Review: The Nautilus Maldives Dining and Restaurants

Review: The Nautilus Maldives Dining and Restaurants


The Nautilus Maldives is our favorite boutique Maldives resort, with just 26 houses and residences on this private island in the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Here's our review of Nautilus dining and restaurants, to whet clients' and readers' appetites for our forthcoming resort review.

Complimentary Non-Alcoholic Mini Bar and Welcome Treats

The Nautilus sends out a pre-arrival preference form to personalize your experience. In mine, I mentioned a preference for fresh juices and mango lassis. While there wasn't initially a mango lassi in my Ocean House, my house master, hearing my strong preference for a mango lassi rather than the sparkling tea that had been arranged, quickly had one made for me, and also brought me one the next day without my asking, which I appreciated. Even better, I was able to add additional mango nectar to it from the complimentary mini bar, which was well stocked with Alain Milliat juices from France, which are my favorite artisanal bottled juices. There was also a large platter of fresh cut fruit replenished daily, and some delightful savory as well as sweet welcome snacks in addition to glass jars of popcorn and house baked cookies.

Complimentary Mini Bar and Fresh Fruit, The Nautilus Maldives
Complimentary Fresh Fruit, The Nautilus Maldives
Welcome Treats, The Nautilus Maldives


Another lovely surprise were the turndown treats left each evening, accompanied by a different fresh juice; my first night they were berry tarts, and the second night there were macarons.

Berry Tarts, The Nautilus Maldives
Macarons Turndown Treats, The Nautilus Maldives


Breakfast at Thyme

A unique aspect of The Nautilus, and a wonderful one for anyone who is jet lagged, enjoys sleeping in, or otherwise has an irregular schedule, is the ability to have breakfast at any time of day. You can have breakfast delivered to your house or residence, but since after going snorkeling I was already near Thyme, where breakfast is served, I enjoyed it there.

Thyme All Day Dining, The Nautilus Maldives


The menu offers all the usual favorites as well as intriguing international options, from Middle Eastern, with falafel, hummus, baba ghanoush, and sesame bread to Ukrainian syrniki, which I couldn't resist ordering.

Breakfast Menu, The Nautilus Maldives
Breakfast Menu, The Nautilus Maldives
Breakfast Menu, The Nautilus Maldives


There's a well-curated breakfast buffet in a chilled room, which keeps everything fresh and offers fresh cut fruit and whole fruits, yogurts, cereal, smoked salmon and other fish, sushi, cheeses, yogurts, breads and pastries.

Breakfast Buffet Fruit, The Nautilus Maldives
Breakfast Buffet Fruit, The Nautilus Maldives
Breakfast Buffet Cheeses, The Nautilus Maldives
Breakfast Buffet Juices, The Nautilus Maldives
Breakfast Buffet Pastries, The Nautilus Maldives
Breakfast Buffet Cereals, The Nautilus Maldives
Breakfast Buffet Yogurts, The Nautilus Maldives
Breakfast Buffet Smoked Salmon, The Nautilus Maldives
Breakfast Buffet Sushi, The Nautilus Maldives


Everything I tried was delicious, from the passion fruit and fresh fruit to the sushi, smoked salmon, and yogurt.

Breakfast, The Nautilus Maldives
Breakfast Yogurt, The Nautilus Maldives


While the Maldivian breakfast was rather plain and not as extensive as I've had at other resorts, the Ukrainian syrniki were excellent, and the scene on the cappuccino made me smile.

Syrniki at Breakfast, The Nautilus Maldives
Breakfast Cappuccino, The Nautilus Maldives


Sunset Drinks at Naiboli Poolside Bar

While I don't spend much (any) time lounging by pools, Naiboli enjoys a lovely view both during the day and at sunset, which complimentary drinks and nibbles are served to guests.

Naiboli Poolside Bar, The Nautilus Maldives
Naiboli Poolside Bar, The Nautilus Maldives
Naiboli Poolside Bar, The Nautilus Maldives
Naiboli Poolside Bar at Sunset, The Nautilus Maldives
Naiboli Bar Sunset Drinks, The Nautilus Maldives


Dinner at Ocasa

Ocasa offers teppanyaki and both classic Japanese as well as innovative renditions with Mexican and Peruvian influences.

Ocaso Menu, The Nautilus Maldives
Ocaso Menu, The Nautilus Maldives


I was seated outdoors near the beach; between courses I wandered over to the beach and was even able to see bioluminescence from plankton.

Ocaso, The Nautilus Maldives


A seared ahi tuna amuse bouche was a tasty start to the meal.

Ocaso Amuse Bouche, The Nautilus Maldives


For an appetizer I chose the scallop and hamachi tiradito (sashimi) with yuzu, which was excellent.

Ocaso Scallop and Hamachi Appetizer, The Nautilus Maldives


As my main, I tried the black code with passion fruit miso. Served on a hot rock, the fish remained hot while eating it and was also very fresh. I would have preferred a longer marinade on the fish to imbue it with even more miso flavor, but that's a preference.

Black Cod Dish, Ocaso Restaurant, The Nautilus Maldives


Dinner at Zeytoun

Zeytoun is The Nautilus' Middle Eastern restaurant located near the spa. Even if you opt to take advantage of The Nautilus' flexibility to order from a different menu (for example from Ocaso or Thyme) I highly recommend dining at Zeytoun at least once near sunset time, given the view and ambience.

Zeytoun, The Nautilus Maldives
Zeytoun Restaurant, The Nautilus Maldives


If you don't want to dine outdoors, there's also indoor dining.

Zeytoun Restaurant Indoor Dining, The Nautilus Maldives


Don't miss the freshly baked bread at Zeytoun, served with an assortment of dips:

Fresh Bread, Zeytoun Restaurant, The Nautilus Maldives


The amuse of scallop and salmon roe was also a treat:

Scallop Amuse Bouche, Zeytoun Restaurant, The Nautilus Maldives


For an appetizer, the Langoustine Prawns with truffle salmon caviar and bisque foam was delightful, and for my main, our server's recommendation of the Barramundi with Sauvignon Blanc caviar sauce and a kalamata olive vierge was on point, with the skin wonderfully crisped yet the fish perfectly cooked.

Prawn Langoustine Appetizer, Zeytoun Restaurant, Nautilus Maldives
Barramundi, Zeytoun Restaurant, Nautilus Maldives


Enjoy these additional benefits at The Nautilus as a TravelSort Client:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom (already included in hotel rates)
  • $150 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay. Applicable towards Food & Beverage outlets, room service, Spa services, and water sports (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Complimentary 30 min massage for up to 2 guests per House/Residence, once during the stay
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi


The Verdict

The Nautilus offers the most flexible dining options we've experienced in the Maldives, with the ability to have breakfast any time (not just during certain set hours in the morning), as well as to dine in any of the restaurants yet enjoy the menu of a different restaurant. While our short stay meant we weren't able to try the many delectable international breakfast offerings, there was so much variety that one could easily stay for a couple weeks or more and have a different breakfast each day.

Beyond flexibility and variety, we were also impressed by the quality of the offerings. Even the complimentary mini bar wasn't just the usual bottled juice, but rather our favorite, from French artisanal producer Alain Milliat. We enjoyed excellent hamachi and scallop sashimi as well as miso black cod at Ocaso, and a superb langoustine appetizer and barramundi main at Zeytoun, along with warm fresh bread. For dinner, both restaurants seated me in an area where I didn't see or hear any other guests, ideal for couples wanting a tranquil and private dining experience. I've also heard that a number of special requests can be accommodated, so The Nautilus is ideal for guests with high culinary standards.

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