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Why We’re Dreaming of The Maldives in 2021

After a year of exploring places near our own backyards, many in the Indagare community are seeking the thrill of a far-flung escape. In fact, according to our most recent travel sentiment survey of more than 1,200 respondents, the number one type of trip people are looking to take as they get back out in the world is to a once-in-a-lifetime, exotic destination.

Few countries deliver on that promise like the Maldives, a tropical island nation with more than a thousand islands spread across 35 thousand square miles the Indian Ocean. It’s home to amazing wildlife, epic overwater activities and some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches. And now, a new, ultra-sustainable resort, Patina Maldives, Fari Islands, also has us excited. Here’s why we can’t wait to get back to the Maldives on future journeys.

The Maldives is one of the few countries in South Asia open to U.S. passport holders. Contact Indagare to help you plan a future trip to the Maldives for when the time is right.

Yes, the Beaches Really Are Swoon-worthy

Beaches in the Maldives really are spectacular, thanks to the archipelago’s unique geography and marine life. The islands’ low elevation and flat terrain (the country’s highest point is seven feet above sea level) make for wide beaches that gradually descend into crystal clear waters. As for why the sand is so soft, thank the resident parrotfish. These coral-eating fish produce up to one ton of powdery sand annually. And with a backdrop of palm trees and the blue horizon ahead, the beaches in the Maldives live up to their reputation. Since most islands are single-resort havens, you often have them all to yourself.

Amazing Marine Life…

The Maldives are teeming with wildlife—nearly all of it found beneath the surface of impossibly blue seas.The vast majority of the islands are uninhabited, and protected by thousands of square miles of marine preserves. Nearly 200 species of corals help foster diverse ecosystems, which vary atoll by atoll. Whales and dolphins, sea turtles, anemones and thousands of species of fish (including majestic whale sharks and manta rays) are all on view.

…And Ocean Adventures

A visit to the Maldives is a chance to dive into adventure, experiencing the water from above and below. Surfers flock here for legendary breaks, while divers love exploring the reefs (and those looking to complete their certification can take lessons from PADI-certified instructors). There are also opportunities for sailing around the atolls, often on a traditional dhoni boat, as well as guided snorkeling tours and “shark safaris” led by marine biologists.

A Beautiful New Resort: Patina Maldives, Fari Islands

In the Fari Islands of the North Male atoll, Patina Maldives, Fari Islands was just unveiled on May 18, 2021, marking the debut of Patina Hotels, a new eco-conscious sister brand from Capella Hotel Group with an emphasis on sustainability and individual discovery through local social interaction. The setting for Patina Maldives is intentional: the four Fari Islands are home to several hotels, and Patina’s Fari Marina Village will form the social, cultural and culinary hub, connected via traditional dhoni boat shuttles. Guests at Patina will have prime access to the island’s restaurants and a buzzy marina and beach club. They can also take in the impressive art collection and gallery, featuring international and emerging artists and an artist-in-residence program. The centerpiece of the collection is a James Turrell installation called Amarta, a piece that examines perceptions of how light inhabits space—its name connotes immortality and beauty in Hindi. Fine art, photography, textiles and sculptural installations are also showcased throughout the property—from the villas to the water sports center and beyond—ensuring that art and the natural beauty of the island are always on display.

The sleek, boxy, right-angled designs from Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan for the 90 luxe overwater and beach villas and 20 studios are beautifully integrated and provide a contrast to the soft curves of the atoll, while light woods, warm textiles and floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors bring the tropics inside. For cuisine, Patina has tapped Dutch chef Nick Brill (of Antwerp’s two-Michelin-starred The Jane), who has crafted plant-forward menus that at once minimize carbon footprint and maximize Maldivian and global flavors. Between meals, guests will have ample time for relaxing. Spa treatments, yoga classes, beach lounging and snorkeling from your private overwater-deck are all on offer. Guests can also indulge in a little retail therapy with the help of a style expert from The Rake, a curated collection of resortwear and accessories designed by sustainable artisans and makers, along with a styling session that includes hair and makeup.

For more adventure, biking (including aqua bike fitness, a low-impact underwater spin class), diving, kayaking, paddleboarding and boating and a host of other activities on the water beckon, before watching the sun set over the calm seas. Guests looking to capture their adventures on-camera can also go on their own private photo expedition, exploring the Fari islands with Patina Maldives Essentialists, who can guide them to some of the most spectacular backdrops.

At its core, Patina also offers a glimpse of what the next generation of sustainable resorts can look like. From its eco-conscious construction materials and processes (one example: even the construction crews had reusable water bottles) to its use of solar power and an in-house bottling plant for water, as well as zero-waste cooking techniques that emphasize vegetarian cooking and sustainably caught seafood, Patina Maldives allows travelers to enjoy the beauty of the Maldives without harming the area’s fragile ecosystems. Families with younger children can rest assured the next generation of travelers comes away with a greater awareness of their own impact: for kids under 12 diving lessons are complimentary and at Footprints, a solar-powered kids’ club and a “Fab Lab,” they can learn about recycling ocean plastics (via 3D printing) along with zero-waste cooking in the kitchen. Further fostering a respect for nature, the environment and responsible travel, the resort also offers guests the chance to be part of its coral-seeding program, with the in-house marine biologist, who will guide them through the process—from seeding to planting the frame in the Fari Islands lagoon—and they will receive updates on its progress and growth when they return home. Opened May 18, 2021

Contact Indagare to help you plan a future trip to the Maldives for when the time is right.

This content was created in collaboration with Patina Maldives, Fari Islands and published by Indagare Travel.

– Peter Schlesinger on May 20, 2021

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