Surrounded by the pristine, shifting blue waters of the Maldives, Kuda Villingili Resort is a haven of luxury and tranquillity, and visitors are sure to have nothing short of an unforgettable escape from the moment they board the speedboat from Male’s international airport for the swift ride to resort. How swift? Well, while others are still waiting for their sea plane transfers, you could be one mocktail down and cooling off in your own private pool. Yes – that swift.
Although Kuda Villingili Resort occupies its own private island, it is, by Maldivian resort standards, fairly large, with a number of villas ranging in size from those housing a solitary king-sized bed to others with capacity for up to twelve adults. Even so, privacy and seclusion are ensured, thanks to generous spacing between accommodations and thick vegetation providing additional screening. Indeed, the resort’s tagline speaks of ‘time and space redefined’ and this, thanks to its thoughtful planning, which seemingly effortlessly strikes a balance between togetherness and seclusion, is exactly what it achieves, allowing guests to connect and disconnect at will.
Even aside from the lush leafiness that surrounds each of the resort’s villas, Kuda Villingili Resort has managed to create accommodation that blends seamlessly with the island’s natural surroundings – and indeed, when you’re surrounded by jungled interiors, paradise beaches and those astonishing waters, why on earth would you want jarring or incongruous structures? With a strong recognition of the fact that holidays have, more than ever in the past few years, become precious, the resort is careful to offer a range of villas for holidaymakers ranging from groups of friends and families to multi-gen vacationers and couples. Attention to the interiors is as meticulous as to the overall resort build, with natural woods, tactile stone, crisp bedlinens and enlivening pops of colour all contributing to that outside-in feeling of absolute comfort and ‘oneness’ with the environment.
In terms of each accommodation’s immediate surroundings, there’s a choice of beachfront villas with direct access to that powder-soft white sand, or overwater villas hovering tantalisingly above the turquoise lagoon. Featuring private pools and outdoor spaces designed for loafing, lounging and snoozing, each of the villas is an individual haven.
‘What do you fancy?’ A simple enough question, but one that might take a while to answer at Kuda Villingili Resort, where every meal choice creates an opportunity for a a culinary journey of flavours and textures. How does one choose between street-food style poolside snacks and a restaurant that grills steaks to perfection, recreates classic Asian dishes and presents local seafood with a European twist? Or stop themselves from going, night after night, to the sublime MAR UMI, where Japanese and Peruvian are delicately fused in a setting that takes in the blaze of the evening sunset setting the blue of the lagoon aglow?
Unsurprisingly, the resort’s over-water spa takes the word ‘sanctuary’ to new levels, offerings guests an even deeper experience of relaxation and rejuvenation. Like the accommodations, it is cocooned in thick vegetation and, with eight treatment villas, guests can choose from a range of treatments based on and inspired by traditional healing practices, employing organic, plant-based ingredients. No matter which treatment you choose from the extensive menu, which includes a range of massages and beauty therapies, you’ll be attended to by a skilled therapist, dedicated to reviving both body and mind. Meanwhile, for those who like to tend to their wellbeing independently, or in line with their at-home routines, the wellness centre also contains a fitness facility and yoga pavilion.
With the crystal clear waters of the Maldives surrounding you at every turn, it’s hardly likely that you’ll spend the whole of your holiday on terra firma, even if that ‘terra’ is the most talcum-powdery sand your feet have ever left prints in. Kuda Villingili Resort has an exceptional choice of water sports and water-based excursions from which to choose, with equipment and instruction available for activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing. For those wanting to, so to speak, dive right in, to those extraordinary waters, the vibrant coral reefs can be explored by way of a snorkelling or diving adventure, where you’re certain to encounter darting schools of tropical fish, as well as turtles and rays. Otherwise, whether you’re after a romantic interlude or just something a little less arduous, sunset cruises and dolphin-watching sailing trips can be arranged – while the truly adventurous might like to have a bash at surfing or big game fishing.
Of course, not all of the activities on offer take place in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean – there’s also the 150m resort pool, surrounded by daybeds and loungers, as well as pitches on which football, volleyball and tennis matches can be played.
Cultural immersion & Sustainability
One of the pillars on which Kuda Villingili Resort is based is a proud recognition of the rich culture and traditions of the Maldives – which, naturally, goes hand in hand with a focus on sustainability, in an effort to preserve this island idyll. Guests can participate in Maldivian cooking classes employing local ingredients and authentic techniques, as well as in Bodu Beru drumming performances, or traditional crafts workshops. There’s also the opportunity to visit nearby local islands to learn more about the daily life and customs of the Maldivian people.
Intertwined with this is a number of initiatives put in place to protect the delicate marine ecosystem and minimise the resort’s environmental footprint. Responsible waste management, energy conversation and the use of renewable resources are in action, as well as opportunities for guests to learn about these initiatives and participate in activities such as coral planting and marine clean-ups.
To sum up
Kuda Villingili Resort in the Maldives offers an unforgettable experience for its guests. With its luxurious accommodations; delicious dining options; a rejuvenating spa and wellness retreat; exciting water sports and excursions; cultural immersion opportunities, and commitment to sustainability, the resort caters to the desires of every traveller. Kuda Villingili Resort epitomises beauty, tranquillity, and indulgence, promising guests an outstanding stay in a part of the world so exceptional that excellence, when you find it, is to be celebrated – and, if you’re lucky, visited time and again.
By Lisa Curtiss