08 Nov 2018
From ice-skating on the shore (yes, really!) to snorkelling with Manta rays and BBQs on a desert island, Jumeirah Vittaveli offers plenty of activities for those seeking a switch from stretching out on South Malé Atoll’s pristine beaches. Here, the hotel’s General Manager, Amit Majumder, shares his essential guide to the Maldives.
What family-friendly activities would you include in your guide to the Maldives?
“I would definitely recommend our ice rink—it’s the first in the world where you can practice pirouettes or play ice hockey next to the white sandy beaches of the Indian Ocean. We provide skates, safety gear and skating aides in the form of marine animals such as dolphins. Each entry comes with a delicious ice-cream sundae to enjoy afterwards. The rink is eco-friendly, made from a novel material from Switzerland that does not require cooling, so you will be skating in the gentle breeze of an open-air palm-thatched pavilion.
Another highlight is our semi-submarine. It takes you on an adventure along our house reef in an air-conditioned glass-walled submarine boat. You’ll see lion fish, butterfly fish, oriental sweetlips and more. You might even be so lucky to spot a turtle or a small reef shark.”
What is there for couples to do in the Maldives?
“Jumeirah Vittaveli recently launched an over-water wedding pavilion, where couples can say their wedding vows in a unique fairy-tale setting, decorated to their requirements, with everything from tropical flowers, opulent chandeliers, multi-tiered wedding cakes and more. What better place to say “I do” than at the end of a glass-floored aisle over the turquoise lagoon of the Indian Ocean, with nothing but palm trees and white beaches as your backdrop?
We also have villas that have been designed specifically for romantic holidays – our Private Ocean Retreats are free-standing in the lagoon and only accessible by boat, so guests can enjoy the ultimate privacy. We are currently working on enhancing these retreats, with extended open-air decks, multiple lounge areas including a glass-bottomed table for dining over the ocean, overwater hammocks, and the icing on the cake will be the new water slides, leading from the upstairs balcony directly into the gentle lagoon!”
How about the best day excursion for guests to experience more of the island?
“Try a full-day charter of one of our luxury yachts. Our crew will take you to all the best spots around the atoll, where you can snorkel with Manta rays and spot whale sharks. Stop by a deserted sandbank on the way for a BBQ lunch freshly grilled and served by your own personal chef and waiter. Head back to Jumeirah Vittaveli while enjoying the orange and pink hues of a magnificent Maldivian sunset.”
Are there any essentials that guests should pack for the Maldives?
“In my opinion, you don’t really need to pack much for a beach vacation. Guests can purchase all the necessities at our resort boutique. We also provide complimentary sunscreen, after-sun gel and other essentials in the villa. Bring some light evening wear that you can combine with sandals or espadrilles, and a nice beach read to enjoy while sunbathing in one of our cabanas or your own private overwater hammock…”
Where can guests try traditional Maldivian cuisine?
“We celebrate local culture every Friday with our Maldivian night. Our chefs serve a variety of traditional cuisine, including the famous Garudhiya—a broth made with chili and chunks of fresh tuna—and a range of other curries and local delicacies. There’s entertainment with the Bodu Beru—traditional song and dance performed by our in-house colleagues. We also feature Maldivian dishes in our menus, and offer Mashuni and Roshi, the local breakfast made from shredded coconut, smoked tuna, fresh chilli, onions and lime juice, at our breakfast buffet.”
What dishes in particular do you suggest guests sample?
“As well as our delicious Maldivian dishes, you have to try our chefs’ newest creation: the Vittaveli Burger. This is not your usual burger. It went through multiple test stages where our team and guests gave their input on the different variations, and now we have reached the ultimate burger. It’s a combination of avocado, beef pastrami, beef bacon, Australian Angus beef patty blended with 9++ Wagyu, fried egg, tomato, romaine lettuce, caramelized onion, and pesto, served with a side of fresh melon ball salad and sweet potato and pontiac potato fries.”
Is there a signature experience that defines Jumeirah Vittaveli and its service?
“I would say our signature experience is the interaction with our team. Your restaurant hostess, barman, villa attendant, host, server, or even the gardener taking care of the resort landscaping—all our colleagues do their job with a genuine passion and warmth that shines through in every gesture and service they provide.”
What is your personal favourite thing about the Maldives?
“My favourite part about life in the Maldives is living and working with such a wonderful group of people, a true melting pot of cultures and nationalities—all coming together to generate a unique and warm atmosphere. Jumeirah Vittaveli is not only a workplace but the second home for all of us here as we live together on this tiny island in the midst of the Indian Ocean—an island that is its own self-sufficient cosmos, with our own infrastructure, accommodation, leisure activities and more. I’m especially proud of our colleague initiative BOLI; this is an initiative created by colleagues with the aim to support each other as well as surrounding communities. For example, they have recently organized a blood donation camp which will serve to benefit a Maldivian child suffering from Thalassemia, only one of many noble causes they have supported in the past.
Allow our team to indulge you during a stay at Jumeirah Vittaveli on South Malé Atoll in the Maldives.