There is no place in the world like the Maldives. Luxury villas, crystal clear waters, picture-perfect sunsets, and most importantly: some of the best diving in the world.
Boutique Beach All Inclusive Diving Hotel in the Maldives is a scuba diver’s paradise. The hotel only recently opened in May of 2015 but has already made a name for itself, racking up a handful of awards from TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Luxury Travel Guide.
Here’s why this property is the perfect escape for those looking for an authentic Maldivian experience and world class diving.
As I talked about in my previous post, the Maldives has certain islands designated for tourists and others that are inhabited by locals in which tourists may be allowed to visit provided they abide by local customs. The island of Dhigurah is a locally inhabited island, meaning guests of Boutique Beach will get a true, authentic Maldivian experience during their stay. However, because this is a local island, alcohol is prohibited and guests need to keep in mind to cover their chest and thighs at all times outside of the hotel area. Don’t worry though, you’ll still be able to rock your bikinis freely, as Boutique Beach has integrated guests preferences with local culture and has a designated tourist beach right in front of the property as well as a rooftop terrace for sunbathing.
The island is tiny, measuring only 4km long and 1km wide at its widest point. It’s located in the South Ari Atoll. Guests can reach the hotel by a variety of different transfers; all prearranged by the hotel. Logan and I chose to take the boat ride on the way there, but found ourselves in some rough water and decided to take the plane transfer back to the main island at the end of our stay. Boutique Beach takes care of all these transfer bookings for you; they will meet you at the airport, or even pick you up at your hotel in order to get you to your dock or airport to catch your ride to their tiny island. Not having to worry about scheduling and organizing additional transfers was a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders and I certainly appreciated it!
This intimate six-room guesthouse provides all the necessary amenities for guests, with the added bonus of up to three dives a day with the all-inclusive package. Each day the hotel provides breakfast and lunch on the main floor, featuring cute island décor and a beach sand floor, with dinner being served on the rooftop terrace where you can catch a glimpse of the sunset with your delicious Maldivian meal!
I’ll be honest in saying Logan and I were nervous about the dining prior to arriving at Boutique Beach, as the dishes are fully prepared for guests, as opposed to a buffet style serving more commonly found at all-inclusive resorts. We’re not picky eaters per say, but we do eat A LOT. We packed an abundance of snack bars, just in case, and we did not touch a single one. The food at this hotel far exceeded our expectations. Every day the dishes were different, flavorful, and filling. Boutique Beach chef, Buddhika, did a tremendous job and Logan and I are now in love with Maldivian food – especially the Roshi and Mas Huni!
I have never seen such attention to detail at a hotel in my entire life. Boutique Beach truly goes above and beyond to make sure guests have everything they need and then some! Every room at the hotel comes furnished with a large desk, housing a variety of charging stations and USB ports. Guests will also find beach tote bags, complimentary mosquito lotion, and even a local cell phone to take out on their adventures in case they need to contact the hotel.
The furnishing in the rooms is something out of a crazy, tropical dream. From the manta ray and whale shark murals to the canopy beds, the hotel truly makes each guest room feel like an exotic escape.
My favourite part of our room was the bathroom, more specifically, the giant outdoor rain shower. I’ve never felt so glamorous taking a shower in my entire life! The hotel also provides bathroom amenities including shampoo and body lotion, all in refillable glass bottles to minimize plastic waste.
I also wanted to take a moment to talk about Boutique Beach’s sustainability efforts.
This hotel uses key card lighting to save energy as the lights and air conidtioning will only run when you’re in the room. Boutique Beach also uses refillable glass bottles for their bathroom amenities to minimize their plastic waste. What I liked most, was that the hotel provided refillable cups to all guests to encourage them to fill them up at the hotel’s water cooler as opposed to drinking out of plastic water bottles.
What made our stay truly memorable were the incredible staff at Boutique Beach. Each team member goes above and beyond to make sure guests have everything they need. They take the thinking and worrying out of every single step of your trip. When Logan and I arrived at our first hotel in the Maldives we were worried about how we were going to figure out how to get to the dock to catch our ferry to the other island. Meanwhile, the staff at Boutique Beach had already contacted our hotel to request a late checkout and picked us up right in the lobby to drive us to our boat. When we first arrived at the hotel, I was incredibly sea sick from the rough boat ride, and Afsal, the manager of Boutique Beach was eager to do anything he could to make sure I was feeling better. The divemaster, Ali, even ran back to the dive boat for us one evening after Logan and I had forgotten our GoPro’s onboard. All of these little things added up and were the cherry on top of our incredible stay at Boutique Beach.
Now this is what we came for. I’m going to start off by saying if you’re not a diver, Boutique Beach isn’t for you. This is a hotel run by divers for divers, and the group organizes its days around when the boat is going out and where everyone is going to dive that day.
Now if you are a diver, Dhigurah is about to become your new favourite dive spot. This island is surrounded by protected waters that whale sharks and manta rays call home year round. Located just next to Boutique beach is the Maamigili Whale Shark Sanctuary where whale sharks are protected from fisherman and harmful tourism practices. You are pretty much guaranteed to have a run in with these gentle giants during your stay here; the boat crew are all on lookout throughout the day and as soon as they spot a whale shark they stop the boat to let guests jump in the water right away!
The Boutique Beach dive centre is a PADI 5-star resort and the only dive centre on the island that has nitrox available to divers. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced diver, the dive staff are able to cater to your needs and ensure you have an unforgettable underwater experience in the Maldives.
Each night during dinner, the dive master comes by the hotel to discuss the dive plan for the next day. They organize each dive and boat taking into consideration everyone’s diving abilities and preferences, and the weather.
There are a ton of different dive sites around Dhigurah, including shallow reefs, deep dives, and pinnacles. The dive staff is always mindful of the ability of the divers on board, taking beginner divers to easier sites, and letting more advanced divers tackle the harder drift dives, and make sure you never do the same dive twice.
Diving in the Maldives was a truly life changing experience and I can’t thank the staff at Boutique Beach enough for helping me cross swimming with whale sharks off my bucket list!
Find out more about Boutique Beach’s All Inclusive Diving Packages HERE.
Airplanes & Avocados was welcomed to this hotel as a guest. All opinions are my own.