The opening of the second Centara Hotels & Resorts property in the Maldives later this year will allow the hotel operator to offer secluded holidays on an island near the capital island of Male to an adult-focused market.
Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa is located on the island of Giraavaru in North Male Atoll, about 15 minutes by speedboat from Male and the International Airport.
The resort, which is owned and operated by Centara, represents an investment of $UD54 million and completely replaces one of the earliest Maldives resorts that had been built on the island more than thirty years ago.
Design is by Space Architects, who have conserved the natural beauty of the three-hectare island, with its dense green interior and fine white sandy beach, and have scattered the beachside and over-water villas unobtrusively amongst the greenery to provide privacy for guests.
“For such natural beauty to be available just minutes away from Male itself, where guests can easily go for sightseeing and shopping, really is a unique opportunity to design a resort that is in complete harmony with its surroundings,” said Chris Bailey, senior vice president for sales and marketing at Centara Hotels & Resorts.
“It will, for many people, be the ultimate getaway and retreat - a retreat from city life, and a celebration of nature. The design concept reflects this using flowing and natural forms derived from the trees, vegetation and sea shells.”
Giraavaru was used by a local tribal community called Giraavaru Meehun, or Giraavaru people, before it was first developed as a resort in the late 1970s.
The Giraavaru people have their own distinctive culture and style, and this will also be a feature of the resort, including an adaptation of the traditional Giraavaru costume for the staff uniforms.
“We feel the cultural aspect requires respect, and also that it will stimulate interest amongst our guests, who will primarily be adults,” added Bailey.
There is a large lagoon to one side of the island which is good for swimmers and for snorkelling and there are some excellent dive sites including Giraavaru Cave about 10 minutes away and Lion Head and Kuda Haa both within 20 minutes distance.
A PADI diving school and water sports centre are part of the new resort.