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Fantastic Finolhu Launch Party On The Mercurial Maldives

01 Aug Fantastic Finolhu Launch Party On The Mercurial Maldives

When you think of the Maldives you picture pure white sandy beaches, glorious sunshine, blue lagoons, extensive reefs, in short, it’s pure utopia. The stunning backdrop of the Indian Ocean has made this destination a firm favourite with honeymooner’s and couples seeking their very own slice of paradise.

Finolhu is a unique beach resort and like no other in the Maldives as it not only offers its guests peace, calm and tranquil surroundings but it also caters to those seeking adventure, fun and a party atmosphere too.

I recently attended the spectacular three day launch opening of Finolhu, the latest offering from the Small Maldives Island Company who already have the successful launch of Amilla Fushi under their belt. And if Amilla Fushi is known as the elegant lady then Finolhu is without doubt her funky vibrant little sister.

Located within the UNESCO biosphere reserve of Baa Atoll, one of the 26 natural atolls in the Indian Ocean. Access to this heavenly kingdom is made possible from Dharavandhoo Domestic Airport followed by a short speedboat ride to the resort which takes approximately 30 minutes. There is also the option via a direct 40-minutes seaplane ride from Malé too.

When I arrived at Finolhu I was greeted by a fabulous welcoming committee who proceeded to take my bags, offer me a cool refreshing cocktail and checked me in for the next few days on this blissful Island. My first impression of Finolhu was beach chic, retro feel with a touch of class and I couldn’t wait to explore this stylish resort further.

Finolhu has 125 villas spread across this wonderful outpost which are categorized by the ocean, the lagoon or by the beach and also come with or without a pool.

My home for the next few days was a gorgeous and serene 205 sqm Beach Pool Villa which consisted of a tropical garden and private beach access to the crystal clear lagoon. A spacious dining terrace, a generous freshwater pool and sun loungers promoted the rest and relaxation theme throughout.

This exquisite villa was also equipped with a divine 7ft x 7ft King size bed, a 40 inch flat screen smart TV, a vintage style Marshall sound system, complimentary wi-fi, private wine cooler, mini bar, large separate bathroom with a standalone bathtub and indoor and outdoor showers fitted with rain shower options. This really was luxury taken to another level.

After freshening up and enjoying the world class rain shower on offer, it was off to enjoy sunset cocktails and canapes around the bonfire to open the night celebrations which was truly magical. Dinner that evening was served in the Baa Baa main dining area of which guests were treated to a variety of flavours and spices of cuisine from the Maldives.

Thereafter, it was onto the much anticipated “White Heat” party on the beach with an outstanding set by the legendary Cuban Brothers who’s energetic and pulsating performance of funk and soulful music mixed with jaw-dropping b-boy action and hilarious comedy really set the tone for the evening. They had the entire crowd in the palm of their hands.

The standout moment of the evening for me was when the Cuban Brothers had everyone singing and dancing to a memorable rendition of Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long”. With the added backdrop of stilt walkers, trapeze artists, magicians and fire eaters this really was a sublime introduction to Finolhu and I was looking forward to the next instalment.

After the night that was it was great to relax and explore further parts of this exclusive beach sanctuary of which there is so much on offer. For the active traveller there is Thunderball which is home to a variety of water sports, beach games, wake boarding, water skiing, snorkelling and much more all situated on Palm Beach and boasts an astonishing 1.8km long lagoon. The Oceaneers Club is close by Baa Baa Beach Club which is ideal for young children through to teenagers with fun activities specially designed to suit the younger generation.

The Cove Club is a happening hub of fitness, exercise, massage and wellbeing for guests to utilise. I put myself through my paces at the gym and I can report that the facilities are excellent with a variety of state of the art equipment to choose from. There is also an outdoor Palm Beach gym for those who like to train alfresco too.

