Year after year, im lucky enough to spend 7 – 10 days in the Maldives to launch the surf season for World Surfaris. Check in with surf guides, meet with operators and yes…fit the occasional surf in.
This year, I got to treat myself to 5 days staying at a fairly new surf resort located in the Central Atolls, approximately an hour flight from the capital Male and home to none other than Niyama Resort.
I knew very little about Niyama Resort and apart from speaking to the likes of Dave Scard, Richard Kotch and seeing a handful of videos including pro surfers like Wilko, Owen Wright, The Coffey family and Taj Burrow…my expectations were limited to unknown.
I consider myself pretty-well travelled, especially in the Maldives having been to most regions to surf over the past decade. However, I had never visited Dhaalu Atoll located in the Central Atolls region. Looking at Dhaalu on a map, its hard to comprehend how and why it gets the consistent swell it seems to get. But this is why im not a surf guide and it’s a lesson to us all to listen to our guides wherever we go!
Anyway… arriving by Seaplane was also a new experience for me! Waiting in a private lounge for my seaplane was also a new experience. Off to a good start, 2 new experiences in 1 day!
Upon arrival, I was met at the Seaplane Jetty by a friendly team of Niyama staff including who was to be my personal concierge for 5 days, Dimitry from Belarus…one of the many expats working at Niyama Resort. Personal golf buggy to the room, check in on the patio and I was free to do what I wanted for the afternoon. It took me 20minutes to get familiar with the room and all its features.
What can I say, except WOW!
A huge 100 sqm + villa perfectly positioned beachfront with your own private plunge pool. Luxury in every sense.
Large king size bed, huge ensuite with indoor and outdoor shower, luxury bath which I would use each evening before dinner (because I could) an in-built surround sound audio system for playing personal tunes or pumping out sound to one of the many movies available through the TV entertainment unit. I could even check the surf without leaving my room!
Dining at Niyama
There are a staggering 11 dining options at Niyama with a total of 9 restaurants!
These 9 restaurants provide a different dining experience and enough to keep your taste buds tingling. Being a big meat eater, my favorite dining experience was ‘Tribal’. An African inspired restaurant with a range of meat options fusing African, Central and South American tribal cuisines elevated with a fine-dining touch.
Nest was also up there with the best restaurants at Niyama with its traditional Asian cuisine with a truly unique dining experience built up in the tree’s almost like you are dining in a treehouse.
Edge & Subsix Restaurant/Bar were like nothing I’ve ever seen or experienced before. Edge speaks for itself…You get a small pontoon boat from the jetty at Niyama to a stand-alone restaurant surround by perfect crystal clear water. Your fine-dining experience takes place on the water and a range of cuisines are available. Subsix is the famous underwater bar, where I ventured to after dinner with my new Niyama Pals, Nathan and Ananda. This underwater bar has a live DJ spinning tunes while all kinds of marine life swim around you. A truly unique experience and a great way to start your Niyama Resort holiday.
It wouldn’t be a great surfing holiday without some cracking waves to keep you frothing.
Frothing is exactly what I was!
Upon arrival to Vodi Point, I was greeted to 4ft perfect lefts reeling down the point for more than 200 metres. 3 people out and an absolutely glorious day.
I guess the biggest challenge was choosing which board to ride.
Apart from Vodi, Niyama Resort also has access to a range of other breaks to throw in some ‘alternate options’.
Across the channel is a wave known as Hadagila OR as Niyama call it…Kasabu. Kasabu is a super long right hander and wraps around a long reef pass with varying areas of shallow and deep gutters in the reef.
Other waves within a 10 – 20 min boat from Niayama include Hocus Pocus, Tio and Candies. The latter 2 are rarely surfed and need a big swell to work.
Final Thoughts on Niyama Resort
Niyama Resort is absolutely outstanding. I highly recommend it for couples, families and groups.
An absolute 5 star experience, not too far from Male. Staff are excellent, so personal and so accommodating.
The food is excellent, the waves pump and the facilities are state of the art…you will never be bored and you will be extremely relaxed as a result of your stay at Niyama Resort.
Would I go back?
In a heartbeat!