The Maldives welcomed a new member to its incredible array of luxury hotels last week with the grand opening of Raffles Maldives Meradhoo.
Set on the southern tip of the Maldives in the remote and pristine Gaafu Alifu Atoll, the palm tree-lined private island on which the hotel’s main facilities are located was soft-opened in May. Last week, the final phase – the Overwater Island Experience – was officially completed and welcomed its first guests.
These extraordinary overwater villas and residences – some of the largest in the Maldives – are designed to provide an experience of unparalleled luxury to those who dream of living life on the water. Set away from the main private island resort, the overwater island has its own restaurant and pool bar but all of the resort’s facilities are accessible via a brief water taxi.
The residences come with two bedrooms and next year will see the opening of an exclusive three-bedroom hideaway that features an infinity pool and a retractable roof on its upper level so guests can enjoy the beautiful night sky under the stars.
The hotel is setting a new standard of luxury in the Maldives by offering a ‘Marine Butler’ to every guest. The butlers will do everything including lead snorkeling tours of the resort’s two remarkable and endlessly fascinating house reefs.
Raffles Maldives Meradhoo’s location is the result of an extensive search for a suitably spectacular site. Gaafu Alifu atoll is one of the world’s largest and deepest atolls and the clear, blissfully warm waters immediately surrounding the Raffles resort teem with tropical fish. The hotel is also home to 20 resident hawksbill and green turtles that regularly swim by.
“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 snorkeling 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,” said Oliver Larcher, General Manager of Raffles Maldives Meradhoo.
The Raffles Spa is located on the beach island and offers a long list of treatments that combine Eastern practices with age-old local influences. There is also an expansive gym for those wishing to keep in shape during their vacation while yoga, tai chi and mindfulness sessions are held on an ocean-facing deck. The island also has a jogging route that winds its way along its gardens.
The overwater island makes best use of its seascape setting at Yapa, a pool bar where mixologists make world-class cocktails inspired by the spirits of South America and Japan. The nearby Yuzu restaurant is run by Peruvian chef Anibal Torres, who serves authentic Nikkei cuisine with influences from her homelands.
The beach island’s main restaurant is The Firepit, an outdoor barbecue restaurant where hearty seafood and meat specialties such as spicy lobster with green papaya and tender beef tenderloin are flame-grilled over the charcoal fire. The tables and chairs carved from the sand are set directly on the shore for uninterrupted views of the starlit skyline.
Accommodation at Raffles Maldives Meradhoo starts at US$1800 per night, including taxes and service charge, breakfast and complimentary speedboat transfers from Kaadedhdhoo Airport. www.raffles.com/maldives