A real treat for both children and parents alike is them having their own room. In the Maldives, unless the resort offers special family room set up (which about 10% do) this arrangement often means (a) having their own villa, or (b) getting a pricey 2-bedroom villa. Ailafushi is one of the 10% that do offer a family room, but the bonus is that it also comes with its own, directly connected bathroom. No having 4 family members jockeying for use of the single bathroom of the villa (and the inter-generational privacy is going to be well appreciated by both).
Disabled guests are pretty resourceful so they find a way to manage even if the lay of the land is not the easiest to manage. They live in a world that in many if not most cases is not made to accommodate their impairments. When places make an effort, like adding a ramp for a wheelchair, they are grateful for the consideration and added ease. Many accessibility features are fairly functional affairs bolted on as the need presents itself. But Amilla Maldives has introduced permanent accessibility features with an aquatic themed stylish flair to boot. They have craft fish-shaped ramps to beach villas which replace a total of 5 steps that previously led to the entrance. Swish!
Amilla Maldives continues to pioneer accessibility in the Maldives with its latest accessibility feature being “height”. Lowering access to key features is not just beneficial to height-challenged individuals, but is also a major boon to wheelchair users whose own operating height is obviously lowered.
The catalogue of the villa overhaul includes the following:
Relocated taps to side
Cut out under benches to allow wheelchair access
Added hand shower unit in Beach Villa
Added grab rails
Shower Chair is added depending on guest requirements
Reduced the bench height by 23cm to enable access when in a wheelchair
Easier access to minibar fridge and coffee machine
Built a long benchtop in place of working desk to create a vanity area for guest to blow-dry hair and make-up area within the bedroom
Removed all rugs and benches from the bedroom
Maldives is renowned for having the world’s lowest elevation, and now Amilla have provided accessibility to match.
One of the classic tick-boxes for a Maldivian resort are the archetypal thatched roof villas. While styling contemporary designs have proliferated across the destination with dramatic aesthetic allure, many still want that ‘authentic’ vibe of a Robinson Crusoe hut on a tropical island. A major challenge to catering for this preference is that palm thatch roofs are very expensive to build and maintain. Dhawa Ihuru has outfitted its buildings with Palmex artificial thatch which not only keeps costs down (do the property can be more affordable), but is also itself an eco-friendly solution being produced in a sustainable way and reducing the demand on harvesting palm trees as Palmex describes:
Product waste in all our plants is diverted from final disposal and sent to be recycled in other plastic manufacturing processes. Our packaging is kept to an absolute minimum for shipping and is made of Palmex production waste. We have also undergone a third-party verification process with Vertima Inc. and Athena Sustainable Materials Institute where Palmex International Inc. products and our entire supply chain were assessed. We received the Validated Eco-Declaration® Certification summarizing verified environmental claim.
Frankly, we didn’t even notice that they are artificial until it was pointed out to us and we had a look very close
Overwater and on-water hammocks have become almost cliché from the countless Instagram photos posted of them, but Dhawa Ihuru offers the first (I’ve seen) *in* water hammocks. No, not sitting in the lagoon. But you sitting in a refreshing mist of cool spray while you relax in the tropical sun. For making your own misty water-coloured memories of the way you were in paradise.
The main event in the Maldives is the ocean view. Bering such a tiny plot of sand in the middle of the vast ocean (or if you are underwater!), the aquatic vistas surround our and consume you. Whenever I am in an area of outstanding natural beauty, I always am bemused by buildings with small windows. Why don’t they make as expansive a window as possible to enjoy such a distinctive sight? One resort that has gotten this right to the extreme, pretty much bringing the entire outdoors right into the bedroom, is Ritz Carlton Maldives. Absolutely the biggest villa “window” on the water that we have seen in the Maldives.
If a few too many pina coladas are affecting your cognition or your manual dexterity, but you still want to put away your fancy jewelry for the evening (many insurance policies require that items over a certain value must be kept in a safe when not being worn), then Emerald villa safe offers biometric locking. One-touch authentication have become commonplace for our phones and computers security and now locking away your valuables is just as convenient. These devices only support one user, but it also has the option for a pin/password as well (like phones and computers) so other members of your party can access it as well.
If you want to frolic in the octopus’ garden, then Soneva Jani has taken water villa slides to the next level. Not only are they higher and longer than previous water villas slides, they are installed most water villas as well as a public area on at “The Gathering” hub. About time I added a “Slide” tag. Below is Lori enjoying a thrilling ride during our stay at Soneva Jani.
For a destination with a “No Shoes, No News” vibe, a shoe caddy would seem a bit out of place, but actually I quite welcomed this distinctive amenity at Ritz Carlton Maldives. I wear shoes to transfer, and the heat means I sweat. Jetting off to such a swanky place as the Maldives (and the Ritz no less), I bring my nicer clothes. And the soft leather would lose shape and appearance if I didn’t put a shoe tree in them when I took them off. Not everyone wear flip flips and if you want to wear some nice shoes for your gourmet meal, you can keep your fine footwear in pristine shape.
One of the first words people think of to describe the destination of the Maldives is “natural”. And (short of going full grass thatch hut), the most natural material is wood. I have a bit of a soft-spot for wood. Our house is filled with burr-wood furniture and natural grain finishes. I had a tradition of giving my godson a wood gift every Christmas. Amilla Maldives imbues this [natural] aesthetic with an extensive collection of wood items in each villa – desk accessories, cocktail utensils, room instructions. And to remember your trip, your own complementary luggage tags (see above). We’ve been using them for the past year and not only are they stylish, but they are also especially sturdy with their wire cable attachment.