The Maldives are an easy sell on the one hand and an oddly tricky one on the other. Icing sugar soft sand; those dreamy, watery shades of shifting blues, glorious weather and seamless, smiling hospitality – what’s not to be on the next plane out for?
The tricky part stems from choice. With over 160 resorts in this paradisal cluster of atolls in the Indian Ocean, each blessed with, more or less, those same sands, waters, climates, and level of service, how does the traveller decide where to lay their head?
Avani + Fares have made the decision just that bit simpler, opening a brand-new resort on a private island in the Baa Atoll – an idyllic destination combining, in equal measures, luxury, natural beauty, and warm hospitality.
Make no mistake though – despite the newness of the resort, Avani are no strangers to the high-end hospitality game. Established in 2011, with Sri Lanka’s Bawa-designed Bentota Resort and Spa, the hotel group has since expanded to 35 properties over 15 countries. From the moment you land – either by seaplane or speedboat – you are in no doubt that you’re in expert hands.
Studio? Beach villa? Overwater villa? Pavilion? However it is that you envisage your Maldivian sojourn, Avani can you in a way that’s on a level with the service you’ll receive while in residence. Each one has been designed to provide privacy and comfort, as well as breathtaking views, whether you’re staying in a spacious beachfront villa with direct access to the sand, or an overwater villa perched above turquoise waters. Inside, elegant furnishings and modern amenities abound, while the outdoor areas, which combine the freedom of fresh air with the comfort of seclusion, feature sun decks and often plunge pools, all of which create an ambience at once luxurious and intimate. Oh – and of course, because modern luxury has a few more tech requirements than old school luxury did, each accommodation is fully equipped with state-of-the-art entertainment, free WiFi, Bluetooth speakers and a Nespresso machine.
At Avani + Fares Resort, there’s a delicious emphasis on contemporary fare blended with custom-led touches – for example, the ‘wana mola,’ a traditional grinding stone which is used to blend fresh spices for use in the resort’s many eateries, where experiences range from a romantic candlelit dinner on the beach or a beachfront barbecue, to a convivial meal, surrounded by other guests, at one of the resort’s specialty restaurants. Lazy pooltime is amply catered for by The SkipJack Bar, with light bites such as woodfired pizza and tapas, while the resort’s main restaurant, The Ocean Terrace, features ocean views and all-day dining including, at lunch and dinner, live cooking stations and fusion flavours. For a more formal experience, head to Charcoal, where dry aged steak and sparklingly fresh seafood are on offer, with a sommelier on hand to recommend the perfect accompanying wine. And if you want your evening to continue in a lively style, then Tribe provides a beachfront party into the early hours, with DJ sets, fire dancing, cocktails and shisha. Missing breakfast the following morning is not only forgivable but expected. That said, service at Avani+ Fares Resort is exemplary to the extent that staff go above and beyond to ensure that every need and desire is met – including bringing breakfast to your accommodation if desired, as well as arranging personalised excursions, or organising special celebrations or surprises. This level of genuine care and professionalism contributes immeasurably to everything that’s exceptional about Avani + Fares Resort.
If the mere experience of being in the blissful Maldives – and, more specifically, in the Avani + Fares Resort – isn’t enough, and a further relaxation boost is needed, then the resort’s spa is a haven of tranquillity. It’s set within lushly planted gardens and offers a range of indulgent treatments and therapies, all inspired by traditional healing practices. Skilled therapists use natural ingredients and techniques to create a sense of harmony and well-being, whether by way of blissful massage, rejuvenating facial, or pampering body treatment.
If you can bear to peel yourself away from your lounger, Avani + Fares Resort has a huge range of activities and adventures, suitable for a range of interests and experience levels.
Snorkelling and diving enthusiasts can explore resort’s surrounding vibrant coral reefs, which teem with rich marine life. At the water sports centre, there are opportunities for kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing, all of which give guests the opportunity to explore the resorts surroundings from a variety of vantage points – and there are also fishing trips, dolphin cruises, and sunset sailing excursions available. Meanwhile, the fitness centre will help those who want to maintain their regular physical regime to stay on track. Additionally, the resort offers cultural experiences, such as Maldivian cooking classes and island-hopping excursions, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the local life and traditions.
Those with young ones aren’t overlooked when it comes to keeping busy, either – Avani + Fares welcomes families and offers a wide range of activities and amenities, aimed at ensuring a memorable and enjoyable stay for guests of all ages. Not only is there a kids’ club where younger guests can enjoy age-appropriate activities, such as games and crafts, under the supervision of trained and watchful staff (time for parents to book in for a spa treatment, perhaps?) but family-friendly accommodation is also available, providing spacious living areas and thoughtful touches with the needs of families in mind.
Sustainability is increasingly a concern for modern travellers, especially for those travelling long distances to fragile environments. Avani + Fares Resort has such concerns deeply rooted in its ethos, and is committed to minimising its environmental impact, implementing eco-friendly practices such as waste management, energy conservation, and the protection of marine life. These initiatives, among others, contribute to the preservation of the natural beauty of the Maldives and allow guests to enjoy a responsible and sustainable luxury experience.
To sum up
Avani+ Fares Resort in the Maldives offers a luxurious and enriching experience for guests seeking relaxation, adventure, and heartfelt hospitality – in whatever combination! With its commodious and welcoming accommodations, exceptional and varied dining options, rejuvenating spa treatments, exciting range of on-land and on-water activities for all ages, personalised service, family-friendly amenities, and commitment to sustainability, the resort ensures an ultra-memorable stay in a location which has, let’s face it, always been hard for any visitor to forget.
By Lisa Curtiss