Comprised of nearly 1,200 islands, the Maldives has long been a hot spot for ultra-luxurious resorts, and in the past couple of years the idyllic tropical nation has seen a great influx of new players with no signs of slowing down. Now, one of the region’s most anticipated openings of the year is getting ready to make its debut. Slated to open on July 1, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is already throwing its hat into the ring as a contender for one of the finest and most well-rounded resorts in the country.
Just a short 30-minute yacht ride from the airport, the expansive all-villa retreat is spread out across three islands, offering plenty of opportunities for serene moments and private nooks. Capitalizing on all of its space, the resort will provide guests with 11 distinctive dining venues to choose from, presenting a variety that’s unmatched in the Maldives. You’ll find Middle Eastern flatbreads and mezzes at Yasmeen; Chinese cuisine, including Peking duck fresh out of a wood-fired oven, at Li Long; healthy and holistic fare using the freshest ingredients from the property’s herb garden at Glow; and a barbecue grill restaurant by Dave Pynt, the chef behind Michelin-starred Burt Ends in Singapore. But what will inevitably become the most romantic (and Instagram-worthy) option is Terra, a treetop concept where you’ll dine in your own nest and enjoy incredibly views of the ocean.
As diverse as the dining outlets are, the variety of accommodations at the resort and their incredible amenities are what will really set Waldorf Astoria apart from the rest. Each of the 122 luxurious villas are at least 2,500 square feet and open out to a patio furnished with a swinging daybed, dining gazebo, outdoor shower and an infinity pool with an in-water lounge. While they have the usual beach and overwater villas—the latter of which comes with the added bonus of two suspended hammocks—there’s also a reef option that offers the best of both worlds with lush botanical landscaping and a stilted deck hanging above the glistening water.
For those who want added privacy, the Stella Maris Ocean Villas will do just the trick. Accessible only by boat, these one-bedroom duplexes also come with chef’s service, an alfresco barbecue station, and a hot tub. But if you’re really looking to be sequestered from everyone, there’s also an exclusive-use island up for grabs. The 32,000-square-foot sanctuary boasts a two-bedroom overwater villa as well as a three-bedroom beach villa and comes with a personal concierge team, dedicated chef, its own spa, an entertainment center and five pools.
Once you finally decide you’re ready to leave the comforts of your quarters, there will be plenty to keep you busy. At the watersports and PADI dive center, choose from activities like fishing, sailing, windsurfing and snorkeling. Should you prefer to forgo the pool in your room and mingle with others, there’s a 130-foot beachfront oasis calling your name. If you’re traveling with kids, a waterpark for young guests is also available. Just don’t forget about the spa, where you can choose to be pampered in either a garden or overwater treatment suite. With all of these amenities and more, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is going to be the paradise we’ve all been yearning for.