The Nautilus Maldives has officially opened its doors after welcoming the first guest to the island. The luxury resort celebrated the first ‘Nautilus Rising’ with sunset cocktails at Naiboli poolside bar.
The inspiration behind this new boutique 26-room island is Dr I U Maniku, a Maldivian entrepreneur with over 30-years’ experience in business and resort ownership. Originally thinking about building his dream retreat on the tiny island, The Nautilus has grown to become his personal vision of what the last word in island luxury – in both the Maldives and worldwide – should be.
Uniquely in the Maldives, The Nautilus experience begins on the runway at Velana International Airport, where every guest will be taken straight from the plane to a VIP terminal in the airport for a relaxed customs and immigration clearance. From there it is a short hop to The Nautilus’ own private lounge to await the 35-minute seaplane flight to Baa Atoll.
Houses and Residences
Accommodation at The Nautilus is called ‘Houses’ and ‘Residences’ because guests should feel the same levels of comfort and ease as when at home, along with the most spectacular features the Maldives has to offer. Those features include private pools, ocean views from every house, soft sandy beaches encircling dense tropical greenery, and a rich coral reef just meters from the island’s shores.
Each of the 26 houses is a suite, with separate living room and bedroom. Just 15 one- and two-bedroom houses line the island’s beaches, hidden away among coconut trees, palms, and tropical greenery. Eleven one- and two-bedroom houses stand on stilts over the lagoon.
Natural daylight fills the rooms and interior design is tropical with a touch of boho chic whimsy. The island style is relaxed, with the guideline given to the interior designers to “make it look like it could be someone’s home, and better”. Most of the furnishings have been custom-built for The Nautilus.
At the three restaurants and poolside bar, guests can explore ‘unscripted dining’, meaning the freedom to order off the menu if that’s how they feel. The Nautilus is a world where a menu is just a place to gather inspiration and meals are designed for the guest, whenever they want to eat. Dining, for those wishing to follow chef’s suggestions, includes intriguing infusions of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine at the over-water signature restaurant; elegant simplicity with Japanese and Latin-American creations at the grill; and global delicacies at the all-day dining restaurant.
No opening or closing times, no breakfast hours, no shoes, no dress codes. Guests come as they are, enjoy great company and indulge in a shared passion for extraordinary cuisine.
Spirit of discovery
The Nautilus doesn’t judge, doesn’t impose and doesn’t inhibit its guests. Instead, it removes barriers and creates incredible excursions and adventures, taking guests where they want to be when they want to be there, from midnight swims in glowing phosphorescent waters alongside a marine biologist, to exploring deserted islands on a yacht or floating in a ‘star filled’ pool under the milky way while the House Captain whisks up another perfect cocktail.
Guests looking for a mindful holiday are invited to join daily complimentary yoga, meditation and fitness classes. Watersports activities such as snorkelling, kayaking in a transparent canoe, or stand-up-paddle boarding are free: guests simply decide when they want to go.
Located in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, a kaleidoscopic wonderland of incredible marine life awaits discovery. Trips to world-renowned Hanifaru Bay to swim amongst whale sharks and manta rays; diving on iridescent coral reefs; exploring remote sandbanks and deserted islands picnic in hand or just cruising the ocean in a custom yacht are among the many adventures guests can look forward to.
The Nautilus sets guests on their own path to wellness, drawing on ancient wisdoms and modern innovations for a transformative journey in its four treatment rooms in the heart of the island. The spa specializes in the bespoke, designing wellness programmes and daily rituals that refresh and relax, pamper and protect. Guests can salute the sun at dawn, discover alternative healing, join complimentary wellness classes or craft their own path to restoration. On the quiet, unrushed shores of The Nautilus, life moves at a different pace and guests are given all the time in the world to reflect and recalibrate.