The Maldives are super-hot right now. Unrivalled luxury, stunning white-sand beaches and magnificent marine life have long made the Indian Ocean archipelago an incentive haven and the retreat of choice for well-heeled travellers, but an unprecedented flurry of luxury openings over the past 18 months are upping the ante even more.
2018 saw new properties from the Fairmont and Westin brands to name a few, and in 2019, The Maldives are welcoming new openings from brands including Raffles and Waldorf Astoria. So, we take a look at four new luxury arrivals and what they have to offer…
Raffles Maldives Meradhoo
On the remote southern tip of the Maldives archipelago, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo opened earlier this year. The 38-villa ultra-luxury resort is set in the rare Maldivian oasis of Gaafu Alifu Atoll, surrounded by crystalline Indian Ocean waters. Two magnificent reefs provide a thriving habitat for the marine life including baby sharks, turtles and a myriad of tropical fish.
For those that want to learn more about the underwater realm, the hotel’s resident marine biologist and team of marine butlers are on hand to personalise guest experiences that bring unique and beautiful insights of the underwater world. Set over the water, the award-winning Raffles Spa offers the ultimate escape, while dining options include the Thari all-day diner, Yuzu, Peruvian and Japanese fusion restaurant and The Firepit where guest can enjoy various flame-grilled chef specialty dishes under the stars.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
This all-villa resort spanning across three private islands is set to debut on 1 July. The resort boasts 122 luxuriously appointed villas, each equipped with a pool and uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean in its own private enclave. Each reef, beach and overwater villa will open onto an indoor and outdoor deck featuring a swinging daybed, dining gazebo, an infinity pool, in-water lounge and an outdoor shower.
Just a 30-minute yacht journey away from Malé International Airport, the new resort will be something of a foodies’ paradise with 11 specialty-dining venues including an elevated treetop concept at Terra, exceptional food and wine pairings amongst boulders at The Rock and authentic Middle Eastern dishes at Yasmeen.
Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa, Raa Atoll
Opened this month (June) on one of the best atolls in the Maldives, Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa, a collection of 120 private beach villas and overwater bungalows, many with their own pools and Jacuzzis, combines contemporary creature comforts with warm tropical flourishes.
Just a scenic 40-minute seaplane flight from the capital city, Malé, the Leading Hotels of the World resort offers guests pristine white sand beaches leading to clear blue ocean water. The resort’s four restaurants, ranging from Mediterranean, to Asian and South American cuisine, as well as wellness offerings like the spa, diving centre, and sports facility invite guests to relax and recharge amid crystalline blue waters and unspoiled nature in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
Baglioni Resort Maldives
Originally scheduled to open last spring, the much-anticipated Baglioni Resort Maldives is expected to open mid-2019. Named one of the top ten hotel openings in 2019 that luxury event planners are most excited about in our recent inSPIRE trends report, the resort will provide 99 villas with a selection of jungle, beach or over-water options, including an 870sqm presidential water villa with three bedrooms and private pool with Jacuzzi.
Guests will have a choice of three restaurants including Italian, international and Japanese options, with a range of activities on offer for corporate groups ranging from yoga and relaxing in the spa to kayaking, windsurfing and snorkelling.