A tropical treasure

WT Writer
Nov 29, 2018
Let a wave of relaxation wash over you on a castaway island style break to JA Manafaru

Whether you’re seeking some well-earned time out to reflect or want to whisk your loved ones away on a rejuvenating escape, JA Manafaru invites you to enjoy a richer travel experience. The 35-acre private island, which is a 75-minute seaplane flight from Malé International Airport (or a thrilling speedboat ride from Hanimaadhoo Airport), has 84 villas and suites – all with private pools – so you can choose to stay just steps away from the beach or elevated over the water. Wave goodbye to your worries, kick off your shoes and let your toes sink into the sand as you set about exploring this luxurious hideaway…


Watersports fans will be in their element at this Indian Ocean resort, which offers a multitude of pursuits in and around the deep blue. Warm up by diving into one of the three, inviting swimming pools before heading to the watersports centre to book in some activities. Manned by a team of friendly and qualified instructors, you can test your skills at jet skiing, windsurfing, stand-up paddle boarding and snorkelling, among other options – guests can choose up to four non-motorised watersports to take part in during a stay. Build your diving credentials thanks to the short courses on offer or join in the fun excursions and be sure to rent a Go-Pro to capture your adventures on film.


One of our favourite ways to embrace the castaway vibe is to set off on an adventure to one of the two uninhabited private islands located nearby. Govvafushi and Medhafushi islands are both perfect for a relaxing day spent strolling along the white sandy beach, getting lost in a good book or napping under the shade of a palm – no distractions guaranteed. You can even stay overnight.


Calm Spa is the ultimate destination at which to continue your journey to deep relaxation. Teaming age-old Maldivian healing rituals with ayurveda and aromatherapy, your therapists will tailor your treatment to suit. There’s a dedicated ayurvedic room for shirodhara therapies (a calming, cleansing body therapy that involves gently pouring liquids over the forehead), as well as a massage room built especially for traditional Thai massages. We rate the Manafaru Signature Ritual, which includes a refreshing coconut scrub and coconut oil massage.


There are seven dining experiences to enjoy on the island and you can choose to stay on a half-board, full-board or all-inclusive basis. Signature restaurant White Orchid serves Asian fusion fare in an over-water setting, while you can sample the catch of the day at the beachfront Ocean Grill.A stand-out experience, however, is venturing two-and-a-half metres below sea level to The Cellar, set in a volcanic stone cave, for haute cuisine prepared by the resort’s renowned chef. Plus, you gain a deeper insight into Maldivian culture with a cooking class.

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