Globetrotter: A tropical Indian Ocean escape at Sun Siyam Iru Veli

As a holiday destination, the Maldives is often associated with honeymooners, but local brand Sun Siyam defies expectations of what a paradisal island escape looks like with a resort designed with the entire family in mind.

Located a 40-minute scenic seaplane flight from Malé, the capital city and international arrival point for the island nation of the Maldives, lies Sun Siyam Iru Veli. A tropical retreat in the heart of the Indian Ocean.

Flying over coral atolls flanked by turquoise waters, the ocean with its endless blue hues is seemingly still except for the odd fishing boat or breakaway wave cresting the surface. It’s a postcard image that only the Maldives archipelago and its collection of 1190 islands can offer.

As our seaplane touches down upon the ocean waters, we get a glimpse of our home for four nights of tranquillity and luxuriation – Sun Siyam Iru Veli. As clear crustal waters give way to powder-white sands, palm flanked beaches and pretty thatched villas, we are in little doubt that we have arrived in paradise.

The arrival experience is phenomenal as we transfer to a speedboat for the final few minutes of our journey. Greeted at a wooden dock that juts out to sea, we’re immediately enamoured by the genuine warmth and Maldivian hospitality shown to us by Sun Siyam’s team of proficient staff.

Island Living

Sun Siyam Iru Veli sits on a natural island that has been extended to provide sleek and spacious accommodation options. With lagoon views and private plunge pools guaranteed, the collection of beach and overwater villas do not belie the artifice of their construction, decked out in Maldivian thatching while offering a luxurious retreat and immediate access to an underwater playground.

Our abode for the duration of our stay is the impressive King Beach Suite. A chic villa boasting two large bedrooms, a living room, outdoor bathrooms, and a beachfront terrace with a private pool that leads down to the Indian Ocean, teeming with rays and black-tipped reef sharks.

Kicking off our shoes and keeping them off for our entire stay, we can’t help but revel in the freedom and seclusion offered by the suite, which is perched on the Northern edge of the island, close to the spa and an Instagrammable swing that skirts the water’s edge during high tide.

Comfort and convenience are firmly prioritised throughout the 643sqm suite, which can accommodate six guests and boasts the largest private pool on the island. Whether luxuriating in the bathroom with its double vanity, deep tub and outdoor rainfall shower, chilling in the living room or lounging on the king-sized uber-comfortable bed. Only the spectacular sunrises and outdoor deck rival the gold-accented interiors that nod to traditional Maldivian design.

Beachfront Bliss

Sun Siyam Iru Veli crams a lot onto an island that can easily be circumnavigated on foot in ten to fifteen minutes. The centre of the island is home to the lagoon-style family pool, supervised kids club, gift shop and reception area. Where evening crab races and a live DJ ensure the atmosphere remains lively well into the night.

Towards the north of the island, you’ll find Fresh Water with its tranquil adults-only swimming pool, combining Balearic beats with beguiling cocktails and memorable sunsets. Close by is the spa, which features several overwater pavilions with glass floors. Meaning you can watch the marine life as you indulge in a massage, facial or restorative wellness treatment using all-natural ingredients.

With all beaches at Sun Siyam Iru Veli swimmable year-round, there’s no need to share the shoreline with any other guests. Head to the southernmost tip of the island to find discover the dive centre and premium snorkelling areas. If you’re lucky (as we were), you may spot dolphins and groups of rays frolicking close to the surface.

Whether you decide to flop on the beach or enjoy the water, it’s entirely up to you! Sun Siyam Iru Veli encourages guests to do as much or as little as they want while enjoying a slice of paradise. Dive certification, fishing trips and island BBQ’s are all offered, but we’d suggest the Cast Away excursion. During this half-day experience, you’ll be transported by speedboat to a private sandbank with nothing but hermit crabs and fish for company. Here you can enjoy the water and a picnic lunch while experiencing private island life on your terms.

Tropical Dining

With seven bars and restaurants on the island, guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining destinations at Sun Siyam Iru Veli. From the expansive buffet breakfast at Aqua Orange to the fresh seafood specialities at Grouper Grill or the perfectly plated Italian cuisine at Roma’s overwater restaurant. A variety of cuisines and culinary experiences are offered by Sun Siyam’s team of ever-smiling staff. The all-inclusive resort option is also appreciated, considering a la carte pricing in a country where most products have to be imported.

Bespoke dining experiences are also offered with tables set up beneath the slender palm trees and illuminated by colourful lanterns for a private toes-in-the-sand experience for the entire family. Here a bespoke menu of seafood favourites is served at the discretion of the chef with lobster, calamari, mussels and plump prawns presented against a backdrop of crashing waves.

Sun Siyam Iru Veli offers an inclusive island escape that welcomes families and places guests at the centre of the experience. So whether you’re watching flying fish skate across the surface of the water while pods of dolphins frolic playfully on a sunset cruise, beachcombing for intricate shells, or alternating between dips in your private plunge pool or the calming waters of the Indian Ocean. Sun Siyam Iru Veli offers the very best of the Maldives.

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David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As editor-in-chief of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publication, David is a self-proclaimed hip-hop aficionado, championing all things food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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