Previously a privately owned island, Dhonakulhi in the Maldives is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. Replete with rich vegetation and tropical fruit trees, it's a haven of peace and tranquility, boasting almost a mile of golden beaches on either side. We visited the newly renovated Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, the most luxurious resort of its kind in this part of the world.
Following a $50 million investment by Maldivian owning company, Dhonakulhi Investments Pvt Ltd, the entire island has undergone a redevelopment including an extensive renovation of the property; previously known as Island Hideaway. The resort offers guests their own private cocoon of space across the island’s expansive 297,000 square metres. Home to the first fully-functional marina in the Maldives, due to its unique reef system, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa has one of the most desirable locations in the Indian Ocean for exploring the surrounding aquamarine waters.
Deluxe Water Villa
There are 103 lavish villas at the resort with eight different categories of accommodation, ranging from beachfront to garden and family residences, as well as the new addition of 50 over-water villas that sit over the sparkling blue lagoon. Each accommodation comes with a personalised butler service to attend to all wishes and requests.
We stayed in the Hideaway’s signature deluxe over water villa —the ultimate luxury retreat above and beyond any hotel room I’ve experienced to date. The spacious layout is designed intelligently, where all the amenities fit perfectly together under one roof. There’s a Jacuzzi bathtub, a terrace with a dining area, and an infinity plunge pool that over looks miles of turquoise crystal clear ocean. The villas are designed for complete privacy — you’ll feel cut-off from the rest of the world, and in your own self-sustainable sanctuary. You won’t want to leave the villa, especially when there’s a designated butler to cater to all your needs.
Situated amidst coconut groves and lush vegetation, the villas are designed to create the impression of a floating paradise. Inspired by the exotic, unspoiled landscape of Dhonakulhi Island, the villas combine tropical tones with contemporary touches with local Maldivian influences. You’ll find the latest high-tech amenities with handcrafted coconut and teak timber furnishings — a creative approach well received in the art of luxury living.
The resort offers several restaurants, which boast a selection of culinary options, ranging from contemporary à la carte dining, to Teppanyaki-style cooking and intimate destination dining – the ultimate personalised dining experience. We were happy to order room service most nights and dine on our terrace over-looking the ocean.
If you’re adventurous, there are plenty of ways to explore the hidden wonders of the ocean and the abundance of marine life. Sail out on a traditional Maldivian Dhoni or on a high-speed jet ski to one of the nearby-inhabited islands.
With a double coral reef surrounding the island, the kilometer long house reef channel, and the 20 nearby dive sites, this is an excellent place to learn how to scuba dive. Meridis Dive manages Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa’s dive center where you can take various PADI courses. If you’re already certified, there are dive sites for all levels. If you visit November – May, it’s manta ray season and the channel is full of these mystical creatures. If you’re not keen on diving, a mask and snorkel is all you need to explore the underwater.