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Evaluate: Patina Maldives is a Quiet Luxurious Haven of Hospitality and Attractive Design

Evaluate: Patina Maldives is a Quiet Luxurious Haven of Hospitality and Attractive Design

Opened just two years ago, Patina Maldives in the Fari Islands is a quiet luxury haven of chic villas, intriguing artworks and personalised hospitality amidst breathtaking surrounds. We recently made our way there to find out more — and didn’t want to leave. Read on for our review of the beautiful Patina Maldives.

“Hey Siri, play Golden Hour by JVKE.”

The deck of our beach villa immediately fills with the lush melody of the TikTok-famous tune, weaving a majestic soundscape as the sun gradually makes its descent on the horizon and sets the sky awash in hues of orange and amber. A short walk away, waves roll and crash onto the shore, perfuming the breeze with a salty tang. Hermit crabs furtively scuttle home on the grainy white sand, burrowing into holes and ducking under the floorboards of our holiday abode at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands.

Sunsets are beautiful anywhere, but they feel particularly special and calming here. Staring into the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean, time seems to slow down — its passing marked only by the changing hues of the sky. For someone seeking respite from the daily grind, this is the perfect escape: Unadulterated tranquility amidst nature, and a landscape so gorgeous you won’t feel tempted to check your email while on vacation.

patina maldives review
Golden hour at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands. (Image: Sara Yap for PrestigeOnline)

There are even more glorious views to be had across the island at Patina Maldives’ designated sunset beach and overwater villas, all promising unobstructed panoramas during golden hour. Over at Helios, the resort’s Aegean restaurant and bar, guests can munch on crunchy lobster kataïfi pastries, hummus and grilled octopus while lounging in chairs that face the ocean and sky — a front-row seat to the sun’s curtain call. If you’re inclined to venture a little further, Patina also offers a sunset cruise around its neighbouring islands.

Patina Maldives, Fari Islands: A review of the paradisiacal resort

But Patina has a lot more to offer than just picturesque sights. As we’d later discover during our stay, it is also a hub for art and sustainability, and boasts an excellent repertoire of dining options.

No wonder it has already received the celebrity stamp of approval. While the hotel is fairly new, having just opened in May 2021 amidst the pandemic, it has been steadily becoming a fast favourite among the affluent and famous. Hollywood stars and BFFs Zoey Deutch and Nina Dobrev vacationed there in June 2022 along with Dobrev’s boyfriend Shaun White, while Indian actress Rakul Preet Singh also made her way to Patina earlier this year.

Modern Family actress Sarah Hyland and her husband Wells Adams chose it as their honeymoon destination in October 2022, and documented their stay with several Instagram snaps describing the place as “heaven”. Hyland even name-dropped the resort during an appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden, where she joked about having to navigate the island on a toddler’s bike with training wheels, as she didn’t know how to ride a bicycle.

The list of celebrity clientele is probably longer. Our next-door neighbour during our stay seemed to be someone influential. Ahead of them moving in, we witnessed workers erecting privacy barriers around their villa’s outdoor pool area, presumably to shield them from the prying eyes of passing beachgoers. The resort staff were understandably tight-lipped about which superstar was in attendance, but they revealed they’ve hosted several well-known personalities before.

The hotel is popular among non-famous guests too, and sees its share of return visitors. During our stay in August, it was operating at between 94 to 96 percent occupancy — pretty impressive, considering it was a traditionally low-season travel period in the Maldives due to the higher chance of wet weather. Fortunately for us, it was clear skies and bright sunshine throughout our stay.

Getting there

Patina Maldives occupies one of the four islands that form the Fari Islands archipelago in North Malé Atoll. The other three islands are home to The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, the upcoming Capella Maldives, and staff residences.

Patina Maldives review
Patina Maldives occupies one of the four islands that form the Fari Islands archipelago. (Image: Patina Maldives)

The resort is accessible via a 40-minute luxury speedboat ride from Velana International Airport. If you’re travelling from Hong Kong, many airlines including AirAsia, Batik Air and Singapore Airlines currently offer flights to Malé with a stopover. But travelling there will get easier rom January 19, 2024, as Hong Kong Airlines will provide direct flights, shaving the journey down to around seven hours. Upon arrival at the resort, guests are greeted by staff and their Essentialist — a designated private butler, before being brought to their villa or room for check-in.

The property is operated by Patina Hotels & Resorts — a brand under Capella Hotels & Resorts — and houses 90 beach and water villas, 20 studio rooms, 12 restaurants and bars, and various facilities such as a spa, kids’ club, and dive centre.

Villas and suites

Quiet luxury is the buzzword of the moment, and Patina ticks all the right boxes with its tastefully decorated villas dreamt up by Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan of Studio MK27. Dressed in muted earth tones and accented with stone, rattan and wood, the residences are the epitome of effortless sophistication.

