Niyama Private Islands Maldives
What We Love
- Daily breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- Dancing with sharks — and rays, sailfish, turtles and jacks at Subsix nightclub. The seabed’s a hot dance floor
- Dining on ostrich bobotie, grilled warthog and Colombian ice cream at the Tribal jungle restaurant
What To Know
- A mandatory round-trip seaplane transfer fee (approx. $627 per adult) will be collected at the property
- The house reef is a long way out
- Niyama’s beaches haven’t yet reached powder perfection. Broken coral can be uncomfortable underfoot
- Spa therapies and water sports (apart from kayaking and paddlesurfing) are not included
- Compulsory Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve gala dinners are $350 and $500 per person, respectively
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Room Service
This younger, larger, funkier sister of luxury Maldives resort PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi opened in 2012 with a blitz of publicity. Most of the attention centered on Subsix — its unique underwater nightclub — but there’s a lot more to the resort on Olhuveli Island, in the Dhaalu atoll. An awful lot more. From global campfire cuisine to a riot of boys toys (including motorized boats and cars) to an art studio and a marine biology lab. Bright, coolly contemporary PER AQUUM Niyama ensures there’s no excuse for boredom or desert island ennui.
Bed and Bath
The 86 overwater and on-land studios and pavilions are bright and light, with cream walls, wood floors and glass partitions. They offer state-of-the-art technology, free movies, and enviably stylish bathrooms containing vast trapezoid bathtubs. The overwater decks support white chaise longues and smoke green infinity pools: ancient Rome meets 21st-century L.A. All have well-stocked minibars to go with the obligatory Nespresso machines; Niyama’s ‘deli-in’ concept means free Häagen-Dazs and superb value snacks, including Tuscan antipasto mix and triple-cream brie.
Fine dining restaurant, Edge, is accessible only by boat and offers panoramic views of the ocean. Equally spectacular, and slightly more hearty, is the meeting of African, Asian and South American cuisines at Tribal, surrounded by fecund foliage and a bushfire. Multiple activities — many, unusually for the Maldives, away from the ocean — are what PER AQUUM Niyama is all about. The energetic vibe, captured in punchy buzzwords — Float (water sports), Quench (spa/juice bar) and Active (computer games, sports simulators, pool table, darts and ping-pong) — should please the more energetic, young and young at heart. Enjoy.
How to Get There
We have just arrived home after a week at Niyama. We, parents and 3 kids (8, 7 & 5) travel several times a year as a family and by the end of the trip we are always ready to go home, not this time. It was sad for all of us to leave on this occasion, we just weren't ready.
We landed on Sunday morning. Getting through the airport and being greeted by the Niyama team was seamless. We were immediately taken to check in for our seaplane and then driven to the Lounge to await our flight. We assumed we'd be off pretty quickly but beware the schedule of the seaplanes is very much weather dependant so we had a two hour wait after a 10 hour flight but we were comfortable in the lounge so no worries. The seaplane ride itself was an experience, a first for all of us. 45 minutes later we were clambering off to the welcoming Niyama team where we met our Thakuru Benjo.
We had a golf buggy tour of the islands before being brought to our Family Beach Pool Villa. Arriving at our accommodation for the week was incredible, it didn't disappoint in any way. Absolutely perfect! The outside bathroom is so beautiful, the mini bar is well stocked and the entertainment for kids on those days we needed to get them out of the rain or sun was all very welcome. We ordered room service, which was quick and tasty, and just relaxed for a couple of hours by the pool before we headed out to explore. We checked what was on for the week and planned all our dinners which we booked through Benjo. The bicycles were a nice touch and especially useful for my husband and I on days without the kids. However, our daughters aged 8 & 7 were too big for the child seats and too small for the bikes. Smaller bikes for kids would be SUCH a great addition, its really missed.
Whilst there we tried all the restaurants. All were fantastic, great food & service. Heading off to lunch at Subsix by boat with the kids was really fun, and a date night at Edge was perfect. I highly recommend the lobster wellington...out of this world! My only gripe would be the prices at Tribal. We just couldn't get over it, average price for a main course USD 80?! You wouldn't pay that in a 3 star restaurant...it makes no sense at all. Those prices could be found in all the A La Carte restaurants but there were always varied options, not in Tribal. Still...it was a fun venue with wonderful staff. Breakfast was always excellent and our favourite meal of the day, relaxed, easy going, no rush to go get a spot by the pool because you've got your private pool waiting for you. Amazing food options and free bubbly which we took full advantage of every single day ;)
Kids club was another highlight. Our kids are kind of getting to the age where they can take it or leave it, and as parents we're no longer trying to push them to go so we can get a break. They didn't go that often here either but when they did they so enjoyed it and the activity options are unlike any we've seen before. So many fun, varied, age appropriate, active and adventurous options. And of course more amazing staff!
