Comic, TV host, and Bollywood actor Cyrus Sahukar, holidayed on the plush twin-island destination of Niyama Private Islands Maldives and came back with stories to tell. He shares with us how the resort blends laid-back luxury with an active holiday—his two great loves. By Rashima Nagpal
A seeker of experiences with a fetish for the unexplored, Cyrus Sahukar is a true-blue traveller. According to him, there are two kinds of travellers—those who prefer to soak up the nightlife of the destination, and early risers who like to step out of their hotel rooms at the break of dawn—and he relates to both. And though the actor prefers to plan his holidays, do the research, and make the most of a destination, he also likes to sometimes land in a new place and go with the flow.
Thus, Sahukar’s holidays are often a blend of both worlds. He describes a trip to New York with his friends as one of his most fulfilling experiences—each of them spent the days on their own exploring the city, catching up in the evening to watch a play, have dinner, or go to a party. At the same time, the actor is no stranger to luxury. He fondly remembers an extravagant suite at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow, right next to the Red Square, and another in the middle of the Bosphorus in Turkey.
The Niyama Private Islands Maldives brought both of Sahukar’s loves under one roof—it offered him oodles of luxury and an active holiday at the same time. He spoke to us about his experience and what made the holiday special.
What was your first impression of Niyama?
This was my first time in the Maldives. I’ve had it on my list for a while. When I got there, I felt like I was in a wallpaper—it is one of those destinations that you come across in books or see on Google. The best part about it is that there’s a lot to explore there. And at Niyama, there are intimate little corners, where each person can have their own space, their own little holiday. You can lounge by the beach, walk around, play, do some activities. It’s a collection of various little things—you can’t get bored.
What sets Niyama apart from the other private islands you’ve experienced before?
It’s an incomparable location. And their attention to detail is impressive. For instance, I had my own little popcorn maker in the villa. Another favourite of mine was a bicycle with my name printed on it. It made me feel like I belonged there. The property is lavish and very luxurious, but it’s the intimacy that gets them points. There are places that you know you are only visiting, but at Niyama, it feels like everyone knows you. Also, our host, Deveeka, made everything smooth and easy. She helped us make the best use of our time.
What was your favourite spot at the resort?
An experience in the Maldives that has stayed with you.
I think the best was a Dolphin Cruise. It was fun, and we got super lucky because we didn’t get one but two pods of dolphins dancing around us. The boatman said that it was an incredibly rare phenomenon, and it is by far one of the most exhilarating moments of my life. We had them on either side, flipping in the water, for over 45 minutes—it was magical.
How was dining at Niyama?
It was fascinating. Every day, they would set up something extraordinary for us. I loved dining at the treetop restaurant, Nest. It is so beautiful, peaceful, and cosy.
Are you into watersports?
I tried every single watersport I could get my hands on. We couldn’t sail because the winds were low, but we did the banana boat ride and a lot of jet-skiing. The water there is not too choppy, so you can take your jet ski pretty deep in the ocean for a more peaceful experience.
What are the destinations on your bucket list?
The more you travel, the more you realise that there is so much to see. I have a long list that includes South America and the aurora borealis, and I am looking forward to a great holiday in Japan.
If given a chance to spend the rest of your life on a remote island, would you go for it?
Absolutely not! Places like this [Niyama] are very special. The magic is in visiting, coming back, missing, and re-visiting