One of our favourite aspects of visiting the Maldives is sitting al fresco in the (nearly) always temperate air with the equatorial warmth livened by the cool ocean breezes. A number of luxury resort feature outdoor cabanas. And other feature second buildings for children’s (or other guest’s) quarters. But Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru features an outdoor open-air “villa” that is so extensive that it is like an alternative “outdoor” residence. The two-story construction includes dining area, lounge seating as well as an area to just hang out and look out of the ocean. Also, an excellent segregated working area if you want to take your work away from and not disturb the rest of the family.
- “Brought to the Maldives in partnership with ocean innovators Ocean Group Pvt Ltd, hydrofoils redefine what’s possible on a board: a unique chance to become one with the water, gliding knife-like over its surface at thrilling speeds using a hydrodynamically designed fin with wings.”
There are four “experiences” to chose from:
- Kite Foiling
- Slingshot Wake Foil
- Lift Foil
- Naish Wing-Surfer
Hydrofoiling is a long standing “Finally Seen” (#20 from post #8) as well as a handy prompt to add the long overdue tag for “Water Sports”.
“A warm welcome to the 52nd member of our fleet!!! The magnificent Four Seasons branded aircraft!”
I might have to create a new tag for “Fish Planes”…
- “Landaa Giraavaru is the first resort in the world to launch DeepFlight Adventures: piloted submarine excursions for up to two passengers in the DeepFlight Super Falcon 3S, enabling once-in-a-lifetime sub-aquatic explorations of the Maldives only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Individual viewing domes provide a 360-degree view of the Baa Atoll’s incredible underwater world. Skim over coral formations; fly through shoals of brightly coloured fish; encounter creatures like turtles, sharks, dolphins and rays; and explore the Maldivian waters down to a depth of 37 metres/120 feet – all without getting wet! Battery-operated, the Super Falcon 3S features minimized electric and acoustic emissions so as not to disturb the marine life and never lands on the seabed or reefs.”
A one-hour trip for two costs $1,500 (£1,100) plus tax.
Most visitors to the Maldives was to just switch off and that includes all the stress inducing electronic devices, but at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru you just might look forward to that phone ringing in your room. If it is their signature “Manta on Call” service.
- “Sign-up for this thrilling adventure, that sees you contacted wherever you are in the Resort and whisked away by speedboat to snorkel with these elusive gentle giants”
Creatures in the wild sort of follow their own whims and there are never any guarantees of seeing the critters you want to see when you want to see them. Even in a place like Baa atoll renowned for its population of Mantas (and even the occasional whale shark. That said, even Baa Atoll or the even more confined Hanifaru Bay part of the Baa, is a big place and the mantas could be anywhere. You can spend (and we have spent) an entire day just trawling around in the dhoni looking for signs of mantas. That is why Landaa keeps in regular contact with dive boats through the day to keep updated on the latest manta sightings. If a large group has decided to collect at some point, the resort calls your room and can have you on a speedboat in minutes to take you to the gathering so you can enjoy a view of these majestic animals and even join them for a swim.
Who put the “French” in French toast?
I’m always surprised there is not more brioche served in the Maldives at the high end resorts. It is a truly elegant bread. A staple with the delicacy of foie gras. And often the way the trendy London gourmet burger bistros decadently dress up their ground beef in order to charge $30 for it.
Or for breakfast – well, any time really, slathered with Nutella. Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru’s breakfast features a brioche French toast garnished with candied orange peel. More “Pain Doré” than “Pain Perdu” (Both are the French words for “French Toast – I guess they don’t call it “Our Toast”. “Pain Doré” translates to “Golden Bread” while “Pain Perdu”, the more prevalent name, means “Lost Bread” referring the dishes ability to resurrect old or stale bread). Maybe just a little dollop of Nutella…
A bit of research found that Gili Lankanfushi also serves brioche French toast, but I will give this nosh nod to Landaa for their mouth watering treat tweet.
In the opulent designs of the Maldives resorts, the pools themselves can be objets d’art themselves. One of the most spectacular is Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru’s Three Bedroom Estate’s pool. A two-tier construction with the upper pool sheltered under a thatched roof (see above) overflowing to form a waterfall to the one below (see below). Sort of a tropical variation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Falling Water”.
Maldives Complete also doesn’t do boats in its profiles or ‘Best of’ reviews. I’ve shied away from getting into the whole ‘Live Aboard’ segment of Maldives holidays because, like Guest Houses, I’ve never been on one so I wouldn’t know which criteria to feature or how to write about it.
But, this post’s distinction is sort of a resort/cruise hybrid so it just passes. It’s sort of the ultimate water villa. A mobile water villa.
We have always fantasized about taking a cruise boat actually as a way to see lots of nooks and crannies of this mystical archipelago. Having been to many resorts and enjoying the discovery of new gems, the notion of touring along a stopping at all sorts of little islands off the beaten path and then retiring to the ultimate in ‘water villas’ sounded entrancing.
We can see the appeal of such a floating holiday…
- If you ever wanted to try out the mega-yacht life for the experience of your very own (ever see those gigantic yachts parked in swish harbours with ports of call on their bow for ‘C.I.’ and ‘V.I.’ and wonder what staying on them would be like?).
- If you’ve ever thought of going beyond even the picnic island excursions of resorts to the most secluded and far flung hidden parts of the Maldives strung together like your own customised ‘virtual’ resort.
- If you are thinking of an extended (time and budget) holiday over say two weeks and definitely want to split into two resorts
- 22 guests
- 39 meters
- 1 suite
- 10 state rooms
- Wi-fi (this surprised me…I thought I would have to forfeit my digital connection for the tour)
- Underwater videography
- Kayak, snorkel, water-ski
- Spa therapist on board
Another possible title for this post is “Billionaire for a Week”. Like my “Billionaire for a Day” post. The price of chartering the Four Seasons Explorer is $16,000 per day (last I checked) for whole yacht. For 22 people that’s a bit over £500 per day which isn’t exactly billionaire price bracket. But it certainly is the billionaire lifestyle.