Thursday, May 22, 2014

HOTEL CHECK MALDIVES, Four Seasons Landaa Giravaaru

One of the favourite stops in paradise for Select Collection customers is Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giravaaru. We called again at the hotel just to keep up with developments...

There are many impressive features at Landaa Giravaaru, starting with an avenue of palms leading you grandly from the arrival jetty in the turquoise lagoon to the lobby. The sun radiates straight down from the equatorial heavens as you walk this wide tropical way. A whole coconut with a straw brings cool sustenance as you sit in the lobby admiring the voluptuous Four Seasons orchids.

The tropical avenue
There is a circular road trafficked with golf carts, bikes (and joggers), and the island feels quite big and extravagantly lush. It even has a jungle area. See the map.

A brief circular tour by golf cart took us to some of Landaa Giravaaru's world class facilities  – an Olympic pool, a large separate seawater pool and a separate children's pool at the kids club. Plus another lap pool by the beach viewed from Italian restaurant Blu over its blue glassware. The main beach is a wide and dazzling white, with guests lying glamorously visible. It is neat, immaculate ... not a wild beach.

Sizzling white beach

Putting on sandals after days of wandering barefoot at Soneva Fushi, we noted happily that in the daytime there are people walking barefoot at Landaa Giravaaru. The evenings are a different matter...a chance to be seen in company on designer heels.

They are currently doing a lot of work on the beaches. So you can choose really –  the way of nature, where wind and water move the sand around and the beaches change month by month. Or you can  maintain the beaches along the lines of the first picture postcard taken of paradise.

This was a hotel inspection and there was no time to test all the wonderful facilities. We have great reports from our clients about Landaa Giravaaru; it impresses with the number of restaurants, the variety of food on offer, the careful tasteful details, the spacious accommodation, and the amazing staff who are devoted to making any wish come true.

Trip Advisor gives this typical report

...any of the Maldivian islands are beautiful and Landaa Giraavaru is not an exception. But very few if a single one have such care in all details


103 thatched villas and bungalows on the beach or over the water. Click here for a map showing the layout of the villas at Landaa Giravaaru. 

We inspected a beach bungalow (75 sqm). Coming straight from other resorts with more rustic d├ęcor, it was interesting to find ourselves in a classic interior, harking back to fairytale romance with a touch of perhaps Caribbean colour. These looked more like princess drapes in style  (though they no doubt doubled for both style and mosquito protection).

Princess prettiness in Beach bungalow 117 - white and
blue, marine colours
Spacious, light, sleek sitting area with view out to your pool

The garden facilities were splendid for outdoor living. Lots of open furnished area under roof – which you need in the heat. And a lovely tiled sparkling pool. There was privacy from the greenery fronting the beach, but a view over it. (At Kuda Huraa our villa had a tall tropical hedge for privacy.)

Beach villa

I missed seeing the beach villa. Neil Bedford's blog gives his ecstatic impressions of this accommodation and the water villas.

Caring conservation

Very impressive and heart warming - congratulations Four Seasons.

Landaa Giravaaru has a magnificent Marine Discovery Centre. This is very educational, with loads of information on coral and coral restoration, natural balance etc, and an aquarium. 

On top of that they have a refuge for turtles who have been injured. Most have a limb missing and have lost their buoyancy – all due to net fishing. Many of them will recover and be put back in the sea. It hurts to see them swimming with only three legs in the refuge, one ripped off in a fishing net. At least the local people are turning in the turtles when they find them. And another good thing – most fishing in the Maldves is line fishing. This is what will save their seas as net fishing creates gruesome destruction.

Missing a limb, when this turtle gets back his bouyancy
he will be released into the open sea
Like elsewhere in the Maldives kids and beginners can quickly learn enough to dive. They have a house reef close in, kept in good shape by work on coral restoration - coral frames, which people donate. Then of course there are dive excursions further afield.

Surfing too is one of the thrills for guests at Landaa Giravaaru. Then you can always do some serious swim training...

Olympic pool at Landaa Giravaaru, just
one of its many top facilities


The spa is right at the frontline embracing two popular trends  – overwater massage cabins and a deep commitment to Ayurveda. A lot of clients come to Landaa Giravaaru just to do the Ayurvedic wellness programmes including Ayurvedic diet and treatments. Landaa Giravaaru makes a serious effort with three trained Ayurvedic doctors – who each have spent five years at university. Ayurveda largely focuses on prevention, meaning one doesn't have to be ill to benefit from a consultation with one of the  physicians, who will recommend diet or treatments based on your basic type ("dosha"). Spread over a 2.5 acre park the Ayurvedic cabins are in peaceful tropical setting. 

Overwater spa cabin

Seen from our golf cart - the circular road
through lush greenery

Getting to Four Seasons Landaa Giravaaru...

The normal route is direct by seaplane - a 30 minute scenic flight from Male internaitonal airport. We arrived by speedboat over the pristine waters of the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO biosphere reserve. As we stepped onboard the Four Seasons speedboat we were handed life jackets and (eco-friendly) glass bottles of water  in rubber "wetsuits" to keep cool and prevent breakage.

Thank you Four Seasons...working to preserve this treasure of mankind.

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