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Hello from a Barefoot Pilot



Editor’s note: After we at Maldives Promotion House met Rob McIntyre via our Facebook page, we requested him to share his experience of Maldives with us. The following article is his response to our request. It presents Maldives from the perspective of a barefoot pilot.

Rob McIntyre for Maldives Promotion House – I am honoured to have been asked to contribute to this amazing site! With this post I am going to write a little bit about myself and my impressions of this amazing country that straddles the equator.

I am a seaplane pilot here flying barefoot for Maldivian Air Taxi. An amazing job to be certain! I have been flying for 21 years now, having flown all over North America, Africa and the Maldives. I spent 5 years flying Northern Canada as well.

I was Captain at one of the Air Canada regional airlines for close to 9 years. I grew dissatisfied with the world of flying wheels and major airlines. With this in mind I made an abrupt turn and gave it all up to revisit seaplane flying.

Throughout the world of seaplane flying the Twin Otter is the king and flying barefoot in the Maldives is known to all who fly seaplane for a living! At Maldivian Air Taxi the minimum requirements for a Captain are 3,500 hours of flying experience which must include 1000 hours of seaplane, 250 hours of experience in the Twin Otter along with an Airline Transport Pilots Licence.

As for myself, I have over 14,000 hours of total flying experience which includes 3000 hours of seaplane, 2,000 hours of flying the Twin Otter and as a side note I am type rated on the Dash 8 along with the CL65 Regional Jet.

I am not just a pilot though! I have great many interests and over the last few years my wife, Sophie, and I have been working hard on our dream of having a professional photography studio. We are passionate photographers and we are realizing this dream! For my part I have been honing my skills as a photographer.

Combined with the tremendous opportunity that my flying career has presented I am putting together quite a portfolio of Maldives images. If I had to guess I would say that I have easily accumulated over 10,000 images in this past year alone! I never leave home without my camera in hand and as result I tend to see the world slow down around me. I savour moments that others may miss, and then record them so that they may see for themselves what I see!

The Maldives is a truly amazing place to be, especially as a photographer! The landscape is truly amazing and unique but this is not the only thing that is worth the attention. The people are really fascinating, friendly and so utterly photogenic! I have a blog that I feel reflects the variety of photographic inspiration that is to be found in the Maldives.

My job as a seaplane pilot here provides me with unique access to some of the most amazing resorts I have ever seen, along with views that are without a doubt nothing short of spectacular. As we normally work from dawn until dusk I have been able to witness sunrises and sunsets that once photographed and printed look to be more like paintings rather than simple photographs.

The geography of the Maldives, as I have mentioned in a few of my blog posts, is really something to beheld. On the days when the visibility is unlimited and the seas are calm I am mesmerized by the symmetrical layout of the lagoons that surround each Atoll. As I fly past the Northern edge of North Ari Atoll and look south, it is as if they go on forever, one by one as if they were placed there with purpose in mind.

I often think on those days that the people I have aboard feeling the same thing as I do, when they stare out the window gazing upon the majesty that is the Maldives. To be certain it is not only the North and South Ari Atoll that offer this sight. Every atoll group I witness has its own unique features that quite honestly can take even the most seasoned traveller’s breath away.

As we start to descend, in preparation for the approach, it is certainly not uncommon to see Manta Rays smoothly swimming through the clear blue water, Dolphins frolicking, Tuna chasing down their prey, the odd String Ray gliding along the sandy beaches and if you are really lucky maybe even a Whale Shark or two! What other place can offer such scenery, few if any!

Along with the views I also get to meet many local people and have at times been invited into homes to sit with some of the kindest and most gracious hosts I have ever met. I have thought to myself it would be a wonderful thing for the islands to somehow offer a bread and breakfast style accommodation for those travellers looking to get off the beaten path and discover another facet of the Maldives.

I think there is a natural disposition in many of the people here to offer a warm, friendly environment to the traveller that seeks to learn more about the rich heritage that the people of the Maldives have to offer.

If it is water sports you are after then you have to come for a visit! Some of the nicest surf breaks in the world are here and some of them as close as a 45 minute Dhoni ride from the Capital City Malé. If your game is Kite Surfing then you are also in the right spot as on most days there is a steady 10 to 15 knot breeze and if you are really skilled there are the days during Monsoon season it cranks up and “air time” is more than available!

Of course the diving is a big draw as well and with so many spots it is hard to go wrong. Every single resort I visit has a dive centre and easy access to outstanding reefs with abundant marine life!

The Maldives is nothing short of amazing in so many respects!

Signing off for now, Rob McIntyre, one of the barefoot pilots!

About the Author: Rob McIntyre is a barefoot pilot working in Maldives. He is also a keen photographer and runs a blog to share his experience of Maldives. To see the profound moments he has captured of his life in Maldives visit him at We at Maldives Promotion House appreciate and support his work. Moreover we hope that his dreams come true. Good luck Rob McIntyre.