One day it rained from morning until night but we made the most of it between kids club my husband and I having a gym & spa day. The gym was really unimpressive, but we found out on the last day that its temporary while the new state of the art, double size, sea facing gym is being readied. So thats fine. The spa was lovely with very warm and attentive staff. We both enjoyed our treatments very much.
Do not miss the sunset and sundowner cockails at Surfshack. It's the most beautiful setting!! We also discovered they have more plans to improve that area of the island over the next months. A new surf pro from Australia, a food truck, more seating etc... I'm excited to see how that progresses as the potential is certainly there!
We also did a Dolphin tour...it was nice but nothing more. The water was also very choppy which they warned us about before and offered us the option of rescheduling but we thought nothing of it and went ahead. Several people on the boat were quite unwell! So beware. I went on a 30 minute Jet Ski tour of the island which was also fun... but maybe not worth the 200 dollar price tag.
We will miss our barefoot walks around the island. Ladies, leave your heels at home...you won't need them! After two days we all stopped wearing shoes completely, even at mealtimes :)
I'd like to say a special thanks to Benjo, our wonderful Thakuru. Our 5 year son took such a liking to him he got quite upset when we boarded the seaplane and had a little cry. He was such a help, always in good humour and great with the kids. Ali & Jerry in Blu. Tara @ Blu and her lovely free morning massages which the kids took full advantage of, even my sons teddy got a go which the kids delighted in. There are two or three other people in Blu that were awesome but I simply can't remember their names. Tiger in Dune bar <3 Teddy & Anton in Epicure. Siva (head of operations I believe) for his attentiveness and our chat Sunday morning filling us in on what the future holds for Niyama, exciting things! Fariz from room service. I'm sure I've missed some people but thats all I can think of right now.
See you all again soon hopefully
Family Engman x
Hi , we are a family of 4 with 2 kids age 4yrs and 9 yrs . Went to Niyama this October. Absolutely loved it . Beach villa we were staying at is simply stunning . Loved the swing on the porch . Sat on swing reading my books watching the sea. Can’t get over the sea colour . Kids absolutely loved it . Kids club was amazing . Great activities everyday they took my older one snorkelling , dolphin cruise, paddle boarding . Both of them wanted to go everyday . Whether you are halfboard or breakfast only doesn’t affect the kids as kids meals are free in buffet and A la Carte restaurants which is great . On arrival we were given a Thakur called WISHAM . Thakur is your point of contact to get anything done - buggy ride to anywhere on the island , booking your restaurant reservations , spa reservations, getting you your complementary snorkelling equipment , getting you your complementary bikes, booking your excursions , checking you in and checking you out and many more . Wisham was simply wonderful . He was so warm , friendly and very efficient . He got things for us before even asking for it . He was so great with the kids . They adored him . He very kindly gave them gifts and wonderful surprises . Huge shout out to Wisham to say Thank you , you are the best . All the staff in Niyama are really helpful and friendly. It’s great service . One service we looked forward to everyday was our coconut man IMRAN. He got fresh coconuts for us everyday . They were delicious . It was complementary. Imran is really sweet and friendly . Thank you . Did some great snorkelling . Saw turtles , Ray , lots of fish . Went for sunrise walks and shell hunting with kids . It’s an expensive place so would recommend go half board atleast. Money worth spent as it’s a dream holiday . Made such great memories. Would highly recommend Niyama
We got back a week ago after 16 nights at Niyama for our honeymoon, and it was just heavenly. We did worry a little that our stay might be too long in one place, but there was plenty to keep us and the two kids busy, and we’d have happily stayed even longer!
