The major point of a private jet is to avoid stopovers and transfers and just get directly from point A to point B. With so many of the super-luxury resorts a plane ride away from the main airport in Male, the most affluent look to fly their private jet straight to their island. No resorts have their own private jet runaway, but NIYAMA is a mere 7 minute boat transfer from the newly opened Dhaalu Airport.
Dhaalu Airport can now handle and process long range jets up to 111 feet in length, with ninety-six hours’ notification required to arrange a private international landing and departure, including immigration, customs and legislated health checks and requirements for arriving passengers.
I wouldn’t have included NIYAMA in the list of “super-luxury” properties that most of the private-jet-set would frequenting, but maybe this convenience will boost their appeal.
Mini-bar to the Max. The mini-bar is a staple to Maldives resorts and many of the luxury properties pack them with all sort of delectable goodies. None bigger than NIYAMA. With a very big treat of free ice creams in the freezer!
Maldives resorts are packing especially their premium villas with all sorts of imaginable amenities. Perhaps the most unexpected item I have come across is NIYAMA’s electric guitar and amp featured in its Beach Pavilion villa. Or all those rock stars inspired by the beauty of paradise, budding (and established) artists can have their own creative retreat away from the distractions of daily life. Rock on.
A nibble to spike that thirst for the mini-bar? NIYAMA’s villas all come with hot-air popcorn poppers and a supply of gourmet popcorn for a quick, fresh, hot, healthy snack. And if that doesn’t satisfy you, they also provide complementary cassava chips for something a bit more exotic.
With this post, I’ve added what is really a long overdue category tag for “Mini-Bar”.
Dosa is a popular South Indian specialty that we have enjoyed a few times in the Maldives. Made with egg, rice flour and coconut milk it is served with curry. But the main restaurant at NIYAMA features a “Live DOSA” station which makes it fresh and customised to your particular liking.
“Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest, Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.” – Pirate diddy
Not just any rum bar (and not a “rumba”), but a Reggae Rum Bar at NIYAMA. Set up and run by rum aficionado Tony from Jamaica (via South Africa). Perched on the beach at the reef edge, it is the ideal spot for landlubber’s to watch seadogs hang ten or watch sunsets with their favourite grog.
Of course, rum is the foundation of my favourite resort drink – the Pina Colada. The Surf Shark didn’t do a pina colada, but instead a slight variation on it called a “Llama Colada”. But its “Zombie” cocktail had one of my all-time favourite descriptions: “The King of the Surf Shak cocktails. Strictly one per person per night” (see photo at bottom). Of course, it was so intriguing, Lori had to have one. Tony’s favourite rum is the exclusive Diplomatico which took the guile of a swashbuckler to get to the Maldives.
Here are some of the rums on offer…
- Ron Zacapa Centario
- Havana Club
- Pampero Aniversario
- El Ron Prohibido
- Ron Flor De Cana
- Pyrat Rum XO Reserve
- Clement Premier Canne Rhum
- Clement Martinique
- Captain Morgan Jamaica Rum
- Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
- Captain Morgan Cannon Ball
- Caribbean Rum with Coconut Flavour
- Plantation Rum
- Meyers Rum Original Dark
- Flor de Cana
- Cachaça Agacana
“Drinkin rum before 10.00am makes you a pirate, not an alcoholic” -Earl Dibbles JR
NIYAMA has the potential to be one of the top “foodie” resorts in the Maldives. I can’t say definitively because I didn’t have the opportunity to sample too much of their cuisine, but half of the Best of the Maldives pieces I have done to date about NIYAMA have been about their dining, and more than half of the new pieces I discovered during my visit were F&B related (and I didn’t even venture into any of the gourmet a la carte outlets). A bit of a foodie mecca with the longest standing molecular cuisine and concept eateries like Tribal and Nest (mind you, you do pay for the indulgence as simple starters can run $40).
I was thinking that NIYAMA would be in the “super-premium” (aka “6 star”) category, but it is really more like a “5+” star (the “+” being for the food). Its famous Sub Six underwater restaurant is a “wow” item you tend to find in the super premiums. It is priced competitively in the $1000-$2000 range for 1 bedroom beach villas (the super premiums tend to start at around $2000). More for multi-millionaires (or ‘ordinary’ millionaires splurging) than billionaires, more Neiman Marcus than Bergdorf Goodman, more Conran than Ive, more BMW than Aston Martin. It also reminded me of a big event in my hometown “Pub in the Park” where Michelin star food is served up along second bill rock acts like 10cc and Mel C. Or, another comparison close to home, Marks & Spencers which features the most posh food hall on the high street along side a rather conventional clothing range.
Our stay also provided a numbers of “Firsts”. Any first is an accomplishment since we have been coming here for two decades. You would think we had done it all by now. All the “firsts” were triggered by the top one on the list, but all the others were lovely silver linings to its dark clouds…
- First Entire Day of Rain –
- First complementary bottle of champagne…actually drunk. We get presented with complimentary bottles all the time but never drink them. But the weather sequestered us in the room so pop went the cork.
- First Bath – First time the temperature was cool enough that a hot bath sounded like a good idea. Though we did hit the ultimate first world problem – we forgot to bring our glasses of champagne to the tub.
- First in-room movie – Appropriately enough, we watched “The Shape of Water” on the in room television as inclement weather was limiting our midnight walks and sitting under the stars with our post-prandial pina coladas.
If you are a connoisseur of gourmet delicacies, then NIYAMA could be absolute paradise for you with lots of firsts for your discerning palette.
It’s two, two, two islands in one (with apologies to Certs). They even have two names – “Chill” and “Play”. Sounds a bit like a naughty night in with Netflix. Just the top topology found at NIYAMA resort.
Look For Circles Day (still not kidding) and some of the most alluring circles I have found in the Maldives – NIYAMA’s pod dining. Not iPod dining. Reminds me tropical igloos as well as NIYAMA’s own crescent pool hammocks.
Most live entertainment in the Maldives is either rock DJ or romantic acoustic. Given the upper crust economic brackets of most of the Maldives’ guests, I always wondered if something a bit more sophisticated wouldn’t go amiss. Like opera or ballroom dancing. Well, NIYAMA has brought one of the most sublime arts to the land of ethereal beauty and sublime grace – ballet…
“Fluidity and strength take centre stage against a backdrop of Indian Ocean. Under sparkling stars and above the crystal waters of the Maldives, the Mariinsky Ballet’s First Soloist, Xander Parish, performs for PULSE by PER AQUUM. Accompanied by dancers and soloists of the Mariinsky, the movements of Scheherazade, Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote and Carmen Suite come to life in a tidal swell. Guests at PER AQUUM Niyama will enjoy an exclusive performance on 21 August with an encore at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi on 23 August. Budding ballerinas and ballerinos will also have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take centre stage themselves. Xander and his hand-picked ensemble, including Oksana Bondareva and Renata Shakirova, will be offering masterclasses at each resort during their visit.”
Grand jetés for grand jet setters.