THE JOURNAL

Escape To The Atolls: The Maldives Guide

Sarah-Louise and Christopher pack their bags for their latest trip, this time to the Maldives. Come along on their Indian Ocean journey to enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Close your eyes and imagine the gentle sound of the sea, sun warming your skin and the blissful scent of saltwater and sun cream. Your pulse slows, you deepen your breath, and your soul is suddenly at peace. “No news, no shoes” is the policy here, welcome to the Maldives.

 

With over a thousand idyllic castaway islands scattered across 35,000 square miles of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives epitomises paradise. Often described as the most beautiful islands on earth, you’ll find powdery soft sand, with cyan-blue waters just beyond. The 26 spectacular coral atolls have fast developed a reputation as one of the most sophisticated and exclusive destinations in the world, and as our flight emerged from the clouds, it was easy to see why.

Sarah-Louise on the beach at Gila Lankanfushi
— Sarah-Louise on the beach at Gila Lankanfushi

“No news, no shoes...no problem”

After a quick turnaround in the busy crossroads of Malé airport, a friendly face guides us to a waiting speedboat. We are asked to remove our shoes and embrace the island philosophy “no news, no shoes” — little did we know we wouldn’t place them back on our feet for the next ten days. Within minutes, we were powering towards the open ocean and heading to our first stop.

 

The deep blue sea gently calms to a shallow turquoise lagoon, we had arrived in the iconic and utterly astonishing turquoise waters of Gili Lankanfushi. Boasting pristine white beaches and rows of sky-high palm trees, life at Gili is slow and relaxation is taken very seriously: cue your Mr. Friday, a personal butler assigned to each guest, who is always there with a warm smile to make you feel at home.

 

The private island resort is home to 45 rustic over water villas, a tranquil spa, outdoor cinema, and a world-class culinary offering. Service is unrivalled and the island proudly promotes an ethical and responsible lifestyle, practising sustainability and a zero-waste program. The crown jewels of Gili Lankanfushi are the iconic Robinson Crusoe Residences. With no jetty in sight, the striking standalone villas sit effortlessly in the glowing cyan lagoon, providing total seclusion, peace and tranquillity.

“Paradise isn’t a place, it’s a feeling”
— L. Boyer

 

 

The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Le Petit Prince” (IW327016)
iwc.everything.shoppable.seewatch
Shop now the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Le Petit Prince” (IW327016)
— Japanese cuisine and the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Le Petit Prince” (IW327016)

 

 

Island hopping in style

 

The Maldives can be as action-packed or relaxed as you so choose. Activities include scuba diving, surfing, sailing, spa and stargazing. The enchanting setting and cuisine at Gili is exquisite, dine on the beach under the stars, as the chefs take you around the world on a culinary voyage, from fresh and beautifully presented Japanese to a vibrant Asian street market or Indian specialities cooked in a tandoor. Gili Lankanfushi is all about feeding your soul and catering to your individual desires, so sit back and unwind – you’re on Gili time now.

Christopher takes in the scenery at Soneva Fushi in the Maldives
— Christopher takes in the scenery at Soneva Fushi in the Maldives

A trip to the Maldives wouldn’t be complete without a short flight on an infamous Maldivian sea plane. A nail-biting and exhilarating experience, the views from the sky are truly unforgettable. For our next stop, we ventured to an escapists dream, the powder-white beaches of Soneva Fushi. Created by Sonu and Eva Shivdasani, it has been designed to have minimal impact on the environment, and with intelligent luxury in mind.

 

Set between lush vegetation and postcard perfect beaches, the hotel’s villas are a romantic nod to Robinson Crusoe, standing harmoniously against the tropical landscape. Soneva’s unrivalled service is inimitable; as is their attention to detail and design. This is a place to relax, kick off your shoes and leave the real world behind.

 

That’s the last of our #AdventureswithIWC for 2018. Follow the @IWCjournal to find out what the new year has in store for us.

Sarah-Louise Marks and Christopher Phelps run the popular travel blog “The Adventures of Us”. The London-based couple are sharing their breathtaking escapes on The Journal in a special travel series. 


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