Think “luxury beach resort” and what destinations come to mind? Bora Bora? Jamaica? Positano? The Bahamas? You’d be right if you guessed any one of these, but if Neil Dankoff had his way, Muravandhoo Island in the Maldives would top the list of exclusive paradise-by-the-sea escapes.
Dankoff, a Canadian fine-art photographer renowned for his stunning large-scale landscapes and cityscapes, recently spent eight days on Muravandhoo shooting for Joali Maldives, one of the newest resorts to open in the South Asian nation, an archipelago of about 1,200 islands in the Indian Ocean.
“Everything was perfect,” says Dankoff, who took the job not long after completing a three-year assignment gathering 800 original images for Toronto’s Hotel X. “I’ve never known that accommodations like this even exist.”
When he wasn’t sleeping in one of the resort’s beach villas or over-the-water bungalows, Dankoff was dining at one of its three restaurants, lounging at the beachside Mura Bar or zooming off on excursions to see sea turtles, sharks, stingrays and other marine wildlife. There was work, too, of course, but even that was like a holiday. “With the hotel commissions I do, I usually aim to get about 30 images, which can be tough because it’s often hit or miss weather-wise and I end up running around to 30 different locations,” he says. “But the island is only about the size of four football fields, so it was easy to get around — every guest gets a bicycle — and everything was right at my fingertips.”
Check out Dankoff’s images of the Joali resort below.
Watch: A look at Joali Maldives
Video by Neil Dankoff