Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa



Villa Laalu has artifacts and urns from Indonesia and Sri Lanka.


The Maldives is often a top choice for VIP travelers. The string of islands in the Indian Ocean is home to a host of five-star, über-luxe properties, so choosing the right one can be a challenge. One of the best is Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa Maldives on the Addu Atoll, an all-villa resort, which is as seductive as it is private.

Top Digs: We are told the best rooms at the resort are the Villa Laalu and Villa Muthee—otherwise known as the two presidential villas. For the ultimate in privacy (planning that much-needed tryst?), the Villa Laalu is ideal; so much so that it renders leaving the accommodation unnecessary. All-day in-suite dining is available in this two-bedroom space. The master bathroom brings the outdoors in: a tub for two is raised from the floor on textured stone, with an adjacent cascading water feature and a spa pavilion. VIP Touch: Private speedboat transfers are available for guests staying in Villa Muthee and Villa Laalu, as well as guests arriving by private jet.


A Water Villa is connected to the island by a timber walkway.

If it’s views you’re after, the Tree House Villas are ideal. Note: They are not recommended for families with children under 12 due to the open nature of the terraces. Top Service: All villas have a Villa Host (think resort butler). Luxury travel advisors can get in touch with Assistant Reservations Manager Max Germano (
[email protected]; 011-960-689-7475) with queries.

There are three recommended treatments at CHI, The Spa, all focused around the sea shell, or Kandu Boli, which is said to draw energy from the ocean. These treatments include the Kandu Boli Ritual, a body and face massage using warm coconut oil; the Kandu Boli Journey, a precursor to the Ritual, which revitalizes the body with a Mother of Pearl Polish; and, our favorite, the Kandu Boli Experience, which includes a Mother of Pearl Polish, a soak in an aromatic bath and a sea shell massage. This is topped off with a facial and a coconut oil scalp massage. Note: The Experience is a four-hour treatment, so be sure to leave plenty of time. The resort recommends booking treatments two weeks in advance during high season. Contact Spa Director Becky Wyton ([email protected]; 011-960-689-7888) for more information.


At the Spa Pavilion, guests can enjoy a signature CHI massage outdoors.

While the resort has two restaurants and three lounges and bars, we are big fans of the Dine by Design option. This is a bespoke dining service held in secret locations around the resort, such as a torch-lit dinner in the jungle or aboard Horizon, the resort’s own luxury yacht, on the equator. Best of all, menus are created to match each location. Tip: For private functions, reservations should be made four days in advance. Normal restaurant bookings can be made 24 hours ahead. Contact Director of Food and Beverage Samuel Pellegrini ([email protected]; 011-960 791-6179).

Villingili should also be at the top of any destination wedding list, whether for a traditional or themed ceremony. If you opt for the theme route, the resort provides cultural weddings, including Chinese, Indian, Arabian, Japanese and Maldivian. If you can’t get enough of the ocean, ask about the resort’s Underwater Weddings. Note: Only available to certified divers.


Dine by Design is the resort’s bespoke dining option. Menus are created to match each location.


Free Luxury Travel Newsletter

Like this story? Subscribe to The Dossier

Luxury Travel Advisor’s only newsletter, covering unique destinations and product news for affluent travelers. Delivered every Tuesday & Thursday.

Suggested Articles:

The holistic spa treatment selection is the latest initiative from The Nautilus, building upon the island’s already established overwater Solasta Spa.

Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong has announced the completion of the first phase of its top-to-bottom renovation. Read more here.

Wildflower Farms, Auberge Resorts Collection will be a nature-inspired luxury retreat in the Hudson Valley. It’s slated to open in fall 2022.