I’m always keeping an eye out for the most luxurious of resort experiences, and this week, something caught my eye that I just had to share. The new private, luxury concept in the Maldives, OZEN by Atmosphere, took the luxury travel and honeymoon market by storm last year. But not resting on their laurels, they’ve launched an ‘Over-Water Suite’, catering to the most discerning of travellers.
The 430 square-metre suite includes an exclusive overwater bar, serviced 24 hours a day, in case you needed any further persuading. Positioned at the tip of the pier – and just a stone’s throw from the resort’s underwater restaurant M6m – the suite offers panoramic views of the expansive turquoise lagoon all-around and can comfortably accommodate 6 adults in its three bedrooms. Additionally, there is a fully equipped personal gym, a kitchenette, ensuite bathrooms, spacious outdoor dining pavilion, a private 35sqm pool and a tranquil, private sand bank!
Guests will also have their own private butler service throughout their stay and can relax without the worry of unexpected bills thanks to the Atmosphere Indulgence Plan, which covers dining at any of the resort’s five diverse restaurants, all beverages and non-motorised water sports.
The Maldives is a Muslim country and as a result Sharia laws apply throughout the land. Visitors will probably not experience any discrimination or realise the implications of this while holidaying on the country’s private, internationally branded resorts. However, such laws can mean, in the most extreme cases, the death penalty for its LGBTQ citizens who are found ‘guilty’ for engaging in consensual homosexual activity. Life for LGBTQ people in the country is extremely difficult and many are subject to discrimination, abuse, violence or worse, with no protection from their government.
At OutThere, we believe in boundless travel and the empowerment that our visibility can give local communities, but we strongly encourage all visitors to fully understand what local, anti-gay laws mean to you as a traveller, your rights as a visitor, your expectations as a member of the LGBTQ community and also its impact on the local gay population, when making the decision to visit.
OutThere travellers visiting the Maldives should be fully aware of the implications of the laws when in the country and be sensitive to and respect local customs and regulations, so to ensure an enjoyable, safe holiday that is in line with your expectations.
Every year, along with State Sponsored Homophobia, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) publishes a map of sexual orientation laws in the world. You can view and download overview maps to separately chart where criminalisation, protection and recognition laws are enacted, to help inform your next holiday here.