In the scenic island nation of the Maldives, far from the worries of everyday life, lay THE OZEN COLLECTION's two flagship resorts: OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI and OZEN LIFE MAADHOO. The epitome of refined indulgence, these laid-back yet ultra-luxe resorts are a dream getaway in the Indian Ocean.
OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI
Promising unforgettable adventures and an all-inclusive haven, OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI
exceeded all my expectations. Relaxed and picturesque, I loved my time here.
After a flight to Male and a short 30-minute yacht to Bolifushi, I arrived at my destination to a warm welcome, where smiling staff were waiting with fresh coconut water and a delicious pink champagne to take me to my villa.
Home to 90 impressive villas, OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI
is known for its lavish accommodation and my overwater villa was no exception. Boasting island-inspired décor, plush furnishings, attentive staff and direct access to the ocean by its very own waterslide, the villas are iconic and I loved every minute of my stay. Outside, every guest had their own bicycle with their name on it for getting around the private island resort, perfect for exploring and making you really feel at home.
My days here were spent soaking in the Maldivian sun from the comfort of a sun lounger at the main pool as I enjoyed fresh fruit juices and delicious platters of fresh sushi from the pool service, and exploring the house reef, where you can snorkel directly out from the beach and spot a huge range of marine life, from turtles and manta rays to reef sharks and vibrant fish. I cycled most of the island and got to see everything on offer, from the Maldives' only ice-skating rink to the elegant Elena Spa.
Of course, no trip to OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI
can be considered complete without sampling some of the incredible gastronomy on offer!
The breakfast specials in Vista Del Mar were phenomenal and the French toast and fruit platters were amazing. Plus, my evening in the Wine Cellar was something I won't be forgetting; the personal wine sommelier, Rohit, went above and beyond as he paired wines to dishes, factoring in your personal preference.
But one of my favourite meals of the trip was at Tradition Saffron, an inviting Indian restaurant which recreates delicious traditional meals from across India. I highly recommend the traditional tasting menu, which let me taste and experience many of their delightful dishes, all washed down with a lovely class of Moët & Chandon as the live band played in the background.
OZEN LIFE MAADHOO
The perfect pairing with OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, the modern luxury on offer at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO
Contemporary yet incredibly Maldivian, I was excited for my stay at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO.
After a short yacht journey through the more remote islands of the Maldives, I arrived in paradise and was in awe of the bright turquoise lagoons and white sands surrounding the island.
After getting comfortable in my accommodation, I decided to explore my home for the next few nights. The main pool area exuded a tranquil atmosphere, complemented by spacious daybeds seamlessly integrated into the pool. Adjacent to the beach, a watersports centre offered the exceptional opportunity to engage in paddle boarding along the tranquil and shallow waters of the primary beach - an experience I'd highly recommend.
One of the many complimentary trips on offer gives you the opportunity to join a team on a traditional dhoni boat and explore different snorkeling sites. Within just 20 minutes, we came across a magnificent area where we were fortunate enough to snorkel alongside turtles, manta rays, reef sharks, dory fish, angel fish and much more. On our way back, about 10 minutes from the island of Maadhoo, we were delighted to encounter pods of dolphins as well as spinning dolphins, which was truly awe-inspiring. These incredible sights made the morning truly unforgettable.
The gastronomy on offer at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO
is also superb and there's something for everyone on the island.
At Traditions Peking, you can enjoy an absolutely fantastic meal by the waterfront, featuring delectable Chinese cuisine. They offer a unique "family dining" experience, where a selection of the most popular dishes are brought to your table. I highly recommend trying the hot and sour soup, mushroom noodles, and the salt and pepper seafood platter - the crab is simply phenomenal. The service is attentive, and the ambiance is amazing, with the crashing waves providing a beautiful backdrop.
If you're looking for a truly special dining experience, I would wholeheartedly recommend arranging a private beachside dinner at an additional cost. Picture a table set up right on the shallow lagoon, surrounded by barefoot luxury and the soothing sound of the ocean. As the chefs cook right in front of you on the grill, you can savour fresh tuna, salmon, Angus beef, lobster, and much more, making for an unforgettable culinary experience.
The M6M restaurant, also known as minus six meters, is undoubtedly one of the most renowned dining establishments in the Maldives and intrigued by its reputation, I felt compelled to pay it a visit. Offering a unique underwater dining experience, it only accommodates 14 guests at a time which ensures a personalized and exceptional fine dining experience. The menu, whether seafood, meat or vegetarian, is exceptional, and the wine pairings add another level of sophistication to your meal. Regardless of the dining experience you choose, you will be given a brochure showcasing various fish species and sharks that you can spot while enjoying your meal. I highly recommend trying the seafood menu, as the salmon starter and lobster were outstanding. For dessert, the richest and most delicious hot chocolate bomb awaits.
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