Raffles Maldives Meradhoo, the brand’s first resort in the Maldives – containing not just one remarkable private island, but two – has announced the completion of the Overwater Island Experience and in turn, the full resort on 22 September 2019.
Set on the southern tip of the Maldives in the remote and pristine Gaafu Alifu Atoll, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo’s Beach Island Experience soft-opened in May. A palm tree-peppered private island comprising just 21 villas and residences, a spa, beachside restaurants and a world-class dive centre with an on-site marine biologist.
Just moments away by boat, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo’s Overwater Island Experience – a unique experience, offering complete intimacy, unreachable by foot – will complete the resort. Scheduled to open later this month, the experience boasts 16 vast overwater villas and residences, a sophisticated Nikkei restaurant Yuzu and sunset-facing Yapa pool bar. Together these two private islands offer two distinct experiences, bound together by Raffles’ legendary service.
Wherever guests choose to stay, all the facilities of the resort – and the very best of the Maldives – will be at their full disposal. A unique offering, a Marine Butler is available to every guest and will happily lead snorkelling tours of the resort’s two remarkable and endlessly fascinating house reefs. Gaafu Alifu Atoll is one of the world’s largest and deepest atolls and the astoundingly clear, blissfully warm waters immediately surrounding Raffles team with a kaleidoscope of colourful fish. Keep an eye out too for Apollo, one of the 20 resident hawksbill and green turtles that regularly swim by to say hello.
On the beach island, the overwater Raffles Spa combines Eastern practices with age-old local influences and offers highly personalised facials by Biologique Recherche; rejuvenating body treatments from Aromatherapy Associates; and manicure and pedicure concepts devised by Margaret Dabbs London. An expansive gym caters to all fitness levels; yoga sessions are held on an ocean-facing deck; a jogging route winds its way along gardens with hibiscus and bougainvillaea; visiting practitioners will lead tutorials in tai chi, mindfulness and more.
Relaxed feet-in-the-sand dining is encouraged here, too. The Firepit is an outdoor barbecue restaurant where hearty specialities (perhaps spicy lobster with green papaya or tender beef tenderloin) are barbecued over the open flame of a flickering charcoal fire.
The best tables and chairs are carved from the sand and set directly on the shore for uninterrupted views of the limitless night sky. Commencing with healthy smoothies and freshly baked pastries, breakfast is a highlight at all-day international restaurant Thari. In homage to its namesake at Raffles Singapore, the Long Bar’s signature Maldives Sling is a mix of gin, grapefruit, coconut, cinnamon and clove that mirrors the pink-peach colour of a typical Maldives sunset.
The overwater island makes the most of its seascape setting at pool bar Yapa, where world-class mixologists create intriguing cocktails inspired by the spirits and spirit of South America and Japan. With a pisco sour and tacos to hand, this is the spot from which to watch the sun sink golden into the shimmering Indian Ocean.
At adjacent fine-dining restaurant Yuzu, Peruvian chef Anibal Torres serves masterful Nikkei cuisine – a refreshing blend of Japanese and Peruvian influences – using sustainable, line-caught fish sourced from local fishermen. Bespoke dining experiences take place when and where guests want them, be that a sunrise breakfast on a private sandbank that is thrillingly reached by jet ski, or an exclusive champagne and sashimi cruise joined, hopefully, by pods of playful dolphins.
Wherever guests spend the night, they will reside in some of the largest villas in the Maldives – and everyone can expect impeccable, intuitive service from their very own Raffles Butler, while a Children’s Butler caters to the distinct needs of our youngest guests
Soothingly finished in sea blues and with a supremely comfortable four-poster bed, each villa features a vast marble bathtub, private pool and outdoor shower. On the sand, beach villas are encased by lush foliage; facing the sunrise or sunset, overwater villas stand directly above the dazzlingly turquoise water.
On both islands, generously proportioned two-bedroom residences provide luxurious retreats for families and friends, while the resort’s staggering Raffles Royal Residence provides the perfect setting for a very special celebration. This immense three-bedroom hideaway is the ultimate in Indian Ocean luxury and features a jaw-dropping infinity pool, endless space and even a retractable roof on its upper level so its privileged occupants can better admire clear night skies that sparkle with an infinity of stars.
All in all, these two special islands combine to create a world-class escape that even the most exacting guest will agree has been worth the wait.
Speaking about the launch of this newest Raffles resort, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo’s general manager Olivier Larcher said: “For couples looking for an unforgettable romantic hideaway, our exceptionally spacious villas and the discreet expertise of the Raffles butler service redefines the resort experience. From intimate dining with our private chef service to snorkelling and diving in the world’s most breathtaking coral reefs, we create a place where guests can enjoy the best of both worlds in a destination known for its stunning surroundings.”
Raffles Maldives Meradhoo – Where and how?
Accommodation at Raffles Maldives Meradhoo starts at US$1800 per night, including taxes and service charge, breakfast and complimentary speedboat transfers from Kaadedhdhoo Airport. An hour’s domestic flight south of Malé International Airport to Kaadhedhdhoo Airport is US$500 net per person roundtrip.
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