Paradise regained at the Taj Exotica

Taj Exotica ... the fine art of relaxation.

Tai Hotels, Resorts and Palaces have unveiled their newest resort: Taj Exotica Resort & Spa in the Maldives.

Just 15 minutes by speedboat from Male airport, this retreat is largely built over water and situated on Emboodhu Finolhu Island, one of the Maldives' clear sand lagoons.

Once known as 'three coconut island', Emboodhu Finolhu now has over 600 coconut trees and saplings. The natural thick foliage provides a theatre of its own - the island gradually reveals itself to the visitor presenting sudden bursts of blue sea and white sand in clearings which are ideal to host a private picnic.

The resort's 64 air-conditioned villas include 24 two-bedroom lagoon villas, 31 one-bedroom deluxe lagoon villas, four one bedroom deluxe villas and the specially-appointed Rehendhi suite. The American interior design firm Hirsch Bedner created the luxurious guest rooms to encourage constant interaction with the ocean. Guests are able to watch the ocean from their bed, their bath and their own personal deck.

The lagoon villas are laid out like the veins of a leaf, with each villa facing out to sea at the end of a private pier, ensuring the utmost privacy to guests. While most of the villas are on the water, a choice of four deluxe beach villas is available with private beachfront verandas featuring oversized sun beds, hammocks and plunge pools.

Every effort has been made to use natural materials and the villas are entirely constructed from wood. All the villas come fully equipped with a mini-bar, satellite television, digital videodisc player, international dialing, double vanity bathrooms with bathtubs overlooking the water.

Rajesh Jhingon, general manager commented: "In a place like this, the service has to complement the mood. The essence of our service philosophy is simple. We do every thing to ensure the formality and constraints of a hotel do not feature here. Even our villas are styled to provide a private residential feel. And the service is personalized, yet discreet."

Guests can walk down the beach to the yoga and massage pavilion where the Taj Mandara Spa offers rejuvenating programmes and massages.

There are two restaurants at the resort to choose from: 24 Degrees serves a selection of pan-Asian and continental cuisine, and The Deep End, offers Mediterranean cuisine.

The Maldives is renowned for its marine life, snorkeling, canoeing and fishing trips at The Tai Exotica will bring the aquatic experience to the fore.