Patina Maldives review
One bedroom beach villa. (Image: Patina Maldives)

Designer furniture from luxury brands such as Bassam Fellows, Gervasoni, Vitra, Lin Brasil and Paola Lenti are strategically placed around the space for that Insta-worthy aesthetic, while the king sized bed — wrapped in chic, slate grey sheets instead of the usual white or cream — is plush and inviting. Above it hangs a large framed photographic print of lush green foliage in a nod to the Fari Islands’ natural landscape.

Even the bathroom is restrainedly stylish, with its wooden planks, and glass walls that allow daylight to spill in. A vibrant orange and blue carpet takes pride of place at its entrance, adding a pop of eccentricity to the otherwise subdued aesthetic.

But the star of the villa is undoubtedly its seamless transition from indoors to outdoors, thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass doors on three sides that can be opened up for direct access to the pool and beach. Waking up each morning with a view of the waves in the distance? That’s something we can certainly get used to.

Outside on the deck, one can lounge in a hammock, soak up some rays in the private pool, or take an indulgent bath in the outdoor tub. We highly recommend doing all these with a glass of champagne in hand.

Families travelling with young children will be well taken care of. The resort provides necessities such as a cot, diaper genie, mini bathtub, high chair, and baby-friendly amenities including Green People organic shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste and lotion.

For any requests, recommendations, or even day-to-day itinerary planning, one simply needs to WhatsApp their dedicated Essentialist, who’s contactable round-the-clock and typically responds within a few minutes. Whether it’s star-gazing, yoga, scuba diving or even a Maldivian cooking class to whip up staples like Mas Huni (a spicy mix of tuna, onion and chilli paired with flatbread) and tuna curry, he or she can arrange for activities in a jiffy. And if, like Sarah Hyland (and this writer, embarrassingly), you don’t know how to ride a bicycle, the Essentialist is always on call with a buggy to ferry you wherever you desire.

Artistic inclinations

Art and design play a pivotal role in Patina Maldives’ landscape. The place features a vast collection of art works and installations scattered across its sprawling grounds. In the lobby, a massive mural depicting herons, palm trees, lizards and birds by illustrator Aga Skiba adorns the windows along one side. Facing it on the opposite end is Home Deep Blue, a hand-woven, cotton linen art piece by New York-based Japanese textile artist Hiroko Takeda that calls to mind ocean waves.

Close to the arrival jetty, eight mirrored, stainless steel columns stand enigmatically in the sun. They form Synthesis Monoliths, an installation by Netherlands-based artist Hongjie Yang. Further down the island, nestled on the beach is Momento by design studio FAHR 021.3, comprising a single curvilinear concrete plank inspired by the concept of transience.

A must-see is Skyspace Amarta by famed American artist James Turrell, whose creations have been favoured by celebrities the likes of Kendall Jenner, Drake, Kanye West and Beyoncé. Located in the Fari Marina Village, the permanent installation is a standalone chamber with an aperture in its ceiling. Visit during sunrise or sunset, so you can gaze up into the exposed sky and watch its colours change, making for a dreamy, contemplative moment. We stopped by at the tail-end of sunset on one day, and were captivated by the final glimmers of light fading into black. At nightfall, the installation’s exterior is illuminated, glowing like a beacon in the dark — making it a sight to behold.

Patina Maldives’ artistic endeavours don’t stop there. From October 26 to 29, it organised Cosmopolitan Ocean, a four-day festival centred on art, music and wellness. Highlights included artist Pamela Longobardi‘s installation built using plastic waste from the ocean, and the resort’s collaboration with streetwear designer Chris Stamp on a capsule collection of apparel, caps and tote bags.

It has a steady stream of artists in residence too. Precision fine artist David Nott will be in attendance from December 20 to January 20, 2024 to showcase his intricate textile and dotwork; while Serbian contemporary artist Ana Pušica Krämer is set to exhibit her abstract paintings from January 22 to February 22.

Sustainability and conservation efforts

Much like quiet luxury, sustainability is a term that has been bandied about in recent times, as it’s become trendy to be eco-conscious. At Patina Maldives, it’s a core aspect of the resort’s DNA.

The villas are prefabricated to minimise waste and carbon emissions, and the use of single-use plastics is eschewed. Drinking water is provided in Nordaq glass bottles, which are produced in-house, and the kitchens champion a zero-waste philosophy. Over at Roots, its dedicated plant-based restaurant, there’s an edible garden from which fresh organic vegetables, fruits and herbs like cucumber, watermelon, lemongrass, and rosemary are harvested.

Meanwhile, Footprints, the kids’ club, runs entirely on solar power and features a 3D printing lab where children can transform recycled ocean plastic into shapes and toys. The resort plans to eventually equip all of its villas with solar panels.

