Rosewood lead

Rosewood Phuket

After my recent relaxing stay at the Rosewood Phuket, I can very clearly state that this property is the perfect epitome of understated luxury.

 

This fantastic resort is located on Phuket's southwest coast, around a 90-minute drive from the airport. Don't be put off by it's proximity to the commercialized area of Patong, the hotel's location is actually discreetly tucked away around the coast on the other side of Emerald Bay and feels a world away from the infamous hustle and bustle of Patong.

 

As you arrive at the property you are greeted with the most beautiful welcome area with huge wooden doors opening into a tropical haven. Once checked in the buggy will take you to your villa which is located down the hill towards the ocean.

 

Rooms

The 71 spacious suites and villas have been covered with eco-friendly roof gardens and embedded into the jungle landscape. Categories range from hillside pavilion suites with plunge pools that can be interconnecting and two-bedroom villas with infinity pools, grassy courtyards and access straight onto the beach.

Entering the villa you are greeted by a very neutral pallet of soft furnishing with a hint of baby blue along with a black wooden floor, providing a very chic interior. The main large room is cleverly divided into a living room and bedroom with a giant mirror giving the illusion of bringing the outside in.

Throughout the entire villa going into the bathroom there’s a touch of brass fixtures, from lights to the bathroom faucets. The bathroom also comes with an outdoor bath and shower. All the villas are smart living and run on a central touch button system for the lights, music and blinds.

The outdoor area has a nice private pool, with a large day bed and a seating area for in-villa dining .

You can enjoy the beautiful beach or the hotel’s large gorgeous swimming pool which is wrapped around palm trees and floating platforms. The pool is split into sections for all ages including an adults only pool. The staff are all well dressed wearing panama hats and a chic uniform. The stunning Mai restaurant & pool deck is very Tulum style with elegant dining areas and a great menu.

 

Kids Club

 

Hidden in the heart of the resort, out of sight but within easy reach of the main swimming pool you will find the Explorer's Club for children aged three to eight. There's a terrific variety of activities, a wooden pirate ship, splash area all with a focus on sustainability and cultural awareness – Thai language classes, umbrella painting, picking herbs, digging for worms and tree planting. Along with cooking classes in the outdoor large kitchen children can easily idle the day away in this thoughtfully designed space.

 

 

Asaya Spa

On the hillside, Asaya, the Rosewood Group's first spa concept, is already one of the best in a country and I would not hesitate to say its truly up there in terms of world-class wellness facilities. More than just a pretty space, it offers life and relationship coaching, holistic bodywork therapies and bespoke retreats designed to help you eat, sleep and generally live a happier and healthier lifestyle.

Dining

Red Sauce is the all day dining area and the location for breakfast. I really loved the breakfast as you can enjoy part buffet part menu. The menu offered such healthy items such as power balls, protein bars, overnight oats, detox drinks, elixir shots and a large selection of gluten free items. In the evening the menu offers Italian cuisine.

The Shack is a laid back dining experience with freshly prepared seafood

 

Ta Khai – designed to look like a rustic Thai village, its situated next to the ocean  and delivers an authentic array of dishes with the daily fisherman’s catch being a crowd favorite. Not much else needs to be said when the following accomplishments adorn the front door:

2019 MICHELIN GUIDE, 2020 MICHELIN GUIDE, 2021 MICHELIN GUIDE, 2022 MICHELIN GUIDE; 2019 TRIP ADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE

 

 

 

 Green Credentials

This hidden gem of a property also has impeccable green credentials –

ecologically-sound architecture and sustainable practices such as 100 per cent rainwater harvesting, coral reef restoration to the largest solar energy system in Phuket as well as villas topped with roof gardens to help naturally cool the interiors.

Constructed from indigenous stone and timber, its minimalist lines merge into thick jungle greenery; tin-roofed restaurants sit under hundred-year old banyan trees; and retractable glass panels open onto Andaman Sea views, with hanging ferns and fabulous rattan sculptures.

 

Overview

 

Rosewood Phuket is a very chic family friendly resort, which ticks every box for the modern traveller. I highly recommend the property, from the climate conscious traveller bringing a large family to a travel savvy couple just seeking a little down time. Rosewood Phuket carries that incredible energy of making everyone that walks though the door, immediately feel like they are home.

 

 

To book your stay please contact:

Danielle@uniquefamilytravels.com

www.uniquefamilytravels.com

 

Dani
Family Friendly Couple
Six Senses Lead

Six Senses Yao Noi

I have been a huge admirer of the Six Senses brand for many years. I love their ethos in Sustainability, which is the DNA of the brand and many of their properties around the world are set in such raw locations in order to reflect this core belief.

