Tag Archives: Maldives far Atolls

Happy Birthday to the furthermost Resort of Maldives : Shangri-La’s Villingili !

Shangri La's Villingili Maldives beach and lagoon

Shangri La's Villingili Maldives | Photo © Sakis Papadopoulos

As you might know, today, July 26th 2010, is a very special date for Maldives as the country will celebrate  45th years of  independance from the British.

But did you know that  July 26th was also Shangri-La’s Villingili very first Birthday ?

And eventually…do you know Shangri-La’s Villingili ?

Shangri La's Villingili Maldives Pool Villa

Shangri La's Villingili Maldives Pool Villa | Photo © Sakis Papadopoulos

Apart from its birthday, the young resort deserves a special focus on Dreaming of Maldives….

Located in the very far and unspoiled most southern Atoll of Addu, Villingili is the furthermost resort of the Maldives ! It is simply and beautifully, the latest point of the Territory. Go further, and there will be nothing else than the vast Indian Ocean….

To reach Villingili, you will have to fly with Maldivian, the National Maldivian Airline Company and cross the Equator. After 1h10 minutes of probably one of the most amazing flight above the archipelago, you will land to Gan International Airport, second Airport after Male/Hulhule airport.

map Maldives Shangri-La's Villingili

Maldives map

The transfer to Shangri-La’s will only take you 10 minutes by speed-boat.

The first impression of the island is unforgettable…Villingili is just majestic.

Impressive first by its size : 2 kilometers long ! (an exception in Maldives where the average resort length is about 500 meters) and then… the vegetation : ….17 000 very high coconut trees and gigantic Banyan Trees, surrounded by a bright blond very long sandy beach and an endless perfectly shaped turquoise lagoon…The “waow” effect is guaranteed, even for the long time traveller in Maldives.

Besides its stunning location, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, first luxury resort in the Maldives south of the equator, is located in a boutique-style environment where guests can choose from private ocean retreats to tropical tree house villas with panoramic views, a selection of fine dining options, innovative treatments at CHI, The Spa and cycling on nearby islands will satisfy every sense.

The Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, famous for its touch of elegance and luxury transformed Villingili into a true Luxury retreat in a very well preserved and astonishing natural environment.

The resort’s natural lush vegetation,  its unique access to the local neighbouring inhabited islands paired with luxurious accommodation are not the only assets  that we loved…Shangri-La’s Villingili has also contributed in many ways to the development of Addu Atoll and its community.  In addition to employing over 300 local staff, the resort has established strong relationships with local fishermen, farmers and companies, providing them with new business opportunities.  Furthermore and contrary to the most of the Maldives, many people

from Addu, working in the resort, now enjoy the possibility to return to their hometown and live close to their family for a better quality of life…

Happy Birthday Shangri-La’s Villingili, and many others to come !

ADDU ATOLL…THE OTHER MALDIVES.

Addu Atoll is not like the Maldives as we all know them.

Of course, you will find the usual beautiful landscapes, as in the rest of the country, but the Atoll has something different, something more…Everything looks bigger, thicker. The islands, the vegetation, the lagoons…even the air you breathe will not be the same…The southern Equatorial position is the key factor to this rare and subtile differences. Furthermore, the Atoll is located at 336 miles away from Male…obviously Nature can not be the same.

Long-time home base of the British Militaries during their colony, Addu Atoll is also the birth place of most of the resort Staff  you will meet around all Maldives, as their English language level used to be the best and highest in the country. The people from Addu were the first to work in the Hotel and Tourism industry in the Maldives, in the 70’s.

© DREAMING OF MALDIVES 2005-2010.

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MALDIVES, WHERE SECRETS STILL REMAIN…

Beyond lagoons and Paradisiacal beaches, the Maldives have also a very long history punctuated with rising and falling where many secrets still have to be revealed and discovered.

If you love to discover historical sites during your holidays and have visited Maldives, you might have felt disappointed and sceptical about Maldivian history.

This is a common misconception.

On the contrary, Maldives have a rich and long history dating back to thousands of years ago.

Many ancient and major civilizations ( Phoenicians, Mesopotamians, Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese, Europeans…) have let their influences or their cultures in the Maldives.
Common historical sightseeing in Maldives often includes the old Sultan’s Palace with its National Museum and Hukuru Miskiiy– the oldest mosque in Maldives.
But many reminiscence of the past can be found or remain still undetected by Archaeologists among the archipelago.
Excavations are still running today and can be sometimes performed on long periods due to the singular and extremely extended geography of Maldives.
Pre-Buddhist, Buddhist, Hindu artefacts are among the most surprising results of these researches.
Many shrines, temples and other witnesses of these times were destroyed during the Islamic conquest and colonization of the Maldives.
Furthermore, various artefacts and places, already discovered, still remain ignored among the public (Maldivians and foreigners) as many of them are located on distant islands, often out of reach for the Islanders and currently not reachable by tourists.
During one of my visit to some far atolls, I was honoured by the local Authorities to have the exceptional possibility to enter and photograph one of these hidden and totally unknown places :
Maldives unknown Historical Museum
The unknown Museum of Maldives | The Residence of Khatheeb Hussain Thakurufaanu, father of The National  Maldivian Hero: Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al-Azam, located in Utheemu Island (Haa Alif Atoll).\ Photo Copyrights Sakis Papadopoulos

Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al-Azam is one of the most celebrated Maldivian heroes who saved Maldives from the Portuguese conquerors who ruled over the Maldives from 1558-1573. Portuguese conquerors have let in the history of Maldives a painful series of stories of cruel and massive killings in a short time. Independence went beyond relief.

The date of the original construction of the Residence is unknown, but in oral tradition it is said that the house was built during the reign of Kalhu Muhammed Siri Dhanmaru Bavana Mahaaradhum around the 15th/16th century AD.

More Photos and information about Maldives on DreamingofMaldives.com

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