Following a recent renovation, the fabulous Kanuhura is a true sanctuary for the sense. Welcome to the unveiling of an icon
Those in search of barefoot luxury need look no further —when most people think of the Maldives they envisage over-water bungalows dazzling turquoise waters and vast stretches of soft, white sand. That’s exactly what you’ll find at Kanuhura.
Re-opening December 2016 having undergone a multimillion pound makeover this hidden gem has seriously set the standard. After 15 glorious years and with Sun Resorts at the helm (Long Beach Golf & Spa Resort Sugar Beach Golf & SpaResort), La Birogue Resort & Spa and Ambre Resort & Spa), the refurb is seriously slick and the whole place sparkles, but one thing remains: unrivalled access to idyllic beaches, tropical bright atolls and laid-back island living.
A short 40-minute hop from mainland Male by private seaplane “this island” which sits smack in the middle of the Indian Ocean and with one of the most iconic beaches in the archipelago, is a little piece of paradise. The renovations are breathtaking and with the effortlessly cool super model Erin Wasson as muse, Kanuhura nails “gypset chic” (an on-trend mix of gipsy plus jet-set) — think natural elegance with a free-spirited vibe, all inspired by the rugged, indigenous beauty of the island.
The lavish Kanuhura Villas and Suites — some over- water; others beachside, ooze boho luxe, sumptuous swathes of silk, hot hued fabric and contemporary art blend flawlessly with natural stone, timber and thatch raftered ceilings. The Beach and Pool Villas nestle neatly among the flora and fauna of the perfectly pristine island and the Water Villas come with beautiful semi-open bathrooms, smooth polished-stone baths, huge monsoon showers and a private decked terrace with secret access to that jaw-dropping lagoon.
Nature is the reason to come here. Take your pick of places to chill and marvel at the sheer prettiness of it all — from your own private plunge pool, freshwater infinity pool or the dreamy shores, the beaches really are palm- tree-dotted perfection. The staff are present and in-tune, pre-empting your needs before you know them and making sure everything is faultless. They are on hand to help with absolutely anything and can arrange a whole host of activities for you in the blink of an eye.
And, its all about the outdoors, so take your pick of adventures: from big-game fishing and island hopping to private-island picnics and sunset cruises — there’s so much to do. With endless shoals of vividly coloured fish, manta rays, turtles and baby sharks, the Lhaviyani reef packs a serious punch — the diving is top notch but you can also snorkel or nip around on a glass-bottom boat. Thrill-seekers will love the huge number of watersports on offer; including kite surfings water skiing and parasailing while soul-searchers will adore the ultra-healing yoga, real-deal meditation and soothing stretch classes.
Every inch of Kanuhura is catch-your-breath stunning. Meander barefoot among the jungly sand paths to one of 10 culinary experiences. Dining is diverse, with a wonderful range of restaurants including Dagas, which serves imaginative and delicious Maldivian-inspired plates such as fantastically scrumptious meat and fish grilled right in front of you, all set on the powder white beach.
Drift, the Jehunuhura Island Grill — accessible via super speedy boat — is just the place for a romantic rendez-vous. There’s also a sunset cruise aboard a traditional dhoni (Maldivian boat), where you can feast on caviar and freshly caught crustaceans all served with oodles of Champagne.
You must try the interactive cookery demo in the Chef’s Herb Garden and don’t miss a fabulously punchy rum cocktail (or two) at Iru, the Sunset Beach Lounge — with swings at the bar and beach rocking chairs, it’s just the place for sunset gazing.
Kokaa, the Wellness Retreat & Spa, is a complete oasis of calm and the place to go to ease jet-lag weary limbs. The nature-inspired treatment menu is spot on, offering everything from mind-melting massages to all sorts of five-star facials, scrubs and wraps. You will leave with skin so supple it shines. A pure unfettered paradise.