One of the reasons I have always dreamt of visiting the Maldives is the picture-perfect paradise vibe that it emits – unrivaled luxury, white-grained beaches and almost a thousand islands of tropical bliss. From the moment I placed my foot onto the hotel’s private speed boat, it finally dawned upon me that I was in for a weekend of complete indulgence and luxury. A mere fifteen minute ride brought me to the white-washed shores of the Emboodhu Finolhu Island where the much renowned Taj Exotica Resort & Spa is situated. The 770 metre long island is dressed to impress from the very beginning; from a warm welcome at the jetty overlooking the turquoise lagoon, to the well-nourished generations of flora greeting guests through the island.
Accommodation: If you feel guilty in dishing out $10,000 per night over the absolutely stunning Rehendi Suite (also known as the Presidential Suite), I’d highly recommend reserving your stay at the Deluxe Lagoon Villa with Plunge Pool. Stepping into the 1000 sq ft suite was an absolute dream. Think Ploh bed linen, a colossal bathroom – possibly larger than your current bedroom – a sun deck with a freshwater plunge pool and of course steps leading into the beautiful turquoise lagoon.
The element of the suite that slowly developed into my favourite was the tub against the glass windows that overlooked the expanse of the lagoon. Of course, premium Molten Brown products find themselves in every empty space in the bathroom while the finest wooden furnishings adorn the rest of the suite. A personalised butler, who can co-ordinate your entire stay, is amongst the resort’s ultra-luxe features. Of course, with the tag of Taj, you can expect unsurpassed levels of service throughout your stay! While the resort offers 64 accommodation options including beach villas and two bedroom suites, I’d still swear by the Deluxe Lagoon Villas with Plunge Pool.
F&B: When one chooses a property like the Taj, one is quite positive about the quality and taste of the food selection. But like every other traveller, I too was curious about the food fare on the island and inquired with a few family and friends who had recently made a trip to the hotel. I was immediately reassured that I was in for a delightful culinary experience.
The exotic island offers four restaurants including a Teppanyaki Japanese Live Kitchen. Breakfast at 24 Degrees (offering one of the greatest views of the island), was definitely something to look forward to. Think well blended fresh fruit juices and fluffy chocolate-chip pancakes. Lunch by the Pool Side Bar & Restaurant entailed quite an innovative menu – from Grilled Pita Pockets to scrumptious desserts! One of the most distinctive soups I have ever experimented with was the Roasted Pumpkin and Garlic Soup infused with Coconut at 24 Degrees. Chef Kermani’s Indian Sampler and Thai green curry were simply delightful. For those with a sweet tooth, relish the Thai Surprise.
If you are one of those hopeless romantics, this hotel is the ideal place for you. The unsurpassed service of Taj hospitality can be witnessed while their team works together to present a beach dinner under the stars or a meal in the middle of the ocean – quite literally just that at the hotel’s Ocean Pavilion. Trust me; this is one experience you would definitely want to indulge in.
Spa: With an island perched right within the brilliant waters of the Indian Ocean, Taj Exotica has perfectly situated its Spa. From the door of my villa, I could spot the beautifully appointed Jiva Grande Spa, located on the far end of the island – away from the hustle bustle. Blending ancient Indian wisdom with contemporary therapies, Jiva Grande Spa offers the best in Indian rejuvenation therapies ranging from Indian aromatherapy massages, time-honoured Indian treatments, yoga and meditation. If you have two hours to spare, indulge in the Alepa treatment! I will say relaxation in luxury comes with a hefty price tag, but it is surely worth the price.
Excursions: Surrounded by the calm and stunning waters of the Indian Ocean, the Taj Exotica Dive and Snorkelling Centre offers water-lovers a plethora of options, including snorkelling and deep sea diving. My forty-five minute snorkelling excursion was one of the most beautiful experiences! A highly experienced marine biologist was accompanied us while we scoured the waters to get a glimpse of the vibrant corals! To avail of the best sights, we snorkelled off a close-by island!
Verdict: From its plush accommodation to its scrumptious culinary selection to the renowned Taj service, the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives has absolutely nailed it! Of course, given that the property dwells in one of the most exotic and exclusive locales in the world, the staggering per night tariff is a given – but honestly, this destination makes it worth every penny spent!
Address: Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives
Post Box No. 2117
South Male Atoll