• Thu. Sep 29th, 2022

Paradise resort evaluation: The thrill of a solo vacation at Vakkaru Maldives resort

How might I presumably be nervous a couple of vacation in paradise? I used to be off to Vakkaru within the Maldives the place coconut palms sway, the sand appears like ivory satin and the ocean takes on so many sensible hues of blues and greens that sapphire, aqua or emerald can’t adequately describe it.

However as a solo traveller, I did surprise how I might go the time once I received there.

Paradise: Petronella Wyatt checked into Vakkaru alone, however left the Indian Ocean resort (above) ‘feeling like a goddess triumphant’.

It was mounted in my thoughts as a vacation spot for honeymooners and households. So what might it presumably provide a single girl who has by no means been overly eager on including to her crows’ toes by mendacity susceptible on a seaside?

And arriving at Velana Worldwide Airport I definitely wasn’t reassured by the lovey-doveyness of the {couples} within the ready room or the Gucci-clad mother and father with young children.

But as we took off once more, heading to Vakkaru in a tiny seaplane, my spirits lifted with the arc of our flight path over quite a few atolls, reefs and thatched villas in languid lagoons. There are literally thousands of islands within the Maldives, most are owned by the federal government and solely 350 are inhabited.

After we landed at Vakkaru (which suggests island of coconuts), I used to be met as Marlon Brando was met by islanders in Mutiny On The Bounty – with flowers and scented teas – earlier than being collected by my butler, Sato, who drove me to the villa.

When the buggy jerked to a halt, I can say with surety that this was luxe au naturel distilled into the stuff of which desires are made.

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Trying round I noticed a vista of unparalleled peace. Walkways had been constructed over the ocean and all factors led to abandoned seashores, jungle pathways and lagoons of glass-like transparency.

‘It struck me that I could possibly be marooned right here fairly fortunately for months,’ says Petronella. Pictured is a villa with a bathtub overlooking the ocean

On getting into my villa the primary impression was the proximity of the ocean. My four-poster mattress had a straight view of the Indian Ocean, as did the sitting room which opened as much as a terrace with an infinity pool. Flooring have been partly glassed over, with multicoloured fish swimming beneath.

As my stress ranges dropped away it struck me that I could possibly be marooned right here fairly fortunately for months. Nevertheless, Vakkaru had totally different concepts about idleness.

My itinerary included snorkeling with turtles, remedies on the overwater spa, cooking with the chief chef, tennis with Vakkaru’s skilled coach, wine tasting, classes in the right way to make coconut oil and cinema below the celebrities. This was on high of a full moon dinner on the Italian restaurant (considered one of 4) and a cocktail get together at Lagoon Bar.

Certainly, I used to be to find that being alone within the Maldives was the other of being lonely – the wonder itself envelopes you in a hug.

They even management time right here – visitors are requested to set their watches to 1 hour after the precise time, in order that once you get up you’ll be able to nonetheless catch dawn and luxuriate in cocktails because the solar units.

After lazing in a blissful daze then plunging into the ocean, I dressed for cocktails. The Lagoon Bar is elegant however easy, with a pier, sofas, tables with twinkling lights and a flooring of sand. I wiggled my toes in its heat and ordered the Maldivian model of an Aperol spritz – a refreshing concoction with a touch of coconut – and waited for sundown.

Above is a Vakkaru bar. Petronella recommends ordering the Maldivian model of an Aperol spritz – ‘a refreshing concoction with a touch of coconut’

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It appeared as if I used to be on the sting of the world and had solely to achieve out and grasp the fushia orb that quickly grew to become sweet pink, then burnished copper, then sank into the ocean with a fiery reluctance, leaving a panorama of color within the sky that trembled on the cusp of night time. This alone was an expertise to encourage awe, and it was with a way of surprise that I joined Sato as he drove me throughout jungle paths lit with flares to the Asian restaurant.

All the things right here was technicolour for the style buds with a backdrop of stars and swaying palms that even Hollywood couldn’t replicate.

I wakened the subsequent morning to a floating breakfast. The cooks had ready a feast and positioned it in a heart-shaped basket floating in my pool – the nice and cozy, crisp croissants and spiced omelette often received away from me as I fell again into the water with infantile giggles.

‘Vakkaru provides you heightened experiences. All the things is extra intense, extra vivid, extra alive,’ says Petronella. Pictured is the resort’s principal pool

On the cooking lesson, within the oasis of an natural backyard, I misplaced my coronary heart to Driss, the chief chef.

I’m liable to lose my coronary heart to cooks, and Driss was a king amongst them. He had ready sizzling breads, wraps and spiced salads of prawn and lobster, and collectively we cooked fish wrapped in palm leaves.

Vakkaru provides you heightened experiences. All the things is extra intense, extra vivid, extra alive. Snorkelling with turtles, I touched the wonders of a reside reef, and although it’s forbidden to the touch turtles, their nearly golden shells and silver heads have a visceral pull on the feelings.

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Afterwards I washed my hair within the outside bathe, caught a flower in my messy updo and cycled to the cocktail get together. Workers have been making coconut oil from uncooked coconuts whereas others organised a hilarious hermit crab race for visitors. Mine was a non-starter, but it surely was such enjoyable I discovered myself with new pals and chatted away for the remainder of the night time.

I started to mirror that I used to be higher off as a solo traveller, having the ability to do exactly what I happy. If I needed to be Garboesque, I might; if I needed firm, it was simple to search out. I even had my very own cinema screening of Hitchcock’s Rebecca on the seaside, whereas waiters introduced me popcorn and drinks. Ultimately, I didn’t need to depart Vakkaru. As I used to be handed into the seaplane I promised to return, and if I’ve to beg, borrow or steal, I’ll.

What number of occasions had I heard that it was ‘unhappy’ if a lady ate alone in a restaurant, or if she holidayed solo? Nonsense. And the way patronising. The Maldives made me really feel like a goddess triumphant. And that feeling has stayed with me.


Petronella Wyatt was a visitor of Vakkaru. Seven nights in an Overwater Villa at Vakkaru Maldives with Turquoise Holidays prices from £4,099pp. Consists of half-board, flights and seaplane transfers (turquoiseholidays.co.uk).