The first thing to call out has to be the service – it’s just a super slick operation. Everyone seems to know who you are from the moment you arrive, and every tiny detail is looked after. Sham, our Thakuru, was oustanding – despite being super busy with guests, he seemed to be there whenever we needed him, but wasn’t in any way intrusive on our holiday – it was the perfect balance. He made sure every detail was taken care of, and was so kind in organising extra special surprises for us, particularly on my daughter and wife’s birthdays which both fell while we were there. The kids loved him (our 2yr old son’s still asking where he is every day, and we’ve been back for a week)! Thanks Sham, if you read this, for looking after us so wonderfully and making it extra special.
The general manager, resort manager, front of house manager and restaurant management and staff were also outstanding – everyone genuinely cared that we were having a good time, and just couldn’t do enough for us. Very little went wrong at all, but on the odd occasion something wasn’t quite perfect, it’s resolved before you know it. You can tell that they work as a team and coordinate with each other between departments and functions incredibly well, focussing relentlessly on the guest experience. Service that good takes a lot of work, but they make it appear effortless and seamless to their guests.
Kids club was also great – thanks Nathalie and the team! Most days we put the kids in for a few hours or half a day, and they were super flexible about that and really made it easy. They were great with the kids, and the facilities were excellent - the sprinkler park and trampoline a definite hit with our two! Loads of fun activities and the kids were always wanting to show us what they’d been making or doing when we picked them up. Really good for babysitting as well on a couple of evenings, and they really made it easy for us.
The rooms are great – we didn’t do the over water bungalows as the kids are a bit young, but the beach rooms are amazing with perfect pools to play in and direct access to what often felt like a completely private beach. Just amazing. And the rooms are just so well done – loads of space, great house keeping service, and really good amenities and tech hook-ups etc.
The food was amazing – Epicure and Blu were great for the breakfasts and evening buffets, and we loved Nest and Edge on special nights out (the lobster wellington at Edge was exceptional). Tribal we enjoyed maybe slightly less, but there are plenty of options and the buffets had different themes each night - despite the length of our stay we didn’t feel restricted. Tuna steaks on the grill at Blu were the best I’ve ever had – amazing! Lunch at Blu or Dune by the pool is just incredible. Subsix / Edge also amazing for sunset drinks and to see the underwater restaurant – the kids loved it. The Drift spa was great as well and we had a few really fantastic massages and treatments, and they looked after our daughter and pampered her on her birthday, too!
We booked Niyama on the basis of it having surfing from the island and a kids club that looked after young children (23 months and 4 years old). Surfing was great at Vodi when the conditions were good, and Marcello and Indo were really helpful with coaching sessions (thanks!). The surf boat transfers seemed quite pricey at $200 + tax, and the conditions weren’t quite as good towards the end of the trip to make it worth going. Night fishing was fantastic (caught a huge red snapper which we had for lunch the next day) and also people in the group caught emperor fish and big sharks which were let go again (thankfully!). I wouldn’t recommend the fishing with very young kids – glad we didn’t take ours as having a two year old on the boat and trying to fish at the same time wouldn’t have been easy! Dolphin cruise was really good (we did take the kids), and we saw load of dolphins. As others have said, there’s no house reef but you get complimentary snorkelling equipment and there are some corals and fish to see if you fancy a quick snorkel. However, the Turtle Quest trip was excellent and we saw lots of turtles, rays, sharks etc. SUPs and Kayaks were handy to be able to use, too.
Loved having the bikes (with child seats, which were a big hit) and bombing around the island. Our favourite places were at the far ends – the edge pier beach on Chill (perfect picturesque beach with white sands and nobody there pretty much ever), and the Surf shack on Play (amazing sunsets and surfing / watching while drinking a cold beer).
Overall, a stunning resort with service and facilities to match. We would certainly love to go back, and it was undoubtedly our best holiday ever – so many happy memories. Thanks again to Sham and the whole team who made our stay so unforgettable – we miss you!
A luxury resort with great fun! We have a perfect wedding anniversary and our kids really have fun in Kids club and activities. Foods are diverse and tasty. Niyama is definitely the family's first choice of Maldives resorts. Thanks to our Thakuru Ting. He is very gentle and helps us a lot. Thanks to our agent because of their highly recommendation of Niyama Private Islands. We do have an amazing memories and great times in this resort of Maldives!
Start with the relatively weak points: rooms need update...and that's about it.What we liked: morning Yoga.Spa experience with Jade and overal the facilities in the spa.Water Sport centerThe beachThakuru and the whole management team! The sunset @ the Edge! Dinner at the Nest