Kanifushi, by comparison with other luxury resorts throughout the Maldives, is unique in that it is all on-island, and for those who might be allergic to boardwalks, this is the choice. It is also all-inclusive, so from the welcome glass of Champagne (and bubbly included in the alcohol that is yours, whenever you want) you barely, says the gal, have to spend the proverbial penny. If you feel you must charge something to American Express you can buy-up on wines, or choose to go to the spa, or dine Japanese, or send a bag-full of laundry. You will also, hopefully sometime soon, be able to spend more on accommodation as it is rumoured over-water villas will be added.
Kanifushi, in Lhaviyani Atoll, is 30 minutes by seaplane from Male and it has several other massive advantages. The 132-villa resort has its own jetty, which means no landing by an off-shore pontoon and being buffeted in a small boat before arriving. Here you get straight from Twin Otter to dock, to be greeted by management, and a traditional Bodu Beru drummer, and that glass of chilled bubbles. I then loved the spinal walkway, winding its way through lush undergrowth, almost tunnel-like at times, the whole length of the two mile-long island – and yes, I know how long it is as I cycled right to the end (see photo at the top).
Along the way you pass a sculpted couple, emulating what many guests – and ten percent are repeaters, here – do for hours, every day, looking out at an ocean that is unbelievable until you see it. Along my cycle route, too, I passed the Club House, with its kids’ activities, adult gym and tennis court. Here is the sunset bar, for watching the glow, every night about six-15, and there is a Tuesday beach barbecue, included. I actually dined in Teppanyaki, the pay-for Japanese where you can sit out at tables-for-two cantilevered, as if in a crane’s cabin, seemingly far out over the water (Teppanyaki is worth it not only for the food but for the amazing juggling skills of the chef, who then puts your chosen ingredients into shapes of I-heart-U on the grill in front of you).
Talking of food, this incredibly friendly no-dress-code luxury resort has world-class breads to go with the French butters and jams, and I love the prepared-specially-for-you breakfast fruits artist, just as on top luxury cruise ships. All-inclusive, and with such activities as artists in residence, Kanifushi is already offering strong competition to a holiday at sea. At Kanifushi, also, you can have your own pool, ever so private, and miles of perfect white sand – see the video of villa 306, below – and you can cycle, seemingly for ever. NOW WATCH THE VIDEO