The Maldives has a way of turning it on without even trying. The remote, pristine beaches and luxurious resorts are scattered generously throughout the 1,200 islands, and we were fortunate to experience a select few recently. Checking in at Amilla Fushi, we immediately knew that this resort would get us very comfortable, very quickly.
Arriving back in Malé from our previous resort had expectations set high… they were met before we even arrived. The Amilla Fushi experience begins in Malé; it shares a private airport lounge with sister resort, Finohlu, priming you for relaxation. Kept immaculately, the kitchen was lined with fresh pastries and fruit, while the showers were fully stocked with Aesop products.
Amilla Fushi is nestled within the island group of Baa Atoll, and it’s a two-step process in getting there from Malé airport. A short flight in the relatively cramped and humid seaplane took us to a floating transfer deck where a James Bond-esque speedboat arrived, just in time for the guests. A tad sweaty, the experience so far didn’t perturb us. Rather, it reminded us to enjoy everything the adventure had to offer.
Docking at the Amilla Fushi wharf, you’re immediately greeted by friendly faces and offered a much-needed refreshment at their humble arrival hut. The staff, of course, give you a moment to process the postcard-worthy scenery before arranging your journey to the room – the surroundings are stunning in every direction.
The island spans about 1.8kms. While that sounds tiny, it’s considerably larger than many of the other resorts in the Maldives. You can explore the island on the bikes provided, and it’s definitely worth doing so. There are plenty of secluded spots—all fit with hammocks, and some, their own beaches—to watch the afternoon disappear. If you consider riding a bicycle too labour-intensive on your holiday, Amilla Fushi has buggies operating around the island taking you wherever leisure calls.
The island’s upkeep was immaculate around every corner, yet the atmosphere was never hindered as staff managed to attend to their duties whenever we weren’t around. While there are a range of different accommodation styles at Amilla Fushi, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stay in one of the over-water villas that were equally as stunning inside and out.
Stepping into our room we were greeted with the words “Welcome Home”, and it sure felt it. Our room was expansive, to say the least. The lounge was spacious if you’re in the mood for entertaining, and the 5-speaker Bose surround sound is powerful enough to keep your neighbours up. The bedroom almost matches the lounge room’s sheer size. The combination of the extensive pillow menu, quality bed-linen, and a plush king-sized mattress made for some of the best sleeps I’ve had on a luxury holiday.
The adjoining bathroom lived up to the immaculate standards seen throughout Amilla Fushi. The bathtub and shower were both fit for two, while Aesop products made another cameo and filled the vanity just in case the salt-water swims hadn’t freshened you up enough.
We couldn’t fault the room, but the magic truly happened on the water-top terrace. Not doing things by halves, you’ll find your own infinity pool looking out into the ocean, an outdoor shower, and a daybed for those much needed holiday siestas. The rooms next door weren’t far away, but the design of the balcony completely masked that for a little extra seclusion.
For anyone needing to share their experiences online (and why wouldn’t you?), the WiFi has enough grunt behind it to support Facetime or live streaming. The landscape provided some serious social media fodder, but the food also had many of the guests whipping out their phones for the obligatory holiday happy snaps.
You’d probably need a week to fully experience Amilla Fushi’s culinary options, and that’s if you were simply eating and drinking through your entire stay. For our limited time on the island, we couldn’t go past the award-winning Feeling Koi restaurant. It’s described as Japanese with a Latin American twist. This fusion is reflected in the decor and food, and it’s a combination some may question until the food served in front of you. This was without a doubt world-class dining that we’d visit again just for the locally sourced lobster alone.
The adjoining bar, 1 OAK Lounge, continues along an Eastern theme with an extensive list of Japanese whiskeys. The cocktail menu has been carefully thought out and is reminiscent of the local atmosphere – relaxed, stunning, and overwhelmingly inviting; a great place to begin and end the evening.
