Discover your dream island at Huvafen Fushi, Maldives

Thursday, 9 July 2009 08:32

Is there anywhere else in the world other than the glorious Huvafen Fushi, in the Maldives, that offers underwater massages?

Actually Huvafen Fushi - which means 'dream island' is all about water.

Its management company, Per Aquum Resorts, Spas and Residences, has appointed a resident marine biologist, Ulrike Kloiber, to develop and manage the luxury resort’s own coral nursery and house reef rehabilitation project. Huvafen Fushi - island name Nakatcha Fushi - is especially significant in marine conservation as the its trendsetting coral ‘cultivation’ program is best described as ‘underwater gardening’. This involves pieces of detached coral known as ‘nubbins’ that are cultivated in nurseries before being transplanted to the reef, where the marine biology team continually monitors their growth. This cultivation program has been underway since 2007 and has so far resulted in over 1,000 new ‘nubbins’ of coral taking root in the wild.

As part of the publicity for its initiatives, to raise awareness of the importance of coral reefs, the threats posed to them by climate change, and the pioneering rehabilitation work that is helping to restore them. naming the coral reef system at Hvafen Fushi was put up as a competition at literary England's annual Hay Festival, May 21-31, 2009. Ten-year old Londoner, Zsuza Magyar won for her entered name, Stingray Ree’, which is Madi Faru in the local Dhivehi language. This was given the personal approval of President Nasheed of the Maldives.

With the success of its coral project, Huvafen Fushi has developed a host of new marine activities and experiences for guests to get more involved. There are coral planting sessions; night snorkeling; and the creation of an educational ‘touch tank’ containing cushion starfish, sea cucumbers, hermit crabs and other hidden treasures. Plans are also in place to create coral gardens beneath the glass floors of overwater villas and the two underwater treatment rooms at LIME spa.

Yes, Huvafen Fushi is indeed one of the signature resorts of Per Aquum (where Neil Palmer is new Chief Executive). The resort is part of Male atoll, 30 minutes by speedboat from Male International Airport, opened late 2003. Designed by architect Carl Ettensberger - whose current projects include the equally-amazing forthcoming Mandarin Oriental on Dellis Cay in Turks & Caicos - and Delphine Lyon, there are 43 villas, all with sizeable plunge pools. As well as its spa, designed by Richard Hywel Evans, memorable features include the luxury resort's T-shaped infinity pool, with thousands of fiber optic lights set into its base (you can dine in the pool's shallow end, for dinner between the stars, below and above, choosing a wine from one of the 6,000 bottles in the temperature-controlled cellar). The resort also has its own 70-ft Symphony cruiser, for special trips. Among the many celebrities who adore Huvafen Fushi is fashion designer Alexander McQueen.


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