Niyama offers luxury with a cool, modern design and is the perfect hotel for those that love a contemporary vibe with all the mod cons and gadgets. There is a great choice of dining with some incredible settings including an underwater bar and restaurant.
The two islands of the resort, called Play and Chill, are linked by a bridge and between them they offer something that suits everyone. As the name suggests ‘Play’ is for those who prefer activities and is more family-focused whereas ‘Chill’ is for those who prefer a more tranquil spot with perhaps the odd spa treatment to break up the day.
There are plenty of activities to choose from, both on land and on water from guided snorkeling with a marine biologist to cookery classes or coral preservation.
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Accommodation is a collection of 134 villas, suites and pavilions dotted around both islands and extending over the lagoon. Each is spacious with a modern decor and comes with its own Thakuru (butler) and complimentary bicycles.
Rooms come with luxury amenities and accessories like state of the art entertainment systems and Nespresso machines while bathrooms are fitted not only with waterfall showers, but huge bathtubs too.
Niyama is set in the south-western atoll of Dhaalu, a 40 minute seaplane flight from Male.
A lagoon borders the resort and the twin islands of Niyama both have gorgeous stretches of beach with the soft, white sand the Maldives is rightly famous for.
Food and drink
One of the highlights of Niyama, and something that sets it apart from many Maldives resorts, is its wide range of dining with seven restaurants and three bars, many with incredible settings.
Set on ‘Play’ island, BLU is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner offering family style dining where, in their words, ‘Miami meets the Mediterranean’. It also offers a poolside ice cream parlor. Meanwhile on ‘Chill’ island, Epicure is also open for breakfast, lunch and dinner serving International cuisine in a casual setting by the infinity pool. The Deli Café serves coffee, pastries, sandwiches and snacks.
Niyama also offers a host of restaurants with amazing settings that offer unforgettable experiences. The Edge restaurant, set half-a-kilometer out in the ocean, is accessible only by boat and has a stunning sunset bar. The cuisine here is modern fine dining focusing mainly on seafood. The Subsix restaurant is also accessed by boat but here you descend six feet underwater with views of tropical fish swimming by. This restaurant is open for lunch daily and also hosts DJ nights twice a week as well as wine tastings. Private champagne breakfasts and dinners can also be arranged on request. On land, Nest offers fabulous Asian cuisine with a twist in a surreal and very atmospheric tree top setting. Dine at a table set on a wooden walkway among the trees or tucked between the vines of the forest floor.
Tribal offers fine dining inspired by African, Central and South American tribal fine dining cuisine and is set in the forest amidst blazing torchlight fires.
There are also options to dine in your own villa or choose from a wide-range of stunning ‘destination dining’ choices, such as a deserted sand-bank or on board a dhoni (traditional Maldivian sailboat).
Dune Bar is Niyama’s alfresco lounge bar and beach club while Fahrenheit is a rooftop bar with views right over the Indian Ocean and live music and DJs.
The Explorers club on ‘Play’ is one of the best kids’ clubs in the Maldives and the Niyama is the only resort to offer a club for children under three years old. It’s open from 9am-6pm and is complimentary for children from three years.
There are indoor and outdoor play areas, a trampoline, splash park and a stage. The activities are tailored to four different age groups - Globetrotters (12 months - 2 years), Adventurers (3 - 4 years), Voyagers (5 - 7 years) and Pioneers (8 - 12 years) and are designed to get the children immersed in nature and creative play.
There are also games like beach cricket, tennis and snorkeling safaris for older children.
Facilities and activities
There is plenty to do on Niyama to keep everyone as busy or relaxed as they choose.
You can snorkel from the beach but the main reef is a short boat ride away (payable locally) with stunning snorkeling opportunities. The hotel’s marine biologist takes guided snorkeling excursions by day or night as well as discovery tours at Subsix, the underwater restaurant. There is also a fantastic coral adoption program guests can get involved in. Niyama also offers sailing, paddle boats, kayaks and fishing. The more adventurous can try surfing, jet skiing, jet pack, water-skiing, wakeboarding, kite-surfing or tubing.
On land there are two infinity pools and a children’s pool, a 24-hour gym, library, games zone with Wii, Xbox, table tennis and pool table. You can take part in yoga classes or cookery classes learning African, Chinese, Latin American and Japanese cuisine. There is even a professional photo studio with make-up artists and video editing.
There is a full PADI dive center on Niyama with daily boat trips to the spectacular dive sites outside of the lagoon. You can take a Discover scuba lesson if you are new to the sport and there are open-water and advanced diving courses provided as well as speciality courses, such as nitrox and under-water photography. There are junior courses too for eight years and above.
The extensive Lime spa has six over-water treatment rooms all with a lagoon view and two treatment sanctuaries with private gardens, outdoor bath, rain-showers and daybeds. Treatments are provided for both adults and the spa also has a sauna, steam baths, plunge pools, Jacuzzis and a vitality juice bar.
This trendy and chic property is a fabulous duo of islands that means everyone will be kept happy. It is ideal for those that are looking for more out of the Maldives than just turquoise water and a white sand retreat.
- Fine Dining
- Marine Life