Following a speedy check-in we were escorted by buggy to our accommodation, a superior beach villa with jacuzzi. Well concealed from the main pathway, yet with a tantalising glimpse of the clear blue sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean, our coconut thatched home for the next few days literally oozed the ‘wow’ factor. The unusual, awesomely high, dome shaped ceiling and the modern furniture with the subtle, colour co-coordinated upholstery, gave the main room a very chic look. An impressive feature was the very regal king-sized four-poster bed. Here too was a flat screen TV, a stereo docking station and a well stocked mini bar with top of the range drinks. A unique and thoughtful gesture was the set of postcards, already stamped, that had been placed on the bed for us to use. An archway led into a spacious dressing room and then through to a semi open-air bathroom, which had stylish his ‘n her wash basins with a selection of luxurious bath products. Our villa had an outside rain shower, which really is an experience not to be missed, and a full sized jacuzzi, shielded beneath the coconut palms and thatched rooftops of the neighbouring villas. What a truly romantic way to end a wonderfully relaxed and exciting day in the Maldives, sipping a glass of champagne underneath the clear starlit sky. On the other side of the villa, just metres from the sandy beach, we had our own private deck with sun loungers. The resort enjoys a wide range of top quality and unique accommodation ranging from extremely well appointed Garden Villas right up to the amazingly sumptuous Honeymoon Villas with their own 10 metre pool and every conceivable amenity to make you feel like royalty. Special mention has to be made of the distinctive Water Villas, some with a jacuzzi, that hover directly over the lagoon. With an unrivalled view of the beautiful sparkling water and the relaxing sound of waves gently lapping all around, guests have their own personal wooden deck from which they can climb into the ocean below.
At Kuramathi you are able to partake in some very unique experiences. Some that will remain forever in our memories were watching the sun setting over the stunning sandbank and the stingrays being hand fed at the water’s edge. Kuramathi, with it’s most beautiful coral reefs and an abundant array of fascinating marine life, is one of the few places where you can still see the magnificent hammerhead sharks. It was here at Kuramathi that we had our first experience of sailing on a catamaran. Whatever your preference, there really is something here to suit everybody’s taste. For those who seek action, there is a wide variety of aqua sports organised by the Aqua Sports Centre with RYA and the Rasdhoo Dive Centre. Additionally there are ball sports, a myriad of daytime trips and very informative lectures and demonstrations at the Marine Biology and Eco Centre. Those in need of rest and recuperation can by day choose to laze on the seemingly endless stretch of white powdery sand and in the evening enjoy a glass of sparkling wine aboard the sunset cruise boat. Not to be missed is the Kuramathi Spa, a haven of peace and tranquility where we enjoyed the very soothing and relaxing Aroma Luxe Massage. There is an extensive menu of treatments for men and women to chose from and guests are also invited to use the herbal essence steam bath, Finnish sauna and jacuzzi.
In our opinion the dining at Kuramathi is one of it’s outstanding features. We can’t remember such a wide range of atmospheric locations serving mouthwateringly delicious food from right around the globe. There are three excellent international buffets serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Additionally you can take the ‘select all inclusive’ option enjoying fine dining at signature restaurants which serve exquisite a la carte menus. The meals at all the venues we sampled were creative, varied and beautifully presented. It was hard to decide which had been our favourite as each of them offered a different type of cuisine. Our first evening was spent at The Island Barbecue, situated close to the beach. The chef described the ingredients he was using as he painstakingly cooked the steaks to each guest’s preference at the table. Our romantic dinner under the canopy of coconut trees at the aptly named Palm Restaurant was again exquisitely cooked in a very romantic setting. As lovers of seafood, we chose The Reef for our final evening. Ocean fresh fish cooked to our individual tastes made this evening an unforgettably unique experience. Kuramathi at night time is a truly enchanting place and we didn’t want the walk back to our villa to end (although of course if your stomachs are too full there is transport regularly available across the island). The soft glow of strategically placed lighting transforms the lush tropical vegetation into a romantic paradise. Evening entertainment is well catered for with live bands, singers, disco, karaoke and movie nights held regularly at one of the six bars.
The synergy between raw tropical nature and outstanding holiday accommodation is an outstanding feature of this resort and it is, quite frankly, one of the most beautiful holiday venues that we have ever visited. In our opinion it is a beacon of what can be achieved when, through careful and empathetic development, nature and tourists coexist in complete harmony. Kuramathi is a delightful enigma that balances ecotourism and conservation with consummate ease. Everything that they do tries to maintain the delicate balance and harmony of the island. From the hydroponic centre where they grow a huge proportion of the resorts needs, to the nature walk and the resident marine biologist, Kuramathi champions the needs of the environment whilst at the same time providing a brilliant location for anyone wanting the best in luxury holiday accommodation. We loved Kuramathi and can’t wait to visit again.
Kuoni (01306 747008 or www.kuoni.co.uk) offers 7 nights on full board at the 4-star Kuramathi Island Resort, Maldives in a garden villa including flights with Sri Lankan Airlines from Heathrow and group boat transfers in resort. Prices for 2014 are from £1,241 per person, based on two sharing. To book please quote: MV174 (price includes one bonus night)
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