Traditional Maldivian Escape at an all inclusive resort
BY RUPALI DEAN
Dreaming of a luxury trip to the Maldives this year? I don’t blame you. Heritance Aarah pulses all the cartons for a Maldivian escape. Relax within the thumping of ocean waves and enticing tropical tranquillity of a magical Maldivian island with an all-inclusive 5-star hideaway at Heritance Aarah, including Maldives’ first medi-spa and an array of accommodation counting over-water and intersecting villas, posing warm accommodation, radiating gastronomy, fascinating excursions, and a lot more.
Air India’s comfortable flight via Trivandrum had me touch down on the airport island of Velana in Malé, the capital of the nation absolutely excited. But my final destination is the beautiful Heritance Aarah Maldives still a 45-minute seaplane ride and a 20 minute speed boat ride away at Raa Atoll.
ROOMS & SUITES
All rooms in the resort have a sea view and are a mien of indigenous culture in current times with a stress on sensitivity, luxury and efficiency. After a slick check in replete with the obligatory covid safety measures and welcome drink, I am escorted to my Ocean villa (Premium All inclusive) which looks beautiful, warm and personal. Everything about my room thrills me, the big and plus king size bed, the stunning uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean, the day beds, everything is as it should be.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
Ever the gastronomic traveller, I simply have to try the local stuff! The spectacular Ambula is where the cuisine of The Maldives with SriLankan elements enhanced by the liberal use of spices such as curry powder and the chilli in all its flaming avatars is divulged to me by Chef Amila via a cooking class followed by lunch. I am in admiration of the setting with its windswept open-air space and the Sky bar on the top floor rises mixology to top notch level with astonishing cocktails infused with local fruit, spices and herbs, and an inspired Sri Lankan Maldivian tapas menu. Haathi, which is adjacent , seats only 10 guests and alternates between Thai and Japanese set menus, and has a chef's table vibe.
My other lunches and dinners are well catered for at the Ginifatu Restaurant serving Seafood grills. But what seals the deal for me is Baani, the Middle Eastern on the water and is one of the many benefits you get as a revered guest of the Ocean Suite. The hotel also has a very stylish Infinity pool bar; just the place to relax and pamper in revitalising tropical drinks and a bite of freshly caught fried calamari. I have a floating breakfast here too one morning, though otherwise Ranlu is my preferred rendezvous point at breakfast.
One can enjoy every day diving excursions to untouched reefs packed with life. Heritance Aarah makes for the impeccable terminus to take beginner dive courses and get certified. And if you like subtle adventure like me hire an exclusive boat and enjoy excursions to experience dolphins and turtles in their regular habitat. I treat myself to a sunset champagne cruise one of the evenings. And if you have young ones, no fret, the recreational centre replete with games, puzzles and activities will keep them enthralled.
WHERE: Raa Atoll, Republic of Maldives Raa North MV, Maldives
COVID MEASURES: Being a one island one resort country with all open resorts being Covid free and entering the country with a Covid Negative certificate you can be stress free and live an unmasked life for a few days.
FORMS & PROCESSES:
- Negative PCR Test Result is Compulsory for all Passengers arriving to Male.
- All passengers are requisite to list at https://imuga.immigration.gov.mv/ 24hrs prior arrival / Departure Maldives.
- All arrival passengers to Male, are obligatory to register at https://haalubelun.hpa.gov.mv/
- All passengers travelling to India must register themselves within 72hrs to the flight regardless of the state/airport. https://www.newdelhiairport.in/covid19
- If passengers have Negative PCR test results taken within 96hrs to the flight, will be exempted from Institutional quarantine.