Imagine a two-hectare secluded island in the middle of the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean – no-one around you apart from a group of friends you have personally invited to come with you, housed within luxurious living quarters with elevated service levels so you do not have to even raise a finger. Welcome to Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah in the Baa Atoll, the first exclusive-use UNESCO hideaway. There are just seven luxurious bedrooms housed in a three-bedroom beach villa, a two-bedroom water villa and two mezzanine suites accommodating up to 22 guests in total.
The beach house has a dining room and kitchen for personal cooking, for a private chef or for Four Seasons’ custom dining plus three large swimming pools; The Ocean of Consciousness Spa for over-water pampering; a library and games room; a fully equipped gymnasium, an on island PADI 5-star Dive Centre and snorkelling; exclusive use of Voavah Summer, a 19 metre private yacht and full access to all the facilities at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, a short 20 minute speedboat drive away.
Noted for the variety of its marine life with manta rays, hawksbill turtles, coral reefs and more within this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, endless excursions can be made to swim with the local wildlife with dive instructors and marine biologists close by. Children’s programmes; fishing; surfing; cruising; X-Jetblades; wakeboarding; hair styling; island picnics; on-island entertainment – anything your heart desires will be seamlessly arranged by the Private Island team. There is even a private doctor on call 24/7.
The Indian Ocean’s Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, spans 1,200 kilometres of sparkling water and comprises of 75 islands of which 13 are inhabited. Home to the world’s largest known population of manta rays and one of the richest coral reef systems in the world, the Private Island at Voavah is situated within the Baa Atoll, two-hectares of private space to accommodate those who value privacy and seclusion.
It is approximately a 35-minute sea plane transfer from Malé International Airport and Four Seasons representatives will be happy to help with immigration, whisking you off to the VIP Lounge before flying to this private oasis. There is only one point of entry to Voavah so privacy is assured, further supported by 24/7 on site patrols, CCTV and nigh vision cameras. If you want to bring your own security, there are two rooms available to accommodate.
There are three types of accommodation on the island – the three-bedroom beach villa, the two-bedroom water villa and two mezzanine suites – all with private pools.
The most extensive accommodation at 1,077 square metres is the three-bedroom beach villa at the heart of the resort on the north side of the island, able to accommodate up to six adults and two children. Set on the beach with an enormous swimming pool and lounging deck wrapping around, linking the space, the Master Suite has three walls of windows to both allow the light to stream through and to offer those 360 degrees views out over the endless turquoise ocean. It also features an additional study which can also be turned into a children’s bedroom plus a spa-like bathroom with both indoor and outdoor showers.
Amenities include a pillow, duvet and bathrobe menu plus, if you share your beauty regimen and master suite essentials, these products will be procured and placed within the suite. Similarly for tech matters, the accommodation can be as connected or disconnected as preferred with Wi-Fi, IP television, DVD players and in-room films. There are also private safes, bars, phones and beverage stations.
Elegantly styled in the manner of an elegant, contemporary private apartment, this beach house is split into four sections with the bedrooms at either end for added privacy and the living and dining areas in the centre, complete with a guest powder room, a fully equipped kitchen and a pantry for snacking.
The space is serviced as for a hotel with daily housekeeping and an evening turndown service.
The two-bedroom over water villa on the southwest side of the island is perfect for those who prefer that extra touch of privacy that comes from being at the end of a long walkway. The 553 square metres of space is used to good effect with the bedroom suites housed within pavilions either side of the main living and dining area. The master suite once again offers either a private study or a children’s space with the large bathroom offering dual vanities and a large soaking tub looking out over the ocean. There is also a large kitchen and pantry for cooking up treats and snacks and a guest powder room. Outside, there is a large 17 metre sunset infinity pool, hammocks for over ocean reclining, a large dining space, loungers and steps down to the ocean.
The mezzanine suites at 94 square metres of space are located on The Beach House’s upper level at either end resulting in sweeping unobstructed views out over the ocean. Each suite contains a main bedroom suite plus a bunk room for four sharing and the loft lounge game room.
Wherever you want to site yourself on this private island, the Voavah team will assemble everything you need at the drop of a hat – whether it is on the beach, poolside, a sandbank or on Voavah Summer, the yacht. The island revolves around your wishes and desires and there is no need to “book” appointments at the spa or to think up dinner menus in advance – the team here are used to working on ad-hoc arrangements.
