Amilla Maldives Resort & Residences – Heart & Soul of The Maldives

Amilla Maldives Resort & Residences is one of the largest and most lush five-star natural private island resorts in the Maldives. In fact, more than 70% of the island is untouched jungle fringed by white powder-soft sand beaches and is the home to a host of indigenous wildlife including cute Flying Fox bats, rare white-tailed tropicbirds, dainty terns and leggy and charismatic grey herons.

The 67 large luxurious villas, all with private pools, nestle discreetly among the native sea almonds, screwpines and coconut palms, dotted with beautifully scented frangipani blooms, or perch over the turquoise shallows and reef.

Villa choices range from majestic multi-bedroom completely private Residences – loved by celebrities and royalty, to treetop villas for those who want to be immersed in the lush jungle and swim in their own pool elevated high in the treetops, to a host of romantic over water villas with wonderful ocean views, privacy, and direct ocean access. You can also treat yourself to a unique ‘Amilla Glamping’ experience in a private beachside location. Choose between one of three bubble tent experiences featuring champagne, a private chef, sauna, and plunge pool. We stayed at one of the excellent and spacious Reef Water Pool Villas. Here you can gaze out across the reef from the comfort of your bed, dangle your feet from your balcony and watch fish dart through the water below. Perfect for keen snorkellers like us.

Amilla Maldives Resort & Residences is enviably located in the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, famous for Hanifaru Bay ,which attracts the world’s largest groups of Manta Rays – a diving and snorkelling heaven.

This is a resort with something for everyone. Its size means you can tuck yourself away in your villa and spend the days enjoying your own pool and swimming and snorkelling direct from your deck, occasionally venturing out for a relaxing spa treatment or sunrise yoga on the overwater pavilion. Or, for those wishing for a livelier break, you can make the most of the myriad of water sports on offer, head off on a sandbank picnic and sunset dolphin cruise, swim in the stunning main pool or participate in the many other activities on offer each day. Whether travelling alone, in a couple, or as a family with young children Amilla Maldives Resort & Residences is an ideal resort choice.

In addition to the above, one of the reasons guests frequently return is for the excellent dining. There’s a host of restaurants ready to delight you with a range of indulgent dishes as well as cuisine made from ethical, homemade, and homegrown ingredients. The award-winning Wellness Your Way menus offer the Maldives’ widest range of dietary lifestyle dishes, complemented by the country’s most extensive fitness facilities at the resort’s gym and spa. Meal plan options include the Dine Around Inclusive.

We and other guests really appreciated the menus – all of which are organised in clear sections for different types of dietary requirements or health-conscious preferences. This means if you, for example, follow a keto diet and fancied the same dish as someone on the unrestricted menu, you just need to scroll through to the Keto section, and you’ll find a just as tasty keto version.

The resort’s incredibly talented chefs have taken such time and trouble to create wonderful paleo, coeliac – suitable, keto, vegan, low carb and vegetarian dishes to suit all tastes. Vegan guests we met were rather in awe at the fantastic choice – citing the best vegan food they’d had in any of the Maldives resorts they’d visited. The resort even creates wellness cocktails and offers ice cream to suit all eating lifestyles. As for the light as a feather low carb no grain rolls… it’s a must have recipe! (as well as one for the famous crab curry). We really appreciated how Amilla Maldives Resort & Residences is committed to providing quality meat products and ingredients that come from farmers who raise their animals humanely, free from hormones and antibiotics and grazing on natural food sources.

Sustainability is super important here. The resort does all it can to respects the fragile beauty of the ecosystem by initiatives such as having large organic gardens and homemade cuisine, spa and bath products which keep the resort’s carbon footprint as low as possible.

Something else really appreciated, is the fact that Amilla Maldives Resort & Residences is authentically Maldivian. This means your booking directly benefits the local economy. Maldivian heritage is valued, and guests benefit from experiencing wonderful local culinary delights and cultural experiences. This importantly helps some traditions to be saved and not die out.

