Travel

Touring Maldives

In the lap of paradise: (Clockwise from above) the walkway to the over-water villas at Kooddoo Resort; Vistas, the restaurant which provides a view of the sunset; a bird’s-eye-view of the villas.

In the lap of paradise: (Clockwise from above) the walkway to the over-water villas at Kooddoo Resort; Vistas, the restaurant which provides a view of the sunset; a bird’s-eye-view of the villas.  

Miles of blue, a vibrant local culture and a resort with personal access to a lagoon: the Maldives has it all

The first time I trailed the expanse of the Indian Ocean with my eyes, I felt, in Captain Nemo’s words, ‘nothing but love and emotion’. The ocean welcomes you with a cool breeze and several shades of blue that warm your heart and inspire everything from a childlike thrill to a deep sense of repose.

At Kooddoo island in the Maldives, one can soak in the raw beauty of the azure ocean, white sandy beaches and vibrant coral reefs.

The escape

And at the Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort, French hospitality major Accor’s first foray in the Maldives, one can lie back in the lap of luxury. Located in the southern atolls of the Maldives, the resort provides an escape from the quotidian life, amid the coral reefs that surround it. Snorkelling in the lagoon, you can’t help but feel amazed at the treasures the ocean hides under its blue cover — corals of different shapes and sizes and fish in colours that boggle the imagination. The resort also offers water sports such as sailing, kayaking and jet skis and boasts of a world-class diving centre.

According to John Bendtsen, General Manager Delegate, Accor Maldives Region, the southern atolls are less commercial and offer tourists exposure to a richer marine life and better corals. The resort’s water villas make you feel one with the ocean, each with a deck and your own personal access to the lagoon below. The resort has 43 over-water villas and 25 beach villas.

The idyllic island nation, known as a honeymoon destination, is fast emerging as a great option for families to have a quiet holiday.

“A large family market has developed in Maldives over the past seven to eight years. Here (at Mercure) we have a fairly decent-sized kids club, for instance,” Mr. Bendtsen said.

Touring Maldives

The resort has two restaurants, Alita and Vistas. Alita provides all-day dining with both buffet and a la carte, a poolside bar and a rooftop restaurant. Vistas provides a breathtaking view of the sunset along with signature cocktails and food.

The resort also organises tours for guests interested in exploring the life and culture of the country. In the neighbouring island of Maamendhoo, for instance, local residents greet you with warmth and love, and display traditional crafts such as ropemaking and mat weaving, following which they treat you to a feast of the local cuisine. On Fridays, guests at the resort are treated to a musical performance by local artists.

The fastest way to get to Kooddoo is by an hour-long domestic flight from Malé, after which you board a buggy to the resort.Over the past year, travelling options to the Maldives have increased, with GoAir introducing flights from Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. From Mumbai, it takes just a little over two hours to reach Malé, while from Delhi and Bengaluru, it takes four hours and two hours respectively.

A trip to the islands offers you a multitude of experiences and perspectives. At the heart of it all remains the ocean, and to quote Captain Nemo again, “in it is supreme tranquillity.”

(The writer was in the Maldives on an invitation by Accor and Go Air)

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 1:25:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/travel/the-call-of-the-deep/article28530088.ece

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