Facilities wise, there is a fully equipped gym in the main beach house, three large swimming pools at each residence, a library with billiard table and other games with private yoga and meditation on request. Children’s activities, fishing, surfing, cruising, X-Jetblades, wakeboarding, hair styling, island picnics, on-island entertainment – anything your heart desires will be seamlessly arranged by the Private Island team. There is even a private doctor on call 24/7.
For pampering, there is The Ocean of Consciousness Spa located over the lagoon featuring spa treatments developed by The Spa & Ayurvedic Retreat at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giravaaru. Partake in a private yoga session at sunrise or immerse yourself within a crystal-bowl-sound healing, have a massage or restore the glow with a signature facial. Alternatively, the on call Rossano Ferretti stylists can attend to any hair and beauty needs.
Diving is an attractive activity within The Maldives and whenever the urge takes you, there is an on-island PADI 5-Star Dive Centre available for both diving and snorkelling. Voavah Summer, the 19-metre private yacht, can sail to all the best dive spots or can be used for romantic sunset cruises and island hopping too. Noted for the variety of its marine life with manta rays, hawksbill turtles, coral reefs and more within this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, endless excursions can be made to swim with the local wildlife with dive instructors and marine biologists close by. Manta ray excursions range from June to November in Baa Atoll.
If you would like a little company, you have full access to all the facilities at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, a short 15-minute speedboat drive away.
This is how Robinson Crusoe would have wished to have been stranded, had he the opportunity to plan ahead. This is barefoot, carefree luxury at its most indulgent with a no invitation, no entry policy and the superb 25-person Voavah team thankfully replacing Man Friday and taking care of any and every whim.
A desert island retreat like no other, Four Seasons Maldives Private Island at Voavah, Baa Atoll has to be booked in its entirety – no sub-letting here. An ocean front retreat in the midst of the Indian Ocean with nary a soul within sight, now that is a luxury many of us crave and most of us couldn’t envisage before now. I am sure that this pristine oasis will now be on most people’s bucket lists.
Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts operates four distinct offerings in the region – Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, Four Seasons Explorer and Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll.
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The Beach House features a dining room and kitchen with pantries available for snacking. Whether you want to cook yourself, if you hire a private chef or if you rely on the professional and innovative cuisine from Four Seasons, the menu is yours to plan, limited only by your imagination. Dining options also include beach picnics, barbecues, sunset cocktail cruises and more, much more – with or without added entertainment. The culinary team at Four Seasons can create any menu, any cuisine, whether it is Chinese, Japanese, Sri Lankan, Indian, Maldivian, Italian, Lebanese or Moroccan.
There are also the restaurants and bars at the nearby Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru to enjoy should you have island fever, whether that is for Lebanese or Moroccan, Asian or traditional Italian cuisine – the resort’s facilities are open to Private Island guests.
Four Seasons Resorts Maldives supports many marine conservation programmes, partnering up with Parley for the Oceans, the NOW Force for Good Alliance and EarthCheck to ensure their presence on the atoll is as positive as it can be, rehabilitating sea turtles and more in a conscious collaboration between people and the planet, travellers and hospitality.
The resorts have, over the years, undertaken a great many innovative sustainability programmes including being the first Maldivian resorts to have marine biologists and the first and most extensive Marine Discovery Centre for conservation and research. They have also pioneered the first coral frame structures to regenerate reefs and established the Maldivian Manta Ray Project instrumental in designating Baa Atoll as Maldives’ first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2011. They have inaugurated the first Turtle Rehabilitation Centre in 2011 returning more than 155 sea turtles back to the world and have installed one of the Maldives’ largest resort-based solar installations. Teaming up with Parley for the Oceans since 2018, they have channelled plastic waste from Resort operations as well as from neighbouring islands, sending it to Taiwan to be recycled into Parley initiated Adidas sportswear which is available to purchase at the resorts. The resort is implementing, as of 2020, a tailor-made product to plant trees locally to offset plane travel emissions.
The Four Seasons Resorts Maldives have also shone a spotlight onto traditional arts and crafts supporting the employment of bands to promote local culture, engaging with a co-operative on the nearby island of Fulhadhoo to produce the coral frames programme and supporting the Maldives’ last surviving lacquerware artisans. They have also teamed up with Design for Sustainable Development, a Sri Lankan non-profit charity, which champions design innovation, sustainability and women’s empowerment while preserving local craft heritage.