Restaurant choice wise, you really are totally spoilt for choice. From dawn to dusk, dining at Amilla Maldives Resort & Residences is always a pleasure. All meal plans include the option to Dine Around their eight different weekly dining experiences and the DAI (Dine Around Inclusive) plan includes a wide variety of beverages at their three bars.

A few dining highlights include Feeling Koi, Amilla Maldives Resort & Residences’ wonderful over water Japanese restaurant; Barolo for authentic Italian fare, East for flavours of South India; The Emperor Beach Club for meals on the beach in a laid-back setting; Joe’s Pizza – no explanation needed and Dine by Design – private dining experiences in a range of romantic locations around the island, whether that be an unforgettable dinner under the stars or breakfast as the sun rises. For breakfast, Fresh is incredible – the choice was fantastic and the breakfast acai bowls to die for. For ice cream fans – this is free for all guests, and is again delicious, and you can enjoy a floating breakfast at your own villa pool and home deliveries too if you just fancy kicking back in your own lounge or deck.

It wouldn’t be a true holiday without a cocktail or two, and again there’s a wide choice of bars including Baa Baa Bar on the beach offering spirits infused with ingredients grown on the island. It has a DJ and is a great place at the end of the day, watching the sun cast its last golden light on the tranquil waters of the lagoon. Sunset Bar provides laidback beats, chilled champagne, live entertainment, and spontaneous fun. And if you’re a gin fan, this bar offers an amazing selection, served with Homemade@Amilla tonic. If wine is more your thing, then do book a private tasting experience at The Cellar Door where you’ll discover thousands of labels from the Old World and New World in an atmospheric setting.

Activity wise, whether you want infinite excitement or ultimate relaxation, Amilla Maldives Resort & Residences can cater for you. There are many water-sports activities, from parasailing to wakeboarding. On land you can enjoy beach volleyball, badminton, tennis, and football. Plus, there’s all sorts of special activities planned for each day.

In terms of snorkelling, Amilla Maldives Resort & Residences really excels. You can experience something different each day, including house reef snorkelling, blue hole snorkelling, night snorkelling and a coral garden excursion. Don’t forget to take a trip to Hanifaru Bay – a horseshoe-shaped bay where, when the tide, moon, and other conditions are right, mantas and whale sharks aggregate in unprecedented numbers from June to October.

For those who wish to dive, this is a perfect place. There’s so much to see – from tropical reef fish of every kind and colour, to manta rays, friendly turtles, dolphin and even possibly a whale shark or two. Amilla Maldives Resort & Residences is adjacent to a multitude of world-class dive sites. Dive Butler International is their five-star scuba diving partner, based at H.U.B, so you are in very safe hands.

We highly recommend a sandbank picnic trip. Take a speedboat across the sea to a pristine sandbank in the middle of the ocean, and sunbathe, enjoy a cocktail, and take in the incredible natural beauty of the Maldives. Do head off on a champagne sunset cruise too, where you’re likely to see playful pods of spinner and bottlenose dolphin and watch the sun set uninterrupted in a blaze of amber and gold.

Spa lovers will be in heaven at the resort’s Javvu Spa. Here you can enjoy Maldives-inspired traditions coupled with the best techniques of the East and West. It’s in a lovely setting, on the villa free side of the island, right on the beach. A leafy sanctuary where you can rebalance mind, body, and soul. We really enjoyed learning to make bath and beauty products using fresh flowers, coconut oil and herbs grown on the island at the spa’s Alchemy Bar.

The spa also offers some really innovative experiences such as Sensora multi-sensory light, sound and vibration therapy which helps melt away stress, and regularly hosts guest expert practitioners from all over the world. Amilla Maldives Resort & Residences is also doing everything they can to make the resort inclusive to those with disabilities too.

Amilla Maldives Resort & Residences is wonderful resort with real heart and soul – one which cares deeply for the environment and local heritage as well as its valued guests.

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By Lisa Curtiss

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