Totally Turquoise at Taj Exotica

If you’ve been to the Maldives, or read about its many resorts, turquoise is a colour you’ll be familiar with. It’s a word you’ll have heard more than once.

It is this blend of blues that strike you as soon as you touch down in the island archipelago, if not before (did you have a window-seat on the flight?). But a short speedboat ride away from Male’ International Airport lies Taj Exotica resort, where turquoise has become a way of life.

Located on the thin island of Emboodhoo Finolhu – 55m at its widest point – the resort’s perch, on 200 acres of peacock blue shallows on the north-eastern tip of North Male’ atoll, means you will eat, sleep, and breath this uniquely Maldivian hue.

Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj

Turquoise time begins upon arrival, with shell necklaces, rose petals and bodu beru drum beats washing over you at the jetty as the cyan seas wash beneath. From here, buggies run the length of the 550 metre island, transporting guests to villas and suites arranged either side of the tree-lined thoroughfare.

After tempting you in with aquamarine excerpts through the foliage, the resort leaps out onto the reef with an almond shaped outcrop of overwater villas, culminating in the spectacular Rehendi Suite.

Photograph: Naj
Photograph: Naj

The plentiful supply of water villas offer seclusion and privacy – each with its own pool – and a view from every room of that persistent pigment, which is already beginning to take on hidden meaning.

Ocean and beach suites offer more space and even their own private overwater beach terraces . All rooms have 24 hour dining and butler services.

As part of the the Taj Hotels group, Exotica excels in its quality of cuisine, offering a staggering array of fine dining, and speedy service, in the resort’s two main restaurants. Indeed, some guests claim to have visited the resort for ten years without trying the same dish twice.

For the man who has tried everything, however, there’s always ‘The 200 Dollar Pizza’ featuring foie gras, black truffles, lobster, caviar and edible gold leaf. (Imagine the $300 pizza!!).

The main restaurant, ‘24 Degrees’, offers all-day dining from around the world, while ‘Deep End’ brings guests award-winning wines and specialty grill and seafood dishes, served above that now-familiar shade of blue.

For those seeking something a little more special, they can surround themselves with romance – and more turquoise – on the ‘Wedding Pavillion’. If this still isn’t enough, a quick boat trip to the ‘Ocean Pavillion’ – regarded as one of the most unusual dining spots in the Maldives – allows couples to immerse themselves completely in the amorous azure.

Photograph: Naj
Photograph: Naj

As well as the option to feed the local fish and rays every evening, guests can feed each other, with chefs happy to grant you a ‘license to grill’ at the outdoor cooking stations. (Classes are available every Friday for those hoping to make a good impression on their significant other).

With the taste of turquoise taken care of, Taj Exotica is also notable for its excellent spa facilities, with the services of the Jiva-Grande spa dominating southern end of the island.

Drawing from the company’s home, the spa offers a wide range of Indian treatments with Ayurvedic philosophy, from complementary yoga each day to the spa’s signature Alepa mud treatments. All materials used in the spa are organic – from the linen to the oils – and all treatments are performed in full view of that tranquil tint.

Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj

The large shallows in which the resort resides is perfect for water sports, snorkeling, or just being – with hammocks waiting just a short wade away from the beach. For those anxious to explore the bigger blues beyond, fishing trips, sunset cruises and visits to nearby island communities are all on the menu.

It is with good reason that Taj Exotica continues to win multiple awards each year for its romantic atmosphere and excellent service. By the time you’ve finished your stay, you’ll begin to know how turquoise truly feels!!

Photograph: Naj
Photograph: Naj

Vivanta by Taj offers ‘Maldives Unlimited’

Since a lot of five-star tourists look for ‘heaven with no hidden charges’, Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives has launched ‘Maldives Unlimited’, an all-inclusive plan and a first for the Taj Group.

Starting from this month guests who are staying at Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef, which is located in the North Malé Atoll, will be able to enjoy the new all-inclusive plan, which consist of all meals on an a la carte ‘dine around’ basis at the hotel’s three restaurants, signature cocktails, premium spirits, juices and sparkling wines at the Reef Bar (serves till midnight), as well as Wireless Internet and mini bar service.

To make sure that the guests enjoy the resort’s very own house reef, is found simply metres off-shore, a guided snorkelling trip is also included with the price, as is a sunset champagne cruise in a traditional Dhoni boat and a daily Stingray feeding session.

Aerial, Vivanta By Taj Coral Reef
Aerial, Vivanta By Taj Coral Reef

Rates for the newly enhanced all-inclusive plan is said to start at US $1450 per room per night, on a double occupancy basis. Other services such as Jiva Spa treatments, diving, motorised water sports, boutique, signature experiences and laundry, are subject to Service Charge and GST.

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces consist of 93 hotels in 55 locations across India and also 16 hotels in the Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East.

The name ‘Vivanta’ is a blend of the words vividness, vivacity and ‘bon vivant,’ a French term meaning an appreciation for the good things in life.

Exclusively for the diverse Globetrotter and the Bon vivant – Vivanta by Taj Hotels & Resorts is designed to create experiences that promises to delight, relax, enthuse and poised to challenge you of your expectations of a hotel with its new signature in hospitality – Vivanta by Taj.

The Taj strengthened its presence in the Indian Ocean with its Exotic Brand. The Taj Exotica was evolved as part of Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces set on to position it as a brand that is visibly differentiated by its product philosophy and service design.

Taj Exotica Resort and Spa Maldives is majorly focused on high-end accommodation with intimacy and an environment that allows its guest’s incomparable luxury and seclusion.