Ithaafushi, South Male Atoll | Maldives • by Chiara Dragoni, Private Voyage Advisor
As an affectionate traveller to the Maldives for the past 25 years, I took the sight of the Princess 52 yacht in charge of our airport transfer as a clear sign of the intention of Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi to rank on top of first-class players in Maldivian hospitality.
The over hundred years brand’s legacy of delivering anticipatory service with unwavering attention to detail, no matter how magnificent or mundane the ask, creates a unique sense of place with a relentless commitment to personal service and culinary excellence in landmark locations around the world. Each of the Waldorf’s properties aims to deliver unforgettable experiences and offers a strong sense of arrival with impressive public spaces worthy of hosting history.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that our arrival in this corner of paradise is heralded by the ceremonious gong, to make a point of the importance and undivided attention that all staff at Waldorf Astoria will ensure to each Guest. Our Personal Concierge welcomes us with the typical Maldivian resplendent smile. While peacefully chatting and offering me and my family a refreshing drink surrounded by beautiful, understated tropical elegance, he takes care of all check-in details. In a blink of an eye, we find ourselves and our luggage heading to our accommodation on an electric buggy. We are ushered through the island’s lush vegetation among sandy paths and lovely wooden catwalks that connect the three islands that make up the resort.
As a family of five, we selected for our stay a spacious King Grand Reef Villa, conveniently nestled between land and sea, allowing Guests to have direct access to the crystal blue waters while still anchored to the solid ground. The turquoise of the wooden doors that open up onto the external deck is a thoughtful chromatic prelude to the vision that unfolds before our eyes.
After illustrating the various amenities in our villa, our Personal Concierge chose the perfect bicycle for our kids among three available sizes and placed them next to the two adult bikes that had already been prepared for us. Having ensured that everything was impeccable for an unparalled experience at the resort, he left us ready and willing to explore all that the island has to offer. Before saying goodbye, he handed us a mobile phone that would be our bell for when we need anything, allowing him to be an efficient yet discreet presence during our stay. The exploration of the island offers magnificent views thanks to the skillful architecture of the resort which, together with the lush vegetation, blends harmoniously with the shades of white and blue of the sand and the sea, thus offering a breathtaking scene to the eyes.
Explore our Villa
Your sight, however, won’t be the only sense to be pampered during your stay at Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi. Mouthwatering delicacies in the abundance of restaurants will make your days quite fulfilling. The number of dining venues speaks for the resort’s focus on the culinary aspect of its Guest’s experience. With 11 different outlets, you could easily choose to dine in a different spot each night of your stay. What makes it really exciting, though, is that most restaurants not only offer specialties from different cuisines but are integrated in an actual recreation of the atmospheres and landscapes of the country of origin of the proposed cuisine, completed by original antiques from these places.
Despite being quite a logistic challenge for a Maldivian resort, the utmost care is taken in the choice of organic and sustainable raw materials proving a considerable attention to the Guests’ physical well-being.
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Wellness as a cure for body and mind is the focus of the spa, a real sanctuary hidden among the island’s botanical gardens, pampering its guests with holistic treatments and personalized wellness solutions with a precise aim:
The spa area is mostly outdoors, with hanging nests to chill out after your treatment or whenever you need to find some tranquility. The treatment rooms are located overwater with a glass window in the floor to appreciate the sight of turquoise waters and a huge terrace to enjoy the breeze and sound of the ocean during your massage.
The extensive regard for little ones is also worth a note. A children’s menu is available at almost every dining outlet and an astonishing leisure centre – the Young Discovery Park – will make your kids never want to leave the island. They can enjoy dedicated substancial indoor and outdoor spaces that remind of a renowned amusement park. My teenage boys fully appreciated the area by the beach set up with a pool table, ping-pong, table football and a giant wooden ‘Connect 4’ while the little one was riding the water slides, left in the capable hands of the YDP Staff.
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