expert ASK THE Julie Winder, head of product east, Gold Medal 5

KURAMATHI, RASDHOO ATOLL For talcum-powder sands, family-friendly facilities and a comprehensive all-inclusive plan at an excellent price, Kuoni points to Kuramathi. The surrounding atoll boasts more than 20 dive sites – including the renowned Hammerhead Shark Point – so it’s a good option for those into their watersports, while three buffet restaurants, two infinity pools, a spa complete with couples’ water pavilion and a kids’ club offering lessons on marine life add to the appeal. Accommodation spans beach bungalows, overwater villas and spacious honeymoon pool villas, with plenty to lure

couples as well as those travelling with kids in tow. Book it: Kuoni offers a week’s full-board from £1,699 per person for selected departures in May

and June 2021, with SriLankan Airlines flights from Heathrow.

“We saw an incredibly positive reaction to news of the travel corridor to the Maldives. Yes, clients are craving the sun and sand, but they’re also attracted by the naturally Covid-friendly experience it offers with plenty of privacy, isolation and open air. Call volumes rose by several hundred per cent over the

weekend following the travel corridor announcement, and room night sales jumped by 150% week on week. Our largest volumes are for winter-sun departures and bookings in May, for resorts such as Lux South Ari Atoll and Kuredu Resort & Spa. Across the

destination, our team has been able to negotiate a range of value-added exclusives like meal or room

upgrades, excursions or transfers – which seem to be of more interest to clients than pure discounts. What we’re really waiting on now is for transit destinations like Dubai to open up, which will not only

hugely increase flight capacity, but also bring numerous twin-centre options in to play.”

top tip

Check the latest Foreign Office advice before

travelling, plus you can find entry requirements for the

Maldives at restart-recovery/ the-maldives

42 5 NOVEMBER 2020


COCO PALM DHUNI KOLHU, BAA ATOLL Coco Collection knows how to do rustic luxury and its Dhuni Kolhu outpost is no exception, with exotic greenery ringed by turquoise waters and thatched roofs adding Maldivian flair. It sits on a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, so guests can expect exceptional diving and snorkelling with the likes of hawksbill turtles, grey reef sharks, bluestripe snappers and manta rays as companions. Other activities include wakeboarding, waterskiing, parasailing, jetskiing and big-game fishing, while two restaurants and two bars serve Asian cuisine, Maldivian-inspired dishes and

fresh seafood against an idyllic ocean backdrop. Book it: Sunset Faraway Holidays is offering seven nights’ all-inclusive in a Beach Villa from £1,489 per person, including accommodation for two with British Airways flights and seaplane transfers, for travel

between May 1 and September 30, 2021.

PICTURES: Sakis Papadopoulos; Sebastian Posingis

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