Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi has elevated the area’s stunning coral and marine ecosystems with its unique coral regeneration project in the form of a new underwater art installation — the Coralarium. Designed by award-winning British artist Jason deCaries Taylor, the Coralarium links the skyline, waterline and seabed and acts as an artificial reef. Specially designed to attract and restore coral, the installation can be explored with the in-house marine biologist on guided snorkelling tours.
Dive with mantas
A collaboration of a different type makes for one of the ocean’s most fascinating sights: manta ray cleaning stations. In the protected surrounds of the resort’s six-mile reef, even manta rays can take time off for some TLC. The graceful aquatic giants congregate here to be cleaned by smaller fish and shrimps, which snack on the parasites they pick off. Both experienced and novice divers are able to watch this example of natural teamwork at play via a variety of diving expeditions. For those keen to splash about closer to the surface, snorkelling is also offered.
Sunset from the water
Set sail into the sunset on a traditional Maldivian dhoni, where immersion in island life includes learning to fish how the locals do it. If you’d rather have a glass of bubbly in hand than a fishing line, opt for the sunset dolphin tour. Even if you’re too awed to capture it on camera, there’s something unforgettable about watching dolphin pods swimming and leaping alongside your boat in the light of the setting sun. And with numerous water sports available, there’s nothing stopping you from basking in the sunset rays from a sea kayak or jet ski.
Back on dry land
Check out some of the Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi’s other first-class features:
The villa: The tented jungle villa offers luxurious accommodation in a lush tropical setting, with a pristine beach at its doorstep for true castaway exclusivity.
The spa: The Willow Stream Spa draws inspiration from its natural surroundings and local Maldivian culture, with a menu of carefully curated treatments and a spacious wellness area.
The tour: Whether it’s taking a speedboat tour to Utheemu Island or visiting one of the smaller island communities, there are numerous tour options available to give guests a first-hand taste of local life.
Getting there: British Airways flies direct from Gatwick to Malé November-March and via Dubai the rest of the year. The hotel is a 55-minute seaplane ride from Malé airport.
Published in the November 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)
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