This heart-shaped island is located on the Gaafu Alifu Atoll, 400 km from the capital Malé. It’s one of the most remote islands in the Maldives and perfect for anyone who really wants to ‘get away from it all.’
1. Leave the world behind
The journey may seem a little overwhelming (two or three planes and a boat) but believe me when I say your efforts will be rewarded. On arrival at Malé airport, representatives provide a ‘meet-and-greet’ service before leading you into the dedicated Jumeirah airport lounge where you can wait in comfort until it’s time to board the short flight to Khadeedhoo airport. From here, you’ll embark on a 20-minute speedboat transfer to the Jumeirah Dhevanafushi resort, situated in the beautiful southernmost islands.Once on the speedboat, the final journey to paradise takes you through turquoise waters, past deserted islands and powder white beaches.
2. The welcome
On approaching the resort’s jetty, you will hear the distant sounds of the Maldivian Bodu Beru drums. The traditional music was first introduced to the Maldives by sailors from the Indian Ocean as early as the 11th century. As you disembark, the drummers welcome you onto the pier with hand-made garlands and fresh coconut juice. Take a seat and admire the view, indulge in a 15-minute complimentary couple’s foot massage or be whisked away to your luxurious island hideaway.
3. Luxurious bungalows
You really can’t go wrong. No matter which option you choose, you’ll feel as though you have the entire island to yourself. The resort offers a selection of beach villas (13 Beach Revives, 5 island Revives or 3 Beach Sanctuaries) and over water bungalows (14 Ocean Revives and 2 Ocean Sanctuaries.) The beach villas offer access to your own private pool and the Indian Ocean is just a few short steps away. If you need any help booking activities or have any special requests (from the after sun you forgot to pack to that last minute private island dining experience you just decided to book) then look no further than your own personal butler who is on hand to help.
4. The view
Perfectly positioned to watch the sunset or sunrise depending on your preference, the bungalows are built directly over the water and offer unobstructed views of the Indian Ocean. Each Ocean Revive (270 square metres) and Ocean Sanctuary (340 square metres) villas have an exceptionally spacious living-room and an outdoor sun deck where you can relax in the sunken bathtub or private pool. The pièce de résistance has to be the ‘deluxe king size’ bed, it’s just enormous.
5. Splash out
The water bungalows have a small ladder from the decking which leads directly into the azure waters of the ocean where extraordinary snorkelling awaits. Each villa is equipped with a widescreen interactive TV, Apple Media Centre, Bose speakers, iPod docking station and adjustable mood lighting. The interior décor is inspired to create serenity and harmony, while the marble bath and outdoor rain shower features will resonate with your love of luxury.
6. Dive into the deep
If you’re wondering how you might fill your time in paradise, fear not, you can do as much or as little as you like. Lazy days soaking up the sun followed by spectacular snorkelling will fill your days nicely but you could always try working your way through the spa menu or have a go at the water sports on offer.There’s just something about the underwater world that’s kind of magical and Jumeirah Dhevanafushi has an incredibly pristine coral reef waiting to be discovered. Plunge into the warm crystal clear waters and discover a kaleidoscopic world teeming with marine life. Listen to the parrotfish feeding off the coral, watch schools of vibrantly coloured reef fish swim by and search for sleeping octopuses by the rocks. Other finds may include trumpet fish, groupers, butterfly fish and wrasse. If you’re really lucky, you may even spot the occasional turtle and further afield dolphins have been known to visit. Hire a pedalo to explore the deeper waters or snorkel along the 850 metre stretch to the water bungalows. Here you can swim along the house reef and dive past the drop-off into the deep blue ocean to discover some of the most incredible coral reefs the world has to offer.
7. Try out the spa
It’s advisable to book your treatment at Talise Spa in advance which is a great excuse to have a sneak peek at the facilities. If you take a stroll along the wooden pier, you’ll find the spa perched over the water on stilts. Once inside freshen up with a cold towel infused with lavender and take a look at the menu which offers all the usual treatments plus options for couples. The rooms are incredible and offer panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. If you opt for a massage, you’ll be mesmerized by the underwater world as you gaze through the glass floor. Once your spa therapist gets to work, you can watch the waves ripple over the rocks and see the colourful reef fish swim by. The soothing music complements this perfect setting – the ultimate journey for the body, mind and soul. Book in advance.
8. Go for a workout
For those keen to keep fit, sporting activities take on a whole new meaning at Jumeirah Dhevanafushi. The overwater gym provides one of the most idyllic workout locations imaginable. With floor-to-ceiling windows you can’t escape the incredible panoramic ocean views; this is one gym you may not wish to leave. Adventurous types can try adrenaline-fuelled waterskiing, wakeboarding and kite surfing or a personal trainer can put you through your paces with a beach boot camp. If a relaxing start to the day is more your style, then opt for an hour of yoga by the pavilion.
9. Dine in amazing restaurants
Mumayaz for beach dining with style, Khibar for cocktails and an incredible sunset, Azara for international classics and Maldivian cuisine, or Johara for an unforgettable Asian dining experience.
For something a little more special, step onboard the resort’s boat for a five minute journey ‘over the water’ to Johara. Sit out on the decking or indoors and feel the balmy breeze as it gently sweeps through the restaurant. Choose from an extensive menu including the sumptuous black cod miso, cashew chicken or ask the chef to create a personal favourite. After dinner, relax outside, sit back on the loungers and listen to the soothing sounds of the ocean. With the island located just 30 miles north of the equator you can see constellations of both the northern and southern skies on clear evenings, a wonderful way to conclude the day.