The Nautilus Maldives

The Nautilus Maldives promises luxury with a difference, and visitors get to experience precisely what that means as soon as they arrive at the international airport. While other passengers join the queues in the stuffy terminal, the lucky guests bound for The Nautilus are whisked to an exclusive VIP lounge where they can relax in comfort while customs and immigration officers come to them to complete paperwork. In the meantime, the resort staff move luggage to the island’s own air-conditioned seaplane that will carry guests to the private island that will be their home for the duration of their stay.

“Everything is tailored around you,” says Marketing Director Katherine Anthony. “As a guest you eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired, go to the spa when you feel like it. There are no fixed opening hours on our island and everything runs around the guests’ wishes.”

The stunning private island has its own coral reef, two yachts, three restaurants, two bars and only 26 houses. Each comes with its own butler to ensure every need is fulfilled but the main theme is freedom. The resort was built as a private home, and so has a combination of comfort and individuality. Guests are encouraged to remove their watches for the duration of their stay as time is no longer a concern. Breakfast can be served at any time and 30-minute spa sessions can be extended over a couple of hours. At dinner, there’s no dress code and the concept is “unscripted”, meaning guests can order anything they’d like to eat, not just stick to the menu.

“We offer fine dining but are also happy to serve homestyle food,” says Katherine. “If there’s anything a guest might fancy, they can ask the chef. Guests can even bring us their favourite recipe and we’ll try to recreate it for them.”

This liberating attitude extends to the decor, which avoids stuffy clichés – marble floors, crystal chandeliers, gold taps – in favour of an upscale, modern bohemian style. The idea is that visitors will find a place where they are able to be themselves. “The one thing that high-net-worth individuals don’t have is time,” says Katherine. “So we give them 10 to 14 nights when they can be themselves without being judged by anybody. We take their freedom very seriously.”