I have previously written about our experience on the logistics of our first seaplane journey to get to Per Aquum Niyama Maldives.
It was a bit of trouble to get to the resort, but thankfully the luxury treatment starts before that.
First, we were transported from the Male International Airport to the seaplane terminal by a comfy MPV. Then the lounge at the seaplane terminal (next to the COMO Resorts lounge) was amazing. It was certainly a welcome respite after waking up at 6am to check out of Hotel Jen in Male City. Per Aquum are under the Anantara Group, so holiday makers on their way to the Anatara Kihavah also use this lounge. We have previously stayed at Anatara Dhigu, that resort and the Anantara Veli can be accessed by speedboat from the airport.
The lounge here has showers and also provides baby diapers (in the ladies’ shower room), has great coffee, and offers sandwiches, fruit, cookies and chocolates. It is a far cry from the business/whatever lounge at the international departure (so much better!), but I suppose to be fair, the new airport was supposed to have been built by 2014 and due to politics it never happened, and overall the airport has improved somewhat since 2011.
We landed at the award winning (resort and dining!) Per Aquum Niyama after a 45-minute journey and were raring to go. We met our Thukuru (“butler” in Maldivian), who drove us to tour around the island. The resort consists of 2 islands, and there was plenty of space to move about.
Bicycles are provided for each villa, and our tall 7-year old just barely managed to fit behind my husband’s bicycle. I’m not sure what we would do if our 9-year old came along since he might be too short for an adult bike. I have to say that we really liked the resort, the rooms, the food, and the exercise from cycling around from place to place so that we could eat more! We also discovered that it’s really not easy to cycle on sand!
Oh yes, on this trip we only took our 7 YO.
The day bed can be made into an extra bed, which was perfect for us since we had only 1 7 year old. You could probably fit another smaller body on the king size bed too, and I’ve had some luck with resorts when I write directly to request accommodating the children; but I doubt they would let you stay in a Beach Studio if you had 3 kids like we do.
I even like how they used tinted glass cabinets for the bar area and also to cover the fridge which gave the room nice clean lines.
And then there was the popcorn machine. A brilliant idea, I must say!
We stayed in the Beach Studio which is the lowest tier room. I can’t imagine what more luxury other rooms might offer! Our room didn’t have much beach during high tide, so the water was really less than a metre from our deck chairs and almost felt like a personal beach or a next to water villa, as opposed to an over water villa.
There is a kids club, called the Explorers Kids Club. We don’t usually require a kids club since our kids are contented with just food, beach, and water. But I think the Explorers Club requires special mention because it is an AMAZING kids club!!! Just check out their facilities! Nap areas for toddlers, table soccer, pool, ping pong, water play area, open air kitchen, stage for performances, scheduled activities….
Apparently this resort has the largest kids club in the Maldives (although a sister resort next door opening up in late 2017 might have a larger one). If you are planning a trip to Per Aquum Niyama, please check the activities for the kids club because on one of the days they have a FREE DOLPHIN SIGHTING TRIP FOR KIDS!!! I was and still am SUPER disappointed that my son didn’t get to go for that, and next time I will check out the kids activities schedules or even write to a resort to check on such activities. Definitely hands down the best kids club in the Maldives.
Other than the kids club, we found that they paid a lot of attention to detail and overall everything was really well put together.
At Blu, which houses a casual restaurant and a pool by the beach, this is what they deliver to you when you’re at the pool. WOW.
Also I just loved the decor and the food!
At the female toilet there is a fully kitted diaper changing station.
Breakfast was by the main pool (unless the resort is running at high capacity, during which BLU will also be open for breakfast).
After stuffing yourself for the most important meal of the day, it was time to cool off.
Or hang out by the beach.
Or do some water activities.
Or just hang out.
Other activities you can do: wake up early to catch the sunrise.
They also had a lovely games room with a auto-shuffling mahjong table, foosball, xboxes and other games, etc, which we spent a bit of time playing when the heat was a little too unbearable.
You can snorkel around the island and you pick up your snorkelling gear from the dive centre, and it comes in a lovely bag. As divers, we were very impressed by the pool that they have for people learning to dive!!!
The snorkeling in the lagoon is between so-so and decent. Sorry, it’s really hard to be wowed by the snorkeling after staying at the Angsana Ihuru which has an excellent house reef.
The resort has a restaurant and bar at a further location which requires a boat transfer, so on one of the days we requested to go there to Sub Six, which is the bar and restaurant 6metres under the sea level. I was super excited to spot a school of squid swimming about the jetty there, and I loved the decor of the restaurant. But that day the marine life even 6m below was nice but not exciting. But then again, many resorts are the same, where the resort is amazing, and the marine life just OK.
There is a lounge/library which you could use while staying at the resort, and also where we waited for our seaplane.
We were pretty impressed by the overall service and friendliness from all the staff. We loved chatting with them.
Now for the downsides:
Since we are “used” to the kind of service from butlers at resorts like Six Senses, we were also a little surprised that here at Niyama we hardly saw our butler. But it was fine, whenever we had questions for staff, they were all very helpful and also always offered to call the butler.
The resort has beautiful views, but usually it is the resorts with the wide sandy lagoons that produce this kind of amazing scenery and picture postcard photos. Wide lagoons means that the corals and the coral drop off is a lot further, meaning you won’t see as much marine life. Corals make the water darker, and don’t photograph as “paradise” as much as clear sandy blue water.
Snorkelling in a lagoon in so different from snorkelling at a drop off. At Niyama there isn’t really a drop off where you can snorkel. When I casually asked whether any sharks or turtles frequented the resort and got a “Uh…no” kind of answer. Okaaaay. However, I DID spot a flat fish, which was really exciting for us!