Places To Go

Escape to paradise: A review of Amari Raaya Maldives



Amari Raaya Maldives resort is a true gem in the midst of the stunning Raa Atoll. From the moment I arrived at the airport, the resort’s warm hospitality and attention to detail impressed me. The seamless transfer by seaplane was an exhilarating experience, and the Manta Air lounge provided a comfortable and enjoyable waiting area with delectable snacks and drinks.

Upon reaching the resort, I was welcomed by the friendly resort team and treated to a delicious lunch at the Amaya Food Gallery, which set the tone for the culinary delights that awaited during my stay. My accommodation, the Beach Pool Villa, was a haven of luxury, offering a spacious and well-appointed retreat with the added indulgence of a private pool overlooking the pristine beach.

The variety of villa options at Amari Raaya caters to all preferences, whether guests seek proximity to the beach, breathtaking ocean views, or the magic of Maldivian sunsets. The resort leaves no stone unturned in ensuring every guest’s experience is unforgettable.

The culinary journey at Amari Raaya is an exceptional highlight of the resort. With eight diverse dining options, guests can explore a world of flavors and indulge in a gastronomic adventure. From the vibrant and flavorful street food at Amaya Food Gallery to the delightful rooftop bar Ampers&nd, offering stunning sunset views and delectable cocktails, every meal was a delight to the senses. The incorporation of Italian favorites and locally-inspired seafood dishes further added to the culinary magic.

As the sun set, the resort transformed into a vibrant hub of cultural experiences. With live music, traditional Boduberu nights, and cultural events, guests could immerse themselves in the local traditions and create lasting memories of their time in the Maldives.

Amari Raaya Maldives resort is a perfect fusion of luxury, natural beauty, and authentic experiences. Whether you seek relaxation on the beach, exploration of marine life, or the excitement of cultural festivities, the resort offers something for everyone. The attentive staff, incredible dining options, and enchanting surroundings make Amari Raaya a dream destination for any traveler looking to experience paradise in the Maldives. I can’t wait to return to this slice of heaven in the future!

In Summary

  • Accommodations:
    • Beach and overwater villas provide unobstructed views of the Raa Atoll waters.
    • Range of options including Beach Villas, Ocean Pool Villas, and the lavish Amari Presidential Villa.
  • Dining:
    • Eight food and beverage outlets offer a fusion of Thai, Asian, Maldivian, and Western flavors.
    • Options include the vibrant Amaya Food Gallery, romantic Ampers&nd, and private beach dinners.
  • Recreation and Play:
    • Dive into a variety of recreational activities, including scuba diving courses and water sports.
    • Facilities like Fitness and Yoga Pavilion, Artist Zone, and Chef’s Garden cater to diverse interests.
  • Services:
    • 24-hour room service, tailored excursions, and family-friendly amenities like baby care and babysitting.
  • Special Occasions:
    • Ideal venue for weddings, events, or exclusive island takeovers, turning dreams into reality.
  • Overall Atmosphere:
    • A castaway experience amid 5-star luxury, combining natural beauty with unparalleled hospitality.

Amari Raaya Maldives invites guests to escape the world and celebrate life’s best moments in this tropical haven.

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Places To Go

JA Manafaru: A luxurious oasis away from the rest



My recent stay at JA Manafaru, a private island resort at the northern tip of the Maldives, was nothing short of a dream come true. From the moment I arrived, I was enveloped in a world of unparalleled luxury and natural beauty. The Island Residence, with its three bedrooms and two stunning swimming pools, provided the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable vacation.

Upon my arrival, I was treated to a truly unique experience – a floating lunch in the private pool. As I savored delectable cuisine while gently floating in crystal-clear waters, I knew that this would be a vacation like no other. The attention to detail and the commitment to providing exceptional experiences was evident from the very start.

One of the highlights of my stay was the exclusive dinner I attended at the launch of ‘Wellness Your Way,’ a lifestyle dining initiative focused on luxury traveler wellbeing. This innovative concept aims to cater to the evolving tastes and preferences of guests, offering a range of plant-based meat, cheese, and seafood options. What’s more, they serve homemade low-carb bread and pasta made from konjac. Executive Chef Moosa and his team deserve special recognition for their dedication to creating delightful vegan dishes like “buffalo” mozzarella and sugar and low-carb nut brownies. This commitment to offering diverse and health-conscious dining options is truly commendable.

Another memorable experience was the beachside picnic lunch, where we were treated to stunning ocean views while indulging in a delicious meal. The blend of nature and culinary delights made it an enchanting and picturesque affair.