Six Senses Yao Noi has been on my radar to visit for many years and I finally got the opportunity to experience the incredible island first hand.

 

The property is set on Koh Yao Noi in 72 acres of raw beauty, a still, peaceful island located in the middle of Phang Nga Bay, halfway between Phuket and Krabi. Facing east, the resort sprawls over a jungle-covered hillside overlooking a cluster of dramatic limestone sea-stacks – it's worth setting your alarm for 6am on at least one morning and being awestruck by the magenta sun rising behind them. From Phuket airport it's a 30-minute drive to Ao Por Marina, from where the Six Senses speedboat departs on a 45-minute journey to the resort. When booking the boat, just make sure of your timings as the boat runs on a schedule so timings are fixed.

 

  

The hotel's showpiece is its insanely photogenic “Hilltop” infinity pool, simply let the day pass while enjoying the incredible views directly in front of you. On the same side of the island is a gorgeous white beach with some great snorkeling on its rocky corners. Other activities on the island is a 4 hour bike tour around the island. During my bike tour the rain came and went which added to the fun, 26km of riding up and down hills, through the paddie fields and rubber plantations and stopping at a waterfall.

Hiking trails are around the property, a Muay Thai booking ring on the waters edge and of course yoga classes add to the active, healthy vibe.

You can also enjoy an hour’s kayak through the mangroves, where we saw snakes lying on the tree branches.

You can’t stay on the island and not enjoy a day trip to one of the close by islands. You can book a long boat or private yacht for some island hopping -  Phi Phi Island, James Bond Island and the islands of  Krabi.

 

 

Villas

With an emphasis on space, privacy and nature, each of the thatched-roof villas ramble across different levels, with large decks, outdoor salas, dining areas and a private swimming pool. Every villas comes with it's own GEM (guest experience manager) for all your concierge needs.

The interior is designed with drift wood, a beautiful bed in the centre of the room, a sunken bathtub in the huge bathroom along with an out door shower.

The entry level rooms are beautifully located in the lush jungle but the sea view villas are the ones to book providing the most incredible views of Phang Nga Bay so you can enjoy the sunrise and sunset. I would say for two guests book “The View” an Ocean Panoramic villa and for large families “The Ocean Retreat” or “The Hideaway” as they are real Robinson Crusoe tree houses!

 

 

 

Dining

The Living Room is the International all day alfresco dining restaurant located close to the beach which serves a breakfast buffet with healthy options direct from a menu. For dinner every night the menu changes for wok, grill and buffet options.

 

The Hilltop - when the sun goes down, the sun loungers are replaced with tables and chairs for the dinner set up. It's the exclusive restaurant on the island. Enjoy drinks at the bar and the feast of a sustainably crafted menu all while enjoying the incredible view.

During the day you can order from the lunch menu.

 

The Den offers Asian tapas and is a great place for a cocktail or two.

 

If you’re looking for a more romantic or private dining experience then you can enjoy in villa dining next to your swimming pool on the terrace of your villa or a private ding experience set up around the island.

 

Don't forget to visit the all day ice-cream parlor next to the Living Room and work your way through the yummiest selection of flavors.

 

 

Spa

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you will know that Six Senses Spas are known to be top-notch when it comes to their spa and holistic offerings, and this resort is no exception.

Designed as a small stilted village at the heart of the resort, treatments here range from energizing Thai massages to multi-day immersive programs including private chakra meditation and detox diets. There's a juice bar, and an alchemy room where guests can blend their own herbal steam balls and massage oils.

 

 

 

Children’s Activities

The island doesn’t have a kids club they have something better… The Junior Eco Warrior Club which offers a daily activity plan encouraging the kids to be out doors in nature and explore the island. They can go to the farm to learn how to milk goats, collect eggs and a cooking class. There’s also a weekly schedule for the beach cinema.

 

 

Sustainability

Sustainability is at the core of everything they do. Its not just a word that they float around, Sustainability is in their DNA.

They offer guests lemongrass drinking straws and reusable glass water bottles. Drinking water is sourced from the deep wells around the resort.

Guests are given a tour of the small farm which is home to goats, chickens, hens, ducks. There’s also a recycling plant where old furniture is made into nesting boxes for the local hornbill population.

Notes are left around the villas to remind you to turn off all the lights, how to reduce laundry and no plastic items will be found in the mini bar.

 

 

Overview

Having experienced this incredible offering before at another Six Senses property, I can definitely state that I’m a person who really loves the rawness of the island while still offering its guests a 5-star luxury escape. If you’re expecting to be in a resort with AC’s and marble floors than this is not the property for you. However, experiencing Six Senses Yao Noi will surely change your mind and encourage you to book more holidays in nature without giving up on any of your luxury needs.

