Meaning ‘beautiful island’ in the local Maldivian tongue, One&Only’s flagship has aged like a fine wine since its original opening 15 years ago. A contemporary escape resplendent with no less than a dozen beaches, six restaurants and a one-of-a-kind certified dive centre, its all-singing-all-dancing nature has earned it grande dame status in the Maldives. Here exists an inimitable class of castaway comfort rooted in exceptional standards of elegance.
Large enough to operate in its own time zone and referred to as King’s Island by locals in the know, this octopus-shaped expansive resort manages to maintain a remarkable air of intimacy. Best traversed by golf cart or bicycle, winding jungle paths lead to hidden nooks, immaculately manicured gardens and regal beach clubs where fashion-forward guests lounge in private cabanas sipping sundowners and enjoying uninterrupted views across the ocean.
…a deeply glamorous take on escapism. With an ethos that’s rooted in refinement, island life here is accompanied by the highest standards of service, a present day twist on traditional spa and polished dining at über swish restaurants. The result of this combination is an intuitive castaway experience with unexpected indulgences; where champagne-soaked lunches are swiftly followed by barefoot strolls on powdery beaches with the warmth of the ocean licking your ankles.
As an all-villa resort, you can't go wrong choosing any of them. Thatched roof cottages are characterised by honey-hued rafters and modish furnishings that marry island tradition with timeless style. The chic beach villas sit discreetly peppered along the shoreline, each with rooms that spill out onto their own private stretches of sand. For direct ocean access, a cluster of airy water villas perched daintily in the lagoon blur the line between land and sea.
The wealth of kid-approved playful pastimes skilfully use Reethi Rah’s location to their advantage. Pirate cruises and scavenger hunts charm children with the exoticism of island life, while the PADI-certified dive centre teaches them how to explore life beneath the surface of the Indian Ocean. Delightfully warm waters play host to vibrant fish, sting rays and pink corals that are protected by the island’s coral propagation project.
The expanse of the island encourages those who escape here to follow their instincts and seek out everything this playground has to offer: adrenaline-filled days on jet skis, meditation sessions and a stellar spa. Then there’s having a go on the climbing wall, painting in the artist’s studio, and browsing pieces from the most established names in resort couture and fashion at the boutique – not enough time to fit it all in? You’ll just have to come back.
Take the purposeful opportunity to leave your mark on the Maldives and contribute to local sustainability efforts; join marine biologists on a private diving trip exploring the region’s vast ecology before planting coral in local reefs. Tagged with your name, receive progress updates on your addition to the diverse waters long after your return home.
The Maldives has a hot, tropical climate with sunshine all year round. The most popular months to visit are between November and April during the north-east monsoon when it is dry with very little wind. Whilst there may be rain during some of the summer months, with ever-changing weather patterns and excellent offers, this is becoming an increasingly popular time to travel.
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