Think of the Maldives, and you’ll probably picture crystal clear waters, pure white sandy beaches, barefoot luxury and an endless horizon… perfect for the ultimate escape. And with a recent hive of activity on the hotel front, there are now even more luxury options for event planners to choose from. We pick three of the hottest new openings in the Indian Ocean archipelago…
Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi
Opened in April this year, Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi, which means ‘secret water island’ in the local Dhivehi language, is located on the Shaviyani Atoll in North Maldives, which boasts one of the country’s largest resort lagoons.
Manta rays, turtles, bottlenose dolphins and spinner dolphins are regular visitors in the crystal-clear waters of the 600-hectare lagoon, while the nine-kilometre house reef, directly accessible from the beach, is home to vibrant corals and a thriving ecosystem.
The hotel offers 112 luxury villas, each with a private pool. These include Beach Villas, Water Villas, and Tented Jungle Villas – luxury safari-style tented villas nestled in the island’s lush interior jungle.
Dining options include all-day dining spot called Raha Market; an over-water Japanese restaurant, sushi bar and sea lounge named Kata, where Chef Dharmen brings creative flair to add modern and Maldivian twists to Japanese dishes; and the over-water fine dining destination, Azure, where fresh seafood and fish-market displays of daily local catches are complemented by fantastic wines and Champagnes.
Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort
Marriott International’s Westin brand makes its debut in the Maldives next month with the opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort. Nestled on a beautiful coral island in the Baa Atoll, a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site, the property will feature 70 villas and suites, 41 on island and 29 overwaters. Poised over the sea on stilts and with an area of almost 200 square meters each, the overwater suites are claimed to be among the largest in the Baa Atoll region.
The dining options include three resort restaurants: the all-day dining Island Kitchen combining Chinese, Indian and Maldivian fare; specialty restaurant The Pearl serving Japanese cuisine in an elegant setting with exceptional ocean views; and Hawker, where guests can sample authentic Asian food in a casual and buzzing restaurant and bar with a live kitchen. The Sunset Bar is a relaxed lounge serving tapas and imaginative cocktails created by mixologists.
Located on the island of Maagau in the Dhaalu Atoll, this exclusive resort, surrounded by turquoise water, velvet white sand and tropical nature, will be the luxury Italian brand’s first resort in the Maldives. The much-anticipated opening, which has been delayed until April 2019, will provide 99 villas with a selection of jungle, beach or over-water options.
Guests will have a choice of three restaurants including Italian, international and Japanese options. Incentive groups can relax at the Baglioni spa and take part in a range of activities including cruises, BBQ fishing dinners, trips to the local village and water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing and snorkelling. The Dhaalu Atoll is a 40-minute hop by seaplane from the capital, Malé.
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