For 33 years, the Readers’ Choice Awards have given enthusiastic travellers the chance to single out the travel experiences that have meant the most to them. But in 2020, a year that robbed the world of leisure travel, the awards took on new depth and dimension. In the magazine’s own words:
This years’ readers honoured more than a beloved hotel or a trusted tour operator. Instead, they cast their votes for ideas that resonated with them. It’s interesting, then, that The Nautilus found its genesis in an idealistic philosophy. One that QUO helped create from scratch in collaboration with one of the founding fathers of Maldives tourism.
The Nautilus champions freedom, enabling personal journeys rather than inhibiting. This core philosophy echoes in every facet of the brand experience, from the free-spirited design aesthetic to the unscripted approach to dining. Menus are only suggestions. Days are yours to shape as you please.
In a year of restrictions and raised barriers—when would-be travellers are sheltered in place for weeks on end—the idea of an island that trades in liberation is more attractive than ever.
The synchronicities continue. This private island was also conceived as a place where time stands still. There are no clocks or itineraries at The Nautilus. Days are fluid. Visiting is akin to ‘pressing pause’, a concept we’ve all become more familiar with in recent months.
Even when The Nautilus as a destination was off limits, the philosophy it was founded on had never been so poignant. Is it any wonder, then, that so many of Condé Nast Traveler’s readers were captivated by the idea of such an island—even when visiting was out of the question?
The core beliefs The Nautilus was founded on served to strengthen its appeal and deepen its connection with potential guests during particularly trying times. It’s to their team’s great credit that they committed so fully to developing those beliefs, and to bringing them to life in such a compelling way.