Simply imagining a moment on this delicate crescent of islets is a tonic. Of course, this Indian Ocean archipelago barely needs introduction — flawless ocean panoramas, uninterrupted sky-meets-sea horizons and a calming tropical rhythm.
But there’s something extraordinary about the new Waldorf Astoria way of experiencing the Maldives — trips here are seamless and spoiling, with a rare sense of space. How often can you play romantic castaway on a natural sandbank, shape indelible memories on aqua adventures, and indulge in world-class cuisine from around the globe — all in one day?
Remote Maldivian luxury has never been so easy to access — just a 30-minute yacht ride from Malé International Airport — with so much to satiate the senses, however long you stay. Boasting beach, reef and overwater villas with private pools, as well as Ithaafushi Private Island Estate, the all-new Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi promises unforgettable experiences for all types of travelers.
Families will appreciate Waldorf Astoria Young Discovery Park, a water recreation area with enriching activities just for kids. Spa goers will proceed to the lifestyle spa and wellness sanctuary, while foodies will delight in 11 dining venues and bars including Terra, an elevated treetop restaurant, and The Ledge by world-renowned chef Dave Pynt.
The journey to this far-flung Indian Ocean sanctuary begins from the moment you arrive in Malé, where a fully crewed luxury yacht collects guests from the airport. Glide aboard one of the 50- or 70-foot yachts accompanied by your Personal Concierge, while a considerate crew serves cocktails, Champagne and canapés. Your connections to the everyday will slip away as the yacht skims the iridescent waters and then drops anchor at the private dock. Step onto the pier and receive the warmest of Maldivian welcomes.
Powdery snow-white sand and the clearest turquoise waters are givens — but it’s rare in the Maldives to have such an uplifting sense of space. On arrival in the welcome pavilion, you’re greeted by a beautiful clock and carved wood sundial — but it’s likely the last moment you observe the time as you transition into an island life free of schedules.
Tune into nature instead: herons and terns nest in carefully tended gardens that thrive with indigenous plants and sweet-smelling blooms such as pink roses, jasmine and frangipani. Sophisticated curation also means original artworks reveal themselves as you explore.
With its Maldivian personality and Waldorf Astoria panache, this atoll evokes a delicate necklace of three islands. The teak-wood residences flaunt the region’s charming style of thatched roofs, conjuring authentic Maldivian escapes while concealing every contemporary comfort. Free-flowing living spaces spill from the luxury villas into the outdoors.
In fact, each of the 122 villas features 2,500 square feet of space and opens to a patio with a swinging daybed, dining gazebo, outdoor shower and infinity pool. While there are beach and overwater villas, the reef option also features botanical landscaping and a stilted deck. Meanwhile, the hotel’s infinity pools, lagoons and empty beaches are but a stroll away.
Well-being comes naturally at the spa and wellness sanctuary. The Waldorf Astoria Spa Wellness Concierge is poised to arrange singular beauty treatments and fitness programs. Guests can steam, soak, swim and sunbathe at this sprawling space at the ocean’s edge. Or they can indulge in holistic retreats that strengthen, cleanse and balance to maximum effect.
Restorative Himalayan Salt Stone Massages are among the signature therapies that can be enjoyed in either a garden or overwater treatment suite. This grounding treatment uses heated Himalayan salt crystals for deeper tissue relaxation, allowing the body to more readily absorb the crystals’ essential minerals.
Complement your spa day by savoring the vitamin-rich menu at Glow, the resort’s well-being restaurant. Among its organic ingredients are the fruits of the on-island garden that yields aromatic dill, lemongrass, rosemary, mint and antioxidant-rich rosella, ensuring color and flavor in every nutritious bite, such as the Quick Seared Warm Tiger Prawns with green mango and papaya salad.
Cherish time together or let little ones have their own adventures, leaving you to enjoy downtime in a swinging daybed. Waldorf Astoria Young Discovery Park boasts its own water recreation area. Staffed with pros at keeping curiosity and creativity stoked, the park organizes activities aplenty for tiny ones through teenagers.
Since South Malé Atoll is celebrated for its unrivaled marine life, thrills above and below the water’s surface await. Scuba diving and snorkeling couldn’t feel safer than in the captivating house reef with its abundance of colorful coral. Paddle out to glimpse black-and-white clownfish and graceful sea turtles among the tropical cast of characters. This region is also renowned for letting swimmers get up close to the gentle whale shark, the world’s largest fish.
And fishermen — aficionados and novices — are assured the best catches from these waters. The culinary team is only too happy to cook your just-caught prize for your dinner. All you need to do is challenge your consummate host to bring every request to life, especially since each villa has its own dedicated concierge. No demand is too far-fetched at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi.
ITHAAFUSHI PRIVATE ISLAND ESTATE
Ithaafushi Private Island Estate is a one-of-a-kind Maldivian island playground with VIP levels of privacy, endless space and endless possibilities. Curated with a precision that dramatically exceeds the usual boundaries of luxury, every element of the secluded 32,000-square-meter island, located beside the main resort, is exquisite.
Guests disembark from a private yacht, step onto white powdered sand, and are warmly greeted by a team of dedicated Experience Curators including a world-class chef who looks after their every need from the moment they arrive.
Accommodation includes a two-bedroom over-water villa, three-bedroom beach villa and four-bedroom residence, sleeping 18 adults and five children. A spacious home theater, magnificent lounges, over-water wellness center and five swimming pools make this the finest destination in the Maldives.
With nearly a dozen restaurants, bars and lounges, a number unmatched in the Maldives, the resort serves best-in-class cuisine from across the continents.
It’s only fitting for a legendary property to employ a world-famous chef. Here, Dave Pynt shares his Australian grilling style from the dramatic open kitchen at The Ledge. Taste the smoky magic that’s earned him a Michelin star for his Singapore restaurant, Burnt Ends.
Blending rustic ambience with refined dining, Terra marks the first elevated treetop culinary experience from Waldorf Astoria. It’s also an IG-worthy must-snap. Where else in the world can you dine on Miyazaki wagyu beef and Alba white truffle in a private bamboo pod?
This Middle Eastern gem reimagines an Arabian village. The mezze and Levantine cuisine comes to life through charcoal-grilled seafood and Saj bread fresh from the Maldives’ only traditional wood-fired oven.
Carved from Jordanian limestone, The Rock is a cave-like hideaway where fine New World wines and Old World classics pair with tantalizing cheeses.
Raise a glass at this Champagne bar, positioned in the perfect spot for unforgettable sunsets paired with the finest vintages and caviar.
Sway to live DJs and bands at this beach club, with perfectly pitched cocktails and wood-fired pizzas among the gourmet poolside treats.
Savor hand-pulled noodles and fresh dim sum at Tangled, featuring its own sake sommelier.
This Shanghai-spirited hot spot serves the finest Peking duck in the Maldives. Guests savor the contemporary Chinese cuisine in a private lagoon-lookout dining room.
With a range of cuisines from Asian to European, Tasting Table tempts with a global menu served beachside.
Don’t miss afternoon tea, wine or tapas in the distinguished Peacock Alley, featuring ocean views and live music from the resident saxophonist.
Reserve your villa at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi for an unforgettable island escape.
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