Amilla Fushi Maldives!

Tripoto

We were pretty excited to kick back at Amilla Fushi after a glorious stint at Finolhu. My feet were hurting from all the dancing till the wee hours of the morning but hey, you can’t expect that kind of entertainment anywhere else in the Maldives so no one’s complaining. Our speedboat ride from Finolhu to Amilla was anything but ordinary. 

Photo of Amilla Fushi, Baa Atoll, North Province, Maldives by Jia Singh

We were taking photographs of the gazillion shades of blue when we saw a large pod of dolphins at the front of our boat. My sister and I were shrieking in excitement and the dolphins were incredibly playful, unafraid of the boat and were showing off for 15-20 minutes until they swam away. My sister had tears in her eyes and we almost dropped our phones into the ocean while we were trying to get photos of these majestic creatures (all for a good Instagram photo). Our 30 minute ride took a little over an hour and the Amilla team were eagerly waiting for our arrival to greet us and welcome us into #Myislandhome.

Photo of Amilla Fushi Maldives! by Jia Singh

Amilla Fushi is the more luxurious and high end sister of Finolhu. We had the opportunity to spend two nights at the Ocean Reef House after a very relaxing night at the Wellness Tree House by Bodyism.

Photo of Finolhu Baa Atoll, Baa Atoll, North Province, Maldives by Jia Singh

The Ocean Reef Houses give one a true taste of the Maldives and is the best choice for guests who want to spend their time exploring the Indian Ocean. If you are a water baby, have a PADI licence or love to spend time snorkelling- this is perfect for you. The sprawling 250 sq. m. grants you direct access to the ocean and a chance to really snorkel with the reef fish, sea turtles, lemon sharks. And if that’s not enough, each Ocean Reef House comes with its own freshwater pool, which looks postcard-perfect against the backdrop of the Indian Ocean.

Photo of Maldives by Jia Singh

The houses and homes, how they call them at Amilla, are absolutely gorgeous. There are two bathing areas, an outdoor shower by the pool and a gorgeous open-air bathtub and shower inside the room. Even though the Ocean Reef Houses look like they are right next to each other, we surprisingly felt like we had enough privacy to use the outdoor showers! The king size bed was so plush, we had trouble getting ourselves out of it and fully utilizing our ocean view. That is truly incredible given that the ocean boasts every hue between jade and blue.

Photo of Amilla Fushi Maldives! by Jia Singh

After we settled in, we spent some time watching the sunset over a drink and a coffee each. There’s something magical about the sunset in the Maldives. Each one different from the next but absolutely spectacular. My sister and I would take turns at trying to get the perfect shot during golden hour but to watch the skin turn orange was absolutely marvellous. Our friends wouldn’t believe our photos but these vista needed #nofilter.

Photo of Amilla Fushi Maldives! by Jia Singh

For dinner, we went to Feeling Koi, a modern Japanese restaurant with some Latin influence. The first thing we noticed on entering Feeling Koi was the minimalist design. The interior designers have done a great job creating an upscale ambience within the restaurant while allowing the diner enough vantage points to enjoy the pristine Indian Ocean. We requested the mixologist to make us some cocktails with no added sugar and he delivered a tangy, yet sweet, vodka cocktail with plum purée and mint that we slurped down very quickly. We enjoyed our starters and cocktails on the top deck, where we got a great sunset view and breeze. For starters we tried a delicate and delicious selection of sashimi and sushi, as well as some sweet and juicy pulled pork on a rice cracker that was not on the menu.

When we moved down to the dining area post-sunset, we saw that the restaurant was almost fully packed and that the music was a tad more audible, lending the restaurant a more lively atmosphere. After we sat at our table, we consulted the chef, and took his suggestions for our orders. Everything we ate this evening was above our expectations, but we will focus on the ones that we still drool and reminisce about today. In the smaller plates, we highly recommend the Goma-ae Spinach Salad with Sesame and Mirin, the Feeling Koi Signature (tiger prawn, foie gras, brioche, vanilla and black pepper cream), and the Trio of Fish Tacos. We definitely over-ordered and realized this when we had the Shiitake and Chicken Broth.

While it was delicately flavoured and actually had the consistency of a broth, we realized that we would be bursting at the seams if everything else coming our way was going to be as good and warrant a taste. We also tried the Corn Fed Organic Chicken (marinated in Sake and Mirin, with sweet and crispy onion, Asian greens, and a ponzu sauce) and the French Pork Short Ribs (with spring onion, toasted sesame and sweet potato puree, radish and green apple salad). While the chicken was succulent and wholesome, the pork ribs had a very refreshing, zesty flavour. A perfect yin and yang of terrestrial proteins. The highlight of the meal however, was the Atlantic Wild Caught Black Cod (braised in Miso Mirin, with crunchy lotus root, bok choy, snow peas, and sesame oil). Never have we ever eaten any protein this delectable. We were surprised that after stuffing our faces for so many courses, the final dish was deserving of a standing ovation. Usually, by the end of the meal, our taste buds are overwhelmed and it becomes difficult to tell the flavours of the dishes apart from one another. In the case of the cod, the law of diminishing returns did not apply. 

