We visited Nova Maldives for a touch of winter warmth in a truly beautiful setting.
There are few locations on the planet that measure up to the breath-taking beauty of the Maldives. This ancient island nation is renowned for its sapphire blue waters, powdery, white beaches, green tropical forests and golden sunshine.
This month, thanks to Nova Maldives, FACT spent four magical days and nights in this extraordinary part of the world.
Positioned Southwest of Sri Lanka and India, about 750 kilometres from mainland Asia, the Maldives is an archipelagic country, formed by 26 natural atolls, consisting of 1,192 islands. Nova is located on South Ari Atoll, a mere 25-minute seaplane ride from Malé International Airport.
This scenic flight, although very comfortable, was too short to take in the full splendour of the surrounding views. By the time we touched down on the clear waters alongside the wooden jetty, we were relaxed and ready for our refreshing island adventure.
To ensure the most comfortable and relaxing of experiences, Nova offers an assortment of accommodation types to suit all tastes. From cosy Beach Villas to a two-bedroom Beach Residence complete with private pool, the island resort has something for every requirement.
We were happy to be housed in Beach Villas complete with Jacuzzies. These uber comfy and stylish locations provided home bases for us to kick back and unwind whenever we desired. Overlooking the open ocean, it was a pleasure to simply sit and absorb the view from our private decks or from the temperature controlled Jacuzzies.
Complete with king-sized beds, plush bedding, in-room high speed internet, flatscreen HD televisions, along with Apple TV, we wanted for nothing over the four days in our lavish accommodations.
During our time on the island, we were thoroughly spoilt by our hosts, not least through the abundance of delicious dishes we were served throughout our stay.
Soul Kitchen’s wide-ranging, mouth-watering menu is rivalled only by the incredible views on offer and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute we spent in this friendly and relaxing environment. Open from morning to night, this superb eatery offers generous buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Flames is another ‘must mention’ restaurant. This fine-dining location offers some of the freshest and most succulent ingredients you could hope to find on your plate. Featuring everything from local fish, seafood and meat to delectable vegetarian-based options, the talented chefs ensure every dish is grilled or prepared to absolute perfection.
Mizu is a picturesque overwater teppanyaki restaurant that offers a first-class menu of ocean delights. Pair this exceptional food with enchanting Indian Ocean views and you have an almost unrivalled dining location. Fortunate enough to experience the culinary magnificence this venue offers, we were taken by the delightful tropical flavours, created from fresh local ingredients and served by the most attentive and hospitable of staff members.
A little later in the evenings, the nights truly came alive. The vibrant Wink provided all guests the opportunity to meet their fellow visitors, to hold lively conversations while enjoying cold beverages or a late meal. At this venue, we experienced some of the very finest hookah we have ever sampled, as well as some foot-stomping local rhythms. As music lovers, we were truly impressed by the talent and energy exhibited by The Kabans. This local cabana band rocked the crowd with their lively music and spirited performances, often causing us to get to bed far later than originally intended.
Thanks to its numerous natural atolls, the Maldives is one of the world’s primary destinations for ocean life experiences. The diverse local flora and fauna includes sea turtles, dolphins, whale sharks, manta rays and beautiful coral reefs that are home to thousands of species of fish. During our unforgettable stay, we were lucky enough to experience various ocean adventures in one of the most breath-taking aquatic environments.
There’re moments in your life when you must stop and appreciate the adventure of it all. This was certainly the case as we headed off on our Indian Ocean sunset trip. Along with the already spectacular nature of our surroundings, we were privileged to spot dolphins playing in the water less than 50 metres from our boat. Witnessing a flawlessly beautiful sunset whilst appreciating these magnificent creatures in their natural environment is a moment we won’t soon forget.
Nova is a natural island and the sea’s gentle giants such as whale sharks and manta rays reside in the surrounding waters all year round.
We had a further ocean-bound adventure in the form of a sunset fishing excursion. Golden trevally, red bass, coral trout, rainbow runners and reef fish along with a variety of tuna, are all sought after prizes in these waters.
Whether you want to be actively involved in the fishing process or simply relax and enjoy the views from the water, the choice is yours.
Aquaholics is the name of Nova’s watersport centre. If you’re looking for excitement, relaxation, outstanding ocean views or the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local marine life, this is the place for you. Aquaholics offers snorkelling options along with an extensive range of scuba diving experiences. An array of beginner and advanced courses as well as private diving experiences, of various lengths and makeups, are available. A broad range of equipment is also on offer to rent.
We got to experience two hours of snorkelling in the almost unbelievable underwater world around Nova. The vibrant colours combined with the warm waters and abundance of sea life, including whale sharks and manta rays, made the entire experience seem somewhat surreal and it was tough to leave this submerged Shangri-la at the end of the adventure.
One of our favourite moments at Nova was the Eskape Spa experience. On offer at this idyllic venue is an assortment of massages and treatments, specially designed to relax and rejuvenate the body and the senses. The Maldivian Ocean Dream Massage is the signature massage and it’s easy to understand why. As we indulged in this stress-stripping activity, on a tropical island, with the promise of more luxury and adventure to come, we couldn’t help but wonder if travelling experiences could get any better than this.
As difficult as it was to leave Nova Maldives at the end of our stay, we took with us a wealth of unforgettable memories that we’ll always treasure. We would like to thank all Nova staff members for both their kindness and attentiveness. They were the heart and soul of this one-ofa-kind adventure. ✤