A privately-owned island in the heart of a UNESCO biosphere reserve – The Nautilus Maldives opened in October 2018 with the serious ambition of being noted as one of the leading luxury resorts in the world.
The inspiration behind this boutique 26-room island is Dr. Ibrahim 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. “The Nautilus Maldives has been designed for the new generation of luxury travellers; travellers who expect more than just a great sun tan at the end of a holiday and are looking for transformative experiences and activities that they can share with those who matter the most to them,” states Dr Maniku. “Before beginning this project we did a great deal of research about luxury resorts around the world to ensure that we can surpass their standards and also launch a concept that’s different.
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 metres from the island’s shores. Originally a deserted island – too small at 250m diameter for inhabitation – the tiny island retains many of its original native plants and trees.
The Nautilus philosophy therefore is one of absolute freedom for its guests, offering a laid-back ‘modern bohemian’ lifestyle where guests can escape from their everyday lives, truly be themselves, and reconnect with their inner being, with nature and with their families – all in a beautiful Maldivian setting. This philosophy has meant rethinking how a luxury resort is run in order to base services around the guest and not follow standard operating procedures. With this in mind, service is driven by the House Captains (butlers), who take care of every detail instead of handing over to receptionists, concierges, excursion guides etc.
Restaurants don’t have set opening hours: breakfast can be taken at any time of day – and not even in the restaurant if the guest prefers breakfast in bed or by their pool. While there will be menus in each of the three restaurants, these are seen as starting points for a discussion with chef about what the guest would like to eat rather than as set guidelines for what can be ordered.
Spa treatments can happen without appointment and if the urge to borrow the resort’s yacht and head out into the blue yonder for a picnic should suddenly strike, the House Captain – one to every guest – will simply arrange everything as needed.
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’s a short hop to The Nautilus’ own private lounge to await the 35-minute seaplane flight to Baa atoll.
Room rates at The Nautilus Maldives start at US$1,967 for two in a Beach House with pool on bed and breakfast basis.
Photos: The Nautilus Maldives