 

 

 

 To book your stay please contact:

Danielle@uniquefamilytravels.com

www.uniquefamilytravels.com

 

Dani
Family Friendly Couple
Four seasons

Four Seasons Koh Samui

 

Four Seasons Koh Samui is located on the secluded northwestern tip of Laem Yai Bay. Designed by the incredible Bill Bensley (I am slowly working my way through all the properties he has designed globally), he made sure there was minimal intervention to the landscape.  When building the stunning cliff side retreat, he didn't cut down a single tree, building around them, which means that now we have an incredible lush green vegetation providing absolute privacy between villas and coconut trees while offering a picturesque landscape where green hues meet the blue of the ocean.

Rooms

The 60 pool villas are all raised on stilts and ocean facing .

The one bedroom villas are extremely spacious with a infinity pool and deck for outside dining.

One is immediately greeted by the grandeur of the king-sized bed which is under a high gabled ceiling. This opens up onto a double vanity bathroom and wardrobes that then lead into a huge bathroom with rain shower and an oval shaped tub. The floor to ceiling windows open up on to the deck bringing the outside in. The villa is complimented by teak furniture, quietly eclectic art and moody lighting. The little touches in your room at turn down service have the quintessential and trademark wonderful FS touch.

If your looking for the higher rooms go with numbers 200/300 as they are close to the spa and the main hilltop restaurant.

 

Residences

There are 10 large residences with 3/4/5 bedrooms which are simply stunning. Huge infinity swimming pools, with separate buildings for the bedrooms and kitchen and dining areas, all located around the heart of the property; and all always overlooking the majestic ocean vistas.

I noticed around the property there were these stunning authentic doors, especially in the residences acting as the double doors opening up into the bedrooms.

For multi generational families traveling together, these are perfect, as you can all be together yet still manage to have your own space. A private chef is on hand at all times, so all you need to do is relax and take in the incredible views.

 

Dining

Koh Thai Kitchen is the restaurant on the hilltop where they serve breakfast and then in the evenings Thai cuisine.

Pla Pla is the beach restaurant offering scrumptious seafood and meat dishes.

In villa dining is a great option as they will set up your villa terrace so you can relax and enjoy your own private views.

Cocorum is the pool bar with great snacks and easy dishes. Once a week there is a bbq dinner on the beach, which is beautifully lit so you can still manage to stargaze.

 

Family Friendly

“Kids for all Seasons” have a tree house located on the beach with a jungle gym inside and arts and crafts. For the older kids the Beach House is a great chill out area with a pool table, table football and table tennis table. 

 

Activities

Like most first class resorts, many water sports are on offer from SUP to Kayaks. The on site marine biologist will assist with snorkeling tours and educate on the surrounding coral and marine life

The pretty Secret Garden Spa has five treatment rooms, there are two tennis courts, the gym is well equipped and there’s a Muay Thai boxing ring and a yoga platform, both with stunning views.

The concierge will book a boat tour so as you can visit the neighboring islands which is a great way to spend the day.

 

The beach is small, untouched with white powder sand. Day beds are scattered around in front of the main swimming pool which is elevated and has a bar area. You will also spot a couple of massage beds on the beach, book a treatment while listening to the sounds of the ocean waves.

 

Service

All over their global portfolio, Four Seasons motto is Luxury is our love language and this is emphatically amplified at Four Seasons Koh Samui. Staff greet you by name, nothing is too much to ask from the friendly staff and if you don't fancy walking down to the beach and back up to your villa, the golf carts are on hand and very quick.

 

Over view

Having stayed at Four Seasons Seychelles the Koh Samui version has a similar look and feel, which ticks every box for me. Breath taking views, incredible villas and impeccable service. There’s nothing quite so beautiful as cliff side properties that merge the lush green hues with the blues of the ocean. That combo is hard to resist.

 

Bonus

A great way to experience, Thailand,  The Land of Smiles is by staying at each of the three Four Seasons sophisticated resorts. Explore the diverse cultures, landscapes and experiences as you journey through a lush valley of rice fields and an incomparable glamping destination in the North, to the white sand beaches of the South.

As different as they are, these three resorts in Thailand will fill your soul, clear your mind and leaving you wanting more.

 

Start at Four Seasons Koh Samui then move to the Chiang Rai staying at the Four Seasons Golden Triangle in a luxury tent in the jungle where you can enjoy nature and get up close and personal with elephants, then move on to experience traditional accommodation set amongst the paddie fields at Four Seasons Chiang Mai.

