Where Luxury Meets Barefoot Bliss: Bahrain Confidential Visits the Maldives

Nick Cooksey recounts his 5-day vacation to Sun Siyam Iru Veli in the Maldives.

Imagine impossibly blue water, pristine beaches, and a sense of calm and relaxation. Sun Siyam Iru Veli, nestled in the Dhaalu Atoll, embodies all that.

We flew Gulf Air from Manama to the Maldives’ capital of Male, a direct flight of a little over four hours. The Maldives’ chain of 26 atolls stretches across the equator and is the smallest country in Asia – and the world’s smallest Muslim-majority country by land area. 

Upon landing, we were transported to a private lounge at the seaplane terminal to await our seaplane flight to our island destination. This lounge offers complementary food and soft beverages, and quiet areas where people can sleep if they wish for a couple of hours of waiting time. The 45-minute seaplane journey was interesting in itself, as the turquoise atolls unfolded beneath us.

We landed on the water at “Iru Veli International Airport” – basically a small floating pier just big enough to unload the dozen or so passengers from a seaplane and put them on a boat to the island a hundred meters away. Here we were greeted by smiling hotel staff who came to welcome us.

We were then taken in a buggy to our beach villa, a study in minimalist luxury with its own small private patio with plunge pool, and an outdoor bathroom at the back to shower under the stars should you wish.

The next few days were for relaxing, and this became my morning routine; an early morning beach walk that would ultimately lead to the main restaurant – also on the beach. Here I would look out to sea and enjoy my morning coffee. I would then go to the gym, located next to the restaurant, for forty minutes or so of exercise. I would then return to the restaurant for a tasty and leisurely buffet breakfast.

I consider myself an experienced traveller who rarely overpacks, yet despite only taking a small carry case I soon discovered I still carried far more than needed. The resort is a study in shorts and barefoot elegance. Shoes, other than flip-flops, are a foreign concept here, as are long trousers and anything even slightly formal.

The hotel is all-inclusive, so it makes sense to utilize some of the leisure activities on offer.  These include; scuba diving – a boat took us out to an area where we were able to swim among some of the most beautifully coloured fish you can imagine, jet skiing – great fun, night fishing – the hotel will happily prepare what you catch for your lunch or dinner the following day. There are also cooking classes, and you can cook the fish you catch yourself if you prefer.

There are several themed restaurants to choose from, and everything’s just a short stroll.

There is also a ‘Kids’ Club’ to take some of the pressure off mum and dad so they can relax a bit more.

A spa, built on a wooden pier above the sea, offers various massages and beauty treatments (which of course is not inclusive). While enjoying a massage I was able to look through a glass floor and watch schools of fish flit by.

If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday in a scenic tropical location, this could be your place. And, the resort staff made Sun Siyam Iru Veli feel like home. Everyone, from the housekeeping team to the restaurant servers went above and beyond to ensure our comfort and enjoyment.


To find out more visit the Sun Siyam Iru Veli website or contact the resort:

Telephone: +960 676 0100
WhatsApp: +960 7498958
Email: ecommerce.iruveli@sunsiyam.com

To make a booking, email book@sunsiyam.com

Images for this article are courtesy of Sun Siyam Iru Veli

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