Amilla Fushi makes a point of sourcing some of the most established chefs from around the world. Similar to what you’d pay in Sydney, the quality far surpassed what’s usually expected from resort ‘fine dining’ without the exorbitant prices. The attention to detail could be found in breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between. Waking up to a buffet that covered everything from pastries to locally inspired options didn’t leave much room, but we’re confident you’d be able to find some once the fresh seafood lunch is served in front of you.
We weren’t lying when we said that there are enough food options for a week-long culinary experience. Following lunch, but before dinner, the staff took us through Amilla Fushi’s cellar door experience. The Maldives aren’t necessarily known for their cheese and wines, although their casual 8,000 bottles should certainly put them on the map.
Activities & Facilities
It’s not just about the food, though. There are a plethora of options for those who lead a more active lifestyle even on their holidays.
We were ushered to a private tennis lesson during our second afternoon on the island, and our coach for the afternoon almost had us convinced we’d be taking up the sport once we arrived home. This probably would’ve been the case if we had time for a second, third, or fourth session on the court.
If you’d rather explore the surrounding seas, the manta ray excursion is well worth the short speedboat ride to the UNESCO world heritage feeding and cleaning station. Being so early in the manta season, we only managed to spot one. Everything you hear on the documentaries about these creatures being so majestic and graceful is 100% true, and the schools of fish in our peripherals only added to the enchantment of being in their environment.
Following an afternoon of exercise, the wellness tree-house proved to be the perfect afternoon retreat. It sits about 12 metres high amid the trees’ canopy. You’ll find a pool on the balcony, which is right next to the outdoor yoga studio where we took a one-on-one lesson with the in-house yogi. This was followed by a massage treatment that really put us in a state of zen.
If you feel the need to extend the mind-body cleanse in the tree-house, a meal from Bodyism Cafe will set you straight – a perfect alternative after indulging at Feeling Koi and 1 OAK lounge. You can book the tree-house for a day experience, or as your accommodation for part of your stay.
The great thing about Amilla Fushi is that you can tailor your stay to be as active or sedentary as you like. You’ll probably have to sacrifice at least one of the many activities we had experienced here if you want a heavy dose of R&R on your holiday – or just stay a bit longer.
That aside, not hiring a jet ski just seems like the wrong thing to do on an island escape. For the first-timers, it really is as exhilarating as you think. If the speed is a touch too much for you, non-motorised watersports are free. Taking out some flippers and a snorkel set is a reasonable middle ground. There’s plenty of sea life (the kind that doesn’t bite) to make nice with in the shallows, too.
With the islands being so close to each other in Baa Atoll, you can only wonder what they have to offer as you’re gazing across the seas from your balcony, unless of course, you fancy an adventure via a short speedboat ride.
Not far away is Finohlu, Amilla Fushi’s sister resort. Going here almost feels like holiday inception, and you could certainly find yourself spending a night or two on this island if you like to mix things up.
Finohlu seemed like a more casual and youthful version of Amilla. The place was beautiful, yet understated in comparison to our home-base for the trip. Rumours suggest this is where you come to party, and the lively food and cocktail menu at the Crab Shack only strengthened them.
Only a few hours at Finohlu just wasn’t enough; we’re sure to go back for a more immersive experience.
The Wrap-Up – Amilla Fushi Review
Amilla Fushi has an eye for resort living that we simply haven’t seen matched in the Maldives, and we could’ve easily done with another four days to experience the resort in all its glory.
The food and beverage options were more than you could ask for. You’d have to possess some seriously specific dietary requirements and preferences to not be able to find something. The service was second to none, and the staff genuinely wanted to make your experience as memorable as possible without being at all overbearing. The resort and all its facilities in its entire 1.8km circumference were kept beyond pristine.
The remote nature of the Maldives means it’s naturally beautiful – it also means it’s a mission to get there, but that’s part of the charm, right? Pair that with the resort’s luxurious detailing and we’re confident you’ll be very content that you’ve found yourself at this island home.