 

Thailand, through the lens of Four Seasons, is quite clearly the perfect vacation solution.To book your stay please contact:

Danielle@uniquefamilytravels.com

www.uniquefamilytravels.com

 

Dani
Family Friendly Couple
LEAD

Soneva Soul Maldives

Soneva, the pioneering luxury resorts operator, has announced the launch of Soneva Soul, a new wellness brand that combines thousands of years of ancient healing with modern science and medicine to reconnect mind, body and soul.

 

This unique, transformative wellness concept builds upon Soneva’s experience at the forefront of the luxury hospitality and wellbeing industry over the last 26 years. The result of the knowledge and expertise gathered along Soneva’s journey, it will offer unique wellbeing services in the ultimate healing environment, providing balance, innovative healing and health optimisation.   

“Wellness permeates all that we do at Soneva: our sustainable, barefoot philosophy that reconnects our guests to the earth; our life-affirming natural locations; our delicious yet health-focused cuisine; and our life-changing guest experiences,” says Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Co-Founder of Soneva. “Soneva Soul is the culmination of everything we have learned since we launched our spa at Soneva Fushi in 1995, the very first resort spa in the Maldives. Much like Soneva, at Soneva Soul we are pioneering an approach that combines apparent opposites to offer our guests a transformative and personalised wellbeing experience.”

 

Offering each guest a personalised pathway to health, happiness and fulfilment, Soneva Soul will encompass resort spas; movement, sleep, yoga and meditation programmes; wellness and lifestyle products; a global network of acclaimed wellness specialists; and innovative, regenerative modalities and medical services. As the brand grows, it will tailor integrated care plans guided by the principle of ‘lifestyle evolution’, helping guests realise their utmost potential and achieve their long-term wellness goals.

 

The new Soneva Soul Island Spa at Soneva Jani elevates guests’ wellness experience far beyond the pampering treatments and massages found at a typical wellness centre or resort spa. Linked by raised walkways that wind among the trees, the three-level complex is designed in perfect harmony with its stunning setting on the eastern side of the island. Complementing the existing Over-water Spa at The Gathering, it includes open-air treatment rooms, consultation suites, therapeutic biomodulation rooms, a state-of-the-art gym and juice bar. A yoga pavilion and meditation platform sit high above the tree line, offering 360-degree views across the turquoise private lagoon.

 

The coming weeks will also see the opening phase of an expanded Soneva Soul resort wellness centre at Soneva Fushi. In the longer term, Soneva will also work with like-minded partners to launch one-of-a-kind wellness destinations across the world. Between now and early 2022, each Soneva Soul will establish a permanent team that includes an Ayurvedic doctor, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, integrative medicine doctor and highly trained therapists. The resident team will be complemented by a network of international visiting wellness specialists, selected for their expertise across a full spectrum of wellness practices, healing, fitness and spirituality.

 

Working in partnership with each guest, Soneva Soul’s wellness experts will curate a wellness journey that supports every aspect of their life. This includes rest, recovery and regeneration as well as detoxification, movement, and optimisation, following principles such as balance, mindful living and self care.

 

Based upon outcomes that target guests’ specific needs, the treatment menu at each Soneva Soul unites traditional wellness philosophies, such as Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbalism and medicinal mushrooms, with cutting-edge treatment methodologies and therapeutic biomodulation, which will include heart rate variability testing, platelet-rich plasma (PRP therapy), nutrient IV therapy, cryotherapy, ozone therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Each Soneva Soul wellness journey can start at any point – whether an individual is looking to kick-start a healthier lifestyle, heal following an illness or injury, improve their physical or mental performance, or simply relax and indulge.

 

Led by master fitness trainers and bodywork experts, the Soneva Soul Movement Programme balances functional gym-based fitness, with natural free movement techniques and experiential fitness, surrounded by nature – such as jungle gyms and deep-water aquatic fitness sessions. Yoga, Pranayama Breathing and Meditation Programmes reinforce the link between mind, body and soul, with one-on-one and group sessions with resident yoga masters and renowned visiting experts. And an expert-led Sleep Programme creates a personalised programme for healthier long-term sleeping habits.

 

Read my blog post:

 

 

Soneva Jani: http://www.uniquefamilytravels.com/2021/07/26/soneva-jani-2021/

 

Soneva Fushi: http://www.uniquefamilytravels.com/2021/07/03/soneva-fushi-maldives-2/

 

Soneva Kiri: http://www.uniquefamilytravels.com/2019/12/02/soneva-kiri/

 

Soneva Jani Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aj0zyOVoGs&t=1s

Dani
Family Friendly Couple
Ritz Carlton Lead

Ritz Carlton, Fari Islands

The Ritz Carlton Maldives is located on the Fari Islands, a unique archipelago featuring three luxury private resorts and a marina with Ritz’s neighbors being the Patina Maldives and the soon to open Capella Maldives.

