Teppanyaki, Kanifushi Teppanyaki is open to a limited number of guests each night, and dining here means you get a performance as well as delicious food. The chef tosses ingredients and flips his tools while creating guests’ orders. For the best of both meat and seafood, the surf ’n turf includes top-notch wagyu beef and lobster, as well as a starter of sushi and maki.

ABOVE: Aerial view of a water jetty at Varu by Atmosphere

barefoot – in fact, it was all very relaxed. Reef after reef passed by as we glided above the turquoise atolls breaking up the sapphire- blue ocean underneath us. It was exhilarating, but also, surprisingly, the smoothest plane journey I’ve ever experienced.

At just over one and a quarter miles long, Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives is on a narrow island with powdered sands lining its long beaches, so soft it feels as if I’m standing in flour. Unlike its counterpart Varu, where vegetation is only just starting to grow, this island is coated in tropical rainforest, covering many of its tracks in a verdant canopy, while birds can be heard flitting through the trees.

LOCAL LIFE Kanifushi is just half an hour by boat from the island of Naifaru, with excursions offered from the hotel. Islands where locals live were previously off-limits to tourists, but

a change of law in 2009 means visitors can now see local Maldivian life for themselves. The excursion was even more appealing when we learnt Naifaru is home to a sea turtle rescue centre. Five of the world’s seven species of turtle can be found in the Maldives, and the Atoll Marine Centre rescues those that are injured (usually by fishing nets and boat propellers) and helps nurse them back to health to be released. The turtles were


Varu by Atmosphere has a lead-in price of £1,212 per person, for seven nights’ all-inclusive, based on two sharing a beach villa without a pool. The price includes speedboat transfers from Malé international airport, and excludes international flights.

Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives has a lead-in price of £2,214 per person, based on two sharing a beach villa without a pool, for eight nights’ all-inclusive. The price includes seaplane transfers from Malé international airport, and excludes international flights.

Nü, Varu by Atmosphere This overwater speciality restaurant serves delicious Mediterranean seafood. Guests can build their own course with choices of fish, sauces and sides. The rooftop is perfect for an aperitif, looking out over the ocean and the rest of the island.

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so inquisitive, poking their heads above the water to suss us out. But here, marine life is all

around. From the decking of my overwater villa, sundowner in hand, I looked out at the horizon. As the sun slowly dropped behind the clouds, something caught my eye. The spinner dolphins were back, jumping and twirling in almost perfect formation along the horizon. This is what the Maldives is all about.


Just Veg, Kanifushi The first vegetarian restaurant in the Maldives, Just Veg serves up an inventive menu of soups, curries, pasta and rice dishes, and more. Carnivores shouldn’t be put off by the lack of meat on the menu, as the dishes are some of the most flavoursome I’ve ever tasted. Ensure there’s room at the end for one of the elaborate desserts.

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