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Client Blog: Helen and David enjoy Atmosphere Kanifushi, Maldives


I discovered the idyllic island resort Atmosphere Kanifushi in 2016 and try not to think about when or if I may get to return.


My coping mechanism is confidently being able to recommend the hotel to clients, knowing that they too will also experience a little piece of paradise that will stay with them forever.


Over to Helen and David...


 

Culture and wildlife have been our top priorities for “big” holidays over recent years, so a Maldives holiday hadn’t yet made the wish list.


However, last autumn as the weather was changing for the worse, I made the “mistake” of watching a TV programme based at the most beautiful Maldivian resort and could almost feel the relaxation.


My husband, David, isn’t a fan of winter so the suggestion to investigate holiday options with Jo met little resistance.


With so many islands to consider, selecting the right one can be overwhelming, but Jo’s ability to listen to what was important to us helped narrow things down.


Her advice to opt for Kanifushi’s excellent all-inclusive plan was spot-on and we were blessed with ten days of the desired sunshine, white sands, turquoise seas, tropical fish, good food, service and relaxation.



We flew with Qatar Airways from Birmingham, our local airport, via Doha to Male then by seaplane to Kanifushi.


It’s a long journey but it all went smoothly and although it seemed a bit chaotic at Male, it was very well organised and we quickly identified our resort rep who escorted us to the seaplane check-in desk.


I wasn’t sure why he needed to take our photo but later realised this was to ensure the staff could greet us by names - clever! He took our bags to be weighed and tagged and we didn’t see them again until they were delivered to our rooms.



The seaplane was a new experience for us. The terminal has a nice lounge with refreshments provided and useful facilities to change and shower.


I had a few butterflies before boarding but despite the noise, heat and being a bit cramped, the 35-minute journey was great fun with lovely views of different islands, sandbanks, lagoons, and a variety of sea colours.


Kanifushi was very recognisable as we approached and despite our tiredness, we were excited to be received by the staff with smiles, clapping, drumming, and necklaces woven from palm leaves.



After a brief island tour by buggy, our GRO (guest relations officer) showed us to our room and set us up with his WhatsApp number for any questions or information.


Our first six nights were in a beach villa, conveniently close to the resort and just a short walk to the main buffet restaurant, spa, dive centre and reception.


The detached villas feel very private with decking areas screened by trees and shrubs and the beach visible at the end of our “garden”.


The huge bathroom was “open air” with high surrounding walls and contained a large jacuzzi bath, massive walk-in shower, WC cubicle and double sinks.


The well-equipped villa had a “lived in” feel that fitted with the natural, rustic feel of the island, complemented by all mod cons, excellent inside aircon and a super comfortable bed.


The mini bar was topped up (to overflowing) twice a day and housekeeping kept everything spick and span on their twice daily visits.



I was keen to see the different types of accommodation and cheekily asked to look around the beach villas with their pools just in case I get to visit again!


All seem to be slightly different in outside layout and I preferred the ones with an open view to the beach from the pool.


The Grand Residence is likely to be beyond our budget but if you have deep pockets it is gorgeous for a family. Just wow!



For our last four nights, we moved to a Sunset Water Villa with our own pool and steps down into the sea.


I initially thought that a pool may be an unnecessary luxury, but it was so refreshing and peaceful to lie on a lilo and just relax in the late afternoon when the sun had lost some of its intensity.

My room tour hopefully provides an insight into our surroundings including the fabulous glass-panelled views into the water below…



I’m glad we could experience the water villa as it’s the accommodation we had associated with the Maldives. Sitting by the pool at sunset was a real highlight but I missed having the beautiful white sands of the beach villa on my doorstep.


Both villas were quiet and even when sitting on the beach, it was hard to believe there were other holidaymakers there. Everyone is so spread-out you rarely see anyone.



The All-Inclusive plan was fantastic as not only did it cover food and drink but also lots of activities including spa sessions, snorkelling trips, and other boat trips.


Spice, the main buffet restaurant, offered a huge selection, catering for all tastes and had several live cooking stations.


At lunchtime freshly cooked pizzas and pasta were available and, in the evening, I headed for the grill section as the chef cooked your choice of fresh tuna, reef fish, calamari, chicken or beef with various marinades and matched with delicious salads and freshly made Indian breads.


The casual Sri Lankan street food shack on the rocky side of the island surrounded by the sound of the crashing waves was a highlight too.



We ate at all the restaurants over our stay paying extra only for the à la carte meal at Sunset and the Teppanyaki meal at the Pier. All were wonderful, with interesting, delicious dishes beautifully presented in lovely settings and top-notch service.


We had the Teppanyaki restaurant to ourselves that night and therefore a private chef, who delighted in chatting and putting on a full show for us.



Service was outstanding throughout the resort from the warm smiles to many of the waiting staff remembering our names, room numbers and preferences.


I had asked in advance if David could have a non-alcoholic beer and a secret stash included in our all-inclusive plan had been kept for him, and wherever we went he was treated as a VIP 😊


Also included were two excellent spa session treatments each and a couple of enjoyable boat trips.


On the sunset cruise fishing trip, we both caught red snapper and saw dolphins, and on the Naifura trip, we visited a turtle sanctuary and wandered around the small town.



With no house reef on the island, guests are offered guided daily snorkelling trips to different reef areas.


I’d not snorkelled for many years, so to see the tropical marine life, including spotting three stingrays, was wonderful.


Activities and entertainment were available every evening including an outdoor cinema and live performances, all nicely low-key, which suited us after full days of sun, sea, snorkelling and plenty of food and drink. The bars for a post-dinner nightcap were lovely.



The weather was wonderful. Dry, hot, sunny and humid inland but with a lovely sea breeze.


Although it was more than we would usually spend on a winter break, it was great value and the holiday met and exceeded our expectations.


We loved the whole thing; the natural feel, the mixture of greenery with the trees and shrubs, the wildlife, sea life and the contrast of the wild rocky side of the island with its crashing waves, and the peaceful side with white sands gently lapped by shallow seas.


Friends told me I’d be bored and should take lots of books. I didn’t open one! There was plenty to do and valuable time to recharge peacefully and enjoy the opportunity to do nothing, too.


Jo did a great job; her choice was excellent, and we would recommend both her and Kanifushi to friends and family.


Thanks, Jo – we loved it!


Helen & David





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