*niyama private islands
written Alban E. Smajli
During a scenic 45-minute seaplane transfer from Malé to the Dhaalu Atoll, we enjoyed a breathtaking aerial view of the turquoise Indian Ocean with hundreds of sandbars and green islands. We arrived at the jetty of the resort where we were welcomed by our attentive and cheerful thakaru Ting. Niyama Private Islands is spread out over two isles - “Play” and “Chill” - and filled with thousands of different-sized coconut palm trees that rustle in the wind. The first thing that strikes one upon arrival is the infinite peace that makes you feel as if you were in your very own tropical paradise.
It is this special feeling, according to Niyama ́s Cluster Director of PR & Communication, Deveekaa Nijhawan, that makes the island perfect for tourists who want to escape the hustle and bustle of their everyday life, whether they ́re with their families, on a surfing trip, or simply looking for leisure and pleasure and a bit of what Niyama bills as their ‘nature ́s playground.’
Spacious and elegant high wooden ceiling villas are built over the water or come with direct beach access. The Beach Pool Villas are our top pick and come equipped with enormous beds. A pool in the suite ́s private garden is perfect for a dip at midnight and there is a tropical outdoor rain shower and huge ceramic bathtub to bathe under the starry sky. On the outdoor deck, you can enjoy the view of endless blues and heavenly sunsets. The islands are eco-friendly and provide their guests with bicycles to bike to places like SURF SHACK for some Sundowners before enjoying the breezy ride back to their villas.
It ́s still a mystery to us how you can have the highest standard of privacy and peace even though there are 134 studios on the two islands. You rarely see other guests cycling through the labyrinths full of coconut trees, ferns and other tropical plants or on the epic wooden bridge that connects the Play and Chill. However, Niyama can be as peaceful and quiet or as busy and active as each guest desires. No matter if you are looking for adventure, relaxation, romance, surfing, or exclusive dining, Niyama offers tropical-island chic at its finest. It has something for everyone: speed boating to find spinner dolphins and flying fishes, one-on-one surfing lessons and scuba diving to spot turtles and reef sharks, and hopping on a boatbus that brings you to SUBSIX, a restaurant six metres below the water. The restaurant turned nightclub comes highly recommended for its top-notch local lobster set menu with champagne while dining in the company of stingrays, snappers, and sharks that pass by your table.
And for those who are looking to get a gym session in, check out PUMP or ACTIVE where you can play pool, air-tennis, regular tennis, or badminton. It’s safe to say that there is plenty to do here!
The setting boasts an impressive number of culinary attractions to dine. There ́s the Maldives-only Afro-Latin restaurant named TRIBAL that combines fine dining with cuisines from Africa, Central, and South America. Then the atmospheric three-top Asian restaurant, NEST, is six metres above ground amongst Banyan trees and showcases a fantastic teppanyaki-style experience to the tune of tropical birds. On the ground, there ́s a garden that bears extra hot Maldivian chillies, fresh coriander, watermelon, and salads. Local fishermen also bring their daily catch of yellowfin tuna or mahi mahi.
The Niyama Private Islands is an absolute sensation with its postcard perfect rustling palm trees and white sand refreshed by the palest turquoise that the Indian Ocean has to offer.