Globetrotter: A luxe island escape at W Maldives

Hip, lively and youthful are all part of the W brand ethos, but what happens when you take the energetic lifestyle concept out of trendy cities such as London, New York and Dubai, and transplant it to a far-flung island in the Indian Ocean?

W Maldives plays to its strengths as a luxury retreat for the jet-setting crowd. A place where luxurious private island living combines extraordinary culinary adventures with some serious party vibes.

Situated on the heart-shaped Fesdu Island on the North Ari Atoll, W Maldives is easily accessible via a scenic 20-minute seaplane flight from Velana International Airport. Despite the luxurious castaway vibe expected from Maldivian resorts, W Maldives, with its edgy approach, will surprise even the most regular guests to the island nation.

W Maldives

Intimacy is crucial and the small resort boasts an exclusive feel from the moment we set foot on land. After a welcome glass of bubbly, we’re introduced to an island paradise featuring meandering boardwalks leading past crystal clear waters teeming with marine life before disappearing into lush green vegetation. Colourful buggies named after celebrities – including Usain Bolt, Elvis and Lady Gaga – whizz guests to overwater bungalows or circumnavigate the island to the beach villas, dive centre or one of the resorts six eclectic bars and restaurants.

W Maldives

Luxurious Island Living

Whether in search of overwater adventures or looking to keep your feet firmly on dry land, W Maldives offers a range of accommodation options decked out in signature W style. The pretty thatched overwater villas come with private plunge pools, glass sections of flooring and offer the best sunset views on the island. A convergence of cotton candy clouds, fiery orange skies and turquoise waters provide a picture-perfect snapshot that will be forever seared into our Maldivian memories.

W Maldives

During FACT’s three-night stay, our abode is one of the ultra-luxurious Wonderful Beach Oasis Villas. As the name suggests, we are delighted by the urban oasis featuring a red palette of jellyfish and coral patterns complemented by glowing rope lamps designed by Christian Haas. The signature W bed is literally the stuff of dreams, offering a comfortable night’s sleep while offering glimpses of the Indian Ocean. For the tech-savvy, the villa features a 42-inch plasma television, Bose sound system and high-speed complimentary WiFi.

An outdoor bathroom lets us soak in the tropical vibes and features a double vanity, powerful rainforest shower and a deep tub that opens up to the sky for some sunlight or star-filled bathing. The WC is conveniently tucked away inside, away from the island inhabitants, including lizards and fruit bats.

W Maldives

A private deck extends the interiors into the outdoors. It features a comfortable day bed and sun loungers beside a cooling plunge pool replete with jacuzzi jets for additional relaxation. The deck leads down to the beach where ample snorkelling opportunities await, or head up the wooden staircase to the Wonderful Beach Oasis Villa’s upper deck, where you’ll discover a custom-made swing daybed and unobstructed beach and ocean views that add to the luxe-castaway vibes.

W Maldives

Maldivian Dining

The culinary offering at W Maldives is genuinely exceptional, from aromatic Maldivian curries on a deck above the Indian Ocean at FISH to the coconut French toast, smoked fish and island made preserves on display throughout the expansive breakfast spread at KITCHEN.

With six on-site dining destinations, we’re immediately enamoured by the charms of speciality seafood restaurant, FISH. Situated out to sea and accessed via a wooden boardwalk, the alfresco restaurant offers overwater tables with picturesque views of parading sharks. The focus is on local ingredients, including a varied selection of freshly caught fish, alongside intricately prepared sashimi and sushi.

W Maldives

FIRE offers a toes-in-the-sand steakhouse experience with a menu of charcoal-grilled meats and tandoor-cooked fish surrounding an open fire pit. For an authentic Maldivian dinner experience, KADA offers a beachfront pop-up anchored around live-cooking stations, an outdoor bar and a boat-shaped table.

For day-to-night dining, KITCHEN is home to a lavish breakfast spread in a rustic environment. A place where you can dine on Maldivian tuna with coconut rice while keeping your feet in the water at one of the specially designed tables on the terrace. WET is the place for poolside cocktails and gourmet pizzas, while SIP is ideal for sundowners or a romantic date night.

W Maldives

Relaxation & Recreation

With a world of exploration both above and below the water, W Maldives allows you to do as much or as little as you’d like. Explore the pristine white sand beaches, work out at the fully-equipped gymnasium or take a dip in the 3,244 square-meter WET outdoor infinity pool where slender palm trees sway overhead.

W Maldives

De-stress at one of the four overwater treatments villas at the AWAY SPA and indulge in bespoke massages, wraps and facials under dhow-inspired sunshades. Dive beneath the waves and explore one of the best house reefs in the Maldives, teeming with sharks, exotic fish and rays, or stay on top of the water with jet skiing and adrenaline-fuelled watersports.

W Maldives offers guests a world of adventures in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Visit Gaathafushi, the resort’s private island, set sail on a luxury yacht, or partake in traditional cookery courses, snorkelling trips and diving excursions.

W Maldives

W Maldives offers a memorable stay that merges a sense of adventure with an unshakable kinesis, in a multi-faceted resort that successfully bridges luxury relaxation and party vibes. It’s a hip and exclusive tropical paradise that continues to impress 15 years after its debut. 

GO: Visit for reservations and more information.

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David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As editor-in-chief of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publication, David is a self-proclaimed hip-hop aficionado, championing all things food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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