only one reason you should travel to Maldives – to re-discover yourself and feel what true bliss is all about. And Kanuhura Maldives, the re-furbished, revamped awe-inspiring luxury resort at the Lhaviyani Atoll, could well be that synonym for idyllic island living.
The adventure begins right from the time you board the seaplane at Male airport to reach the 1400 mt long and 350 mt wide island. This is an exhilarating experience in itself – watching the sea plane park on water and then slowly take off. Once high in the air, a glance below gives you the memory of a lifetime – little islands looking like tiny defiant dots of land surrounded by the wild ocean.
IN TUNE WITH NATURE
Forty-five minutes in the seaplane and soon you are at Kanuhura, a place where your journey to ecstasy begins. The first sight of the turquoise lagoon is enough to blow your mind away but it’s when you go further into the island and discover its pure unadulterated beauty that you feel truly refreshed and rejuvenated.
The gypset philosophy – fusing the nomadic and wild side of a gypsy with the sophistication of the jet-set – is at the core of this property. Thus, every element, from the décor to the dining experiences or the spa and salon, is about redefining luxury and comfort while embracing your real, free-spirited self.
The villas and suites are a fine example of this idiom. Interiors with natural elements and soft furnishings, with a shot of pop colour and fun designs in the upholstery, blend in harmoniously with the environment. The sea villas, with semi-open bathrooms, are particularly stunning. They open to a small deck that offers private access to the lagoon. Enjoying a villa breakfast staring into nothingness, watching the sun rise from your private sun deck or reading a book reclining on a hammock thoughtfully attached to the deck, is what a gypsetter’s dream is all about! The beach bungalows and beach pool villas, of course, take it to another level with private pools, more lavish bedrooms and elegant interiors.
Then there are the other elements that seem straight out of a fantasy. Maldives has long been known to be a destination that is dependent on the outside world for its supplies but the Chef’s Herb Garden – one of the eight culinary experiences at Kanuhura – turns this maxim upside down. A gorgeous hanging vegetable and herbs garden, the land has been tilled to produce some fine spices, veggies and herbs. Want to get a taste of organic living? Request for a special dinner inside the garden at the communal table or better still, take part in the chef’s interactive cooking classes!
View from the water villa
A tough question: what is more exciting – yoga when the sun rises or a beach workout when the sun sets? The answer: both! The sunrise yoga where you are given a guided yoga session by an expert is a one-of-a-kind workout. On the other hand, the Maldivian Warrior Workout is all about sweating it out on the beach with the trainer – both are intense workouts that make you feel healthy inside out. Once again, it’s the beach ambiance that does the trick for your body and mind, something a gym with mind-blasting music just cannot give. But a Maldivian holiday isn’t complete without a sense of adventure, is it? So from deep sea diving to snorkelling, private island picnics to boat rides, there are plenty of options to choose from. One day of your trip should be devoted to any of these activities as there is no better way to immerse yourself into island life.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
If life from the glitzy city (even if for a few days), means sacrificing gourmet meals, be rest assured. Each of the eight restaurants and bars at Kanuhura offer something special to the foodie. Predictably, there is plenty of seafood, and the seafood night at A Mano, the all-day dining restaurant offering pan Asian cuisine is a must-try. Bottega has some tantalising Italian fare with apt grape to go with it while Deli and Cowry Club (the pool bar) has some light bites for all-time munching. But a special experience is to be savoured at Veli – a specialty Asian fusion space that is defined by an open kitchen with contemporary seating around Yakiniku tables. Meats and seafood is grilled right in front of diners and it’s all set on a stretch of the beach. Seated by the ocean, watching the sun set, sipping grape and indulging in some sushi here is a heavenly experience.
However, even this pales in comparison to the joy of island dining. The small island of Masleggihura, just a few minutes boat ride from Kanuhura, is where you should have a private dining or a castaway picnic experience. This is what you get – a table set in the middle of nowhere with chefs organising a fantastic barbecue served with a generous dose of grape. Or have an exclusive dinner at Drift – the grill kitchen at Jehunuhura, the second island close by. It’s pure paradise – watching the lazy waves and enjoying your own delicious private meal in the wilderness! Topping it all though is the ‘Lagoon Breakfast’ – as the name suggests, a table is set right at the edge of the ocean. Feel the sun’s rays hitting you as you sip your coffee and indulge your fruit and eggs, with the waves lapping by your feet for an ethereal breakfast experience.
A trip to Maldives has everything – oodles of romance, a touch of spirituality and a heavy dose of adventure. You feel one with yourself while swimming with the fish on a snorkelling or diving session, you travel inwards while soaking in the island breeze during a yoga workout, you feel high enjoying a meal under the clear night sky and you are thrilled on a speedboat while going island hopping. Far removed from the world of stress, targets and deadlines, it’s chance to see life at its purest and most natural.