You can almost hear the collective sigh from the group as we sail further away from Malé and the real world with all of its worries. We are heading towards Baros Maldives, a small coral island resort in the Indian Ocean with varying flora and fauna, hazy sundrenched beaches and sky-splitting sunsets offering much-needed time out from the hustle of city life.
As Bazaar approaches the island dotted by small white clouds and a stiff breeze that slices through the heady tropical air, it’s impossible to ignore the beauty of the surrounding oval-shaped reef which provides a safe habitat for the exquisite and vibrant marine life, nurtured by a carefully managed conservation system. Engulfed by the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean that shimmer in a colour of turquoise so bright it threatens to blind, it occurs to me that paradise is often an overused word, but one truly appropriate for the view ahead of us.
A Deluxe Villa at Baros Maldives
Although there are 45 beachside and 30 water villas on the island, you wouldn’t know it, as there’s been attention paid to clever landscaping from the Maldivian architect, Mohamed Shafeeq. Layout has been carefully planned with privacy and outdoor living in mind. Walls, when at all possible, have been left open-sided, and when not, are constructed with floor-to-ceiling glass, allowing 360 views of the surrounding ocean. Each villa, depending on range, offers a huge kingsize bed and daybed, with some offering open-air bathrooms with rainfall showers. Made from natural materials such as tropical wood and coconut thatch, that subtly blend into the surroundings, the water villas have the added luxury of steps leading directly into the ocean. If you really want to go all out, the Baros Residence, a whopping 268 square-metres in size, is decked out with the upmost in luxury. Surrounded by dark green foliage and bird of paradise blooms, guests can take a private dip in the 7x3 metre pool set within the gardens.
Inside there’s a great feeling of space with vast dressing rooms and even grander bathrooms. Although best of all is the deck, a delightful spot to sunbathe, read a book or from which to dip into the sea when the tropical heat becomes too much. It’s remarkable how important mealtimes become when there is little else to do but relax and switch off, and although natural resources in the Maldives are somewhat limited, fish, of course, is plentiful and of a fantastic quality. There are three restaurants to choose from depending on your mood, including an over-water fine dining option and a more relaxed all-day dining option if you fancy something a little lighter. The ratio of staff to guests is as generous as the smiles that greet us, a genuinly heartfelt hospitality and dedication to service that will leave a mark on us for some time.
Baros Maldives is all about finding respite from daily life; a contemplative place that is encased by the kind of serenity that encourages us to re-evaluate the way and speed in which we are living. Perhaps it is the smaller “barefoot luxury” resorts that are somewhat more appealing than their more manicured, determinedly sophisticated big brothers in the Maldives... And Baros is just that. It’s outdoor living at its best – pure Robinson Crusoe territory (with a few mod cons). We check into the Maldives to check out, and Baros above all will make sure that you can do just that.