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A holiday in the deep

May 13. 2019
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By The Nation

Raffles Hotels & Resorts recently opened a 21-villa beach island experience in the Maldivian oasis of Gaafu Alifu Atoll, Accor’s fourth property in the Maldives and the first under the Raffles brand.

Opened on May 9, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo is home to beach villas and beach residences, featuring private pools, generous living spaces and a lavish marble bathroom with a sunken bathtub and outdoor shower. The Raffles Royal Residence and a secluded collection of Overwater Villas and Residences, which lies adjacent to one of the vibrant house reefs, and which can be reached by a traditional Maldivian Dhoni boat, is set to launch during the last quarter of 2019.

In each of the terraces, guests can marvel at the marine life below through the glass flooring panels. Two magnificent reefs provide a thriving habitat for the marine life including baby sharks, turtles and a myriad of tropical fish. For those that want to learn more about the underwater realm, the hotel’s resident marine biologist and team of marine butlers are on hand to personalise guest experiences that bring beautiful insights of the underwater world. 

“Boasting 1,200 islands, Maldives is home to the best beaches in the world and now, with the opening of Raffles Maldives Meradhoo, is also home to the best in luxury hospitality. We look forward to offering guests the most natural beauty set within an incredible resort with unrivalled service, says Patrick Basset, Accor’s chief operating officer for Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia and the Maldives.

Guests can relish a range of rich gastronomic delights served at the all-day diner or relax at The Firepit, where various flame-grilled chef specialty dishes are served under the stars. Private destination dining options abound, from caviar breakfasts on a sandbank reached by jet ski, to sunset cruises where the champagne flows freely. A selection of tapas and freshly-prepared sashimi, original cocktail concoctions, inspired by the national drinks of South America and Japan, can be experienced at the over-water Yapa Sunset Bar while Champagnes and wines can be sipped at the popular Long Bar. 

Set over the water, Raffles Spa offers a private escape opening doors to discovery with authentic treatments from Biologique Recherch and Aromatherapy Associates and first-class manicures and pedicures by Magaret Dabbs London. 

Recharge with an invigorating workout at the over water fitness centre, a soothing seaside yoga session or choose from a selection of water sport activities to balance the physical and mental wellbeing. 

“For couples looking for an unforgettable romantic hideaway, our exceptionally spacious villas and the discreet expertise of the Raffles butler service redefines the resort experience. From intimate dining with our private chef service to snorkelling and diving in the world’s most breath-taking coral reefs, we create a place where guests can enjoy the best of both worlds in a destination known for its stunning surroundings,” said Olivier Larcher, general manager of Raffles Maldives Meradhoo. 

The resort is accessible by domestic flight, 55 minutes from Male International Airport followed by 15-minute speedboat ride from Kaadedhdhoo Airport. 

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