Luxury Raffles brand is a picture of island paradise in Maldives

Iconic luxury brand Raffles officially entered the island paradise of Maldives earlier this year, snuggling into the pristine waters of Gaafu Alifu Atoll with Raffles Maldives Meradhoo.

The Accor property has now introduced 16 overwater villas to the private twin-island location, adding to the total of 21 villas and residences which make up this intimate address, alongside an appropriately lush spa, beachside restaurants, and a world-class dive centre with an on-site marine biologist.

Every guest at the resort has access to a unique Marine Butler to lead snorkelling tours of the resort’s house reefs, making great use of the location which is in one of the world’s largest and deepest atolls, surrounded by an array of colourful fish and other marine life such as resident hawksbill and green turtles.

“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,” said Oliver Larcher, General Manager of Raffles Maldives Meradhoo. “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.”

The resort boasts some of the largest villas in the Maldives, with each featuring a sizable marble tub, private pool and outdoor shower alongside other furnishing curated to a high level of luxury. Those staying in the beach villas are given immaculate views during sunrise and sunset, while anyone opting for the overwater villas have expanses of dazzling turquoise waters to wake up to.

Yet to open is the ultimate Raffles Royal Residence, which will complete the resort in 2020 and feature three bedrooms, an infinity pool, endless space and a retractable roof on its upper level so guests can sit under the stars.

And of course, anyone with the cash to stay here would be remiss not to check out the world-class Raffles Spa, which combines astern practices with age-old local influences and offers highly personalised facials by Biologique Recherche; rejuvenating body treatments from Aromatherapy Associates; and signature manicure and pedicure services by Margaret Dabbs London.

Nearby, 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 abloom with hibiscus and bougainvillea; visiting practitioners will lead practise sessions in tai chi, mindfulness and more.

As for dining, outdoor BBQ restaurant The Firepit serves up hearty seafood such as spicy lobster with green papaya and meats like beef tenderloin flame-grilled over the charcoal fire. All-day international breakfast takes place at restaurant Thari, while cocktails such as the signature Maldives Sling can be enjoyed at Long Bar, or on the other island at pool bar Yapa where mixologists create signature mixes inspired by spirits from South America and Japan. It’s also on this other island that guests will find fine-dining Yuzu, focusing on Nikkei cuisine blending Japanese and Peruvian influences.

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 chargeable at US$500 net per person roundtrip.

Address: Gaafu Alifu Atoll MERADHOO ISLAND, 17100, Maldives
Contact: +960 682-8800

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.