Ultimate relaxation, romance, idlyllic nature, most diverse sports activities, warm weather, best beaches – in one word the Maldives, one of the world’s top luxury resort destinations ! And when it comes to the Maldives, the two Four Seasons resort hotels, Four Seasons at Kudaa Huraa and Four Seasons at Landaa Giraavaru provide a unique offering, making them the ideal choice.
Having stayed at other resorts in the Maldives, I must say that location is very important. All international flights arrive in the capital city of Male, however, all the resort hotels are spread through the multitude of atolls. While you may be tempted to opt for the most remote island, you must be aware that all local transportation is by seaplane and sometimes it might take you up to three hours from your arrival to reach your resorts. Mention must be made that there are only two local seaplane air taxi companies and each hotel has an agreement with one of the two companies, therefore, each company needs to plan each single flight according to the arrivals and departures of guests.
But in the case of the two Four Seasons resorts, location could not be more ideal. The Four Seasons Kudaa is 30 minutes by speed boat from Male (no need to take the seaplane) and you are taken to the hotel instantly. For comfort but also for consistency (service, facilities, food) I would highly reccommend you spend 3 nights in Four Seasons Kudaa and 3 nights at Four Seasons Landaa. From Kudaa, the transfer by seaplane takes less than 20 minutes and at the end of your stay, it takes a 30 minute seaplane journey to reach the capital of Male for your international flight. And the arragements could not be more swift, the Four Seasons advises you the evening prior to your departure the exact time for your seaplane transfer, therefore, there is no need to wait.
Both Four Seasons resorts feature the most genuine facilities, with Maldivian design villas and bungalows, both with an option for a location on the beach or on the water. In keeping with Four Seasons’ DNA, the two Maldivian resorts reflect an understated luxury style, with comfort, service and privacy as the key ingredients for a perfect vacation.
The two Four Seasons resorts sensibly provide the most diverse array of services to cater to the most discerning guests, regardless of age and holiday purpose – Four Seasons Kudaa’s SPA focus on relaxation is complemented by Four Seasons Landaa’s SPA which focuses on Ayurveda and well being. Both resorts have dedicated marine biology centres with full time, on site, specialist biologists working on preserving the endangered species of the Indian Ocean but also providing extensive information for guests, creating awareness.
For instance, you may experience a most thrilling shark safari at Four Seasons Kudaa and a unique turtle safari. Both resorts are blessed with the most beautiful marine life and corals in their immediate proximity, snorkelling being my favourite activity to explore the spectacular marine life. Recently, the Baa Atoll which is home to Four Seasons Landaa has been recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and together with the local authorities, Four Seasons will be implementing further nature protection and sustainability programs.
For those seeking more adrenaline filled activities, both resorts offer surfing and diving programs. The Four Seasons Kudaa is actually a well known international surfing destination, this August hosting a major competition. But there are also endless possibilities for spending your time, from fishing to safari, from swimming to sunbathing etc. This constant synergy between the two resorts is also illustrated by small details – as the Four Seasons Landaa covers a larger surface, each guest is provided complimentary with a bike, while guests at the Four Seasons Kudaa have the option of walking throughout the island. Both resorts offer non stop complimentary service with buggies, which offer the fastest transfer time to any spot on each island.
But probably the most impressive feature of both resorts is the fact that within a day from your arrival, you feel like part of family. The staff not only know your name but remember your every preference. Maldivians are unique when it comes to service. They serve each guest with a sense of pride and dignity, in the most friendly and warm manner, without being neither instrusive, neither submissive – which is so rare to find in any other destinations worldwide.
Four Seasons have also been an actively involved with the local community, providing schooling and training for young Maldivians. Now in its sixth year, the program attracts very young Maldivians who later join the resorts as full time employees. And having stayed at so many other Four Seasons hotels, it is probably the Maldives, where Isadore Sharp’s philosophy of luxury hospitality is best embodied. Service is not only warm and intuitive but also genuine and one can easily feel the respect all the staff show to the guests. No wonder, many become house guests, some returning to the Maldives several times a year.
No details are overlooked, from the bath rituals menu which includes the most indulging bathing experience in your own villa or bungalow, prepared by a SPA therapist, the insence in your bathroom and bedroom, the after sun lotion in your bathroom, the soft Indian made cotton bathrobes (each resorts has a distinctive print and colour), the organic food corner at breakfast etc
Each resort has less than 100 accommodation units, therefore, for the busy periods of the year (August – March), it is advisable to book in advance. This way, you could have the choice to book your preferred style villa and even the location on the island. The guest mix at the two Four Seasons couldn’t be more diverse, from young newly weds on their honeymoon to singles and groups of friends. Loyal guests come from Europe, China, Middle East etc.
Oliver Petcu in the Maldives
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