The property had only been open 2 weeks when I arrived so there was a fresh, exciting vibe to the island and I am pleased to say the occupancy was high, which was a great sign that people were looking to savor what the Ritz had to offer.

 

Guests are welcomed to the sounds of a horn - blowing into a shell, which is very inviting as it instantly provides a pleasant mix of warmth and adventure.

I was staying in a one bedroom water villa with a pool which looked straight out into the ocean. The 100 villas on the island provide a modern architecture, with two design shapes square and circular which are in turn inspired by the water and circular movements.

The one bedroom villa is very elegant and sleek with a large bathroom and indoor/outdoor shower. The bath tub is in the main bedroom providing wonderful ocean views. Personally I thought this would have been a great opportunity to include a round bath tub instead of a standard tub which I believe would have linked beautifully with the villa, shape of the pool and natural surroundings and picture perfect.

I really loved the pool space and dining area with steps directly into the sea and hammock. Unfortunately the privacy lacked as my neighbor shouted hello from their pool. I didn't mind this but for a lot of my clients privacy is key.

Most islands in the Maldives have their restaurants situated around the island – however at Ritz Carlton all but one are located on Culinary Island, which is a unique concept located in between the spa side of the island and the activity side of the island – yet all a very quick and easy cycle ride away. The other Ritz restaurants can be found at the chic and elegant Marina Fari Islands which is only a 10 minute boat ride and offers all kinds of cool and social vibes.

The restaurants are as follows:

LA LOCANDA –brings together refreshing Southern Italian flavors

SUMMER PAVILION – this Michelin-starred collaboration offers tapas-style authentic Cantonese cuisine in a lantern-inspired dining pavilion perched over the velvety lagoon.

IWAU – showcases Japanese specialties, including a lively teppanyaki dining experience under the stars.

EAU BAR –sunset is celebrated each evening with a captivating ritual. It's a stunning bar, shisha lounge and offers a gastronomical experience.

BEACH SHACK – the communal pulse of the island perfect for long relaxing lunches.

ARABESQUE – located at Fari Marina

TUM TUM – a glam food truck located in Fari Marina offering scrumptious Asian street food.

THE RITZ-CARLTON SPA

I have to say this is the most impressive designed spa I have recently seen. I’m sure you would have seen the aerial shots of the ring shaped sanctuary which is nestled in the lagoon with the water villas providing the outline.

 The Ritz-Carlton Spa offers nine spa treatment rooms including a spa suite with its own relaxation lounge, a salon and a boutique. Cardinal directions of each treatment room exude powerful energy complemented with healing massages and thoughtfully-selected amenities, offering guests an all encompassing luxurious wellness experience.


The Ritz Kids Club boasts futuristic indoor-outdoor space with playgrounds, napping pods, an area for video games and movies, and a pool with slides and jets. When you enter the front door to the club its like walking into the side of a mountain very similar to the TV characters Telly Tubby’s home - it instantly provides a wow factor and I am certain young visitors to the Ritz will spend many hours here. The Kids Club also provides an activity themed program that is designed for ages 4 to 12, and meshes well with the island's four pillars—land, water, environmental responsibility and local culture. 


A beautiful and signature touch to the islands are the sunset ceremonies. Sounds of the drums beat as the sun starts to set and a circular flame is lit which signifies transitioning from a day full of discoveries into an evening of indulgence and reflection, giving the inspiration to do it all over again.

As many travelers know, visiting a Ritz property is an experience, the brand speaks for itself and many loyal customers can attest to the rigorous high standards maintained year in year out. I can safely say that all of this is now available at a beautiful Maldives location so anyone looking for a Maldivian experience that cuts no corners and gives the full luxurious effect under the watchful eye of a global luxury brand, should start making their bookings. 

Watch the island video here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZRJUMigHeg

Dani
Family Friendly Couple
Patina Lead

Patina Maldives, Fari Islands

Patina Maldives Fari Islands is a property I spent all of 2020 eagerly waiting for it’s open having spent time understanding about the island and the brand over Zoom calls with the team during the Covid lockdown and simply being blown away by Maldives newest player.

 

Move forward to July 2021, 2 weeks after it opens and I find myself in Patina Paradise.

Patina Fari Islands is the eco friendly flagship resort for Patina Hotels and Resorts a new luxury lifestyle brand by Capella Hotel Group.

 

This fresh yet sophisticated brand philosophy is inspired by a new generation that encompasses a progressive traveller with an independent mind but who has a deep respect and appreciation for local culture, the local community and is committed to utilizing travel as an extension of giving back.

 

Let me introduce you to the beautifully chic – Tulum meets Maldives- Patina Maldives, Fari Islands which is a 40 minute speed boat transfer from Male.

