The Maldives are known as “the tropical paradise” for a reason. A gorgeous archipelago that conjures up instantly a dreamy visual of pristine beaches, atolls ringed with dark moss-like reef, and luxurious villas on the water, guests can look at playful fish, sting rays, and manta rays through glass floors and literally jump into the ocean from their balcony.
And once bitten by the Maldives bug, it is hard to shake that feeling of going back off. To be honest, a lot of guests who have visited the Maldives before keep coming back to these beautiful islands, probably putting up at a different atoll this time. You get to indulge in a beautiful paradise setting offered by the natural view, the Indian Ocean, and the gorgeous resorts that add to the charm tenfold.
A mere 40-minute yacht journey from Velana International Airport, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi awaits. Getting to the resort is easy and convenient. Walk out of the airport and stroll about 20 paces to the Waldorf’s private yacht which comes complete with sundeck, seared tuna crepes, and a welcoming crew. The boat even has four below deck bedrooms. The resort is no less than a paradise – with the sand dazzling white; the cyan-blue water crystal clear; and sunsets that are hypnotic and memorable.
The resort is quite expansive, but there are only 121 villas in order to make each feel spacious and, crucially, private. Open-plan beach villas have cathedral-like ceilings and are done out in earthy tones. It’s all incredibly high-tech; a swipe of the in-room iPad can raise the blinds from your bed to reveal a scene of sea and sand. Outside areas are even more impressive: each villa is kitted out with a private pool that’s good for laps not just floating and a large dining area. Delightful days could be spent drifting between your hammock, swinging day bed, and the personal patch of beach out front with loungers and parasol. Bathrooms come with a huge round tub, placed squarely in front of the window, plush Salvatore Ferragamo amenities in attractive stone bottles and both an indoor and outdoor rainfall shower. You will find over-water villas here, but with huge decks and sleek interiors. Hybrid reef villas offer a patch of beach at the front, while the pool and deck is built on stilts in the water.
Of the 11 restaurants and bars, the headliner is The Ledge by Dave Pynt (the buzzed about chef behind Singapore's Michelin-starred Burnt Ends), a casual spot with an open kitchen that specialises in slow roasted meats. Elsewhere, outdoor mezze spot Yasmeen, is styled as traditional Arabian village with filigree golden lanterns and plants creeping up sandstone walls. Indulge in the soft pita breads, flavoured hummus, or smoky baba ganoush. Climb up to tree-top restaurant Terra, where paths lead to a smattering of private bamboo pods which look out over the twinkling resort below. Underground cheese and wine bar The Rock is an elegant spot with stool seating and an encyclopedic list of French wine. Other top options include Li-Long for authentic Peking duck and Tangled for hand-pulled noodles, dim sum and seafood laksa. Breakfast can be delivered to your villa or enjoyed in the Tasting Table. Enjoy the colourful fresh fruit platter followed by a spicy Maldivian tuna omelette with potato rosti in your villa’s private dining pavilion. Meanwhile the buffet at Tasting Table is brilliantly curated. Grab a table by the water, and tuck into fresh French pastries, tropical fruits and a huge selection of cured meats and cheeses. You can further order in filling sandwiches or spicy curries with Indian breads.
The facilities at the Waldorf are what you would expect from a high-end resort. Two huge infinity pools and a glass-walled fitness centre, yoga pavilion and super-sized watersports centre compete for guests’ attention, and there is also a huge kids’ club. The Waldorf Young Discovery Park features a thrilling water recreation area with fun activities for kids aged between 1.5 – 7 years. Indulge in serene spa treatments, yoga and fitness classes. Step into a world of relaxation with Wellness Concierge, the first-of-its-kind in the Maldives. Offering a personalized approach with a unique consultation process, guests can seek treatments based on the natural elements of earth, water, fire or metal. They also have a Wellness Visiting Practitioner programme wherein industry-leading practitioners, travelling from all over the world, specialise in acupuncture, Pilates, traditional herbal medicine and personal healing are available at your service. Discover life beneath the waves with water activities at the dive centre and water sports centre. Try house reef snorkelling, adventure snorkelling, diving, and scuba diving. There are also a host of activities with on-site experiences and adventures, such as sailing, whale shark excursion, fishing, windsurfing, sunset fishing, and dolphin cruise. Capture the memories of your holiday in beautiful images to treasure for a lifetime. The Shutterfish photo-studio reservations are required at least 24 hours prior arrangement. Each villa is entitled to a 1 (one) hour complimentary photography session with 1 (one) selected print from this session. Love shopping? Checkout an array of exceptional resort wear, menswear, women’s’ wear, children’s wear, accessories and jewellery from around the world at The Edition by TLE Boutiques.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, as they rightly say is a tropical playground brimming with natural beauty coupled with luxury accommodation and facilities. Be it for your wedding, honeymoon, family vacay, reunion with friends, or solo refreshment, the staff is ever so graceful and embraces you in the most hospitable way.