I visited Milaidhoo for the first time in June this year with a few others from ITC and as soon as I arrived I wondered why it had taken me so long.
ITC were actually the first UK tour operator to stay at the island when we took out a few of our travel agent partners. So I’d already been tempted to visit thanks to all of the positive feedback and stories I’d heard, as well as all of the amazing photographs I’d seen from others at ITC who had been. But as soon as I got there I realised that the island really does have so much charm that the images do not show.
Upon arrival we were met with a choice of champagnes or soft drinks underneath the palm trees that overlook the magical arrival jetty. And when I say magical, I really mean it. This is the pinnacle of arrival jetties, but rather than spoiling the magic by describing it, I’ll leave it as a surprise for when you visit. It was right there that Nina instantly decided she wanted to try out the traditional way of getting coconuts out of a nearby tree. It’s a good thing that the island doesn’t accept children under the age of nine because I’m sure she would have had a race on her hands!
We were then taken to our villas and I was delighted to realise that I was being truly spoilt with a massive Beach Residence all to myself. The colourful front doorways opened up to a huge round lounge with glass doors that could be pushed back to create an open wall overlooking the pool and the sea beyond. Then I discovered the walkway that lead to my huge round bedroom, which had a large wardrobe area and plush king-sized bed. Branching off was an enormous en suite bathroom that was filled with a huge array of Aqua di Parma luxury toiletries and, thanks to an expansive glass wall on one side, was also drenched with beautiful natural light.
The island itself is quite small, so it wasn’t much more than a short walk along the sand pathways (shoe-less of course) in order to arrive at the central area which boasted four restaurants and a decadent spa. An everyday highlight was the breakfast at the Ocean Restaurant which had the biggest buffet I have ever seen. Honestly I think they have every flavoured pastry available: all cooked fresh at 4 am each day. There were also 35 different cheeses, plus a varied á la carte menu to choose from, which (of course) was all accompanied by breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean.
After breakfast you can swim around the island and explore the surrounding house reef. You can even join a guided snorkelling tour where the experts can help you to spot things that you might miss otherwise, and perhaps help to find some of the more elusive sea life or even take underwater photographs of you exploring the area.
Or, for something more relaxing, of course you can also simply spend the day enjoying your luxurious villa, sunbathing on the beach, lazing at the pool or enjoying a cocktail (or two) at the Compass Bar while you wait for the live music to start.
Milaidhoo really is a true Maldivian island experience, with charm oozing from every corner of the resort. There’s so many things I love; the fact that it feels so unique, that the food is amazing and, most of all, that the service is so personal – I loved the feeling of walking into a restaurant and being greeted by my name by someone who I’m sure I’ve never met before. For me, this is the definition of high-end service.
That said, it was a good job we didn’t stay on the island longer as I’m sure the staff on resort would see how much I enjoyed the chocolate cronuts and ensure I had one (or maybe two) every day…