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2 Sep

Dhigali Maldives

Reviewed by Lulu Hamdan

Everything about Dhigali Resort feels magical; the moment you arrive all you feel is bliss. It’s a true escape from city life. You’ll feel engulfed in nature surrounded by pure shades of blue and green from the water, skies, and trees during the day, and diamonds of the sky at night. Everywhere you look feels like it could be a backdrop for a perfect photo, although you’ll probably be too distracted taking in all the beauty around you to be thinking of your phone…

The Welcome

Once we had landed in Male Airport, we were greeted by a hostess from Dhigali who provided us with a warm welcome, a big smile, and cold towels as she guided to the airport lounge while she managed our check-in and luggage for the 20 minute domestic flight. From there, we took a 40 minute soothing boat ride to the island. As we approached the shore, we were greeted with a big welcome and waves of hello from the team of staff. So sweet!

At the outdoor reception, which felt more like a check-in to an exotic spa, we enjoyed a refreshing welcome drink while checking in to the Beach Bungalow and Lagoon Villa with a Pool.

The staff gave us a map of the island, and explained the process of shuttles which are available 24/7 and can be tracked on either the Dhigali App or at each virtual map stationed at the bus stops. Think – Uber for Maldivian Shuttles. Very convenient!

Beach Bungalow / Lagoon Villa with Pool

Spacious and modern, the rooms will exceed what you expect.

For the Beach Bungalow, the cream colors and dark wood used in the bedrooms are brought to life as an effect of the light coming in from the wide balconies which overlook two beach lounge chairs, a pool, and the sea.

The bathroom was incredible – it is completely outdoors with trees looming overhead! A standalone tub lays in the center, with a glass enclosed shower on one side, toilet on the other, and in the back end of the room, a small path of grey stones leads to an overhead outdoor shower surrounded by greenery and palm trees.

The Lagoon Villa with Pool room is exactly what you’d envision Maldives would be like if you’ve never been, which was the case for me. The wooden pathway out to sea splits down to standalone stunning white villas giving a sense of privacy.

The décor was light and wooden, with a wide balcony overlooking the infinity pool which had the stairway curled around it leading straight down to the sea. Heavenly.  

Fine Dining

The resort offered a delicious breakfast buffet each morning at Capers Restaurant, providing guests with the choice of a classic breakfast of fresh fruits and omelets, or the spicy Maldivian curry options.  You’ll definitely be going for second or third rounds here.

For lunch, we enjoyed grilled fish at Faru surrounded by the trees and seas, and at Jade where the chef cooked up a traditional Maldivian meal – known as ‘kanu mas’ – which was tuna cooked with spices which you eat in flat bread. It was so good, I’d go back just to eat it again.

For dinner, we tested how far we could go with spiciness at Battuta Restaurant, which is tucked away in the corner of the island and has a pathway lit by torches between the lazy palm trees.

My favorite hotspot was Haali Lounge at sunset. You have wooden swings instead of chairs at the bar counter, and beanbag chairs with low tables overlooking the corner of the island giving viewers the best perspective of the sunset. Order the fresh mango cocktail here, you’ll thank me later!

Activities

I always assumed that Maldives was purely for honeymooners or a small group of friends who need a beach getaway, but the resort was also full of families with plenty of beach activities for children. It will also bring out the child in you 🙂

The first excursion I wanted to do, which most guests looked equally excited about, was snorkeling. We took a 15 minute boat ride out to sea where guides carefully explained a process to follow, and next thing I knew, we were in the sea pointing zealously at the turtles beneath us and the schools of colorful fish which didn’t shy away from swimming around us. I did a 360 turn as soon as I got in and caught sight of a baby shark, but it swam away before I could catch anyone’s attention – it was so exhilarating.

I also did the spa experience, because who can resist that in a vacation like this? We began with a reflexology test where you walk on stones to see where the pain originates in your body and enjoying the outdoor jungle-like arena and pool area before settling into the room. The attention to each of the five senses was perfect – from the scents, to the music, to the view, and of course the massage itself, ending with a delicious tea and rice pudding treat.

When we weren’t busy with excursions, we enjoyed the main beach and pool area with fresh and cold coconut drinks. There is a fitness and ‘play’ area with fooseball, table tennis, and pool tables. At sunset time, we did yoga out by the platform in the sea, which was the best way to wrap up the day.

#WhatToPack

For a stay at this sprawling resort, go for a beachside chic wear – long summery dresses, wraparound, and definitely flats!

I love these swimsuits that are a big hit on instagram at the moment – the Lovekini‘s romantic, floral one piece or bikini style is sure to dazzle against a Maldivian sea background. And no, this is not a sponsored post and I don’t even own one yet – just a fan!

Sara Hamdan