Celebrated for its crystal-clear seas, colourful marine wildlife and talcum-white sands, The Maldives’ sunny charms have been boosted further with the unveiling of Waldorf Astoria.
Spread over three islands in the South Malé Atoll, a short 45-minute yacht journey from Velana International Airport, the resort flies the brand’s luxury flag with its own private island – accessible only by yacht – that comprises two villas, its own spa, gym, entertainment centre, chef, concierge team and no less than five swimming pools.
Back on the mainland, there is an indulgent spa and 11 drinking and dining options including Li Long, a contemporary Chinese restaurant – which delivers crisp Peking duck straight from the Maldives' first classic wood-fired oven – Terra, a series of treetop dining pods, and The Ledge, the latest offering from chef Dave Pynt who, like at his Singapore Michelin-star restaurant Burnt Ends, sends out delicious slow-roasted, grilled and smoked meat and vegetable dishes from a custom-built dual-cavity wood-fired oven.
The in-house design team, together with interior and architecture companies Highness Engineering Consultants and Stickman Tribe, have smartly arranged the resort to slot right into its surroundings. The 122 over-water and beach villas, in particular, reveal minimal visual impact by way of rough-hewn solid wood exteriors and traditional Maldivian thatched roofs. ‘Everything from the building design, height, orientation and density is guided by the natural setting and local architectural style,’ say the team at HEC.
Inside, the lofty 7m-high light-drenched spaces are layered in soothing sandy and oyster tones, gold accents, light timber, sleek low-slung bespoke furnishings and curated art and accessories – like the abstract pieces, inspired by the local marine life and the porcelain seashell necklaces – by MG Art Design.
It’s difficult to imagine spending time indoors – unless it’s in one of the overwater treatments rooms at the resort's indulgent spa – when each villa, which is positioned towards the lagoon or the beach, has its own en-suite infinity pool.
South Male Atoll
Receive our daily digest of inspiration, escapism and design stories from around the world direct to your inbox
Melina Keays is the entertaining director of Wallpaper*. She has been part of the brand since the magazine’s launch in 1996, and is responsible for entertaining content across the print and digital platforms, and for Wallpaper’s creative agency Bespoke. A native Londoner, Melina takes inspiration from the whole spectrum of art and design – including film, literature, and fashion. Her work for the brand involves curating content, writing, and creative direction – conceiving luxury interior landscapes with a focus on food, drinks, and entertaining in all its forms
Australia’s first Art Grand Tour unites three biennials in a city-hopping trail
Australia’s Art Grand Tour showcases more than 400 artists, across Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide in a build-your-own art adventure
By Hannah Silver Published
Maharam’s latest textiles interpret Jacob Hashimoto’s sculptural work
‘Beyond’ and ‘Midair’ by Jacob Hashimoto for Maharam are two new collections that reference the New York-based multimedia artist’s three-dimensional work on fabric
By Rosa Bertoli Published
BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA brings Esther Mahlangu’s art to life at Frieze LA
BMW’s Art Car Project has rarely impacted on the company’s everyday business of building cars. With the BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA, could all that be about to change?
By Jonathan Bell Published
At Patina Maldives, sustainability and luxury blend harmoniously
Luxury resort Patina Maldives recently partnered with natural skincare brand Haeckles to craft a bespoke wellbeing range
By Mary Cleary Published
24 hours in Copenhagen: stay, bike, dine, and discover Danish design
Plan your 24 hours in Copenhagen: sleepover in a former brewery, wake up with a wild swim, and immerse yourself in the home of a modernist master
By Simon Mills Published
Peter Beard’s biographer, Christopher Wallace, on writing the wild life of the quintessential Twentieth-Century Man
Author Christopher Wallace traces the footsteps of the original playboy-artist-activist Peter Beard, travelling from Kenya, to the Serengeti, Cassis and beyond
By Christopher Wallace Published
Estelle Manor is a chic take on the hotel and country club
Estelle Manor, a transformed Grade II-listed house and estate in Oxfordshire, welcomes guests with Roman and Williams interiors, parasols by the pool, and a soon-to-open tepidarium
By Henrietta Thompson Published
Off-beat eco-lodge Sun Ranch opens in the Byron Bay hinterland
The 1970s-inspired Sun Ranch estate has been envisioned by a collective of friends from Australia’s fashion and hospitality scenes
By Monique Kawecki Published
Maroma, A Belmond Hotel, Riviera Maya opens following a major redesign
On the Yucatán Peninsula, the new-look Maroma showcases local craftsmanship and Mayan tradition with interiors led by interior architecture studio Tara Bernerd & Partners
By Charlotte McManus Published
A weekend in wonderful Copenhagen
The ultimate weekend in Copenhagen starts here: discover the latest openings across the UNESCO World Capital of Architecture, stay in a hotel afloat, start your day with brilliant baked goods and ski down a power-station piste
By Simon Mills Published
The Largo brings craftsmanship and creativity to Porto
The Largo is the latest hospitality offering in Portugal's second city, conceived as an elevated residence with an art programme that connects it to the city’s creative community
By Tom Howells Published