It is daybreak, as you stand in the balcony sipping from a hot cup of coffee, the cold and refreshing zephyr in your hair, as you gaze upon the captivating scenes unfolding in front of your eyes; the conifers and palm trees rocking back and forth with the wind, the waves crashing on the distant reef, miles of deep blue ocean ahead of you, and just over the horizon, the morning sun is pushing past the strings of clouds welcoming a new day. 

This is not a passage extracted from a New York Times best-seller, but just my almost-petty attempt to describe the view—if you were to wake up at dawn and walk out into the balcony from one of the Sea View Rooms at Hotel Ocean Grand in Hulhumalé (I was lucky enough to get one !). I would simply put it as “second to none.” 

The four-star boutique hotel operated by Samann Hotels is located on Kaani Magu, on the eastern side of Hulhumalé, and with just an approximate 10-minute drive from Velana International Airport; talk about convenience, the long stretch of beach and the cerulean waters just across the road from the hotel—perfect, if you’re in the mood for a swim. 

Getting back to my assertion of it being “second to none,” I would describe the “ideal” layover as a seamless transfer to the hotel, the best of facilities, and the opportunity to relax, explore and enjoy the few hours or days before I continue on to the destination of my choice. All this and more is not just promised but delivered to perfection by the dedicated team at Hotel Ocean Grand. 

Distinctively catering to the needs of transit guests, Hotel Ocean Grand offers the best of tailored services to guests on their way to a resort or heading back home after a holiday well spent. Imagine the level of ease when you can check-in early, check-out late, and take just a few minutes of transfer time to the airport in a private vehicle. It’s all “easy-breezy” at Hotel Ocean Grand. 

Its products and services encompassing around “luxury, comfort and serenity,” Hotel Ocean Grand offers four different levels of accommodation. The Ocean View Suite with a private balcony is the crown jewel of the hotel—luxuriously spacious with a gorgeous view of the lagoon. What you’ll notice the most is the furniture; custom-designed, to deliver the best of comfort, and every other convenience you may think of. It is best described as a blend between the natural atmosphere and the ease of luxury. 

The Super Deluxe Double room, which also comes with similar custom-designed furniture—a double linen queen bed and a flat-screen TV—when you wish to just laze away the day with your company, catching up with family and friends back home with the complimentary Wi-Fi provided by the hotel. You’re thinking more like breakfast in bed or a private dinner in the room? Just ask the helpful staff. Hotel Ocean Grand also offers Super Deluxe Twin and Double Deluxe rooms; both come with similar features and an array of amenities to choose from. 

Let’s talk about food! The O View Restaurant, located on the ground floor and adjacent to the reception, is where you’ll get to enjoy a hearty meal; it offers an exquisite collection of multicultural cuisines—Thai, Chinese, Italian, Western, India, Vegetarian or authentic local food, you just have to name it! 

The Sri Lankan executive chef is well-mastered in the culinary arts to deliver the best of fine dining. While breakfast is served indoors, you may spend lunch and dinner at the terrace overlooking the Indian Ocean. I suggest enjoying the evening up top with a good book and have an attendant serve you a freshly brewed coffee. 

And it’s not just about relaxing and lazying around at Hotel Ocean Grand; it allows you to push your boundaries—just ask the concierge about the many water sports options they provide. The list is long with a wide array of mechanised and non-mechanised options ranging from windsurfing, surfing and other board sports, jet skiing, canoeing, and many more. 

Or if you’re up for a little adventure, let’s go on an excursion. Now, I would prefer to go island hopping, a visit to nearby Gulhi, Thulusdhoo or to one of the inhabited Islands gives you the opportunity to mingle with the locals, experience island life, and just elapse the day away; maybe picture yourself living the life of a fisherman out casting around for your daily catch; or a lady weaving thatch while seated under the shade of a rocking palm tree, or a little kid, running around with a line and kite in tow or catching dragonflies. 

If that’s not game, why not go and experience fishing first-hand, take a dolphin safari, go snorkelling, or better yet, explore the underwater beauty of the Maldives—something that will mesmerise you, and allure you to come back and visit the sandy shores, crystalline waters, little islands, and of course, the “second to none” hospitality we have to offer. 

Your stay will not be perfect without a dedicated team, and Hotel Ocean Grand offers some of the best-trained, multi-lingual staff, working round the clock to deliver you the utmost attention you may desire.

What makes Hotel Ocean Grand unique is because they believe customer service is not a department but it is an attitude!