The second part of our trip in the Maldives saw us take the short commute across the Indian Ocean to another island in the Preferred Hotels & Resorts collection: Reethi Faru on Filaidhoo. Positioned as a bio luxury resort, the island boasts some of the more pristine reefs and reef life in the Maldives and prides itself on conservation both within, and above, the ocean.
The flight time from the island of Male is relatively modest, at around half an hour, but the scenery outside the seaplane window is once again jaw-dropping. The deep blue ocean is punctuated by the bright blue atolls and, as the plane comes in to land, the white sands of Filaidhoo Island come into view. Our stay for the trip was in one of the Deluxe Beach Villas; a lovely little villa nestled within the thick foliage on the island with direct access to those very white sands. One thing that struck us as we were guided to our villa was just how abundant the fauna is on Reethi Faru; every single tree has been painstakingly moved (replanted) in order to accommodate pathways for guests. Each villa, whether garden or beach, has a real sense of seclusion, and even our little pathway to the beach had enough foliage to make us feel truly tucked away. Inside the front door, the Deluxe Beach Villas all have the typical mod cons of high speed internet, cable TV and a very comfortable bed, but the real standout is the indoor/outdoor bathroom and shower. It was lovely to be able to cool off under the midday sun and it really made you feel part of the island rather than just living on it.
Our days on the island were fairly laid back; starting with walk along the beach and around the island to the Vakaru restaurant each morning for breakfast. If you’re early enough and on the eastern side of the island, sunrise each morning is spectacular and definitely waking up early for. As the main restaurant on the island, Vakaru serves a buffet style breakfast and a rotating buffet style dinner each evening. Breakfast was great with the on-demand omelettes and decent selection of cereals and pastries certainly filling us up for the day ahead. Although dinner is served in the same place and same manner each evening, the cuisine does change so you never really feel like you are eating the same meal twice. The Turkish-inspired evening was probably the last menu you’d expect to find on a Maldivian island, but the flavours were definitely a highlight! Elsewhere there are other a la carte restaurants to discover, and the various little bars dotted around the island are a great place to grab a pre-dinner drink and watch the sun go down.
During the days, we often found ourselves just heading down to the beach to soak up the sun. At 11am each morning there is a complimentary guided tour of the house reef which is definitely worth doing; at the very least to take in all that local knowledge and find the best spots for finding Nemo and co. We also borrowed snorkel gear from the dive centre, and there were many beautiful fish to spot a few minutes’ swim from our villa door. Feeling slightly gluttonous after the evening buffets, I even managed to squeeze in a few workouts in the beautiful gym. The views out over the pool and to the ocean beyond certainly beat anything back in the UK.
In terms of value for money, you would be hard pushed to find something better than Reethi Faru in the Maldives. The food and drink on the island was great, and if it is pristine white sand and turquoise waters that you are after, you will find it in abundance here.
Reethi Faru is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Legend Collection. For more information visit www.preferredhotels.com