The Maldives is one of the top destinations for those looking for a beach vacation where you do nothing else but soaking up the sun by the pool. Yet, while it is a awe-inspiring archipelago, the Maldives is inaccessible to some because of the outrageous costs of its resorts, restaurants, and sea plane transfers.
Noku Maldives, part of acclaimed hospitality group Roxy-Pacific Holding, aims to bridge the gap between affordability and a remarkable Maldivian vacation. This peaceful and intimate retreat is nestled beyond soft powdery shores and crystal blue waters in the Noonu Atoll — located just a 50-minute seaplane transfer from the city.
Formerly Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru Resort, the property has since gone through an extensive renovation of its guest villas, public spaces and F&B outlets. We stayed at the resort after it opened in August last year.
Read on to find out our experience at Noku Maldives and why you should consider this island for a vacation without breaking the bank.
(All photos courtesy of Noku Maldives)
Accommodation on Noku Maldives consists of 20 beach villas and 30 over-water villas nestled amidst luscious tropical greenery and enveloped by a peaceful blue lagoon. Our stunning sanctuary was a plush beach side villa, perfect for ocean lovers as it offers super close proximity to the beach.
The villa is decorated in soft white hues and dark wood accents that complement the beauty of the Maldivian natural landscapes, seen through large bay windows and french doors. The bathrooms are spacious, with an outdoor shower, indoor shower and deep bath tub in the middle of the bathroom.
The over-water villas are just as stunning, and are serviced by ladders that take you directly into the sea.
Noku Maldives offers locally sourced produce with a touch of Maldivian flair to international cuisine across two restaurants and two bars. One of the island’s restaurants, Thari Restaurant, offers a menu selection featuring the elements of Thai, Japanese and Singaporean cuisines — bringing authentic local cuisine from the countries where Noku hotels are located.
Thari Bar and lounge offers refreshing tipples by the main pool, while while the knowledgeable bartenders at Palms Bar shakes up cocktails that blend Eastern and Western influences in a light-filled space enclosed by palm thatched roofs and comfy sofas.
Noku Maldives is well equipped with world-class facilities such as an outdoor pool, stunning spa centre, and two dining establishments. For guests who aim to keep fit while travelling, the fitness centre is a well-equipped space to work out — not that you need it, since you’d probably be busy with the various outdoor and cultural activities organised by the staff.
The water sport center offers a selection of activities such as banana boat rides, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, stand up paddle boarding, wave runners and wind surfing. For those who enjoy snorkelling, you get to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience of swimming with manta rays in the surrounding waters.
Additionally, there is a wide range of activities and cultural programs. The staff can take you for a local “native” experience, where you learn about Maldivian heritage and crafts. Other activities include traditional musical and dance performances, board games and movie nights on the beach.
The Spa at Noku Maldives was our favourite part of the resort. Guests can choose to power up with morning yoga at the spa alcove or simply meditate while listening to the sound of the waves, birds chirping overheard, and foliage rustling.
The minute we entered the spa, we were greeted by a beautiful garden walkway leading up to six treatment suites overlooking the ocean. The wellness treatments use the natural ingredients to enhance total well-being. Each treatment room is designed as a sanctuary decked by calming stone and wooden accents. We pampered ourselves to a relaxing Balinese massage before taking part in a sunset yoga session, which left us in a zen-like state.