CROSSROADS MALDIVES IS REDEFINING THE MEANING OF LUXURY TRAVEL, GIVING HOLIDAYMAKERS A CHANCE TO EXPERIENCE TWO VERY DIFFERENT – AND EQUALLY COOL – RESORTS ON ONE ISLAND DESTINATION. FACT’S HAYLEY ALEXANDER VISITS THE PICTURESQUE SURROUNDINGS IN THE HEART OF THE INDIAN OCEAN…

Nestled amongst the exotic Kaafu Atoll and Embood Hoo Lagoon, taking pride of place on a remote island, lays a multi-island leisure and entertainment project, Crossroads Maldives. Accessible in just 15 minutes by speedboat from Velna International Airport in Malé, the destination boasts not one but two incredible resorts that provide travellers with individuality and excitement.

HARD ROCK HOTEL MALDIVES
First up, we check into the stunning Hard Rock Hotel for two nights. Our expectations were high as the brand carries such a strong reputation all over the world, and it’s safe to say that every expectation was exceeded.

Stepping off the speedboat, we received a very warm welcome by the Hard Rock team. Welcome drinks and relaxed backdrops set the tone for our mini break. Hard Rock Hotel focuses on the little things, so you can be sure of a memorable and unique stay. Inspired by local culture, tropical architecture is infused with contemporary design features. Our favourite touch is the tailoring that can be done to suit every guest’s musical tastes. You can enjoy exclusive brand offerings and amenities including The Sound of Stay music programme, offering complimentary use of Fender guitars and amps, and Crosely record players for in-room jam sessions.

It’s no surprise that there is a big focus on music here. After all, the brand is known for its oneof-a-kind blend of music, entertainment, iconic merchandise and authentic, American fare. Of course, accommodation is subtle but stunning. We stay in a gorgeous beach villa, which offers modern decor with breath-taking beach views. Each of the beach villas comes with its own private butler and 24-hour hotel services – adding a real sense of escape and luxury to the stay. Outside of the villa there is plenty to explore with an outdoor swimming pool at the front of the property, stateof-the-art fitness centre and the signature Rock Spa.

Our days were planned perfectly with a mixture of both relaxing on sandy beaches, spa time and fitness and self-defence classes. Our favourite, however, was the music-infused yoga programme, aptly named Rock Om. It’s everything a yogi and a music-lover will appreciate – and if you’re into both then this is one activity that should be high up on your list of things to do here.

The Rock Spa offered an extensive menu of treatments and massages to suit every wellbeing wish. We opted for the signature deluxe massage in the Rock Spa. Traditional techniques are seamlessly combined to create a pampering experience which will leave you feeling relaxed and free of tension. Focus is placed on the reflexology points on the face, scalp and feet to help rebalance energy and deliver you with a renewed state of mind. It’s exactly what you need in the Maldives and was easily one of the highlights of the trip. The evenings at Hard Rock Hotel are certainly memorable; sunset drinks followed by delicious seafood and grilled meat bbq, and live music on the beach. We’d highly recommend taking a buggy or a short cycle to the iconic Hard Rock Cafè for more live entertainment. The stateof-the-art Café highlights Hard Rock’s new design style and latest technology. The vibrant Cafe features bright, eclectically designed interiors, offering 225 colourful seats and 13 pieces of iconic memorabilia that shines the spotlight on icons such as The Rolling Stones, Kiss and Imagine Dragons, along with other legendary artists. Hard Rock Cafe Maldives also features a unique chandelier comprised of 600 glass bottles, displayed above the bar. It’s truly a sight for sore eyes and we couldn’t stop instagramming it!

The Maldives’ Cafe’s Rock Shop also offers musicinspired items as well as collectible Hard Rock Cafe merchandise. Fans can acquire exclusive Maldivesspecific merchandise and much-coveted signature pins at this retail location. It’s worth visiting alone just for this if you’re a devoted Hard Rock admirer.

