Christian Stan, at 15 Nov. 21, in Designer Hotels, Hotels, News, Ocean View Hotels, Where to go next

Imagine the colors of a coral reef above ground, surrounded by origami jellyfish or the lush greens of a tropical forest transformed into a soothing spa oasis. At Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives, such visions are reality. For the resort’s recent redesign, Muza Lab took inspiration from the natural beauty of the islands and the surrounding pristine waters to create a kaleidoscopic journey across its four dining options, spa, and 125 villas.

For the recent relaunch of Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives, London-based design studio Muza Lab translated the tones, patterns, and textures of the surrounding environment into an understated elegance conveyed through an array of colorful, natural interiors.

Home to about 1,200 different species of marine life, the Baa Atoll is one of the largest in the Maldives, with 105 coral reefs and a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve designation. The design studio’s translation of such beauty into an overarching concept of a kaleidoscopic journey is immediately visible: an outdoor sculpture featuring a swirling design of glass and tiles sourced from Turkey greets guests upon arrival. The sculpture then points the way to a lobby area designed for relaxation and lounging—a place where guests can let their eyes wander from decorative stained glass to the turquoise lagoon and shoreline. 

The colorful concept and use of natural materials are continued across the property’s public spaces and guest accommodations. Each of the 125 private villas are directly connected to the sea, be it via their location on the beach, on the lagoon, or on stilts over the water.

Vibrant blues and greens feature amongst the natural décor that includes light fixtures made from South African clay and glass, terrace lamps crafted from Indonesian rope, and handwoven rattan baskets in bathrooms. Moreover, the daybed nooks in all villas are replete with wall mosaics made from painted wood chips.

Each of the four dining options at the resort feature their own distinct flair, offering a gastronomic and visual journey from one place to the next. Standouts include Kanusan, the resort’s award-winning fine dining restaurant serving classic and modern Japanese cuisine. Here, Muza Lab brought the ocean and the Orient together: Colorful origami sea creatures hang from the ceiling amongst an installation of seashells, and bright coral tones are applied throughout the space. Meanwhile, dining at the Crab Shack is a more casual experience, with tables placed directly on the lagoon’s sandy beach and menu highlights that include Maldivian tuna croquettes and mud crab served with a Jaffna-style Sri Lankan sauce. Across all of the hotel’s eateries, the cuisine is characterized by a refined mix of skill, individuality, and local ingredients, with freshness being the top priority. Continuing this ethos, all drinking water is sourced from the sea, twice filtered, and then bottled in custom glassware, all at an on-island facility.

For the resort’s wellness center, Fehi Spa, Muza Lab took inspiration from its location in the midst of the island’s lush flora (“fehi” is the Dhivehi word for “green”). A soothing tropical green palette is thus applied to the fabrics and upholstery used throughout the spa, including in the lobby, relaxation area, and treatment rooms. In addition, guests can soak up their surroundings through the simple act of swinging, reflecting the local Undhoali hehlun culture. Artfully decorated swings are used as seating at the spa’s nail bar, and they also make appearances at the beach bar and in the reception area. Through elements such as this, guests are invited to indulge their playful side and enjoy their journey through Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives.

Member of the Seaside Collection
Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives is a member of the owner-managed hotel group Seaside Collection. A total of eleven exclusive resort and city hotels on the Maldives, the Canary Islands, in Valencia, and in Germany belong to this umbrella brand, which has boasted the seahorse in its logo since its inception in the 1970s. The focus of these individual locations is on creating a sense of uniqueness and individuality in terms of the architecture, the exclusive location, a particularly high level of quality management—especially when creating unforgettable cuisine—and a passion for hospitality. For more information on all hotels in the Seaside Collection, please visit www.seaside-collection.com.

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