For those who wish to simply rest and revitalize, there is a relaxation area overlooking the beach complete with steam, sauna, wellness areas, salon and a retail pavillion. I also had the opportunity to test the brilliant tennis court facilities at Finolhu too with a one hour tennis lesson with their excellent on-site tennis coach Tony Rajaobelina. I had a great and enjoyable tennis work-out session which I thoroughly recommend to all those tennis enthusiasts who wish to improve their all round game whilst on the Island.

After all that exploring I was looking forward to sampling the premium over-water dining venue Kanusan that evening. This impressive venue spans two dining areas, has a relaxed indoor dining space, an open lower deck and a vibrant over-water bar surrounded by majestic sights and calm seas. Centred around an impressive duck oven, this open kitchen puts the Asian spirit and classic Cantonese cuisine favourites of Mandarin roasted duck and Larb Gai at centre stage. The newly created signature dishes of steamed snapper and lobster, black truffle roast duck and sliced blue abalone in Kanusan sauce were absolutely delightful. If like me you enjoy Vietnamese, Thai and Indonesian food, you’ll adore this mouth-watering experience.

Once dinner concluded it was onto the Baa Baa Beach Club which is the place to be and the heart of the Finolhu festivities. The theme for this evening was the uber cool “Rouge” party which had guests dancing until the early morning. Entertainment for the evening was provided by the SRS who were a three piece live band playing an energetic and uplifting set. A powerful vocal performance by singer Katherine Ellis kept the dance floor moving and a dazzling DJ set followed by Kissy Sell Out that made for yet another memorable day on the Island.

My penultimate day on the Island was truly sensational and started with a short boat ride across the lagoon to the fabulous and fun Fish & Crab Shack that reminded me of a Robinson Crusoe deserted Island, located halfway along Finolhu’s heavenly sand bank.

The menu was a variety of sharing platters consisting of luscious soft shell carb tacos, buckets of prawns and local fisherman’s catch of the day, coconut rice and tropical fruit skewers all served under coconut trees, accompanied by crisp cocktails from the beach bar. Entertainment was provided by the first-class sounds of DJ Jaffa who played a mixture of cool 80s, 90s and contemporary classics. One of my fondest memories at the Fish & Crab Shack apart from the scrumptious food on the menu was seeing all the guests dancing on tables, chairs, on the beach, in the sea and on the jetty to the infectious Pharrell Williams anthem “Happy”. A truly magnificent moment that epitomized the true atmosphere and culture of this glittering hangout.

After all the fun at the Fish and Crab Shack, I decided to walk back to Finolhu via the breathtaking long white-sand bank which gave me the opportunity to really soak up and experience the shiny clear waters and fine blue skies.

The evening dining experience was all about the Baahaa Grill restaurant which offered a fine, laid back, family dining setting. The menu celebrates the very best of North African inspired dishes, rubbed meats and succulent savoury sides. I loved the menu served at this boutique and contemporary eatery which consisted of a selection of mezze, pitta breads, Egyptian humus, roasted prawns, grilled squid, Harissa riverine grain fed beef medallions, lamb rack, right through to warm sticky medjool pudding and Pistachio walnut Baklava to name but a few dishes.

The final soiree of this phenomenal three day opening extravaganza was a themed “50 Shades of Bleu” celebration. A packed, fun filled farewell bash that included water pistols for guests to spray one another throughout the splurge, entertainment yet again was first class with legendary DJ Bert Bevans providing the perfect soundtrack that kept guests singing and dancing to old and new dance floor classics throughout the evening.

In summary, Finolhu’s fun and relaxed vibe caters to all ages and there is something for everyone to enjoy on this small but perfectly formed resort.

So, whether you are a single traveller looking to meet new people, a chic couple, a fun-loving family or a group of friends in search of that dreamy pampering experience combined with an exceptional party atmosphere then this is the place for you. I am already looking forward to my next adventure at Finolhu and can’t wait to return to this fresh and funky destination.

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