Hurawalhi Maldives is an adults-only luxury resort in the pristine northern Lhaviyani Atoll, 45 minutes from Malé by seaplane. Think barefoot bliss, crystal-clear waters and amazing reefs filled with sea life. Designed by award-winning New York-based Japanese architect Yuji Yamazaki, the contemporary design at Hurawalhi offers a minimalist, modern take on Maldivian design.
The heavenly resort boasts three restaurants (including the world’s biggest underwater restaurant, 5.8 Undersea Restaurant), as well as a bar and Champagne Pavilion at the end of the jetty, where unobstructed views of the turquoise ocean and the property’s sandbank a.k.a. Dream Island make sipping bubbles a truly unique experience.
Hurawalhi also prides itself in ensuring that 30 per cent of the resort’s energy needs are met by renewable energy thanks to its solar panel canopy, which leads the way to the Aquarium Restaurant and 5.8 Undersea Restaurant.
UNDER THE SEA
Meet your loved one under the sea for a romantic and otherworldly gastronomical experience at 5.8 Undersea Restaurant. Feast on a seven-course fine dining menu that includes a number of well-thought-out and flawlessly presented seafood dishes, while admiring the fish from the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant. There are two rounds of seating every evening, but come for the first one, which starts at 6pm, and experience the difference in marine life activity between daytime and nighttime as the sun slowly sets. If you’re lucky you’ll see the turtle, the lionfish and the dogface pufferfish that live just next to the restaurant.
Stairs lead downstairs into the restaurant, and there are no doors at the bottom of it, making it a very safe experience and very enjoyable for claustrophobics too.
Enjoying the underwater paradise from a protected restaurant under the sea might be thrilling, but if getting up close and personal with marine wildlife is your thing, you’ve come to the right address. Hurawalhi has plenty of interesting sea creatures nearby and offers educational snorkel and dive trips to see them live. Go on a sea turtle or a nurse shark snorkel tour at their sister property, only 15 minutes away. You can also see one or the other stingray or blacktip reef shark when snorkeling around the island. And manta rays tend to frequent Dream Island, using the area around the sandbank as a cleaning station. The channel between the island and the sandbank is also a favorite route for a pod of dolphins, which tends to frequent the channel around 8 or 9 o’clock every morning, taking breakfast views to the next level.
There are 90 villas on the island as well as overwater. Guests can choose from a number of villa categories, including Beach Villas and (overwater) Ocean Villas with or without pool.
There is one main communal pool next to CoCo Bar where people spend time poolside with cocktail in hand. Some island villas, as well as some overwater villas feature a private pool, often popular with honeymooners and couples in general.
WHAT WE LOVE
- The 5.8 Undersea Restaurant is definitely a highlight at Hurawalhi, and one not to be missed. Book your dinner before arrival to secure your table. The restaurant can get booked out very quickly, as it is also very popular with guests from other properties close by.
- Hurawalhi is big enough not to get bored on this beautiful island, yet small enough to feel like you’re able to get away from it all. Even if the property is operating at 95%, it never feels crowded as people have enough opportunities and activities to create special memories in paradise.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
- Hurawalhi can only be reached by seaplane and takes a little bit longer to get to than other properties closer to Malé. You might even have to spend a night in Malé if your international flight arrives late at night. However, rest assured that it is well worth it.
- Even though the villas will excite many design enthusiasts, get ready to feel and fall in love with experiencing the fine sand between your toes day in day out. It is barefoot luxury at its best. Indulge in the freedom of not having to wear shoes to dinner, yet still be able to enjoy the 5-star luxuries that come with your stay at Hurawalhi.
The overwater Duniye Spa offers five couple’s treatment rooms, which open out onto the ocean. Start your wellness journey with a footbath on the terrace overlooking the calm azure waters, followed by a Heaven on Earth face and body ritual, a Honeymoon Indulgence for couples or a Sound Healing treatment. Enjoy post-treatment chillout time with tea and possibly some healthy nibbles (check out the citrus salad and the raw chocolate mousse) in the relaxation lounge above the reception, while taking in the breathtaking views and the salty breeze.
The Duniye Spa brand reaches across other properties in the Maldives and is famous for its highly skilled therapists and award-winning spa experiences, inspired by ancient and modern practices from around the world with a strong influence from the healing traditions of Asia and Africa, including the use of local ingredients.
TRAVEL IN STYLE
The resort follows the motto of “no shoes, no news”. So kick off your shoes and put them back on when you leave the hotel. Think kaftans and beachwear that will take you from breakfast all the way through to dinner.
WHEN YOU SHOULD GO
December – April offers ideal weather conditions.
May – November is considered rainy season. You’ll encounter some brief periods of heavy rainfall, but normally storms pass relatively quickly. You can expect the Maldives’ standard 28°C during the day and night.
A Beach Villa starts at US$644 per night (lower season) and US$967 (high season), and an Ocean Sunset Pool Villa US$1,122 per night (high season).
Hurawalhi now also offers Heavenly Honeymoon Packages at US$ 4,099 for 4 nights and US$ 4,655 for 5 nights until Oct 31, 2017.
US$ 5,271 for 4 nights and US$ 6,120 for 5 nights from Nov 1, 2017 – Apr 31, 2018.