The Paris-born brand brings a touch of nostalgia to the famed Archipelago with the opening of Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa.
Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa has officially opened in the Maldives, marking the Paris-born brand’s debut in one of the world’s most luxurious destinations. Located on Thilamaafushi, the southern pocket of Lhaviyani Atoll, the resort celebrates the Maldives’ people, nature, and art, uncovering the destination’s charm through Le Méridien’s distinctive European lens.
Spanning nine hectares, Thilamaafushi is defined as an “island surrounded by vast lagoon” in Dhivehi, the local parlance of the Maldives. The natural island is an eco-conscious haven abundant with indigenous flora and fauna, enveloped by a shimmering lagoon and coral reefs bursting with vibrant marine life, including pods of Manta Rays and turtles. Guests can easily access the resort by a 35-minute seaplane journey north of Velana International Airport, Malé.
In a nod to its environs, the design takes inspiration from the formation of the Maldives Archipelago, emulating the Atoll’s unique topography, its bordering reefs, coral gardens, marine life, and underwater pinnacles known as “Thilas”.
The resort presents 141 villas tucked amongst the tropical landscape and dotted over the Indian Ocean, featuring unparalleled views across the pristine beaches, the Indian Ocean or turquoise lagoon. A selection of one, two and three-bedroom villas unites the concept of art and industrial design with clean lines, a muted colour palette and a contrast of renewable materials that foster simplicity, openness, and functionality. Guests can also relax and rejuvenate at the Explore Spa by Le Méridien and the two infinity pools at the resort.
Guests can indulge in six restaurants, showcasing global tastes and locally harvested produce. Inspired by Japanese fishing villages and water lanterns, the signature restaurant Tabemasu features a lively teppanyaki counter and a private open-air pavilion where guests will enjoy an expertly prepared Omakase tasting menu. Riviera’s adults-only bar is a beachside playground framed by an oceanfront infinity pool and a private beach where lazy lunches flow into sunset spritzes. Located amongst the banyan trees and swaying palms, Waves Café is a mindful eating space that fosters a healthy and nourishing approach focusing on organic farm-to-table ingredients. Velaa Bar + Grill situated poolside, features crafted cocktails, grilled seafood, meat and wood-fired delicacies to indulge in once the last ray’s fade. The Le Méridien Hub, a social gathering place for the creative-minded traveller, serves custom-brewed, barista-crafted coffee beverages as part of the brand’s collaboration with illy coffee. Rounding out the culinary mix is Turquoise, a beachside marketplace where guests can choose from an array of global tastes and local dishes from breakfast to dinner.
An energetic mix of cultural and lifestyle programming at the hotel is designed to celebrate the art of travel and unlock the heart of the destination. The Marine Hub at the resort offers a range of conservation programmes, including mangrove and seagrass protection and turtle identification and snorkelling with the marine biologist, with the opportunity for guests to name a turtle for themselves. Curious guests can discover an aquatic playground at the resort’s house reef that features four dive sites and a thila (sea mountain), all brimming with green and hawksbills turtles, various stingrays, shoals of colourful fish and many more unique reef dwellers waiting to be discovered. Guests can also embark on farther afield marine expeditions to some of the Atoll’s 50 dive and thila sites for which the atoll is renowned. Waiting to be explored is the resort’s private island Bodu Finolhu, complete with tropical greenery and a 360-degree beach.
Families can take advantage of the Le Méridien Family and Kids’ Hub, with programming that ranges from day and night nature trails, folklore storytelling and sustainable art classes. The Greenhouse also offers immersive family experiences, including micro-green planting and family foraging and cooking classes.
GO: Visit www.lemeridien-maldives.com for reservations and more information.