Finolhu (translated as ‘sandbank’) is a relative newcomer to the Maldives’ luxury island resort scene (2016), but its unique setting across four islands with beaches about two km long, have earned it awards and chic island reputation. Reached by 30-minute seaplane from the International Airport, Finolhu is spectacularly located in Baa Atoll, a biosphere reserve protected by UNESCO for its diverse natural marine habitat. For this reason, Baa Atoll has always been a favourite amongst keen divers wishing to discover the 1200 species found here. Baa Atoll is the world’s greatest hotspot for manta rays. From May to November dozens of them come to Hanifaru Bay, only 30 minutes away by Dive Centre speedboat.
Finolhu’s main island is a lush green oasis encircled by white coral sands, which stretch towards the neighbouring islets. To one side is a jetty of over-water villas with direct access into the turquoise lagoon from private decks. This luxurious island paradise has 125 private villas, a choice of four dining venues from casual to gourmet and a host of motorised and non-motorised water-sports on the lagoon, excursions from deep-sea fishing at dawn to diving in the morning and dolphin cruises at sunset in groups or privately with the Dive Butler. On land there’s tennis, indoor and outdoor gym areas, a Movement pavilion for yoga, and overwater Spa for wellness and massage treatments, and children have the ‘Oceaners’ club with supervised activities for tots to teens to keep busy and happy.