Photo of Amilla Fushi Maldives! by Jia Singh

We would brave 3 flights and a speedboat ride just to eat this cod again! Even though we felt like beached whales after our meal, we went to the lounge area after and tried to burn some of our calories while swaying to the DJ’s tunes. The ambience was just perfect! We had the wind in our hair, smiles on our faces, food in our bellies, and the sound of the waves in our ears. If you can believe, we even tucked into some dessert. We got a ‘Wow Platter’ – which consisted of absolutely gorgeous and delicious mochi ice cream, a rich and creamy strawberry cheesecake, exotic fruit skewers, deep fried pastries stuffed with chocolate on a bed of popcorn, and pineapple skewers with toasted coconut. The highlight of this platter was the ice cream!

The next afternoon, we decided to have light brunch at the Emperor Beach Club. We had the honey chilli marinated chicken skewers, and the grilled prawns. For drinks, we had a passion fruit juice and an almond milk latte. Both refreshing and delicious. The store also sells memorabilia, phone charges, bikinis, sunscreen, daily essentials and beach dresses.

After we completed our shoots and snorkelling at our ocean reef house, we went to Baazaar for dinner. The Baazaar has something for everyone, seafood, Asian food, pizza, or something from the grill. The restaurants face the stunning 1200 sq. m. pool, and the painted orange sky. We were very fortunate to be at Amilla on a night where they were serving traditional Maldivian food. While we can’t recall the names of any of the dishes, we found them to be very similarly seasoned to Indian food. We had several dishes with tuna, which is a staple dish in Maldivian food, and enjoyed some delicately seasoned chicken and a reef fish curry—our favorite. We enjoyed learning about Amilla from the Resort Manager Jean- Noel Sangaraille and were also joined for dinner by the Bodyism Instructor James Burke. The highlight of the night was the traditional Maldivian dance performance- a soulful dance performed by men with percussive music and plaintive yet vibrant vocals. Most guests retire after a long day at the bar and catch up with other guests over a drink but we were too tired so we decided to walk to our rooms instead.

Near the beach, there is a section dedicated to water sports where guests can choose from motorised and non motorised sports. All non motorised water sports are free for residents like stand up paddle, snorkel equipment, kayaks while the non motorised ones come at a cost and need to be booked in advance through your butler (katheeb).

Verdict: The Small Maldives Island Company has a hotel for each kind of traveler. While Finolhu is perfect for guests that want a little entertainment everyday with a cool and retro funky atmosphere, Amilla offers unparalleled modern luxury with impeccable and unobtrusive service. There is also a free shuttle service that takes guests on a daily basis from Finolhu to Amilla, incase you wish to dine at one of the restaurants. There’s plenty to do at Amilla and the resort offers a list of activities and excursions (included in tariff) to guests on a daily basis. Ask your Katheeb for your weekly schedule in your value.

We highly recommend Amilla to young couples, honeymooners, families and wellness enthusiasts that are looking to take their fitness up by a few notches. If you can book early, grab the ocean reef villa for the most breathtaking sunsets and the best views of Baa Atoll. After all, wouldn’t you like to wake up and jump in for a quick snorkel session with the abundant marine life at Amilla. Spend some time exploring the reef and book yourself a session with the turtle discovery programme that is bound to leave you speechless or if you are PADI certified then book yourself a dive or two with #bae to see why #itsbetterinbaa.

Photo of Amilla Fushi Maldives! by Jia Singh

It is a different price class than Finolhu but well worth it , if you are looking for a holiday of a lifetime. The staff will go out of their way to make sure all your needs are met. The rooms are strategically located so you can enjoy the seclusion and the privacy and then decide to come out and hang out with guests over a drink in the evenings. If you do happen to eat dinner at ‘Feeling Koi’ you must order the wild atlantic black cod and wait on the jetty for a surprise. On some nights, if you are lucky and look closely, nature surprises you with bioluminescent plankton that glistens along the shore. No photos and words can do this justice- you have to experience it on your own.

Photo of Amilla Fushi Maldives! by Jia Singh

Special thanks to Claudia, Nasru, Jumi, Jean-Noel for organising such a beautiful trip. To our katheeb for taking such great care of us during our stay.

This post was originally published on Wandering For Wellness.

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