Check-in: NIYAMA

- Bradley Cocks, our SVP of Business Development for the Asia and Pacific region, has been part of the Kiwi Collection team for over seven years. Originally from Canada, he relocated to Sydney, Australia in 2004 and still resides there today.

Bradley Cocks checks in at the brand new Maldives resort NIYAMA just to make us jealous. Alright, so not just that, it’s his job. One of its very first guests, he gives the scoop on his experience and shares his personal pics. First, live vicariously online, then book your own escape stat.

NIYAMA is going to be a highly desirable Maldivian escape. Located just 40 minutes from Male by floatplane, it’s an impressive and narrow island with great vegetation and beautiful tall and curved palm trees. I arrived just after the soft opening on March 16 and was guest number five.

Checking into Deluxe Beach Studio no. 5 with a private plunge pool and ocean views towards the north the room is beautifully appointed with dark hardwood, modern fittings, as one would expect in 2012, and a red and beige color scheme. Beach towels are a Hermes Orange shade and of great quality. A very slick black Gorenje fridge (a first in the Maldives, I’ve been told) stocks everything you need to quench your thirst. The champagne of choice is Runiart.

For those who want an over water room experience, they offer a total of 36 to choose from; water studios, deluxe water studios and water and ocean pavilions which offer two bedrooms.

One of their restaurants, Tribal, sits beachside under a large white canopy with wooden domes above tables offering great acoustics for dinner conversation. The concept here is tribal fusion inspired from South East Asia, South and Central America and Africa. Guests choose from Asado or table grills and pair vegetables, salads and sauces accordingly. One standout feature is a fire pit next to the bar, which is very unexpected on a tropical island.

To their Lime Spa they’ve added a unique twist; Sub-Lime is a private area with a ritual concept where you buy three, four or five hour time slots and customize your experience. This private area has treatments rooms, hot and cold pools and a herbal juice bar set within a jungle. Guests have seven massage techniques to choose from.

For fun, Active is the sports and leisure base and offers simulators for golf, target shooting, ice hockey, football (soccer) and basketball. Table tennis, Foosball, billiards, PS2 and Xbox are also available when you’ve had enough sun.

For surfers, there is a great reef break on the west side of the island making for a great sunset session and the Float team are more then happy to whisk you around when the tide is right.

Subsix will be the world’s first underwater music club. It was still under construction during my visit, but it sounds promising with a line up of global DJs scheduled for opening.

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