The Luxury Travel Bible - NEW OPENING: Finolhu, Maldives

new opening: finolhu, maldives

Opened: June 2016

THE latest Maldives island paradise opened in June  However  Finolhu is just a little different, because while many Maldives havens have a quiet honeymoon vibe –Finolhu is fun. This retro-inspired resort (from the class act that bought us the divine Amilla Fushi) has a distinctly party vibe. The resort setting is classic island paradise, right next to a 1.8km long white-sand on th edge of water as blue as 1960s eyeshadow. The 125 villas have white walls and wicker beach chairs but there are some added extras which will give you a clue to the funky undertone of it all.

All the rooms have instagram-worthy interiors with pops of retro colour. They also have vintage-style Marshall speakers. Then there’s the chilled-out Baa Baa Beach Club at the heart of the resort, just made for lounging away afternoons on a day bed while listening to world class DJ ‘s and sipping on cocktails created by world class mixologists .Party people can also hang out at the Fish & Crab Shack, a rustic venue halfway along Finolhu’s stunning 1.8km sandbar, just a swim, stroll or Dhoni ride across the lagoon. This is the place for a bucket of prawns and a crisp rosé from the beach bar. Located on the tip of the island with sweeping views of the Indian Ocean, Finolhu’s star dining spot, Kanusan spans three areas: a vibrant overwater bar area; a relaxed indoor space and an al fresco lower deck for an archetypal Maldivian experience with an open kitchen.

Please don’t misunderstand us however, this isn’t Ibiza.

Finolhu has a relaxed vibe but it suits all ages. We’ve rarely seen better family offerings in such a luxurious setting (we’ll get back to that). And there is plenty of opportunity for some serious chilling. The Cove Club, for example, is a hub of pastel-coloured beach divans and a mellow revival area where massage and relaxation are at the top of the agenda - just drop anchor and relax. Ten chandelier-lit treatment Divans - each celebrating an iconic diva of the 60s and 70s (we like) - are complimented by a steam and sauna, fitness centre, movement pavilion and outdoor ‘Palm Beach gym’. Where the island’s natural environment is the inspiration for fitness activities from capoeira (Brazilian martial arts. Ed) and paddle boarding to ballet and kickboxing. Treatment-wise we love the sound of the’ Rockstar Bodywork by Pure Massage , the ‘Dashing Diva by Louise Galvin’ and the ‘Goldfinger’ manicure and pedicure by Margaret Dabbs. All well-known names in the health and beauty field.The resort is situated within the UNESCO biosphere reserve of Baa Atoll so water sports are almost obligatory. The Marine HUB is where you go for water activities including diving, snorkelling trips and excursions under the watchful eye of the Marine bio team and operated by Dive Butler International. Thunderball (as the name suggests) offers more revved-up water fun and beach games.

The combinations of one or two-bedroom villas makes makes this resort greats for groups of friends or luxury-loving families (told you we were getting around to the kids…).  Thunderball has a cool teens hangout area. While The Oceaneers Club, close by BAA BAA Beach Club, is ideal for tots to teens, with activities specially created to suit the kids who are on island, rather than a proscribed menu. From sports and games, cooking classes and crafts, and activities in and on the water, Finolhu Oceaneers won’t be bored and parents can confidently check out of childcare for a few hours.
But for now let’s think about the toe’s-in-the sand, party vibe. The opening was clebrated with  a Retro Beach Party followed by a tribal bonfire. DJs (Kissy Sell Out, DJ Jaffa) spun  The Cuban brothers and Bert Evans (Ministry of Sound) played.

Whenever you come to Finolhu however you'll  party Like its 1969…

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