Nick Walton keeps the flames of amour alive with a visit to a duo of decadent Angsana hideaways in the Maldives.
Like many men, I’ve been accused, on occasion, of being less than romantic. Fortunately, a duo of tropical hideaways in the Maldives is guaranteed to be a sure winner with the ladies, offering a potent combination of stunning vistas, tropical surrounds, and indulgent luxury.
Like many others, our flight arrives in Malé after the nightfall seaplane curfew. This means guests staying at the many resorts that are only accessible by seaplane are stranded at an airport hotel. Instead, we go for the hop-skip-jump approach and are met outside the arrivals terminal by cheery staff from Angsana Ihuru, a little jewel of a resort located a short 20-minute speed boat from the airport.
The resort’s close proximity to the airport means that while our fellow fliers are waking early to stodgy breakfasts and shuttles to the airport the next morning, we’re greeted by a dazzling sun that bathes our Deluxe Beachfront Villa in golden rays. Angsana Ihuru’s cottage-like villas are scattered along the palm-fringed beach of the tiny island (it only takes 15 minutes to walk around) and offer direct access from bedroom to beach.
Created to appeal to a younger market than its Banyan Tree brethren, Angsana Ihuru offers a unique blend of stylish, modern interiors and absolute tropical living. Bedrooms of both Beachfront and Deluxe Beachfront Villas are ample and decked out with thatched roofs, dark wood furniture, and bright colors. Each opens onto a private slither of beach and then onto the island’s famed reef, which offers some of the best snorkeling in the Maldives. Bathrooms seamlessly combine indoor and outdoor living and include an outdoor shower and indulgent Jacuzzi.
We breakfast in the island’s main restaurant, a chic sand floored spot open to the stunning lagoon. Nearby couples snorkel a well-marked path across the reef or try their hand at wake boarding and windsurfing, while others bask in the sun on the island’s brilliantly white beaches.
There is as much or as little as you’d like to do on Ihuru. Angsana prides itself on its activities and the resort’s dive center has it all, from banana boating and kayaking to guided snorkeling and dive excursions in search of green turtles, eagle, and manta rays, and blacktip reef sharks. The less active can opt to be pampered into submission in the Angsana Spa, with its menu of signature massages, facials, and decadent wellness rituals.
After a leisurely breakfast and a snorkeling circumnavigation of the island’s reef, which blazes with color and bustles with fish, we make our way back across the silk-like seas to Malé for a 40-minute seaplane flight south to Angsana Velavaru. Despite the convenience of Angsana Ihuru, especially after a long night flight, there is still no experience like arriving at a Maldivian resort by seaplane, and Angsana Velavaru is no different.
From the window, the coral atolls below glow in the mid-day sunshine, and the sea rises to meet the tiny seaplane, which lands between a palm-encrusted island and a long line of OTT water villas. Known as In-Ocean Villas, these indulgent duplexes make up half the accommodation offering at Angsana Velavaru and represent the modern incarnation of the over-water bungalow. They’re also a fail-safe way to swoon your better half.
The In-Ocean Villas are a resort within a resort; each sprawling villa has a private infinity pool at its center, ringed by timber decking. All feature a rooftop lounge, perfect for intimate in-villa barbecues, and curtained salas at the end of private piers, the perfect spot for late evening star gazing.
Each is decked out in Angsana’s signature bright hues, with a spacious bathroom, indulgent king-sized bed and brightly colored throw cushions scattered across an outdoor hammock strung up above the gently lapping waves of the lagoon. Couples can while away their days by the pool, with a glass of champagne in hand, or on the hammock with a good book. They can doze on the shaded rooftop deck and watch the latest guests arrive by seaplane, or explore the vibrant coral reefs only meters away.
But overwater bungalows are not for everyone and Angsana Velavaru also boasts sensational island accommodation, including Deluxe Beachfront Pool Villas that boast over-sized plunge pools. In pure Angsana style, the bathroom of each Pool Villa has plenty of space for him and her and blends the air-conditioned cool of inside with the tropical warmth of outside seamlessly. Beyond a timber verandah, a sandy path leads from the bedroom to a stretch of perfect beach, where couples congregate to welcome the sunset with cocktails from the nearby bar.
Like at Angsana Ihuru you’re in control of how active you are. All activities are based out of the dive center including excursions to local reefs, or the resort’s innovative coral gardens recently created by in-house marine biologists. Then there is snorkeling on the house reef which winds its way past the In-Ocean Villas, sunset cruises with fellow guests, and even night fishing off local islands in search of snapper and trevally. Few things will get your lady’s heart pumping faster than catching the fish of the day under a moonlit sky, and then having it served at a romantic dinner for two on a deserted sandbank.
Who knew romance could be so easy.
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