With his bicycle in tow, and a host of water activities booked, all Rami Khalil needed at the OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, Maldives, was the best in service and facilities that truly completed his paradise retreat. Hadag escapes to sandy shores…
After a year of staying indoors, Hadag’s Rami Khalil was craving a scenery as fresh as Alpine breeze and as beautiful as a gallery-hung landscape paintings. And just as luxury came calling, the Maldives opened up its borders for travel once more. Jetting off to the uber-luxe private island resort – OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, situated in a pristine lagoon in South Malé Atoll – it was time to rekindle the wanderlust and sink into much-needed travel bliss.
When you think of the Maldives, you think of vast white-sand beaches, and the deepest of blue hues in the ocean and sky – this resort encompasses all that and more, making it a repeat tropical travel destination in our books.
Arriving bright and early to the island around 9am, our group is escorted to the private air-conditioned THE OZEN COLLECTION LOUNGE, before our luxurious catamaran ride to our final destination. The lounge provides us with the start we need for our mini holiday, along with a serene and ambient environment. All guests are greeted with a palm leaf garland on arrival and refreshing face towels, along with a variety of drinks and delectable bites and sweets. Staff thoroughly ensure that we receive the full pampering experience from day one.
Upon finally arriving at the port, we step onto a shaded boardwalk where we are heartily greeted by the resort’s general and marketing managers. We are welcomed in the traditional Maldivian way, with the blowing of a conch shell, rhythmic ‘Bodu Beru’ drumming and Sangu whistling. After a few pleasantries and with Kurumba (fresh coconuts) in hand, off we go to our sanctuary.
One With The Ocean
We arrive at the Ocean Pool Suite and are immersed in a beautiful room, emitting vibrant hues of blue across the balcony and subtle oak wood inside, with pops of vibrant colours. This overwater villa also hosts a sunken indoor bath, rain shower, and over-water hammock, to fully bask in those rays of holiday sun, panoramic views of the vast open sea, and direct private access to the lagoon for a quick swim. For days when a dip in the ocean feels a bit too adventurous, we indulge in our private infinity pool. Luxury at this resort knows no bounds. We decide to stay in, relax and unwind after our travels and prepare to explore the island the next morning.
This experience becomes even more serene with our personal Hiyani. In Dhivehi, the Maldivian language, Hiyani means shadow. The moment you arrive at Bolifushi island, you’ll have a personal Hiyani, or butler, who’s available 24/7 to ensure the perfect experience throughout your stay. Your Hiyani will do whatever it takes to give you a hassle-free vacation. From filling out forms to fetching forgotten objects from the room and making dinner reservations, no request is too much for these passionate butlers.
We are lucky enough to be introduced to Yoosuf as our Hiyani, who goes above and beyond to make our stay memorable without us ever having to lift a finger – it really is a privilege to be here. Definitely a professional when it comes to his job, and a highlight of our entire trip was having Yoosuf as our Hiyani. We cannot stop raving about the comfort that Yoosuf brings, and we’re sure that all the Hiyanis are trained with the same high standards, ensuring every visitor has an idyllic time.
Waking up in our over-water villa is like waking up in a dream, we can just faintly hear the waves break against the wooden beams as the sun shines ever-so brightly telling our natural body alarm that it’s the beginning of a brand new, and beautiful day. We start our morning with not just a breakfast in bed, but rather a floating assortment of the island’s freshest breakfast picks in the pool. Pretty as a picture, the basket contains our pick of fresh grapefruit juice, sushi, salmon, muesli with yogurt and red berries, and Arabic mezze. These delightful choices are just a few of the delicious items available on the floating menu, so be sure to try them all and begin your days on the highest of notes.
An Overall Retreat
We definitely indulge in a lot of swimming during our stay, but that is a fraction of the activities and facilities that are offered at the OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI. Adventure, fitness and well-being activities include an open-air ice rink; private yacht charters; a state-of-the-art overwater gymnasium; semi-submarine adventures; water sports and complimentary bicycles.
The island is home to its own idyllic overwater spa; a space for mind and body renewal and rejuvenation where we pamper our senses with the signature treatments, techniques, and yoga sessions amidst the soothing sounds of waves breaking on the shore. If you’re more of an active body, then you may also take a trip to the gym, but we love exploring the island via bicycle. Our set of wheels allows us the independence to get out and about while swiftly cutting through the ocean breezes. These are the only sets of wheels you’ll need here to cruise day or night on the massive island.
And, as much fun as we have over ground, we have even more under the water. At the water sports centre expect nothing but adventure. We indulge in snorkelling, fish feeding and swimming with the sharks in a beautiful blue abyss. One of my favourite stories is of my travel companion’s deep dive while snorkelling, with a stare down with none other than an octopus! He slowly camouflaged into the rocks behind him as a retreat. A once in a lifetime experience that will surely make for a great dinner conversation.
Speaking of dinner, we all know what comes after a dip in the pool and that is a craving for comforting and delicious food. Thankfully, the island has multiple great dining experiences, which are also included in your room package. You can take a gastronomical journey around the world with each restaurant showcasing a special cuisine from Spanish to Modern Arabic, and Indian — not to mention delightful picks of enhanced beverages.
With so much to explore in and out of the ocean, we make sure to schedule a tour of the surrounding villas. The OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI offers 90 secluded villas located overwater and beachfront in six categories, as well as a luxury superyacht. All options feature opulent design, premium amenities, and special services to create an out-of-this-world RESERVE experience for guests. Each villa comes with its special feature, from pavilions facing the sunrise or sunset to slides going directly into the ocean, or lodgings located on a private sandbank with the ocean at their feet. Prices start from USD1,882 per night, including luxurious catamaran transfer, and if you’re really in the mood to splash out, check out the Royal Villa at USD30,000 per night.
Located in the tranquil southern part of the island, the most exclusive accommodation is the Royal RESERVE with a main ‘Sanctuary’ and two Guest Villas – with dramatic Indian Ocean views from almost every corner! Enjoy ultimate seclusion and tranquillity to host family and friends. This private area features a secluded beach, spa pavilion, open-air Jacuzzi, gym, a pool, outdoor and indoor living areas, stunning bathrooms, an overwater bar, and a dedicated restaurant as well as a fully-stocked professional kitchen with a wine cellar. Separate service quarters can accommodate up to four staff. In other words, the ULTIMATE luxury experience.
This holiday getaway is the perfect escape to forget about every day stresses. No matter which room you stay in, or who you go with, the magic of the Maldives will transport you to a tropical utopia, away from the realities of the outside world. This resort is carefully-crafted to create magical memories at every turn, from the Maldivian welcome, to the flawless hospitality, and the tropical adventures.