by Jade Conroy from The Telegraph, May 15, 2017
Baglioni Resort Maldives, Dhaalu Atoll
Italian hotel group Baglioni are opening their first outpost in the Maldives in December, marking their first property outside of Europe. 96 villas include garden, beach, overwater or family options, including a three-bedroom Presidential Water Villa. The three restaurants – international, Japanese and, of course, Italian – include many ingredients sourced directly from the hotel’s own vegetable garden. The resort will be family-friendly, with ample activities, including watersports, plus a kids’ club for three to 12 year-olds which includes the likes of pizza-making classes. The hotel is just 40 minutes by seaplane from Malé.
LUX* North Male Atoll
Following their property in the South Ari Atoll, LUX* will open its second Maldivian getaway at the end of the year on the ‘picnic island’ of Olhahali. Penthouse residences will replace the ubiquitous thatch-roofed overwater villas that have become synonymous with Indian Ocean accommodation. It is self-styled as superyacht-meets-South Beach – expect white villas, flashes of neon pink, marble bathrooms and a general city-with-a-beach vibe. Every villa has its own roof terrace, elevated five metres above the house lagoon, while facilities include a cinema, yoga plinth, outdoor games, spa and kid’s club. It won’t be for everyone, but it certainly breaks the mould.
Gran Melia Maldives, Thaa Atoll
Melia adds another property to its ever-expanding portfolio come October 2017, with its opening of Gran Melia Maldives. Located in the Kalhudiyafushi in the Thaa Atoll, its 95 villas will be set among a coral reef. There will be three restaurants, a bar and café, spa and several retail shops. It’s 40 minutes from Malé International airport, and a short ride by speedboat or seaplane from domestic airport Kaadhedoo.
Kanuhura, Lhaviyani Atoll
Kanuhura has just enjoyed a $42-million refurbishment, which has included a complete design rehaul by London-based interior design firm Muza Lab. The new look is colourfully nautical, designed with the ‘gypset’ – luxury travellers with bohemian sensibilities – in mind. Think lime-washed timber villas, local materials used for furniture, ropes galore and bright, woven fabrics. The hotel is spread across three islands: Kanuhura, home to the 80 villas and acitivies; Jehunuhura destination of the hotel's Drift restaurant; and the beach spot of Masleggihura. The Kokaa Spa includes a therapy focused on releasing energy from 103 pressure points on the body. It is also home to the first martial arts academy in the Maldives, led by Irshaad Sayed, two-time world Muay Thai champion.
Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort, Gaafu Alifu Atoll
When Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort opens in mid-2017, it will, it claims, be one of the best-value hotel options in the Maldives. The hotel doesn’t skimp on the requisite luxuries though: brightly dressed accommodation options include over-water villas with plunge pools and sea access, plus a spa, dive centre, restaurant, bar and kids' club.
Grand Park Kohdhipparu, North Malé Atoll
A good option for those who don’t want to venture too far from Malé: the new Grand Park Kohdhipparu, set to open imminently, is just a 15-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport but still has beaches, watersports and decent diving spots. Hirsch Bedner Associates, who were behind the design, went for a traditional Maldivian feel, with palm-fringed roofs, wood and rattan featuring heavily. Some villas come with their own infinity pools; others come with little windows at the end of the bed which look into the deep blue below. There will be three restaurants, including one with a Josper Grill.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, Dhaalu Atoll
The daringly designed St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, which opened in November of last year, is one of the most architecturally distinctive hotels in the Maldives. Singaporean design firm WOW Architects used the Maldives natural offerings as inspiration: a bar shaped like a whale, library shaped like a conch shell, and a spa in the form of a lobster – the last best viewed from a seaplane. As expected from the St. Regis brand, facilities are top-draw (each villa has its own butler), and activities extensive, from anti-gravity yoga to sunset cruises.
Read the full review: St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
Kandima, currently in soft launch and opening in full this month, opts to ‘challenge the status quo’ of the current Maldivian accommodation scene. Not only will the hotel cater to the Maldives’ bread and butter, honeymooners, but also to families and groups of friends. The island is nearly 3km long – you can hire bikes and electric scooters to get around. Activities include an art studio with artist in residence, diving centre and cooking school, while children can even enjoy a marine biology school, basketball courts and – the hotel’s piece de resistance – a 100-metre swimming pool, which is the longest in the Maldives.
And for 2018...
Movenpick Resort & Spa Kuredhivaru, Noonu Atoll
Swiss hotel group Movenpick have just announced that they will be opening their first resort in the Maldives in the first quarter of 2018. The resort will be located in the less-developed northern part of the island nation, close to the Marine National Park Edu Faru, as well as the Christmas Tree Rock and Orimas Thila dive sites. 32 beach villas and 70 over-water villas will make up the accommodation, while facilities, which include an on-site dive centre and spa, will appeal to everyone ‘from honeymooners to recreational families.’ There will also be a small-scale marine research centre and a private marina for up to 12 catamarans.
Movenpick Resort & Spa Kuredhivaru will be close to the Marine National Park Edu Faru, as well as the Christmas Tree Rock and Orimas Thila dive sites If you would like to add a comment, please register or log in RegisterLog inPlease review our commenting policy