Order print   subscribe new

Abandoned Luxury Resort Repurposed for Coronavirus Quarantine

villivaru island title

Still frame of an aerial shot of Villavaru island from the South China Morning Post YouTube video (SCMP/Youtube)

The Maldives Government has opened a 'luxury coronavirus resort' on the island of Villivaru, Kaafu Atoll, some 25km south of the capital, Malé. 

According to a video report from the South China Morning Post, the establishment was built in just 10 days to house victims of the COVID-19 virus outbreak, where they would be able to enjoy free luxury accommodation and treated by medical staff for no cost.

At first glance, it appears to be a rather idyllic form of quarantine – 30 air-conditioned rooms on an island that many people would refer to as a 'paradise'. However, the story is not quite as dreamy as it might seem.

Villivaru was home to a popular luxury resort during the '80s and '90s, but one which has lain abandoned since 2006. Exact details are not easy to find, but it appears that a Singaporean investment group bought Villivaru with the intention of refurbishing and expanding the resort. Unfortunately, construction of the new buildings resulted in serious damage to the surrounding coral reef. The investor then abandoned the development rather than pay the hefty fine imposed by the Maldives government, and the resort has lain derelict ever since.

Some great photographs of the abandoned resort from 2016 can be found in this article on Medium.com

Other resorts including Kuredu, Vilamendhoo and Kuramathi have already been placed under quarantine after tourists suspected of being infected with the virus fell ill. The Maldives government has heavily restricted travel between resorts and inhabited islands and has placed restrictions on arrivals from a number of countries. Currently, visitors from the UK are prohibited from visiting, but it is still possible for tourists from other countries to make their way to the islands.

While the 'coronavirus quarantine resort' was not constructed completely from scratch, its refurbishment by a team of 50 workers within 10 days is nevertheless a remarkable achievement. It's certainly a more inviting prospect than being cooped up at home under the overcast UK skies and worrying about the toilet paper supply situation. However, as one commentator on the Maldives Finest website noted quite bluntly:

'In case you are thinking that you have got an idea for a free holiday, all patients would be quarantined in the rooms, you will not be allowed to roam around on the white sandy beaches of Villivaru island.'

 

Share this article...
mulipack

THREE AMAZING DIVE eBOOKS - FREE

Love diving? You'll love these. Sign up today to immediately download our unique FREE gifts -

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WRECKS - DIVE's 70-page, beautifully illustrated, colour guide to the world’s best wrecks

SCUBA STORIES - DIVE's collection of real life stories where divers, who have got themselves into perilous situations, describe how they reacted and what actions they took to ensure they lived to tell the tale

PACIFICHighlights of the Pacific - Dancing mantas in Hawaii • The Best Diving in the World, Galápagos, Cocos, Malpelo & Socorro • Mass Spawning Events in Palau

Sidebar SUBSCRIBE large2

Destinations Spotlight

Need inspiration for your next dive trip? Try one of our featured destinations from DIVE's travel partners.

sidebar philippines sidebar bahamas sidebar mexico sidebar fiji sidebar st helena Sidebar Egypt sidebar banner sabah sidebar banner belize sidebar banner south africa

DIVE Partners

sidebar banner egypt new ceningan divers ad 300x100 LH 300 min giphy subex Wakatobi Siladen Aggressor Fisheye Dive Worldwide gozo banner Arenui

Trending

  1. Articles
  2. Comments

Read DIVE magazine

DIVE magazine is available to read on many devices. Simply click one one of the options below


PCMac final
Apple finalAndroid final

Like what you see?

Join us on social and keep updated daily...