The hotel is packed with show stopping, family-friendly activities to suit all age groups. There’s even a very cool Hard Rock Roxity Kid’s Club especially designed to keep younger guests entertained. Not only can you let go and chill to the max, you can channel your inner rockstar lifestyle at this resort – and we were happy to do a little bit of both.

SAII LAGOON, MALDIVES CURIO COLLECTION BY HILTON
Our second stop is the charming SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton. This resort offers a personalised journey from start to finish, boasting a selection of spacious guest rooms, beach villas and overwater suites, created with an eclectic yet artisanal touch. Guests will have the chance to create their own bathroom amenities with the Aroma Lab, create their own healthy snack box at Snap, enjoy pampering at Lèn Be Well spa and keep the kids entertained at Junior Beach Club and Camp.

Our signature journey begins on arrival when we get to select our own amenity set using natural ingredients from the Aroma Lab.

SAii Lagoon Maldives guest rooms are vibrant yet serene with inspiring decor and natural textures. Each room features beautiful ocean views, free WiFi, HDTV, complimentary tea and coffee, a generously sized bathroom with waterfall shower and furnished deck or balcony. The beach villa has more space and additional amenities, whilst the overwater villas offer unbelievable panoramic ocean views. For a truly luxurious experience, stay in the stylish two-bedroom overwater villa with private pool, ideal for large families or groups of friends.

The boutique accommodation epitomise the ultimate tropical escape. Every guest room features luxurious bedding, complimentary pillow menu, seating area with sofa, 42-inch TV, and other thoughtful comforts including an in-room coffee machine, mini bar, safe, air conditioning, ceiling fan, bathrobe and slippers. Room service is available 24 hours too.

Stroll from the hotel’s private island across the footbridge to The Marina @ CROSSROADS Maldives, the nation’s place to be. The Marina @ CROSSROADS Maldives is an 800-metre lifestyle beach walk with over 50 retail shops in a unique beautiful design. The Marina also features the country’s first luxury 30-berth yacht marina and a mix of eateries. We try Kebab & Kurry for lunch where the Lamb Sheekh kebab went down a treat.

Discover vibrant dining outlets, upscale shopping, a wide variety of activities for children and adults, or relax at the spa with a massage. For the adventurous travellers, choose from several water, air and land activities. Go on a dive or snorkelling tour to see beautiful marine life, including turtles, dolphins and reef sharks. Avid water enthusiasts will truly enjoy these top-of-the-range activities which can be booked to suit your time and needs. Kids can have fun at the Junior Beach Club and Camp’s playground or game arcade. You can also visit the Maldives Discovery Centre, promoting the local life and crafts of the Maldives. We attend the worldclass propagation activities that introduce global practice sustainable tourism schemes dedicated to persevering the bio-diversity of the Maldives’ prestigious marine ecosystem. In short, there is no time for boredom here – your trip is guaranteed to be filled with great experiences.

There’s an array of appealing dining experiences including a daily gourmet breakfast, inspiration from Cafè Del Mar the world-famous Ibiza bar is brought to the shores of the Maldives for the first time. Miss Olive Oyl, a Mediterranean seafood grill and bar, offers a casual beachfront, pool-side setting with panoramic ocean views and air-conditioned alfresco dining. Whilst at Mr Tomyam, you can enjoy beachfront dining, beautiful ocean views and an open kitchen setting which offers pizza and noodle dishes inspired by the hallmarks of Thai cuisine – a balance of five key flavours: sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy.

There are few places that take our breath away, and CROSSROADS Maldives is definitely one of them. Time feels like it stops here, but you’re never limited with things to do (or not to do!). It’s a 360-degree island destination where they have thought of it all and each brand stays true to its roots, with a touch of Maldivian flair. Our advice: book your stay ASAP! ✤

Visit: www.crossroadsmaldives.com Instagram: @crossroadsmaldives