Wander along the Maldives’ longest sandbank and soak up the lively atmosphere at this cool Baa Atoll hideaway.
The recently transformed Seaside Finolhu has that top-notch service and jaw-dropping desert-island setting that’s typically Maldivian. This string of four islands with its glorious stretch of sand is situated in the remote Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere that’s known for having the best marine life in the archipelago. The name of the island translates to ‘sandbank’, and as soon as you arrive here you’ll see why – the sweeping narrow sand bar that connects the ‘main’ island to the three smaller islands is the longest in the Maldives and the stuff of toes-in-the-powder-soft-sand dreams.
Start your days with long leisurely breakfasts at the Beach Kitchen, and choose from Middle-Eastern flavours at the Arabian Grill and Asian fine dining at the overwater restaurant, Kanusan. Stroll to the far end of the sandbank and you’ll find the Crab Shack, a rustic hut where you can tuck into a bucket of prawns or fresh fish platter, washed down with a crisp glass of wine. At some islands in the Maldives you’ll barely hear a peep after dinner, but this is when Finolhu comes alive. Here, you can raise your voice above a whisper while being entertained by stilt walkers, acrobats and hot-right-now DJs – it’s more Mykonos than Maldives at night.
The Beach Bar is the social hub of the resort, with a pool, beach cinema and gamers’ arcade. There’s also an extensive activity list includes yoga sessions alongside aquatic adventures from snorkelling to high-octane X Jet Blades. You can even learn how to surf with the help of the island's expert instructors.
As part of the island's recent multi-million-pound transformation, the villas have all received a spectacular upgrade. The style is design led, with renowned British studio Muza Lab creating unique spaces that are full of uplifting colours against a white-washed backdrop and featuring pieces inspired by the natural world outside their door. Beach Villas lead out to a private stretch of sand, or upgrade to an Ocean Pool Villa for the iconic overwater experience – you can often spot dolphins from your deck. If you’re a family or group of friends travelling together, go all-out with a stay in the Two Bedroom Rock Star Ocean Pool Villa.
In the unspoilt Baa Atoll
Good to know
Minimum stay: 7 nights 27 Dec-03 Jan; 4 nights 20-26 Dec and 04-10 Jan.
125 beach, lagoon and ocean villas
• Head out on the island's new dhoni - a traditional Maldivian boat - from the main jetty up to the Crab Shack • Unwind with free yoga sessions • Try and spot manta rays and whale sharks on a snorkelling safari to Hanifaru Bay* • Go thrillseeking on the lagoon with wakeboards, jet-skis and X Jet Blades* • Go glamping in style with the island's ‘Eclipse Dream Eclipse’ experience and spend the night in the cool 'Finolhu Beach Bubble' tent* • 'Tee off' in the state-of-the-art golf studio*.
4 restaurants, 3 bars, coffee shop
Breakfast at Beach Kitchen.
Meal upgrade options (per person per night)
Half Board from £86 • Breakfast at at Beach Kitchen • Dinner at Beach Kitchen or Pizza Counter • Set credit at the speciality restaurants (minimum stays apply; opening times vary)
All Inclusive from £172 • Breakfast at Beach Kitchen • Lunch and dinner at Beach Kitchen or Pizza Counter • 1 meal at Crab Shack per stay, 1 dinner at Kanusan and 1 dinner at Arabian Grill per stay (minimum 5 night stay) • Set credit at the speciality restaurants (minimum 5 night stay) • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks by the glass from the standard beverage list (excluding Milk Bar Lab) served during bar opening hours and at the restaurants • Fresh apple, carrot, orange and watermelon juice • 30% discount on drinks from the All inclusive Premium List and Exclusive Beverage Selection List (all drinks served by the glass only) • Non alcoholic beverages from the in-villa minibar replenished once a day
All Inclusive Premium from £215 • Breakfast at Beach Kitchen • Lunch at Beach Kitchen or Crab Shack (reservations required) • Dinner at Beach Kitchen, Kanusan, Arabian Grill (reservations required) • Pizza at Pizza Counter or Beach Club available from 1pm to 10pm (one pizza per person; no takeaway) • Pastries, sandwiches and drinks from Milk Lab • Ulimted drinks from the premium beverage list served by the glass during bar opening hours and at the restaurants • 40% discount on drinks from the Exclusive Beverage Selection List (all drinks served by the glass only) • Credit against wine and Champange bottles from the Exclusive Beverage Selection list • All drinks and snacks from the in villa mini bar and wine fridge replenished once a day.
*Denotes local charge