There are blues and then there are blues in The Maldives. Where the sea meets the sky, impossibly beautiful atolls are warmed by the sun but gently cooled by ocean breezes.
It’s no surprise that the Indian Ocean archipelago – Asia’s smallest country – has long been a destination for those seeking exclusive luxury, seclusion and extraordinary travel experiences.
But today, the fact that the country is one of very few open to all global visitors – as long as they hold a negative Covid PCR test taken in the previous 72 hours – has made it a more compelling destination than ever.
There is also the sense of security and freedom of being more or less constantly outside, as villas invariably open up to the warmth of the elements.
At The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands opening in early summer, there are 100 of them, all embodying the true spirit of the Maldives. Minimalist, circular architecture and a philosophy of wholeness reflect the Maldivian culture and environment. A turquoise lagoon lets you embrace the circle of island life, connecting you with the environment and endless views to the horizon. Perfect white sand beaches abound, with powdery grains to lull you to relax even more.
The North Malé Atoll is just an easy 45-minute speedboat from the international airport, allowing you to immerse yourself in turquoise lagoons and coral reefs teeming with marine life just hours after touching down. Guest villas from one to three bedrooms feature the refined elegance and legendary service that define The Ritz-Carlton brand, while outstanding international and local cuisines across seven restaurants and bars add to the beautiful journey for all five senses.
Minimizing the impact on the fragile reef ecosystem was paramount in the design of the resort. Through pioneering pre-fabricated design methods and materials, no cutting was necessary on the island, reducing heavy operations and, crucially, generating zero waste or pollution. With widespread use of solar panels and intrinsic sustainability of design materials the stunning architecture also achieved a low carbon footprint.
Also looking ahead, Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa on the island of Thilamaafushi is set to open later this year with chic island living. Another captivating destination, the resort will reflect mid-century design aesthetics inspired by the era of glamourous travel, all presented through a Maldivian lens.
Thilamaafushi is a natural island that translates to “island with vast shallow lagoon areas” in Dhivehi, the language of The Maldives, so guests will enjoy reefs, coral gardens, marine life and underwater pinnacles known as “Thilas” that are full of vibrant marine life including pods of manta rays and turtles.
Guests will be able to dine at six restaurants and bars and enjoy the Explore Spa by Le Méridien, while families will love Le Méridien Family hub with its experiences that nurture discovery and conservation of the surrounding environment.
For the ultimate holiday of privacy and luxury, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort offers an ultra-luxe package in their John Jacob Astor Estate. When you combine the finest address in the Maldives with the most sought after villa in the Indian Ocean, this is one extraordinary package, truly deserving of the word ‘unique’.
Curated experiences indulge guests in an unparalleled sense of privacy and personal service. Aptly named after John Jacob Astor, the founder of The St. Regis, the dual-story, three-bedroom estate is the largest overwater villa in the Maldives, with 16,500 sq ft of impeccable design and panoramic views.
World class amenities including an expansive terrace and plush pool deck with a 92-square-meter infinity pool and dining room serviced by a fully furnished show kitchen, butler pantry and private chef. Offering the utmost privacy accompanied by personal St. Regis Butlers, the John Jacob Astor Estate’s Ultra-Luxe package is perfectly suited for travelers to enjoy with their family or friends.
At JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, there are 60 villas starting at 2,520 sq. feet, with private pools and wooden sunbathing decks, all with a choice of sunrise or sunset views. Thatched roofs on villas remind guests of dhoni boats, traditional Maldivian wooden fishing vessels which ply the azure waters. Rooms are inspired by natural surroundings and local Maldivian culture, incorporating colors and materials that reflect the famously gentle pace of life of the island nation.
Exterior and interior of Little Griffins, a Family by JW kids club
Young adventurers will be enchanted as they explore the magic of the underwater world and life on the island at our standalone Family by JW – Little Griffins – built around a pirate ship! Daily kids’ activities will whisk them on true adventures of a lifetime.
Then for those seeking all-inclusive offers with idyllic tropical vibes, W Maldives has you covered. With offers starting from just US$1000, guests can have their ultimate dream escape in either beach bungalows surrounded by lush tropical foliage and the white sand beach, or in overwater villa with a direct access to the beautiful and bountiful house reef home to exotic fishes, reef sharks, turtles and eagle rays.
L-R: Gaathafushi – Ws Private Island; Sorkel with Mantas at The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort
Set in the Baa Atoll, a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site home to one of the largest concentrations of manta rays in the world, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort offers a mindful living package that is perfect for those seeking holistic wellness in these challenging times. Nature, nutrition, spa, yoga, and functional movement all help jumpstart your health. A complimentary 60-minute couple spa treatment lets guests choose from therapies offered at The Heavenly Spa by Westin™ which replenish the mind and body through personal sensory experiences. Four food and beverage venues then let you kick back in culinary style surrounded by picture-perfect beaches.
Sandbank picnic at The Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa
The Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is the perfect destination for romantics as the location of Furanafushi is a true garden of Eden, an island haven of private nooks, enchanting views and manicured gardens. From fresh seafood at Sea Salt to aromatic spice and heat at Baan Thai, the resort’s dining options have something for everyone. Champagne picnics on sandbanks, dinners set up on candlelit beaches or sunset cocktails at Anchorage all help ensure another day well spent in paradise.
Wherever you end up in this country that truly takes the breath away, one thing is for sure: You’ve found paradise, in every sense of the word.