The first thing we noticed was the luscious vegetation surrounding the resort and this is because the island is one of the largest resort lagoons in the Maldives.
Located in the Shaviyani Atoll, Fairmont is a luxury family destination with a core focus on sustainability. It is one of the only resorts in the Maldives to house its own sustainability lab on-site.
Located in the Shaviyani Atoll, Fairmont is approximately a 55-minute seaplane journey from Male International airport. We waited almost two hours in their lounge before boarding our seaplane for the resort. Normally the wait shouldn’t have taken that long but as we were waiting for other guests to arrive and due to several flight delays, we had to keep ourselves occupied with the children in the lounge over refreshments, snacks and board games. The lounge itself wasn’t anything over the top, a rather small space and slightly outdated but decent enough to wait around for your transfer. A shuttle bus service runs throughout the return journey from the airport to the lounge as opposed to a private car or van which other resorts may offer.
After finally boarding our seaplane and arriving at the jetty we were greeted with either Champagne or a fresh beverage before making our way to our villa. The first thing we noticed was the luscious vegetation surrounding the resort and this is because the island is one of the largest resort lagoons in the Maldives. Therefore expect to see geckos and little lizards crossing by or tiny little crabs finding shelter amongst the trees and within the sand, which our villa was no stranger to.
There are a total of 120 villas at the Fairmont of varying options - beach villas, tented jungle villas, and a variety of overwater villas. During our three nights, we were accommodated in their Beach Sunrise Villa, which upon first impression was spacious and designed with families in mind. The layout starts off with a large king sized bedroom facing the tropical foliage and the beach, and to the right hand side a living room turned into a second bedroom for our children. This is where the minibar is located offering complimentary glass bottled waters throughout your stay as well as complimentary teas and Nespresso coffees. Other items from the mini bar are charged additionally to your room. Beyond the main room and towards the back of the king sized bedroom leads to a large and beautifully laid out bathroom with a separate shower to one side, separate toilet, a large vanity and double-sink area as well as a separate outdoor bathtub. Out front is a 14-sqm plunge pool amongst a tropical garden with the turquoise waters a mere inches away.
In terms of style, it speaks of laid back luxury and beach villa vibes encouraging you to explore and take a dip into the ocean with your complimentary snorkelling gear. The overall quality of the villa was moderate with things like the air conditioning which we felt could be updated as it’s remote controlled and rather loud. Otherwise everything was in working order and comfortable enough for two adults and two children. What we liked about the villa was the sliding door which allowed us to separate the kids during bedtime. The large outdoor space was an added benefit as it gave the kids space to explore and play about in privacy. The cleanliness of the villa was as expected with housekeeping service provided twice a day (morning and evening for turn down service).
Service was generally good at the resort and staff did their best to accommodate our needs when things seemed slightly out of place. For example on the first night, one of the sliding doors came loose and started slanting but within a couple of minutes after raising the issue, the team quickly resolved it. On the second night we spotted a dead cockroach in the corridor which is probably something that just happens as we have to remember that we’re on a genuine (not man-made) island with creatures all about. We kindly requested our butler to try their best to ensure there were no cockroaches hiding about and they did their best to lightly exterminate the room. For the duration of our stay, we were happy to say that there were no more cockroaches. The speed and efficiency of service at the resort was well-managed and well-communicated and if things weren’t up to standard for example, the team becomes deeply apologetic and have an eagerness to do better.
During our stay we mostly dined at the resort's main restaurant, Raha Market. It’s where most of the guests congregate for each meal as it offers a buffet concept for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food was probably the highlight of our stay as each buffet service offered different selections that gave guests a real chance of enjoying their stay without getting bored of the same food. Therefore, dining is never a bore, and you can expect to see many different varieties of dishes at Raha Market. Things like duck breast glazed in orange, chilli crab, a dedicated section for grilled meats and seafood, a whole dessert bar replete with cakes, puddings and more cakes including a fondue and ice cream station, an intricate salad bar, a dedicated kids station changing daily as well as a pizza station serving hot pizza right out of the stone oven. The outdoor restaurant overlooks the beach and is right next to the main pool, making it convenient for guests to go from one area to the next. For guests who may find the buffet too filling, they have the option of ordering from the a la carte menu and they can also accommodate different dietary/allergy requirements if you let them know beforehand. On days where we felt quite full, a coffee was sufficient before awaiting the next meal.
The Kids Club appeared to be a nice little nook for children with a main play area containing various small toys and soft balls. Above is a crochet-like net where children can walk and run between on before attempting to go down the slide. There’s also a mini outdoor sand area with some chickens cooped up which the resort will be sending to their on-site farm once it’s ready. We only sampled one of the activities whilst there, and would’ve otherwise liked to have seen other activities. Staff were attentive and playful with the children, however the proof that the kids club was a fun place to be at was when our children could spend a couple of hours playing on their own without getting bored. As the Kids Club is in close proximity to the main pool area, this makes it ideal for parents to drop their kids off while they enjoy the poolside in peace. The best part about it all is that children get to meet with other children and from what we saw, they all had a great time playing with one another through their imaginative play. It is a reliable place to leave your kids if you want to spend some quality time away from them and they really do enjoy coming back to play, especially when it gets too hot outside.
In terms of activities we experienced their Willow Stream Spa’s Signature Massage which was certainly a treat. The treatment lasted 60 minutes and began with a light foot scrub before being asked to select an essential oil (between neroli and ginger). The therapeutic massage offered a tranquil escape and is an ideal place to escape to when at the resort. The treatment rooms are a beauty and certainly a change in scenery. Another activity that we experienced was snorkelling at the resort’s Coralarium which is definitely something one should experience when here. One aspect that we really admired at Fairmont Sirru Fen Fushi is that they are one out of two resorts that have set up their own plastic recycling facility. Working closely with their on-site marine biologist, the resort is working hard to communicate the urgency of implementing similar processes to try and save the ocean and be an active participant. Getting guests involved through a fun and educational approach is another way in which the resort shares its message. We can only hope that the message continues to spread beyond the resorts in the Maldives.
Located in Leogang, in the SalzburgerLand region of Austria, lies Forsthofgut: a true gem for families and couples in search of an all-encompassing nature retreat that makes holidaying an act of togetherness.
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