Further AfieldTravel

Looking for the Perfect Eid Vacation? We suggest Maldivian Luxury!

Eid-Al-Fitr is around the corner and with an expected four-day weekend, the team at Insider Middle East have been on the search for the perfect vacation destination. We had a checklist to cover; 1) easily accessible 2) caters for different type of holiday makers – couples and families alike and 3) offering plenty to do but also allowing relaxation.

Only a short flight and 20-minute speedboat from Male Airport – the newly rebranded Villa Nautica by Villa Resorts sounded like it had potential to tick all these boxes and so we headed to the Maldives to check it out…

The journey to the island was smooth, and the fact that no further flight or seaplane was needed means that visitors have the choice of opting for the budget friendly Wizz Air flights from Abu Dhabi. There was no waiting around and we were greeted on arrival and shown straight to the speedboat, arriving a short 20 minutes later at what we can only describe as a glamorous paradise. The short journey was a major plus for us, and means that this resort is perfect if you only have a few days off work – allowing you to maximise your relaxation time.

Upon arrival we were assigned an island host. With the rebrand we were told that elevated service has been developed and taught in partnership with Forbes Travel Guide and this was really evident across our time there – our experience was tailored and the service was exceptional across the board. We could Whatsapp our host at any time to ask questions or make bookings and a daily schedule of activities was sent each morning.

We were soon shown to our beach pool villa and the contemporary nautical theme shone through in a very chic way, with the seaside tones making the room reminiscent of yacht life. The room led directly onto the beach with palm trees and greenery providing the privacy to enjoy our own pool. Sizable rooms, storage and practicality has obviously been a key consideration (because who wants their elegant hotel room cluttered with suitcases and suncreams!)

The bathroom was extremely modern with an outdoor bath and shower area providing another haven to reconnect with nature.

Breakfast was our first port of call and Wow! From omelette making stations, to fresh fruit being carved, to giant Nutella pumps, the food selection was incredible and we had to do a few laps before deciding what to start with! We even sampled a traditional Maldivian breakfast of tuna and coconut one morning. Maldivian flair is something that is noticeable around the resort with it being owned, operated, and wholly run by locals.

To ease us into relaxation mode the first item on our itinerary was a massage. Araamu Spa is a tropical garden sanctuary and from the moment the cold lavender face towel was given to us on arrival, our inner zen was unlocked. The Balinese ladies worked their magic as we relaxed with the sound of the water features and birds singing in the background. We took advantage of the outdoor jacuzzi afterwards just to extend that moment of bliss!

Next up was what was the highlight of our trip – the semi submarine. Maldives is synonymous with crystal clear seas and marine life and whilst there are plenty of snorkelling and diving activities at the resort, not everyone can or wants to partake. The semi submarine is a brilliant alternative to see what is lurking in the deep blue sea. With the bottom deck encased in glass, multiple different species of tropical fish swam around us and we even spotted a few turtles and sharks! This is a must do for the kids – our little one was engrossed. We also had another chance to see the marine life as every evening there is a scheduled feeding of the manta rays and we couldn’t believe how close up and personal these beasts of the ocean got as they swam right up to the shore!

There are numerous dining options as well as the buffet restaurant, including teppanyaki and seafood venues. But the standout meal for us was the Italian. Set at the end of the jetty with the ocean all around, the sea breeze and the sound of the waves just creates the perfect chilled atmosphere. The food was authentic and fresh with the majority of the ingredients sourced locally. Must order items are the Burrata, Clam Pasta and the Wagyu steak (this wasn’t what we would usually order in an Italian but it was recommended and we were very glad it was!)

A day by the pool was on the cards for day two, and what a pool it is! Featuring refined and sophisticated décor with an infinity pool surrounded by the Indian Ocean and lots of lounge seating, we felt very glamorous as we sipped our drinks poolside. With the rebrand changing the resort’s name to Villa Nautica we had to try the specialty cocktail served in its very own wooden ship! Perfect for two this one was instaworthy!

Another highlight of the trip was the Cocoon Lounge. Tucked away in a quiet spot of the island, Cocoon Lounge is shaded in a grove of palm trees with hammocks strung between the trees and lounge seating scattered across the sand. This was the perfect spot to wind down the day and enjoy some shisha whilst watching the sunset.

We were sad to leave Villa Nautica, but left feeling revitalized, refreshed and ready to recommend this resort to anyone who will listen! For those who don’t have much annual leave and need to make the most of the public holidays, this is a must visit island with the perfect balance of bustling and chilled energy.

Villa Park

If you have more time on your hands, and are looking for a more action packed, funtastic trip, Villa Park, as one of the largest islands in the Maldives and serving up a quirky and colourful interior design, might be more your thing. A hive of energy and activity with an amusement park feel, we only wish we had longer to explore more.

With spectacular azure lagoons and dense jungle at its core, there was so much to do and see and some of our key highlights were dining amongst the treetops whilst eating fresh produce grown in the island’s gardens at Zero restaurant, watersports in the lagoon, watching the sharks whilst we dined at Al Pontile and the incredible flavours of the Thai cuisine at Sun Star.

Not to forget the ultra-instagramable breakfast in the pool!


The Maldives is such a beautiful place that needs to be protected and it is important to us that the resorts we visit take responsibility for sustainability. We were glad to hear that all the Villa Properties have received the prestigious International Environmental Green Key award and Villa Park was awarded Maldives Leading Green Resort at the World Travel Awards 2022.

We could see for ourselves the use of sustainable materials across the islands. For example the hammocks were made from a variety of natural local materials such as cured coconut coir and the seating areas at Zero were completely natural. We wanted to find out what else the resorts do in terms of sustainability and were told that they are passionate about creating a harmonious environment with nature and have prioritised the use of solar energy, energy saving strategies, self-sufficient water production and recycling in partnership with Parley for the Oceans. The pristine lagoons and house reef is maintained with regular clean-ups and moreover, more than 1400 coconut trees and 200 mango trees were planted at Villa Park last year!

So what are you waiting for? Get that Eid vacation booked in today! (We would advise booking though the Villa Resorts website as there are several benefits to booking directly). https://www.villaresorts.com/offers/

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