Statutory warning :- This place is best suited to those who like their ‘me’ time and are happy doing nothing.
Maldives is a postcard perfect destination that beckons every water baby and luxe traveller with its white powdered sand and more luminous cyan-blue water than anywhere else on earth. It is also distinguished for having the lowest natural highest point, hence the risk of inundation and extinction. Both these factors appeal to tourists like nothing else.
Taj Exotica has undoubtedly become the best place to experience Asian hospitality, with all the major brands having presence in the island. I chose to stay in Taj exotica as it is the brand I love and admire. From “no menu card” breakfast to swing in middle of the sea to the spa therapy, everything has been designed for a discerning traveller, who has done and seen it all. You just can’t complain.
The location is perfect. The water was 83 degrees and the sun did not stop shining. Been so close to Male is fantastic for an easy transfer, but the downside is the plane noise if the winds in the wrong direction. The lagoon is one of the other best features ,you will never be bored of the pristine turquoise waters ! Beach is very well maintained .
We stayed in the over water Lagoon villas ( which is the lowest category ) but it has direct access to the water for swimming and snorkelling and the views are magnificent.
From the time we arrived till we left , our every need was anticipated and taken care of . The extra touch of a bulgari hand towel and bottle of evian in the boat sets the mood early on. We were assigned a personal butler who was quite efficient and resolved whatever issues we had. The butler completed the check in directly in the room and fresh coconut water was waiting for us in our room upon arrival.
Brilliant at personal touches – rose petals, cake, champagne, personal greetings etc, greetings and a smile from all passing staff made the small differences that makes it one of the best resorts in world.
Since the resort is spread over a large area the Prompt buggy service with the friendly young driver was a boon. House keeping service was excellent as well . Our room was Cleaned discreetly several times per day. They took the time to learn our names, our preferences and made our stay truly memorable and comfortable .
On checkout we were given an album that had the picture taken on arrival as well as goodbye/ thank you note signed by the staff. Even as we were leaving , staff come out to jetty to wave us off..attention to detail to the very end.
For vegetarians with an Indian/Asian palette , the culinary experience at the Taj is perfect.
All you can eat a la carte breakfast is truly amazing. We ordered mango lassi, mashed potatoes, dosa, Bhurji pav , pancakes ..all in one meal .The chef went out of his way to accommodate all our demands during breakfast inspite of the a la carte menu being so extensive. A satisfied tummy makes people happy , Taj knows that very well.
I would recommend having a dinner at the deep end for a really special evening. Complimentary samplers before every meal are so tasty, that there is hardly any room for the main course. With the inventive fare at the deep end, and the asian food at 24 degrees, you could eat here for a couple of weeks and not be bored. Non vegetarians and westerners not to worry. You will have enough and more options!
THE FACILITIES ON OFFER
The spa and gym were great. We tried the Dev Nidra ( sleep like gods) , a couples massage fit for the gods and definitely recommend it. The setting of the spa room is amazing and they time the massage such that after the massage , you can enjoy a drink as the sun goes down in the ocean facing bathtub .
While waiting for the spa , we tried the free Ayurvedic consulting . The doctors are very learned and share basic tips which can enhance your well being . The dive center is superb. I am glad they no longer charge for snorkel gear. It really encourages guests to try their hand at trying to see fish . The property has one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives. This makes for amazingly picturesque views, but there is little coral/reef . But the corals are a short boat ride away and the dive centre organises regular trips ( even if you are the only one , as in my case ) .
Other facilities offered :
- Butler services
- Room is equipped with Indoor and outdoor bath robes, Slippers and flip flops, Umbrellas , Rain coats,Lovely Molton Brown bathroom products .Nespresso coffee
- Water sports selection very vast and includes :
- Jet skis were great fun and a good way to see the sting rays and sharks close up.
- Wake boarding was so tranquil, couldn’t have asked for purer water.
- Ray and shark feeding
- Beautiful sunsets and sunset cruise available.
- Venues for romantic dinners, tree top dining and ocean pavilion were a winner with us. Very special and memorable.
- The complimentary ocean facing morning yoga session.
WHAT STOLE THE SHOW?
The resort is a quick and luxurious getaway. I love the fact that it is a very relaxed holiday and there is no checklist of sightseeing to do. You can truly relax and be one with nature.
Now that you are convinced, lets bring you up to speed with the practicalities. Know more about Taj Exotica, Maldives
The property is located on Emboodhu Finolhu Island, in the middle of one of the largest natural lagoons in the world. The resort is only 15 minutes by luxury speedboat, available 24 hours, from Malé International Airport.
Hole in your wallet
Expect to pay around $1,000 per night for the lagoon villa. Secret. Go on 1st April, rates get halved and doesn’t make too much of a difference in terms of weather.
Internet / Television
There is a TV in each room and Wi-Fi signal is strong in your rooms and reception.
– Choose the overwater villas. Go for the odd number villas which face away from Male (Villa number 431 is the best and most private).
– Airport is 15 minutes away. We were never bothered by air traffic, but know it exists.
– This is a true beach holiday without much sight seeing activity. Be prepared to relax and participate in water sports.
– Everything is imported and priced accordingly.
The author of this article only profiles properties he has visited and where he would like to go again, without blinking an eye or changing anything about it. Author paid for himself, during the visit. Any property is reviewed on five parameters, which are:
- Setting :- The property needs to have its own personality.
- Service: I like being looked after, without the staff being intrusive.
- Food: Has to be sumptuous, even if there are limited options.
- Facilities: No minimum requirement but should have basic comforts that should add to the character of the place.
- USP: There has to be one unique quality, which makes it different than the other offerings out there.