 

There is so much to love and appreciation about this property that I want to break it down into sections as there’s a lot to highlight:

 

Marina Village and Beach Club

This is the communal and beating heart of the island set in a socially vibrant scene. Outside guests will be able to enjoy the buzz of the island at the beach bar or any of the high end dining options, including chic tuk tuks. Mr and Mrs Rake is the exclusive retail section and one has to experience the incredible James Turrell Pavilion.

 

Villas

I was fortune to stay and experience both a two bedroom beach villa and a 2 bedroom water villa. They are both exactly the same layout just the beach villa opens up onto the beach providing a lot more space for children to run freely.

The villa bedrooms are on either side of a central living room both with sliding doors and their own large bathrooms. The terraces blend the indoor and outdoor space with an outdoor bath, dining area and hammock. All villas at Patina come with a private pool. There is a small kitchen which is close to the entrance and hidden behind a wall. What I personally absolutely loved about the villas was the rustic simple feel of nature reflected by an earthy color palette, dark wood furniture and the dark grey bed sheets contrasting beautifully with floor to ceiling windows and that quintessential Madlives view.

 

All the villas are ran by solar panels on the roof thereby helping the island maintain a minimal carbon footprint.

 

The one bedroom villas are also spacious and perfect for a couple with a young child; they have the same look and feel as the two bedroom villas but do not come with a separate living room however they are extremely generous in size.

 

The Three Bedroom Beach House is on another level. The same as a 2 bedroom downstairs and then the floating staircase takes you to the master bedroom which is the size of the entire ground floor with a large outdoor terrace, an incredible bathroom that has to be experienced and a super large dressing room. The garden is huge – my son would be in his element playing football here. There is also an additional out door seating area by the pool.

 

Footprints

 

Footprints is the kids education inspired activity centre set in beautiful grounds with climbing frames and a splash pool. The indoor activities include a 3D printing and laser cutting technology, cooking classes etc. The children can also enjoy interactive island experiences and marine conservation. Parents will be overjoyed to know that their children can spend countless hours staying busy.

 

 

Flow Spa

When entering Flow Spa you immediately feel the energy flow. Facilities include a watsu pool for passive aquatic therapy. There is also a salt water floating chamber along with multiple treatment rooms. The entire premise of the Flow Spa intelligently merges with Patina’s brand ethos. It’s not your cookie cutter spa, there is something special about this one.

 

Marina Life.

For the experienced Maldives traveller who wish to immerse themselves in the marine life, then you will need to take a boat for 5/10 minutes to spot the turtles and reef sharks by snorkeling. I have clients who have visited and enjoyed an abundance of marine life while others had to go out a little further for the great diving spots. As this is a new island the sea life will start to flourish over time.

 

Dining

With 12 eclectic dining options to choose from you will be in for an unbelievable culinary treat:

ROOTS – their plant-based restaurant

WOK SOCIETY – A Hong Kong social serving up soulful dishes

HELIOS – A Greek kitchen

VELI Bar – The perfect pool side bar with those classical Maldives sunset vibes

BRASA -  A grill from the Patagonian regions of South American

KOEN – Japanese culinary arts with a Scandinavian approach

Farine – Bakery and Café

Food Trucks – Burgers and Ice cream

 

 

 

 

Service

Every villa has a dedicated “Essentialist” to assist them with their every need. Every client of mine was suitably impressed by the expertise, knowledge and gentle caring nature of the ‘Essentialist’ – another testament to Patina raising the game in this ultra competitive market.

 

Overall

Having experienced 12 properties in the Maldives and having a deep understanding of all the luxury resorts within the Maldives, I am super excited for Patina Fari Islands. I personally loved my time on the island as the service was spot on, the food was incredibly tasteful and the vibe was super chic – even the islands sound track is spot on which was curated by the GM, Marco, himself.

 

Next year Capella Fari Islands will open its doors so you will have the choice of three luxury properties to dine at, whichever resort you decide to stay at – Patina Fari Islands, The Ritz Carlton Fari Islands and Capella Fari Islands. 

 

Patina Fari Islands is a definite game changer to the Maldives scene. I really do encourage my readers and clients to go experience it.

 

To watch my video – click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5ECncmC0OI&t=336s

Dani
Family Friendly Couple
Kuda Lead

Kuda Villingili Maldives

Newly opened in June 2021 Kuda Villingili Resort Maldives is located in North Male Atoll. Its home to an impressive lineup of gourmet dining options, a beach front spa and has prime access to one of the world’s top 10 surfing spots (“Chickens”),

Soneva Fushi Lead

Soneva Fushi 2021

I was so honored and suitably thrilled to be part of the first Ladies of Luxury Destination round table for TTN Magazine which was hosted at my favorite property in the world – Soneva Fushi in the Maldives.

