Jumeirah Vittavelli stands out in the Indian Ocean with its grade A offerings in gastronomy, wellness and focus on guest experience. TTN returned from a recent trip to the jewel of Jumeirah in Maldives, and found out how the property is standing apart from the rest…going above and beyond the rejuvenating experiences of Talise Spa and the assurance of Jumeirah’s Stay Different philosophy.
Let us look at the realities of morning flights out of the Gulf region – about three of them land within the hour between 7:40am (Emirates) and 8:40am (2 Qatar Airways flights) in addition to busy flights from the national carriers of Russia and Sri Lanka. The arrival lounge can get very hot and steaming – unless, as a Jumeirah Vittavelli guest you are transported into their well-stocked welcome lounge. An essential transition that immediately puts guests at ease and in the mood for the dream-inspired island holiday. The wi-fi enabled hub is serviced by ushers and has among other facilities, a charging station, hot and cold beverage counters, snacks and bites – the wait time flies before you know, and soon after it’s time to board the snazzy yacht towards the island.
The boat used by the resort is a masterpiece from the stables of Gulf Craft, a pioneer of UAE-made luxury yachts. Wi-fi is again available throughout, while the boat’s superior handling of the waves ensures that guests can continue to stream social feeds at ease.
The on-arrival ritual dance to welcome guests and presentation of handmade accessories made from palm leaves lend an authentic touch and make for a pleasant first impression, but what uplifts that experience is that the staff are well aware of the guests’ preferences (food/stay/entertainment) and address them by name – no introductions required!
Jumeirah Vitavelli has a special place in its heart for children. The tree-lined pathways criss-crossing the island are safe for run around, while the beaches are among the most pristine we’ve seen on the Indian Ocean and perfect for sun-building activities. Beyond these, there’s a touch of magic: an ice-skating rink (completely sustainable and made from synthetic material) where children and adults can go skating or play ice hockey. The on-island kids club Kuda Koli and Teen Lounge are managed by friendly staff and childcare specialists, and have both indoor and outdoor setups for fun and discovery activities including island exploration, craft, pizza making, face painting, treasure hunts and pool games.
Jumeirah Vitavelli’s dining offering needs highlighting. Executive chef Francis Cornelius (now director of culinary) and his team are clearly up to any challenge and are awaiting to win hearts and minds with their well-researched preparation.
For example, there was a sumptuous platter of an authentic Bengali wedding lunch served at the private pool side at the villa – this cooked up swiftly in response to a whim of the guest and the chef and his team were able to surprise and excite the palate because of their intuitive preparations. Such high standards of hospitality and attention to details separate good brands from great.
Not surprisingly, Jumeirah Vittaveli is home to 10 restaurants, bars, and lounges, serving culinary delights for all palates.
Swarna, their signature restaurant, has been repeatedly recognised as the best Indian cuisine in Asia. For its second anniversary, the Swarna Gold menu was launched, at $2,000 per person, the most expensive Indian menu in the world. It includes rare delicacies such as Iranian caviar, known for its delicate taste, black summer truffles, picked for their distinctive aroma, as well as Khasi lamb from Jaipur in Rajasthan. The lavish meal ends in a golden dessert truffle, infused with dark chocolate. Gold in edible form is added to each course, such as the gold-coated Himalayan pink salt or rose gold-coated lamb patty.
The resort offers a range of intimate dining options from an ‘Aqua Dinner’ with your toes dipped in the shallow end of the pool, to a dinner with your seat and table carved from sand. With ‘Floating Breakfast’ guests can indulge in an opulent breakfast spread and enjoy the unique sensation of dining from the floating tray right in your very own private pool.
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