Here at HOC finding new places to show our readers is the most important thing, so when we found out about the brand new resort located North of Male Atoll providing luxury and beyond, we had to check it out. OBLU Select, Sangali… HOC have arrived!
Oblu Select has been open since July 2018 and sits under the Atmosphere Hotel umbrella, so it came with no surprise that in its first week of opening it reached full capacity. Atmosphere Hotels has an already established portfolio and is a well-known brand in luxury resort world, so we knew we were in good company with this trip.
We landed to the warm breeze of the Maldives and took an excited breath at the prospect of a few days full of indulgence with OBLU Select. The transfer from the airport via speedboat was made easy by well directed signs to the OBLU Select arrival desk and 50 minutes later, we were welcomed onto the resort by their wonderful staff. Our room was a villa with a private pool and a secluded walkway onto the beach, it was past 11pm so it was dark but we knew we had a seriously amazing view to wake up to. After nibbling on welcome snacks we hit the sack, spiralling off into a dream of comfort and the knowledge that utter relaxation awaited us (except for the work bit, of course!).
Deluxe Villa with pool at OBLU Select
Our first full day was kickstarted by eagerly jumping out of bed, the night time arrival added to the suspense of how beautiful this resort really is as we were greeted by pure white sand and turquoise waters, whilst our very own pool glistening away in the sun. Their Deluxe Villas are just that, deluxe.
Each room comes equipped with an incredibly detailed ‘resort bible’ which outlines everything you need to know for the duration of your stay including, The Serenity Plan. This plan is what makes your stay hassle-free – it’s a holiday package that focuses on offering the guests everything they will need for an enjoyable stay with OBLU Select. As part of this plan you will have all your food and drink included, as well as dining experiences in their two on-site restaurants, Just veg and Just Grill. On top of that (and dependent on your length of stay) you will be entitled to excursions such as snorkelling or sports activities – it’s a perfect plan because it offers guests that little bit extra. Some of the diving activities are not included with the plan such as swimming with turtles and manta rays. We paid the extra $120 per person for a 5 hour snorkelling session and we couldn’t have been more satisfied.
Water Villas at OBLU Select
We were lucky enough to experience one of those oh-so-famous water bungalows that the Maldives is so well know for and in true OBLU style they were very, very impressive. With all the same features and funky interiors as the deluxe villas, they just had the added wow factor steps leading into the ocean off the back veranda – it was absolutely beautiful and meant you could snorkel off the back of your villa with ease. What a life!
Snorkelling at OBLU SELECT
An 8am start when you’re on holiday is totally OK when you’re in with the chance with swimming with the beautifully majestic Manta Rays and here at OBLU Select, it’s one of the most sought after snorkelling excursions. We headed out to Rasfari Reef under the knowledgeable eye of on-site Marine Biologist and Dive Master, Mat and his team. It takes 1 hour 20 minutes to reach the snorkelling destination which means you can enjoy the ocean breeze and take in those pretty blue views on the top deck. Prior to slipping into the sea to kickstart the snorkel session we had a detailed overview of how to swim with mantas by Mat which was thorough and thoughtful – it was very impressive to see how concerned the resort are about the welfare of the marine life that surrounds the island and we felt in good hands! We were in luck that day as we spotted two graceful manta rays having a clean (where we snorkelled is a popular manta ray cleaning station). It was a really fantastic morning and a definite highlight to our stay.
Eating at OBLU SELECT
During our stay we were able to experience OBLU Select’s three restaurants: the main buffet restaurant, The Courtyard then Just veg and Just Grill for a more fine dining experience. All three, we have to say, were amazing.
There is nowhere like an all-you-can-eat buffet. It’s the only place where mixing international dishes is a total must-do and we of course, couldn’t help ourselves. Each dish felt ‘a la carte’ and the strong team of chefs running the on-display kitchen clearly took pride in their work. From Sri Lankan curries to exceptional fish dishes and classic pizza choices, its rotating menu was full of variety – this was the same from breakfast through to dinner. Whether it’s the different types of butter available (buckwheat butter… olive butter… – you name it, it’s there!) or the daily fresh fish choices, it’s the finer details that contribute to the success of the resorts dining options.
Located on the West coast of the island and also perched on a solitary island, Just Veg is the resorts vegetarian restaurant. It redefines modern veggie cuisine by combining original recipes with surprising flavour twists and we can safely say, it was a mouth-watering experience. You did not miss the meat at all and it fuelled the desire to focus on a meat-free diet once we had left the resort.
The menus were displayed to us on I-pads which was another way the island focused their attention on producing un-necessary paper and plastic – it also felt incredibly swanky. We devoured a delicious Maldivian curry with pumpkin and a mushroom fungi followed by desserts so tantalising we still can’t stop thinking about them. In addition to its dreamy menu, the restaurant offers incredible sunset views and allows you to check out the awe-inspiring ocean from another angle.
Just Grill is situated in the same breathtaking location as Just Veg and is a combination of fresh seafood and meat selections, all grilled to perfection by OBLU Select’s incredible team of chefs. It was yet again an impressive meal but Just Veg had the edge for us. Its menu felt that bit more exciting and unexpected and really opened our eyes in terms of how delicious vegetarian dishes can be.
Honeymooning at OBLU Select
We were lucky enough to get a sneaky tour of the honeymoon hideaways and instantly wished we were hauled up in one of those beautiful suites – they had romance written all over them. With a luxurious round bed, a bathroom as big as a house, and an Instagrammable infinity pool, these Honeymoon Water Suites oozed serious wow factor. The minimum stay is three nights and you’ll be in for a real treat as some of the extras include butler service, a couples massage and breakfast in bed. Some one find us a husband, pronto!
Going that extra mile at OBLU Select
Extra touches, room:
Scales in the bathroom / Torch / Snack and drinks replenished daily / The White Company toiletries / Chocolates on the pillows / Dressing gowns
Extra touches, resort:
On-site shop / A vegetarian restaurant / No plastic – all glass bottles / Doctor on call / A marine Biologist on site / Water excursions / The Serenity Plan
Why you should pick OBLU Select, Maldives as your choice of vacay in 2019
The OBLU Select is a four-star deluxe resort with a five-star service, from its friendly staff to its awe-inspiring views, it is a magical place where the guests truly come first. So whether you’re a honeymooner after a slice of paradise, a family looking to escape the chaos of everyday life or a couple hoping to recharge, OBLU Select and their exquisite serenity plan is the place to come, unwind and just feel totally and utterly serene. It will be worth every penny.