 

I left behind in Dubai my husband and three young children who were not happy with me at all as the last time as I was at Soneva Fushi we were all together as a family and they too share my love for this incredible Robinson Crusoe island hideaway.

 

Soneva Fushi is located in the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which can be reached by a 40 minute sea plane from Male.

 

2020/21 is a significant year for Discover Soneva and Soneva Fushi as it celebrates its 25th anniversary. The island is so lush it’s a real tropical jungle with bunny rabbits hopping around and a mesmerizing marine life right next to the shore. The lush vegetation also provides total privacy for every beach villa, creating a cocoon of peaceful harmony with nature.

 

There’s so much to talk about at Soneva Fushi with a new Michelin star chef plant based restaurant and 8 brand new water retreats similar to those at their sister property Soneva Jani so with lots to share I will break this down into sections.

 

 

Villa 37

As we were a group of ladies our home was villa 37 which was INCREDIBLE – a 5 bedroom villa complete with an 11m viewing tower – which offers the highest views on the island. A large freshwater swimming pool with slide, a kids pool, multiple sunken seating areas, gym, games room, sauna, steam room, library, TV room, large living room and kitchen. At nearly 20,000 sq feet you can imagine how grand and exquisite it was.

I was in the master bedroom which is on the ground floor with direct access to the pool, comes with an office and the largest indoor/outdoor bathroom you have ever seen with 2 dressings rooms, 2 showers and a bath. For those who know how much I love bathrooms it was certainly bathroom goals achieved!!

On the opposite side to the master bedroom was another bedroom with direct access to the pool. On the next floor were another 3 bedrooms, the games room, gym and TV room and a spiral staircase taking you to the sunken seating area in the viewing tower.

 

As with all villas on the island they offer private access to the beach through the lush greenery. For large families (this villa can sleep 15) this really is a haven with so much to satisfy everyone – you actually never have to leave the villa as everything can be brought to you!

https://soneva.com/villa/5-bedroom-residence-with-pool-villa-37/

 

Having personally experienced a few of the villas at Soneva Fushi, there is so much choice of style, design and size to suit every ones needs. The feel is the same and the larger villas all come with slides.

 

Another favorite which I believe has to be the most luxurious tree house in the world is villa 43 which is centered around an ancient Banyan Tree. At 24,000 square feet this 6 bedroom reserve emerges from the trees with six separate structures rising out of the sand, with the banyan tree in the center. The master bathroom is separate to the master bedroom but only once you see it will you know why – its stunning and a masterpiece. The reserve has two swimming pools – one directly outside the master bedroom and another with slide, a gym, sauna and stream room.

https://soneva.com/villa/sunset-reserve-villa-43/

 

There are also options of 6 and 9 bedrooms – I can’t even begin to describe the size of these!

 

Water Retreats

The newly launched water retreats are one and 2 bedroom and adhere to Soneva’s pioneering sustainability ethos and barefoot luxury.

Accessed by a short curving jetty which is kind of hidden if you didn’t know it was there, these villas are designed to offer total privacy with pool and slide and an upper deck with dining area. I love how the water retreats provide floor to ceiling windows the length of the villa providing the most incredible vistas of the ocean. Again in true Soneva style the attention to detail and design is breath taking leaving you in total awe of how raw sustainable materials can provide such luxury and masterpieces. Soneva are true pioneers of intelligent luxury and it reflects and shines in every aspect of the resort.

Dining:

The newest addition to the island is “Shades of Green”, located in the resort’s organic garden. The concept and menu was created by Danish Chef, Carsten Kyster who really wanted to tap into the global movement that places an emphasis on fresh, organic, and local produce as being important for a healthy lifestyle, while also being a climate conscious choice in keeping with Soneva’s values.

 

The experience at Shades of Green begins with all diners going on a guided tour of the garden to learn about the herbs, vegetables and fruits that are being grown there. Walking around I could smell the aroma of the “lemon basil”. Using all five senses they pick the ingredients to be used in their meal. All diners are encouraged to examine, pick, smell, and taste the herbs, fruits, and vegetables growing in the garden. Along the way they will come across a number of ‘amuse bouche’ hidden amongst the greenery. One of my favorites was a hanging half coconut filled with a mouth watering vegan sauce in a dip.

Once dinner is served you will gather around a fire pit for the first course before being seated at tables beneath the shade of the pergola and fruit trees. The menu features simple yet experimental plant based dishes, blending Maldivian and Southeast Asian cuisines; which are then prepared using Nordic techniques such as smoking, salting, fermenting, and pickling.

