A 40-minute seaplane transfer south from Malé (speedboat transfers from Dhaalu Airport are also available), Niyama is spread over two islands – ‘Chill’ for romantics and the family friendly ‘Play’ – connected by a wooden bridge and torchlit by night. Interiors are luxurious with bamboo (or marble) floors, huge thatched roofs made from dried coconut palm leaves and pieces fashioned from reclaimed wood.
Twelve dining options include destination dining, and a range of cuisine including Asian avant-garde, African and Mediterranean, using produce grown in the resorts garden. Hop on a speedboat to Edge, less than half a mile out into the ocean, for the catch of the day, grouper, mahi mahi and yellowfin tuna, or dine on local lobster with Champagne at Subsix, six metres below the water. For nightlife, there’s live music at Fahrenheit bar, glow parties at Subsix, and a 24-hour games room with air hockey, a cinema and a pool table.
Guests are accommodated in 134 super private studios, suites and pavilions either built over the water or with direct beach access. Modern Beach Studios have enormous custom-made beds and outdoor decks with a private plunge pool (with fibre optic ‘pool stars’ at night). Tropical outdoor bathrooms are the same size as the bedrooms, with outdoor rain showers and huge ceramic bathtubs to bathe under the stars, while some accommodations have jacuzzis, infinity pools, spa treatment areas and even private cocktail bars. Each villa has a personal thakuru (butler) who can arrange everything from private boat trips to expeditions with the resident marine biologist for the chance to spot sea turtles, octopus and reef sharks.
Facilities include comprehensive watersports including kitesurfing and parasailing. Niyama is a brilliant surfing destination too, with private lessons available. You can cycle to the gym, tennis court, badminton court and football pitch, or to find a spot for morning yoga. A cookery school offers classes in African, South American, Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Drift Spa, overlooking the lagoon, has six spacious water rooms offering exclusive treatments and a sauna and steam room.
Children aged up to 11 can stay and eat for free. There’s an Explorers Kids Club offering expert care and plenty of activities to ignite the imagination.