Often referred to as ‘teardrops in the Indian Ocean’, the visually stunning Maldive Islands must surely be some of the world’s finest and most beautiful natural wonders. With crystal clear balmy waters, swaying palm trees and some of the most incredible beaches, this really is a paradise destination.

Renowned for its abundance of 5* luxury properties, with classic over-water villas, resorts with award winning spas and outstanding family properties, the choice is most impressive. Whether you choose to be active and participate in a variety of land and water sports, or just want to lie back and relax in a paradise setting, or to pamper yourself in the luxurious spa, this destination has it all. Oh, did I mention the food ? I will come to that !

If you enjoy water sports you really can’t get any better snorkelling or scuba diving than in the clear blue waters of these remote paradise islands. As a keen diver myself. I recently enjoyed a week sailing and diving around the central atolls, before heading off up to the far north and a stay at JA Manafaru. Anyone interested in Maldives diving – speak to me !

A seventy minute seaplane flight from the capital city Male takes you over some of the most jaw dropping islands – small tips of long extinct volcanoes with their exposed sandbanks and fringe reefs, rising from the depths. Don’t forget to have your camera at the ready!

JA Manafaru villas

As you touch down on the flat calm azure seas at JA Manafaru, the management staff (including your personal villa host) are there to greet you. Following a very quick ‘familiarisation’ tour of the island and you arrive at your selected villa, baggage already delivered, and the holiday really begins.

I was accommodated in a Beach Bungalow, which for the ‘lead in’ category, was simply stunning. Well laid out accommodation, comprising of a large airy bedroom with lounge area, an outside private bathroom, complete with plunge pool, a private terrace and ‘sala’ to the front, with direct access to the whitest of sandy beaches and bluest sea – and completely deserted – paradise indeed !

JA Manafaru bedroom

The 5* luxury hotel JA Manafaru has 84 rooms, including beach bungalows, sunrise and sunset over- water villas, one and two bedroom suites and a Grand Water two bedroom villa. With a library, chill out zone, kids zone and club, a fabulous spa / fitness centre, watersports centre, seven restaurants and bars, you really lack for nothing.

From my personal experience, the levels of service and attention to detail were some of the very best I have ever enjoyed in over thirty years of working in travel, and being privileged to visit some of the most exclusive destinations and hotels.

Oh I nearly forgot about the food ! Well food is always a matter of personal preference, but I would challenge anyone to find fault here ! With such an international clientele, the choice and quality of cuisine was exceptional. From buffet to fine dining gourmet restaurants and an intimate ‘Cellar restaurant’ surrounded by an incredible selection of wines – JA Manafaru promises to satisfy every taste.

It was with a very heavy heart that we had to say goodbye to this wonderful property and begin the journey home, though the experience was made more comfortable by specific scheduled seaplane flights timed to meet your arrival and departure flights, and having their own private lounge to briefly wait for your onward connection.

Between us all here in the office, we have accumulated a wealth of knowledge of many of the Maldives properties, and would be delighted to discuss your holiday plans with you.


Steve Watson

Please feel free to contact me at: steve@omegahale.com or on 0161 941 4721