This was such a stripped back authentic experience yet extremely tasty and so nice to be dining in an organic garden.

 

Out Of The Blue

 

For those who have attended my Soneva Fushi dinners in Dubai will know of Chef Sobha who runs the kitchen at Out Of The Blue. For lunch or dinner you can dine on Vietnamese, Japanese and Indonesian cuisine while enjoying the open water views. Plus just incase you fancy a dip in between dishes you can enjoy the slide which goes directly into the blue!

 

Out Of The Blue also includes dining options at

So Hot – a robata grill

So Hands On – Sushi counter

Once Upon A Table -  this is a culinary theatre showcasing some of the biggest names in fine dining. Chefs are brought to the island from all over the world – there  is no menu, which allows the creativity and skills of the chef to take centre stage while you are left to experience something truly unique.

So Guilty – this is the chocolate and ice cream room which is open all day so you can literally help yourself when you have a sweet tooth  or for the savory lovers there’s So Cheesy the cheese and wine room which again is open all day where you can help yourself to the most amazing cheeses from around the world.

Fresh In The Garden is a unique location where you can dine high above the trees accessible by a rope bridge and connected to the astrology room which is home to the biggest telescope in the Indian ocean.

 

Breakfast is served at Mihiree Mithaa which is alfresco on the beach with ala carte and serving options. One of my favorite parts of breakfast are the auyavadic shots which are great for liver tonic cleansing, wellbeing, balance, stress, blood purification etc

 

The DEN

 

As someone whose kids have actually spent a week at the DEN I believe its safe to say this is one of the best kids clubs in the world. If you ask my kids they would simply say AMAZING…….. A Child’s DREAM!

 

There are so many activities to enjoy within the DEN such as arts/crafts/cooking/ music/games to the multiple slides in the pool, climbing frames, pirate ship and more. Outside of the DEN the team arrange a lot of interactive activities be it with marine life, sustainability, organic garden etc. Parents can simply enjoy a little alone time while the kids are entertained for hours.

 

Sonu’s Picnic

 

One of the experiences I enjoyed on this trip was lunch on the private island known as Sonu’s picnic.

Guests are taken by boat for about 20 minutes to a private island – just you, the sea and chef! Chef prepares an amazing lunch while you enjoy being isolated on an uninhabitable island for the next few hours. Take your snorkeling gear with you as the marine life is abundant.

 

Soneva are launching Soneva Soul their new Spa destination which will initially be launched at Soneva Jani and then soon at Soneva Fushi – watch this space as the founders of Soneva are also the original founders and brains behind  Six Senses meaning Soneva Soul offers the next level and forward thinking service that will transform a spa experience making this even more of a not to be missed destination – I would not be surprised if people come to this resort simply because they want to experience Soneva Soul.

 

One of my favorite parts of being on the island is simply just cycling around the island through the invigorating jungle  (25 years of fauna)  What Soneva do so well is offer the most simplest experiences with this understated luxury feeling – its simply another level of hospitality that very few can claim to match. The Soneva brand has proven time and time again that it really is the simplest things in life, strip everything back and you can have everything you want in life - space, nature and simple beauty who says eco friendly and sustainable can’ be luxury – Soneva has been living this for the past 2 decades and continue to keep upping their game. True trailblazers – go experience what the pinnacle of luxury travel should be.

 

You can watch my latest video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSVFh5xgNDA&t=55s

 

TNT - Ladies of Luxury travel feature here: http://www.ttnworldwide.com/Article/322841/_Ladies_of_luxury_

Dani
Family Friendly Couple
OZEN LEAD

Ozen Reserve Bolifushi

OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI. resort is all about embracing island living with its sun-kissed ocean fronts and gourmet dining experiences. Each of the resort’s 90 villas and suites offer absolute seclusion, with a private swimming pool and direct beach access.

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About Us

As an avid traveler, pre and post my three children, and a lover of boutique hotels, I have been fortunate enough to travel extensively, stay at unique properties and take adventures off the beaten track.

I've been lucky to see and enjoy so much that I think now is the perfect time to share my travel experiences, so I have created Unique Family Travel - a company where my team and I can develop bespoke, wonderful and unique travel experiences for you and your family. I can guarantee our experiences aren't available on the likes of large booking websites as we take you on a tailored journey which caters to your specific needs.

Each destination and journey should be a timeless memory, created for you and your family and captured in fantastic memories to keep forever. We can help with this simply because that's how I would do it for myself, my family and friends!

Do get in touch with us, drop us a line and lets get you going on your next amazing, unique travel experience.

Happy Travels

Love Dani

PS. All photos on this site are taken by me, mostly on my iphone :)

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