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In August 2015, astronauts aboard the International Space Station ate food that had been grown in space for the very first time. While it may not have been a gourmet meal on the beach, the event further consolidates the inseparable combination of food and travel.

Regardless of our occupation, our location and even our better judgement, we have an irrepressible sweet tooth. Sure, we need food to survive, but, it’s more than just a simple component of our lifestyle needs. We eat when we’re happy, or sad, we absolutely love to be treated and, naturally, the quality of food will impact our holiday habits and dictate where we stay. In the Maldives, travellers are spoilt for choice, with beautiful islands in abundance and a wealth of board options to choose from, finding the right resort for you, based on your dietary preferences can be a little difficult.

JA Manafaru, a 35-acre private island located in the northern reaches of the Maldives, is a resort defined by its diverse dining options. In total, there are seven restaurants and bars, three of which earned the Wine Spectacular Award of Excellence in 2014. Each draws on gastronomic inspiration from across the world, but it’s not just the tasty cuisine which fuels the culinary wanderlust. Attentive staff at each eatery will actively go out of their way to ensure your experience is the best it can be. The head chef, a charming fellow, always has time for his guests and will personally speak to as many people as he can to ensure that everyone is enjoying the food.

Of the seven venues at JA Manafaru, three are primary diners. The Ocean Grill is a particular favourite; it combines three of the most important facets of a holiday to the Maldives: powdery golden beaches, ocean views and a tempting palette that includes seafood and meat cuts. The lure of the Ocean Grill is felt most by night, when the light fades, a slight breeze picks up and the beach is speckled with rows of candles. For a particularly personal approach to dining, White Orchid is set over the ocean and serves Japanese, Chinese and Thai food in a romantic low-lit, setting. Going the extra mile to provide excellent service is par for the course at JA Manafaru, the little touches, like staff building a guest profile to document your likes and dislikes, is both impressive and flattering.

Food and wine connoisseurs will adore The Cellar, its conception, two and a half metres below sea level, was hugely distinctive for the Maldives when it was first built. Here, you can hold your own wine tasting sessions, or sample the delicious daily chef specials. It’s the unique quirks and attention to detail that makes JA Manafaru an excellent foodie hotel, even the pool bar, not strictly a restaurant, serves delicious hand-crafted pizzas. Head chefs will visit each table to introduce themselves and, if there’s a dish you’re pining for, they will go out of their way to make it for you the next night, whether it’s on the menu or not!

If this little slice of heaven whets your appetite, get in touch with our Indian Ocean experts today to help you plan your dream foodie-holiday.

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