A resort so enchanting you’ll think you dreamed it
Set on an island so Instagrammable it doesn’t feel real, Fairmont Maldives is easy to fall in love with – and almost impossible to leave. From the moment you set foot on the tiny seaplane for the 55-minute transfer, it’s hard not to be blown away by the sheer beauty of the surroundings, from the mesmerising blues and greens of the ocean to the powdery white sands. Sirru Fen Fushi means ‘secret water island’, and you’ll feel like you’ve come home to your own little corner of paradise, where the welcoming team can’t do enough to make your stay memorable. Of course, luxury like this doesn’t come cheap (though it might be more affordable than you think) – but if it’s a trip-of-a-lifetime you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.
Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi review
ROOMS & FACILITIES
The 120 villas are sprinkled around the picture-perfect resort, with a style to suit every taste – choose one of the premium water villas (beloved by honeymooners and influencers alike), beach hideaways set by the shore, or lush jungle properties surrounded by nature. Whichever you choose – and they’re all dreamy – you’re only a short stroll away from the hotel’s restaurants and amenities.
Rooms are peaceful and spacious, with calming tones, intricate wood carvings, coral-inspired rugs and arguably the comfiest bed I’ve ever slept in. There are lots of thoughtful touches, too – like the Bose speakers (perfect for pre-dinner tunes), Nespresso coffee machines and even a yoga mat if you want to partake in a scenic sunrise class.
YOU stayed in a beach villa complete with private plunge pool, indoor and outdoor bathrooms, sun loungers, a garden sofa and hammock – the biggest dilemma of each day was deciding where to bliss out first…
FOOD & DRINK
It’s hard to pick a favourite from the resort’s three restaurants. Raha Market offers relaxed buffet-style dining by the beach, with more live cooking stations than you can shake a flip-flop at. We saw ones for grilled fish, pizza, fried rice and hot dogs to name a few, which change regularly so you can sample a variety of cuisines. Breakfast here was the perfect start to the day, boasting a juice bar, pastries, pancakes, meat, eggs and even gluten-free options. If there’s a better buffet out there, I haven’t found it yet.
For more formal meals visit Kata, the resort’s signature Japanese restaurant with dramatic views over the ocean, and Azure, serving seriously fresh seafood. Or, if it’s a romantic dinner à deux you’re after, the hotel can make private dining arrangements. Nightlife is as low-key as you’d expect from this kind of tranquil destination, but don’t head to bed without a chilled-out cocktail at the Onu Onu beach bar.
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While many guests arrive in search of rest and relaxation – in which case, you won’t be disappointed – there are plenty of first-class facilities here for the whole family. Take a dip in the longest pool in the Maldives, enjoy a range of land and water sports, try a Maldivian cooking class, work out at the gym or simply unwind with a signature massage at the Willow Stream Spa. Children are also well catered for with a dedicated kids’ club, table tennis and even coconut-painting sessions in the open-air art studio.
One of our biggest highlights was an exhilarating snorkelling safari on the resort’s 9km house reef, led by resident marine biologist Sam, where we got the chance to swim in crystal-clear waters alongside tropical fish, rays and turtles – a real bucket-list experience. Another great snorkelling spot is the resort’s ‘Coralarium’, an underwater art installation and coral regeneration project designed by British eco-artist Jason deCaires Taylor.
New for 2022 is the resort’s Sustainability Lab, a pioneering project that takes plastic waste (such as bottle tops) from the hotel and community, and turns it into unique souvenirs and products ranging from tables and chairs to plant pots. The inspired idea is that the resort will partner with local schools to encourage recycling – thereby also helping to keep the island pristine – before transforming the collected plastic into practical items that can be donated back to the schools. A win-win if ever we heard one.
A special occasion, romantic retreat or some much-needed R&R.
For more on Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi, visit fairmont-maldives.com. Maria travelled courtesy of Luxtripper.co.uk, which offers seven nights in a Beach Villa from £6,799 per couple on a half-board basis, including return flights from London with Emirates and seaplane transfers with Trans Maldivian Airways (transmaldivian.com). Her entire trip was carbon offset thanks to Luxtripper’s partnership with Trees4Travel, which enables guests to offset their holiday through the planting of saplings in key locations across the world.