On the conservation front, Patina Maldives has embarked on a coral propagation project in collaboration with Kevala Ceramics. It conducts workshops for guests to mould ceramic frames, which are planted into the reef to promote coral growth. These structures are used as an eco-friendly alternative to the traditional metal ones, which tend to rust. The resort has also teamed up with Olive Ridley Project on an initiative to rehabilitate injured sea turtles. Guests are given the option of adopting one of these turtles for a fee, which goes towards supporting the marine creatures’ medical treatment.

What to see and do

What’s a trip to the Maldives without exploring the ocean? A variety of water sports such as diving, snorkelling, jet-skiing and paddle-boarding await adrenaline junkies. You can also go on a stroll on the overwater boardwalk to Bird Island, the only natural place in the Fari Islands. Named after the many birds that flock there, it’s a quiet spot where you can admire the waves. Be sure to wear sturdy walking shoes to navigate its rocky terrain, and bring along a hat because it’s an unsheltered route and the afternoon sun can be unforgiving. You’ll sweat buckets, but leave with some incredibly Instagrammable pictures.

If you’re seeking a more laid-back and rejuvenating experience, head over to the Flow Spa for facials, massages, body scrubs, and sensory deprivation therapy in float pods. Try the 90-minute Flow Signature Body Massage, which was so relaxing I dozed off at the end — and woke up nearly an hour later, refreshed and finally liberated from the knots and tension that had plagued my back for months.

It’d be remiss not to mention the fantastic dining options at Patina Maldives. Armed with a staggering 12 F&B concepts, there’s something for every palate. Brasa, its Patagonian steakhouse, serves up a fabulously succulent wagyu ribeye with a slightly charred crust, while the Go Go Burger food truck doles out juicy buns stuffed with beef, bacon, chicken or tuna.

At Aegean restaurant Helios, order the Ahtapot, which comprises tender octopus with a potato purée so velvety and smoky it had us clamouring for more. Another standout is Wok Society, its Chinese restaurant that according to the hotel staff, is one of its most popular eateries. We went in half-expecting clichéd, Westernised Asian fare the likes of General Tso’s chicken and Chop Suey, but were pleasantly proven wrong — the food is surprisingly authentic and delicious. Its xiao long bao have the right balance of meat and broth within, and come ensconced in a skin that’s perfectly thin and not rubbery. Then there’s the fried beef rice noodles, which are generously packed with strips of meat and rich in wok hei. And up till now, we’re still thinking about the fried eggplant drizzled with a sticky sweet and spicy sauce, and tossed with fiery Sichuan peppers.

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Service at the dining spots is attentive, brisk and intuitive. A high chair for our toddler was always placed at the table upon our arrival, and the servers even came by occasionally to chat with and play with him — so us parents could eat for a few uninterrupted minutes without scarfing everything down in record time. On a separate occasion, when we stood in the blazing sun waiting for our orders from Go Go Burger, we were ushered by the hotel staff into a nearby restaurant — which was still closed for the day while the chefs prepared for dinner service — so we could dine indoors in air-conditioned comfort. They even brought our food to us. It’s these acts of hospitality that really leave an impression.

Go Go Burger food truck. (Image: Patina Maldives)

A vacation to remember

Indeed, what makes a trip truly memorable isn’t just the beauty of its surrounds or the celebrity-approved bragging rights. It lies in the little moments.

Like when we arrived at our villa in the dead of the night, disoriented and bedraggled from our flight and boat ride with a sleepy toddler in tow, only to be welcomed with an elaborate supper spread on our dining table. “In case you were hungry after the journey,” our Essentialist Ruslan explained with a smile.

Like when our housekeeper Farul specially stopped by our villa while making his rounds to pass us a tub of aloe vera gel, so we could soothe any potential sunburns from traipsing around the island in the relentless heat.

A thoughtful farewell gift on our last day. (Image: Sara Yap for PrestigeOnline)

Like on our last day, when our son’s favourite server Moonis surprised us with a beautifully plated array of cut fruits accompanied with a farewell message. Till today, my son continues to ask about when we’ll be seeing “uncle Mona” again.

Every now and then, when the hustle of the daily grind gets a little too much to bear, I remind myself of those moments of kindness. And it takes me back to golden hour on the beach, with only the sounds of the waves and the scrabble of hermit crabs on the ground, as I watch the sun disappear over the edge of infinity.

Patina Maldives, Fari Islands, North Malé Atoll, 20026. Find out more here.

(Main and featured images: Patina Maldives)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– Who owns Patina Maldives?

Patina Maldives is operated by the Capella Hotel Group.

– How far is Patina from Malé?

Patina is around 50.7 kilometres from Malé, according to Google Maps.

– When was Patina Maldives built?

Patina Maldives was built in 2021 and officially opened in May that year.

– Is there a dress code for Patina Maldives?

Patina Maldives’ restaurants have a resort-casual dress code.



Source: Prestige Online

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