Sun Siyam Iru Veli isn’t the first spa treatment with a view, but it is the one of the best I have come across. Both the glass floor portal and the head rest are open enough for easily opening your eyes and gazing at the aquatic life passing by. And the ocean underneath has several fish-attracting coral croppings to maximise the visual interest. [NOTE: I titled this post “Clear View” to distinguish it from another fine spa view at Coco Bodu Hithi, but which it obstructed a bit by the design on the glass and the flower arrangement on top]
Sun Siyam Resorts and Sun Siyam Iruveli resort are fans of the Maldives Complete website and gave us a particularly warm welcome. One of my motivations for all the work I do on the website is to be more of a “participant” than a “spectator”. This Maldivian owned, run and staff-dominated resort made us feel especially embraced by this wonderful destination that has become such a big part of our lives.
Iruveli is sitting right in the luxury property sweet spot. So many topflight resorts are entering the $1000/nt for a solid luxury product. Iruveli stands shoulder-to-shoulder with these competitors with a differentiation on value by pricing a bit lower and offering a bit more in their all-inclusive (eg. floating breakfast, free dives). If the solid luxury experience is what you seek, but the $1000 is a stretch to your budget, you should look at Iruveli. The food is superb with gourmet options of inventive concepts (stay tuned).
Increasing focus on experiences. For example, we had a number of firsts during our stay (which is not easy have 25 years of visiting the Maldives and staying at 115 resorts. One was using an underwater scooter. We never really fancied the experience, but found it more enjoyable and useful than anticipated. We’ve seen these advertised at other resorts and at first look they seemed like an overly engineered gimmick, but having done the experience they actually do have lots of merit. You can cover more ground more quickly looking for your favourite creatures, you can do more with less effort, and you can worry a bit less about current (but never stop worrying about current). One tip is we didn’t really know whether to use our fins or not. In principle, with the scooter providing the propulsion they are superfluous, but in reality they are handy to provide control treading water when the scooter is not running (and also they provide backup if your battery ran out).
Sun Siyam is one of the longest standing resort groups in the Maldives, so they definitely have the experience to create great experiences (stay tuned for many examples in upcoming Best of the Maldives posts).
While yesterday’s long awaiting press conference by the British government on the COVID lockdown roadmap didn’t provide a clear reassurance that foreign travel will resume in May, the overall gist was extremely positive. The Prime Minister said he remained “hopeful” about sticking to the roadmap, but also admonished everyone to not “underestimate the challenges”. A further update is expected next week and much speculation exists around a return to the “traffic light” system of different protocols for different countries. Fortunately, the Maldives is one of the destinations that meet the criteria for the “green” travel corridor with its high penetration of vaccination and low/declining incidence of COVID.
If you want to play it extra safe for fear of the rules changing mid-holiday or some other eventuality hitting which might frustrate your timely return, then Sun Siyam has introduced a quarantine guarantee at its Olhuveli and Iru Veli resorts. Maldives Insider resports:
“Sun Siyam Resorts, the luxury Maldivian hotel and resort brand, has introduced a first-of-its-kind offer at two of its resorts: free quarantine for Indians staying at Sun Siyam Olhuveli and Sun Siyam Iru Veli. The offer, available for stays in March and April, will enable Indian travellers to visit the two resorts without having to worry about extra costs involved in mandatory quarantine if they test positive for Covid-19. Most airlines and destinations require a negative PCR test result, so tourists have to undergo testing before their departure from the Maldives. If they test positive, they have to quarantine for 14 days. In cases where guests test positive for Covid-19 during their stay at Sun Siyam Olhuveli or Sun Siyam Iru Veli, they don’t have to worry about paying for their quarantine; the resort will cover accommodation and other necessary expenses for the entire duration of government-mandated quarantine.”