Merely mention the name Maldives, and images of exotic private islands and palm-fringed beaches immediately come to mind.
Stretching across an idyllic chain of remote atolls spread across the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is one of the world’s most geographically dispersed countries. Covering nearly 90,000 sq.km. of azure seas, the Maldives is made up of 1,190 individual islands, spread over 26 vast atolls that sit atop a vast submarine plateau (the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge) spanning both sides of the Equator.
Much of the country – 99% – is covered by the sea, but despite its comparatively tiny land size, at just 298sq.km. (or less than half the size of Singapore), the country’s 26 major atolls are individually some of the largest on earth, and collectively make up one of the biggest marine ecosystems on the planet.
In fact, the word “atoll” itself is Maldivian in origin – coming from the local Dhivehi word, atholhu – a distinctly Maldivian terms adopted into numerous other languages, to describe the fringing coral reefs forming sea breaks around remote islands, essentially creating giant, lakes within the surrounding ocean, allowing unique marine life to thrive away from the pounding surf of the open seas.
And it’s these natural wonders that have made the Maldives one of the world’s top draws for everyone from serious divers, to beachgoers and sun-seekers.
SIRRU FEN FUSHI
NATION OF ATOLLS
Uniquely, many of the Maldives’ atolls are so large, they actually contain numerous faru, a native Dhivehi word for the localised phenomena of micro-atolls. These are essentially atolls-within-atolls – and often you’ll find dozens of micro-atolls within the sheltered waters of larger surrounding atolls, each dotted with dozens of individual islands – each one of which is literally a world unto itself.
One of the best examples of this is the island of Sirru Fen Fushi, or “Secret Water Island“ in Dhivehi, which is located in the Maldives’ third-most northerly atoll, the Shaviyani Atoll (230km, 55 minutes from Male via seaplane). The island is situated within a large lagoon.
Together with the neighbouring atolls of Noonu to the south, and Haa Dhaalu and Haa Alif to the north, Sirru Fen Fushi forms what’s essentially a giant series of interconnected lagoons enclosing more than 200 different islands, many surrounded by their own individual faru (micro-atolls).
FAIRMONT MALDIVES SIRRU FEN FUSHI
Embodying the classic ideal of a tropical paradise, with its lush vegetation, pristine beaches, fringing lagoon, and remote privacy, the island of Sirru Fen Fushi measures just 17.5 hectares in size, and is home to a single, exclusive luxury resort – the eponymous Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi.
The 120-villa resort includes a range of luxury over-water villas (each with a private pool), as well as rustic tented jungle villas situated within the island’s lush interior.
Situated on one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives, the resort includes a 200m-long swimming pool which traverses the length of the island. Their in-villa dining is a new take on room service, and involves personal grills where meals are prepared and cooked – either by guests or their personal butlers – barbecue-style in the villas’ private sala.
In addition to their luxurious facilities, fitness centre and spa, many of the biggest draws of Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi are found in its rich, surrounding seas.
AT A GLANCE
Types of Villas:
- 1, 2 & 3-room Beach Villas (360-1,155sq.m.)
- 1, 2 & 3-room Water Villas (164-235sq.m.)
- Tented Jungle Villa (525sq.m.)
All villas come with private plunge pool, personal butler service, bicycles, and private sala
- 3 restaurants (International/ Japanese/ Seafood)
- In-villa private barbecue dining
- Castaway picnics (picnic on secluded islands)
- Destination dining
- Cooking classes
- Luxury spa
- Fitness centre
- Water sports centre
- Tennis & volleyball courts
- Art studio
- Private yacht (dolphin tours, overnight cruises, village visits, etc)