Boutique Beach

Experience the Real Maldives with Boutique Beach, Dhigurah

We all know the Maldives as one of the world’s most ultimate luxurious travel destinations. But, as you peek behind the curtain of water villas and extravagant resorts, there is a side to this island paradise rarely seen in the travel magazines and, in my opinion, no trip to the Maldives is complete without experiencing it. Luckily for us, Boutique Beach offers the chance to visit a local island for a more authentic Maldivian experience while still enjoying the comforts of a luxury hotel.

Experience the Real Maldives with Boutique Beach, DhigurahStep away from the flashy resorts and experience the real, authentic Maldives in simple luxury at Boutique Beach, Dhigurah.

Let me tell you about this hotel. If minimalism married luxury you would end up with the simple elegance of these spacious rooms. The concrete floors had a minimal chic vibe to them while the four poster bed and Molton Brown toiletries brought in a sense of luxury. For me there were two things that really stood out about the rooms which I loved. The first was the outdoor shower because, well, who doesn’t love a nice shower under the stars? The second was the eco-friendly products provided for use during the stay including beach bags to carry your gear to the beach or on diving trips and reusable mugs – perfect for taking a coffee to the beach in the morning.

Boutique Beach

Boutique Beach
Each room also has a charging station for all your camera gear and you know that will come in handy because Dhigurah is quite a photogenic place.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all included and what can I say other than ‘wow’. Breakfast and lunch were served in the downstairs dining area, complete with sandy floor, and always included plenty of delicious food and a different fresh fruit juice each day. Dinners were served on the rooftop, under the stars, which was a wonderful way to finish off each day. Chef Buddhi’s passion for cooking was very obvious when he would check in each day to ask if we had any food preferences – you could see the twinkle in his eyes as he started thinking up meal ideas. I wanted to try some authentic Maldivian food and Chef Buddhi was able to whip a few creations together which not only tasted great, but allowed me to experience that little bit more of the culture which I appreciated.

Boutique Beach

Boutique Beach

It’s very important to note that the Maldives is a Muslim country and as such it is appropriate to follow a certain dress code when you are out and about. The locals are very friendly and welcoming – nobody expects you to be covered from head to toe or anything like that, instead, the general rule is to cover your shoulders to knees out of respect to the local culture. I wore maxi dresses with sleeves, or put a light jacket over my dresses without sleeves. For men, a t-shirt and shorts seemed to be the standard. Walking around the island is a great way to get a feel for the local community. It’s a small island with a population of about 600, and as you walk around you will see people raking the sandy roads together, relaxing in hammocks and kids playing. I saw a group of women laughing and playing cards on the beach one day and thought it looked like the perfect setting for some quality girl time.Boutique Beach

Boutique Beach

Keep the dress code in mind when it comes to exploring the beaches as well, but of course you don’t want to go all the way to the Maldives and not enjoy the beaches. Boutique Beach accommodates this by offering an area of the beach, complete with sun beds, directly in front of the hotel that allows bikini wearing. Sun beds are provided on the roof of the hotel as well for lounging and tanning (it’s quite an beautiful spot to watch the sunset from too). They also had a map of the island in the hotel which marked the bikini beach areas and the staff were always very helpful when I had any questions about the dress code. If you are ever unsure, just ask.

Boutique Beach is a diving focused hotel, so if you love being in the water then it’s the place for you. The diving team can arrange scuba diving or snorkeling trips to take you to see the amazing wildlife the area is famous for including Manta Rays and, wait for it, Whale Sharks! I went on a snorkel excursion each day of my visit and I have to say it was a treat to swim with so many animals each time I jumped off the side of the boat – I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen so many animals in one place. Snorkeling with the giant, graceful Manta Rays was absolutely incredible experience!Boutique Beach

Boutique Beach

My dream for this visit was to swim with a Whale Shark and the area around Dhigurah is one of the best places in the world for year round sightings. Unfortunately they were a no-show while I was there so it was not meant to be this time. I went out three times with the dive crew and, although each time the crew did everything they could to find one, the sneaky Whale Sharks had decided to take a day off. I have to say that even though I was sad not to live that dream, I understand that wild animals are just that – wild, and I’m always very skeptical of how ethical anything with a ‘wild animal guarantee’ is. I’d much rather take my chances on spotting the animal when it’s free to roam on its own program as oppose to supporting something with a guarantee where there’s probably something a little shady going on. Like I said though, the area around Dhigurah is a popular spot for year round Whale Shark sightings and they have certain areas where they tend to hang out which the crew will take you to. If you’re going to swim with a Whale Shark anywhere, this is the place. I think I have unfinished business with the Maldives and I already can’t wait to return to Boutique Beach to tick this off my bucket list – I won’t be going anywhere else!Boutique Beach

A real credit to this hotel is the staff. For them, nothing was too much and everything was done with care and attention. One of my favorite memories was talking to them at dinner time when they weren’t busy. It would start with someone checking in to confirm the excursion time for the following day and it would end with me asking a gazillion questions about their culture and life on Dhigurah. Everyone was so open to sharing and it’s always so interesting to learn about life in other parts of the world. It’s the kind of connection that you don’t get to experience at the big resorts which is why I think staying at Boutique Beach is a must do.

For more information:

Boutique Beach Website

Follow the hotel on Instagram


This post was written in partnership with Boutique Beach, though I never review anything I don’t love. See my disclaimer for more information. 

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