The visionary Sun Aqua brand is delighted to announce the opening of its second property, the Sun Aqua Vilu Reef, a stunningly refurbished resort found on the beautiful bite-sized gem of Meedhuffushi Island in the heart of the South Nilandhe Atoll.
The property is the second addition to the group after the Sun Aqua Pasikudah which opened earlier in 2015 on Sri Lanka’s North East coast.
Originally opened in 1998,Vilu Reef is proud to take on new colours and sit as the flagship Maldivian property for the Sun Aqua brand, which plans to continue its international growth over the coming years.
At Sun Aqua resorts, guests can enjoy perfectly relaxing experiences led by simple luxuries, sensational food and warm, dedicated service and, as it stayed open to guests during its refurbishment, it continues to welcome new and repeater guests that have grown to love the property and island, year after year.
On 28 October 2015, the original date of opening in 1998, the property was officially re-launched in an official ceremony, followed by a beach side feast, dancing and lives music throughout the evening.
Property & Accommodation
The Sun Aqua Vilu Reef is easily accessible from Malè and the International Airport via a 40-minute seaplane ride. The Sun Siyam Family Lounge at the seaplane terminal heralds an immediate start to the holiday, offering refreshments and massages to help settle guests into the Sun Aqua spirit.
The property itself has gone through a complete revival and has been refurbished to an extremely high standard, creating five different categories of rooms, including 15 NEW Sun Aqua Pool Villas. Splashes of colour can be found throughout the property engraving the Sun Aqua brand into the new future of Vilu Reef.
Hidden amongst the foliage are 62 shell-shaped bungalows (14 Beach Villas, 18 Deluxe Beach Villas and 10 Jacuzzi Deluxe Beach Villas, five Deluxe Beach Villas with Pool and 15 Sun Aqua Pool Villas), some now with lava-stone pools and whirlpool bathtubs. Rooms are now all 20 percent larger than before and offer private sundecks, re-fitted bathrooms and day swing-beds.
A further 41 Water Villas (20 Reef Villas, nine Sunset Reef Villas, six Aqua Villas with plunge pools, five Aqua Suites,now with private swimming pools,and one Grand Reef Suite) complete the accommodation offering with a select few even hiding inviting over-water hammocks. All water villas offer incredible vista views across the Indian Ocean and a true Maldivian experience.
Dine & Imbibe
One of the best parts of any journey is the adventure into exotic flavours. Guests can be selective at Sun Aqua Vilu Reef and explore the spice and warmth of home-style Maldivian cuisine, feast on gourmet organic and free-range produce grown on the resorts private Farm Island, enjoy freshly caught, barbecued seafood or dine under the stars with the properties destination private dining experience.
The Aqua is the resorts main restaurant, located over the water, and produces freshly prepared western and international cuisine served in a buffet style. It is also the resort’s beautiful breakfast spot.
The Well Done, the island BBQ grill on the beach, serves freshly caught fish and seafood as well as being the home to the island’s impressive glass-enclosed wine cellar, featuring the finest wines from around the globe, thus creating a sophisticated backdrop for any evening. The resort also features a boutique pizzeria,making handmade pizzas topped with authentic seasoning and fresh ingredients. Destination Dining offers guests the chance to dine in private away from other guests on any spot on the island accompanied by their own private chef and waiter.
Before and after dinner guests can visit one of the island’s two bars. The Nautilusis the resort’s beach bar offering a cool, rustic hideaway where one of the bartender’s cocktails will help liven up a night of dancing or an exhilarating game of crab racing. Positive Energy, set beside the pool, serves an array of refreshing juices, cocktails and its signature tropical fruit punch, either under the cool of the coconut tree or on a lounger with views of the lagoon and pool.
Spa & Leisure
One of the biggest developments at the resort has been the creation of a full holistic spa offering. Now a major focus of the resort, the Sun Aqua Spa consists of six private treatment pavilions, each with open-air flower baths, open showers, a hydrotherapy area and double treatment beds. On offer isalso a salon and a beautiful relaxation area. Encompassing the Five Element Theory – Wood, Fire, Metal, Earth and Water, the spa offers a lengthy menu of Ayurvedic wellness rituals, pampering beauty therapies and massage techniques from around the world. It also offers a selection of signature therapies to help renew body and mind, including a rich scrub of coconut or coffee, a herbal Udavarthanam detox or a relaxing, fragrant flower bath.
In addition to the Spa, the Sun Aqua Vilu Reef offers plenty of leisure activities to keep everyone entertained, relaxed and enjoying their time on the island. Diving is a big part of the culture in the Maldives, in general, and at Sun Aqua Vilu Reef,in particular. The 5-star Gold Palm PADI/SSI Diamond Dive centre brings together an exciting array of diving and snorkelling programmes and a chance to explore the sea lifeand reefs in the warm and extremely clear waters. The property hosts one of the best house reefs in the region, located just 30 metres from the shore and offeringsnorkelers an unrivalled experience.
Water sports are also a big part of island life and guests at Sun Aqua Vilu Reef can enjoy windsurfing, canoeing and sailing as well as a range of motorised water sports such as jet skiing and water-skiing.
A further development on the island is the addition of the resorts first kids club. Children are VIPs at Vilu Reef Kids Club and have their own little paradise on the island, including a private pool, games room and an array of children’s activities. Open to children from 3-12yrs with a baby-sitting service available on request.
The laid-back and unassuming atmosphere of the resort allows guests the freedom to enjoy the island as they wish.The beach bar provides a sanctuary to enjoy a romantic drinkor a starlit stroll around the island’s beautiful beach line. Guests looking for more stimulation can enjoy a wide variety of live music evenings, DJ nights, karaoke nights, cultural shows and movie nights on the beach, suitable for all ages.
The property offers free Wi-Fi in all areas of the island as well as a reading corner, satellite TV, laundry service, in-house doctor and clinic, a beach wedding/ceremony service for those thinking of taking their vows in paradise and 24hr guest services to ensure all needs are taken care of.
The Sun Aqua brand is a visionary creation from Sun Siyam, one of the most forward-thinking and dynamic hospitality companies in the Maldives. With Maldivian entrepreneur Ahmed Siyam Mohamed at the helm, Sun Siyam aims to create a collection of hotel and resort brands across the Indian Ocean and Asia infused with his uniquely passionate and colourful spirit. The vibe is unpretentious and laid-back, yet is punctuated by bursts of vivid colour and quirky touches. Such unexpected moments take guests by surprise, put a smile on their faces and create unforgettable memories.
Besides all the excitement and luxury available in the resort is also home to many Maldivians and Sun Aqua as a brand embraces this. The hotel offers excursions to local, inhabited islands on either traditional Maldivian Dhoni or more modern speedboats.
By actively engaging with the local community through excursions, guests will get to experience day-to-day island life and even chat with school children and elders and find out first-hand what it is like to live in paradise. By doing so guests will gain cultural enrichment and directly improve the lives of many Maldivians, helping to ensure their practices live on. They also offer traditional fishing trips, snorkelling safaris and dolphin-spotting tours to celebrate the wildlife that fills the Indian Ocean.
Sun Aqua Vilu Reef has rooms available on a B&B basis from $471 per night in a Deluxe Beach Villa or from $544 per night in a Reef Villa (Jacuzzi Water Villa).