When walking my dog in the mornings is a time that I use to reflect on my life, how are things going? What could I do to improve? When am I going to meet 'the one'? etc. Well, my life at the moment is amazing and I'm the happiest I have been in years - everything is going great with the business Hawkins & Shepherd and my blog carlthompson.co.uk whilst my Instagram is better than I could have ever imagined. Saying that. During these walks my one favourite thought is 'What would I do if I won the lottery'! I mean, some morning walks I've 'won' £3million, £10million, £1million, £100million or 'just' £5,000...every single scenario has been thought through at some point!
Regardless of how much I win, the first thing I would do is go on an epic holiday and this place, Finolhu is just that - a fantasy, luxurious and in many cases unobtainable; but we can dream, right? And for me that is a magic of not only Finolhu but the Maldives in general.
FORGET ARTISTS AND POETS: NEW MALDIVES HOTSPOT FINOLHU HAS ITS OWN RESIDENT ACROBATS! Glamorous new retro-chic resort delights guests with acrobats, stilt walkers and ‘mermaids’ from Area 51.
Continuing its shake-up of the Maldives travel scene, new luxury resort disruptor Finolhu has teamed up with pioneering performance creatives Area 51 for unique residency of acrobats, mermaids and stilt walkers - rebooting the increasingly stale artists-in-residence concept for a new generation of Maldives luxplorers and gypset travellers.
One of the world’s most creative entertainment companies, Area 51 is renowned for its spectacular shows, dazzling revelers with its jaw-dropping performances at many of the biggest festivals and clubs on the planet, from Glastonbury and Bestival to Hed Kandi in Ibiza. After sprinkling its inimitable stardust over Finolhu’s sensational three-day launch extravaganza in June, Area 51 dispatched a trio of its premier performance artists to establish a permanent base at Finolhu. Replete with a unique wardrobe of custom costumes, the Area 51 performers have been wowing guests in a carousel of guises ever since, from stilt walkers and acrobats to fire dancers and even a mermaid!
Opened in June 2016, Finolhu is a refreshing, retro-inspired new retreat in Baa Atoll, bringing a buzzy burst of fun, world-class entertainment and toes-in-the-sand relaxation to fun-loving beach-erati. Taking an unexpected cue from the halcyon days of the classic glamorous getaway, Finolhu recalls the heady allure of vintage beach vacations with its classic design, retro touches and laid-back ambiance. Set in a UNESCO Biosphere reserve, and easily accessible via the domestic Baa Atoll airport or a 30-minutes seaplane ride from Malé, Finolhu has all the hallmarks of paradise. Translucent waters, 1.8km long white-sand bank and perma-clear skies aside, what really sets it apart from its Maldivian competitors is its effortlessly stylish surrounds and beach clubby-ness.
The ultimate island experience for chic couples, fun-loving families and groups of friends alike, Finolhu’s 125 villas come on the ocean, the lagoon or by the beach, with or without pool, and are outfitted with Instagram-worthy interiors and vintage-style Marshall speakers, while bathrooms and spa facilities are stocked with all-natural, organic products from Neal’s Yard Remedies.
With the chilled-out Baa Baa Beach Club at its heart, Finolhu offers laid-back yet elegant dining options, from lazy afternoon grazing at the poolside Baa Baa; a trip across the lagoon to the Fish & Crab Shack, halfway along Finolhu’s stunning 1.8km sandbar; or the theatrical Kanusan, where an open kitchen puts modern Cantonese favourites such as Mandarin roasted duck and Larb Gai at centre stage. Milk Bar is a tempting old-school ‘tuck shop’ brimming with guilt-free treats, while the boutique-style Baahaa Grill restaurant celebrates the legendary spice blends of pre-Moorish North Africa, where a town’s finest spice sellers were as famous as its rulers.
As night falls, playtime begins, with the magnetic two-storey Baa Baa Beach Club Bar inviting guests to step back in time and discover new fun and games. Nightly foodie showcases are matched with world-class wines; Cinema Retro screens classic movies and live international sports action; and gamers can hit the bar’s old school arcade for classic Pinball or PacMan action. Baa Baa Beach Club keeps things fresh with a nightly, weekly and monthly entertainment programme, including the weekly Retro Pool Party, the monthly Full Moon Tribal sandbar party… and, just four times per year, vibe-defining “Finolhu Blhu” events – exclusive one-off extravaganzas featuring appearances from the world’s coolest performers and hottest DJs.
Virgin Holidays (www.virginholidays.co.uk, 0344 557 3859) offers seven nights at Finolhu, Maldives from £2,997 per person, including scheduled Qatar Airways flights from London Heathrow, ‘Full Board Plus’ accommodation and seaplane transfers, as well as US€1000 resort credit per room per stay.
Price based on two adults sharing a Lagoon Villa, including taxes, based on 28 November 2016 departure. ‘Full Board Plus’ includes breakfast in Baa Baa Beach Club, and lunch and dinner in any of the resort dining outlets (including a selection of soft drinks, beer and wine by the glass; some menu items may carry a supplement and some outlets may require reservations in the evenings).