Four Seasons’ first resort in the Maldives started life at Kuda Huraa, a speedboat ride from Male, and developed a faithful following. It was only a matter of time before the group would inevitably add another string to its bow. And so it was that about ten years ago, Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru was born – Kuda Huraa’s slightly funkier, slightly more playful, younger sibling.
A 30-minute seaplane journey from Male, this Four Seasons is more lively and imaginative than some of the other hotels in the group. There are both over-water as well as beachfront accommodations. The overall aesthetic, especially in the villas, is a nod to my favourite Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa, thanks to the design by Murad Ismail, Bawa’s former colleague, who has used colour and polished concrete in conjunction with wood to give what might otherwise be a bland style some warmth and character.
The medium-sized (by Maldivian standards) island packs a punch when it comes to dining, diversions and general entertainment. With a fabulous Kids’ Club as well as tennis, extensive water sports, four restaurants, two bars and a mammoth spa complex, you could easily spend a week or two here and not run out of things to do. Villas are either in over-water or beach locations – most with private pools – and the larger villas are ideal for families and groups of friends.
Of course, Four Seasons has a following and its hotels can tend towards a predictable formula. However, elements such as incredible service, attention to detail and superb food are what make the hotels and resorts such a success. Landaa Giraavaru offers all of these but I would go one step further to suggest that this particular property is stylish and individual enough that, if you didn’t know it was a Four Seasons, you could be fooled into thinking it was an outstanding, independently owned hotel.
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