JA Manafaru is more than just a luxury resort; it’s a soulful sanctuary that seamlessly combines Eastern spirituality and Arabic hospitality. Nestled in the Haa Alifu Atoll, this resort offers a level of privacy and seclusion that is truly unmatched. Surrounded by the endless blue of the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, the location alone is awe-inspiring.

The resort’s accommodation options are equally impressive. From spacious beach villas to stunning water villas and residences, each comes with its own private pool, and in some cases, even two pools. The sizes of these accommodations range from 135 sqm to a massive 2000 sqm, ensuring that every guest enjoys a generous and comfortable living space. Even the entry-level options here surpass the deluxe categories found at most other Maldivian resorts. The accommodations are designed to make every moment of your stay special, from the breathtaking views to the modern amenities and elegant decor.

What truly sets JA Manafaru apart is the unwavering commitment to providing exceptional service. The staff here understands the art of hospitality and goes above and beyond to ensure that your every need is met. Whether it’s arranging a special meal, planning a surprise, or simply offering warm and friendly assistance, the service is impeccable.

JA Manafaru also prides itself on offering a holistic wellness experience. The resort is dedicated to rejuvenating not only your body but also your soul and mind. Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Maldives, you’ll find it easy to let go of stress and embrace tranquility. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a honeymoon destination, or a place to recharge, this resort has it all.

JA Manafaru is a tropical paradise that exceeds all expectations. From the lavish accommodations to the innovative dining experiences and the natural beauty of the Maldives, every aspect of this resort is designed to create unforgettable memories. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor to the Maldives, JA Manafaru is an experience that will leave you in awe. This is where luxury, wellness, and natural beauty converge, making it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an exceptional tropical getaway.

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Places To Go

Revitalize your mind, body, and soul at The Spa, Grand Park Kodhipparu



A Journey to Wellness, Restored and Revitalized

When you set foot on the pristine shores of Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives, you’re embarking on a voyage of holistic well-being. And at the heart of this resort, you’ll discover The Spa, a haven of rejuvenation where your wellness journey begins.

A Sanctuary by the Sea

Step into The Spa at Grand Park Kodhipparu, and you’ll instantly find yourself in a peaceful sanctuary, overlooking the azure sea. Here, the aim is to cater to your every need and guide you on a path to total well-being. The spa’s holistic approach ensures that you emerge from their signature Maldives luxury spa sessions feeling completely restored and revitalized.

Tailored Wellness for You

At The Spa, no two wellness journeys are the same. The dedicated team of therapists takes the time to understand your unique needs and preferences, customizing your experience to suit you perfectly. Whether you seek relaxation, rejuvenation, or a blend of both, The Spa is ready to deliver.

Award-Winning Signature Spa Treatments

The hallmark of The Spa at Grand Park Kodhipparu is its selection of award-winning signature spa treatments. These therapies draw upon Asian spa techniques, incorporating the wisdom of Balinese and Ayurvedic traditions. The result? An inner peace that’s hard to come by in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

A Renewed and Glowing Self

The Spa’s focus is clear: to help you discover a renewed and glowing self. As you indulge in these expertly designed treatments, you’ll feel the stresses of life melt away. You’ll reconnect with your inner calm, leaving you with a sense of peace and a radiance that goes far beyond the physical.

The Essence of Phytomer

The Spa at Grand Park Kodhipparu proudly partners with Phytomer, a renowned brand of body and skincare products. With its origins deeply rooted in the heart of France, Phytomer is globally celebrated for its holistic approach to well-being. Phytomer’s commitment to eco-friendly and paraben-free oils, creams, and balms sets it apart.

Science Meets Nature

Phytomer takes a holistic approach to wellness, promoting a soulful and healthy lifestyle. Their products seamlessly blend the finest natural-origin ingredients with science-based solutions, resulting in visible improvements for the skin, body, and mind. Each treatment at The Spa is an invitation to experience the harmonious union of science and nature.

Soulful and Healthy Lifestyle

Phytomer and The Spa share a common goal: to promote a soulful and healthy lifestyle. They understand that true wellness extends beyond the physical, reaching deep into the soul. The connection between mind, body, and spirit is at the core of their philosophy, and it’s a connection they aim to nurture with every treatment.

At The Spa, Grand Park Kodhipparu, you’re not just experiencing a spa session; you’re embarking on a wellness journey. It’s a journey that prioritizes your well-being, revitalizes your spirit, and leaves you feeling more alive than ever.

The partnership with Phytomer, their commitment to holistic well-being, and their award-winning signature spa treatments ensure that every moment at The Spa is an investment in your health and happiness. When you leave this tranquil sanctuary, you’ll carry with you a renewed sense of self and a lasting connection to the beauty of the Maldives.

So, when you visit Grand Park Kodhipparu, don’t forget to embark on this journey to wellness, restoration, and revitalization at The Spa. It’s an experience that will stay with you long after you’ve left the shores of this paradise on Earth.

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