Maldives Celebrates 50th Independence Day

Maldives Celebrates 50th Independence Day

The Maldives celebrated its 50th anniversary since it gained independence yesterday, July 26th. The country has since come a long way from becoming the unknown Indian Ocean getaway it was back in the days to the luxurious, world favorite beach destination it is today. 

October 1972

The very first "resort" to accept paying guests was Kurumba. The first Maldivian resort was a very basic experience then - very, very different from what it is now. Guests drank rainwater from a well and meals were as basic as it gets: tuna curry, rice, coconut, and bananas! But despite all that, it became widely popular with the Europeans who first visited because the setting was not just spectacular... it was breathtaking.

Kurumba Maldives

This resort is an institution in the country and industry. It is still operational until now and has been completely modernized - a huge favorite of Europeans due to its proximity and history. Here, you can still see the thatched palm roofs and coral walls.

Speedboats & Seaplanes

Due to its unique logistics, going on holiday in the Maldives is like no other destination. Here, "taxis" fly and the only way to get from one island to another, is via a speedboat. This is privacy in its purest form.

Some of the newest and most luxurious resorts even have their very own private seaplanes for their guests, like Cheval Blanc Randheli - a Louis Vuitton resort.

Luxury Yachts and more

Other ways to explore the different atolls, snorkeling and diving spots, and more in the Maldives is through the use of catamarans and live-aboard yachts. In this photo, you can see the Four Seasons Explorer - a 129-ft three-deck catamaran that goes from one Four Season resort to another and explores isolated reefs and dive spots in between.

Private Villas Fit For Royalty

Almost all five-star resorts in the Maldives offer an exclusive and high-end accommodation within the island that's extravagantly luxurious and secluded. The gigantic Private Reserve at Gili Lankanfushi is considered one of the best among these Maldivian gems.

Unique Villa Types

With the popularity of over water villas, some guests are now looking for more exciting types of accommodation. Some resorts are now offering "treehouse" villas like the ones you read from Robinson Crusoe or The Swiss Family Robinson. Pictured is Amilla Fushi's treehouse villa that stands 39 feet above sea level.

Embracing the Maldives Culture

But some resorts are still loyal to the Maldives' past and history. Making sure that their designs show the humble and colorful beginnings of the country. Take for example, Cocoa Island, well known for their "dhoni" inspired suites. A dhoni is a traditional boat used by Maldivian fishermen.

Fascinating Family Friendly Facilities

The Maldives is not just known amongst honeymooners or couples. In the past few years, it has also become a favorite amongst families. Majority of the high-end resorts have fabulous, full program kids club to keep the kids entertained (and safe) during the entire stay while their parents have some long overdue time together. Pictured here is the humongous Soneva Fushi kids club.

Extreme Golfing

And if you think there is nothing else but swimming and snorkeling to do in the Maldives, well... you are mistaken. Shangri-La Villingili in the south is one of the only few resorts in the Maldives that is capable of letting you tee off into the Indian Ocean and into the sunset.

Surfing in the Maldives

Recent years have also brought a huge number of surfers in the country. More and more resorts are becoming favorites among this niche as they discover challenging and unique surfing spots in the country. Watch out, Hawaii. You have competition soon.

Wining and Dining the Maldives Way

From the repetitive tuna curry, bananas, and coconuts, dining and wining in the Maldives has immensely improved. Featured here is Soneva Fushi's underground wine cellar. The first one to ever be built in the country and was such an achievement due to the difficulty of burrowing in the coral sand.

Since a number of resorts already followed the "underground wine cellar" bandwagon, some resorts have created their own unique presentation, like Velaa Private Island, who built a 3-storey wine cellar which not only has a spiraling lift but also houses a £1 million inventory!

And then there are the underwater restaurants. The first of its kind in the world are found here in the Maldives - one in Conrad Rangali and another in Ananatara Kihavah. Need we say more about how utterly amazing these are?

Everything Under The Sea

But it's not just restaurants that are underwater these days, Huvafen Fushi has an underwater spa called "Lime".

And Niyama has an underwater nightclub called "Subsix".

But no matter what the future holds, we are glad that we have the Maldives and we hope that the government and the hoteliers practice sustainable tourism so that we still have a chance to see the "Sunny Side of Life" in all its glory.

If you're interested to start planning your bucket list escapade, get in touch with our Destination Specialists now. It's not as impossible as you think it is.

By Tashia
On July 27, 2015

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