Vakkaru Maldives celebrates 5th anniversary with top 5 highlights
Vakkaru Maldives celebrates a significant milestone this month as it marks five years of providing an unforgettable private island experience and creating memories of a lifetime for over 32,000 guests. Since it welcomed its first guests on 17 December 2017, the luxury sanctuary has maintained its position as one of the top resorts in the region, winning a slew of awards and recognitions, both international and local.
Vakkaru Maldives is the only resort in the Maldives owned by Egypt’s El Chiaty family. While conceptualising the resort, chairman and CEO of Travco Group, Hamed El Chiaty, worked closely with his son and Vice-Chairman of Travco Group, Karim El Chiaty, to create a peerless distillation of all that he and his family have pioneered and admired in the luxury sector over a lifetime of work in the travel industry. Travco Group under the leadership of Hamed El Chiaty is the Middle East’s leading leisure group operating through its integrated companies operating in the tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors.
The resort is thoughtfully built around the natural landscape of the island to preserve the natural vegetation. Conceived by Dutch firm, OT Design BV, the resort’s 113 vast, palm-thatched overwater and beach villas and residences are pitched over the ocean or shaded by the island’s coconut trees. Mr Hamad El Chiaty’s wife, professional interior designer Dora El Chiaty, also the Managing Director and Head of Interior Design at the Travco Group, has played a crucial role in the resort’s design process. The resort’s interiors exude a timeless elegance inspired by the beauty of its location featuring bespoke furniture crafted in Indonesia.
Here are the five reasons that make Vakkaru Maldives one of the top resorts to stay at in the region.
Lying within the heart of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Baa Atoll, Vakkaru Maldives is a secluded reef island fringed by ivory-white sands, surrounded by Tiffany-blue waters, and bookended by two deep blue holes. The island, which once was a coconut plantation, is home to over 2,300 fully grown coconut trees (Vakkaru is the Dhivehi word for “coconut timber”). Access to this idyllic paradise is via a scenic 30-minute seaplane flight from Male International Airport. The exceptional natural beauty paired with breathtaking endless views of the Indian Ocean makes the resort the perfect place to relax and reconnect with nature.
Your villa, whether on the beach or over the water, has one or two bedrooms. The residences offer more space and go from one- and two-bedroom layouts to the magnificent two-storey, four-bedroom Over Water Residence with a dedicated chef, an infinity pool and unobstructed ocean and sunset views. Each of the 113 luxury villas and residences draws on the rich traditions of the locale. Design elements incorporates Maldivian style fused with the finest natural resources and local architecture in a contemporary style. Each villa and suite offer intelligent connectivity and are stocked with all the requisites for a luxe vacay.
The heart and soul of Vakkaru Maldives is the diverse team of dedicated professionals. Each member brings their own unique background and perspective, but each one is passionate about delivering memorable moments and creating emotional experiences for the guests through highly personalised service every day, every time. Private butlers take care of guests’ whims and fancies during their time at this island resort. Celebrating a special occasion or simply craving your favourite dish? The culinary team will go above and beyond to create a memorable dining experience or cook up something to your preference. At the luxurious Merana spa, ask the specialists to tailor a wellness or spa journey to help you relax and rejuvenate. The friendly and caring ‘yes we can’ attitude of the staff is what keeps Vakkaru Maldives at the top of the rankings in the region.
Leaving your villa might be hard, but the vast array of experiences on offer are impossible to ignore. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, go snorkelling or diving, or try your hand at water sports, Vakkaru Maldives has something for everyone. The over water Merana spa, with its long list of wellness programmes, therapeutic massages, and Siddhalepa Ayurvedic treatments, is just the place to reset body, mind and soul.
The dive centre will get you up close and personal with the lagoon’s fabulous underwater world. Or, even arrange a safari to catch a glimpse of the Baa Atoll Big Five – manta rays, whale sharks, sea turtles, dolphins, and the multitude of sharks that inhabit the surrounding waters. Sports aficionados can go up against the tennis pro from Tipsarevic Luxury Tennis or enjoy a game of padel tennis. Or, live the high life with a Baa Atoll discovery tour aboard the luxury yacht, complete with Champagne and canapes. Also available are various cultural experiences, such as cooking and mixology classes, trips to local islands and more.
And finally, guest can renew their vows or plan an island-style ceremonial wedding at one of the idyllic venues around the island. The stunning ocean views make it the perfect backdrop to say “I Do”.
Nobody goes hungry at this island resort. Six exquisite dining options serve the flavours and textures of Europe, Asia and local cuisine, with produce from the on-island organic farm at the centre of the delicious fare. If that’s not enough, there is the Maldivian-inspired cooking class at the Organic Farm, teppanyaki live action at Anguru, the new Jungle Cinema and private dining experience, or an intimate dinner under the stars on a private sandbank. For something extra special, there are gourmet dinners at the award-winning Vakkaru Reserve wine cellar paired with Old and New World vintages by Sommelier Ivan Zugic.
These five reasons are why the resort has kept adding awards to its trophy case over the years. The top accolades are the World Travel Awards for World’s Leading Luxury Honeymoon Resort and Indian Ocean’s Leading Suite (Vakkaru Over Water Residence) for three consecutive years. Other awards that make the list are the Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards, where Vakkaru is now ranked #7 in the Maldives, the Wine Spectator Award 2020 for the private wine cellar, Vakkaru Reserve, and the No. 1 Favourite Family Hotel in the 2021 Condé Nast Traveller Middle East Readers’ Choice Awards.
“Celebrating our 5th anniversary is a proud moment for all of us at Vakkaru Maldives. Over the past half-decade, the team has been striving to deliver our guests the best service and experience. I hope we have created exceptional memories for our guests and experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime. I’d also like to give my amazing team who have been a part of this wonderful journey a high five,” Iain McCormack, General Manager, Vakkaru Maldives, said.