Inside the new uber-luxurious Waldorf Astoria Maldives resort

The Maldives is home to some of the most uber-luxurious resorts in the world but a new opening from Waldorf Astoria is taking things to the next level.

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, which launched yesterday (July 1), spans across three islands and boasts 122 villas that start from £1,400-a-night ($1,800) and all come with private infinity pools.

But the best part? Forget waiting around for an airport transfer – guests travel to the resort in style on the resort’s private yacht.  

Grand: One of the overwater villas, pictured, at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi which features an infinity pool 

Sand between your toes: The beach villas look directly out on to the sand and have remarkable views of the Indian Ocean

Sand between your toes: The beach villas look directly out on to the sand and have remarkable views of the Indian Ocean

Uber-luxurious: Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi opened on July 1 and spans across three islands

Uber-luxurious: Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi opened on July 1 and spans across three islands 

There are three types of villa – beach, reef or overwater – which feature a spacious deck allowing uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean or direct access to the beach so guests can wake up and feel the sand between their toes. 

For those seeking an exclusive enclave, holidaymakers can also stay on the resort’s private island which is only accessible by boat. The 32,000-square-metre sanctuary features a four-bedroom residence, three-bedroom beach villa and a two-bedroom overwater villa. 

The Ithaafushi Private Island comes complete with a dedicated chef and personal concierge team, an overwater spa and gym, five swimming pools and an entertainment centre.

Guests are spoiled for choice when it comes to the resort’s culinary offering which includes no less 11 speciality dining venues. World-renowned chef Dave Pynt, the mastermind behind Singapore’s Michelin-starred restaurant Burnt Ends, offers his expertise to the island’s barbeque grill restaurant, The Ledge. 

The restaurant features his signature, custom-built, four-ton, dual-cavity oven and elevation grills, enabling the use of techniques such as smoking, slow roasting, baking and grilling. Bringing culinary theatre to the Maldives, The Ledge allows guests to witness the preparation of their dish, including favourites such as the Dry Aged OP Rib, a 45-day dry-aged beef rib, and the signature Lobster Roll.

Other dining highlights include Terra, located on the island’s highest point and providing a ‘unique gastronomic dining experience’ in private dining pods crafted from natural bamboo. 

Nestled among boulders, The Rock is a rustic wine cellar and dining experience set in a carved-out space, where guests can indulge in wine pairing meals or an elevated dining experience with a menu that pays homage to renowned wine regions around the world.

The overwater villas, pictured above, have a spacious decking area and direct access into the sea

The overwater villas, pictured above, have a spacious decking area and direct access into the sea  

One of the beach villas, where guests can wake up and feel the sand between their toes

One of the beach villas, where guests can wake up and feel the sand between their toes

Dino Michael, global head of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, said: 'We aim to surpass the expectations of today’s luxury traveller with the introduction of our fifth Waldorf Astoria property in Asia Pacific'

Dino Michael, global head of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, said: ‘We aim to surpass the expectations of today’s luxury traveller with the introduction of our fifth Waldorf Astoria property in Asia Pacific’  

Make a splash: The 40-meter Mirror Pool, above, is an ideal place to cool down

Make a splash: The 40-meter Mirror Pool, above, is an ideal place to cool down 

Terra, located on the island’s highest point, provides a 'unique gastronomic dining experience' in private dining pods crafted from natural bamboo

Terra, located on the island’s highest point, provides a ‘unique gastronomic dining experience’ in private dining pods crafted from natural bamboo

Yasmeen, pictured, offers guests the chance to savour authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. Hot pitas and puffed breads baked in ovens based on centuries-old designs, charcoal-roasted meats, and hot and cold mezzes are served in dining rooms filled with decorative artefacts and antiques

Yasmeen, pictured, offers guests the chance to savour authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. Hot pitas and puffed breads baked in ovens based on centuries-old designs, charcoal-roasted meats, and hot and cold mezzes are served in dining rooms filled with decorative artefacts and antiques 

Immersive: Glow, above, is set in a greenhouse-like structure. It celebrates the concept of interactive garden-to-table dining by serving healthy and holistic cuisine made from fresh ingredients harvested from the on-island garden

Immersive: Glow, above, is set in a greenhouse-like structure. It celebrates the concept of interactive garden-to-table dining by serving healthy and holistic cuisine made from fresh ingredients harvested from the on-island garden

The Rock is a rustic wine cellar and dining experience set in a carved-out space, where guests can indulge in wine pairing meals or an elevated dining experience with a menu that pays homage to renowned wine regions around the world

The Rock is a rustic wine cellar and dining experience set in a carved-out space, where guests can indulge in wine pairing meals or an elevated dining experience with a menu that pays homage to renowned wine regions around the world

While Yasmeen offers diners the chance to savour authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. Hot pitas and puffed breads baked in ovens based on centuries-old designs, charcoal-roasted meats, and hot and cold mezzes are served in dining rooms filled with decorative artefacts and antiques. 

The immersive journey continues at Glow, which is set in a greenhouse-like structure shaded by lush greenery. It celebrates the concept of interactive garden-to-table dining by serving healthy and holistic cuisine made from fresh ingredients harvested from the on-island garden. 

Wellness warriors will be in their element at the Waldorf Astoria Spa which offers a range of treatments all from the tranquillity of an overwater or garden villa. There’s also a fitness centre, water sport and PADI dive centre – and bespoke experiences from sunrise meditation to private sunset dining. 

Alan Watts, president of Asia Pacific Hilton, said: ‘Asia Pacific is enjoying a golden age of travel, and the launch of Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is part of the growing momentum of Hilton’s luxury and lifestyle portfolio throughout the region.

Dreamy: Guests can book bespoke experiences including sunrise meditation and sunset private dining

Dreamy: Guests can book bespoke experiences including sunrise meditation and sunset private dining 

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is located at Ithaafushi Island, a 30-minute yacht transfer from Malé International Airport

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is located at Ithaafushi Island, a 30-minute yacht transfer from Malé International Airport

‘This is especially significant as the Maldives becomes an increasingly popular destination for global travellers. As the first international hotel brand to have opened in the Maldives over 21 years ago, it is especially fitting that this opening takes place as we celebrate Hilton’s 100th year milestone as a leader in global hospitality.’ 

While Dino Michael, global head of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, added: ‘We aim to surpass the expectations of today’s luxury traveller with the introduction of our fifth Waldorf Astoria property in Asia Pacific. 

‘Our guests are searching for new and extraordinary experiences during their travels, and we are confident that this latest luxury destination in the Maldives provides the perfect setting for our guests to live unforgettable.’ 

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is located on Ithaafushi Island, a 30-minute yacht transfer from Malé International Airport. For more information, visit www.waldorfastoriamaldives.com or call +960 4 000300.    


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