Raffles Maldives Meradhoo
Best Experience: Honeymoon, Water Villas, House Reef Snorkeling, Spa
Updateв Feb, 2020
Raffles Maldives Meradhoo is AccorHotel’s fourth property in the Maldives — and Raffles’ first. Enveloped in the pristine sanctuary of the Gaafu Alifu Atoll, the 38-villa resort is a destination in its own right, masterfully planned to cater to discerning travellers in pursuit of a luxurious and meaningful escape. For couples looking for an unforgettable romantic hideaway, the exceptionally spacious villas and the discreet expertise of the Raffles butler service redefines the resort experience.
A destination known for its stunning surroundings Raffles Maldives Meradhoo boasts 21 island villas and 16 ocean villas with private pools, three restaurants, a scenic cocktail bar and an array of facilities and activities to relax, rejuvenate and reinvigorate the body, mind and spirit. These facilities include an award-winning luxury spa, overwater fitness centre, yoga programmes, water sports, private dining options, 24-hour butler and private chef service, along with snorkelling and diving at its finest. The resort’s PADI-certified dive centre offers adventures through the wonders of some of most breath-taking coral reefs in the world.
Officially opened on September 2019 the new all-villa property has taken over the former Dhevanafushi from Dubai-based hospitality group Jumeirah at the southern end of the Maldives archipelago. It will be accessible by a 55-minute domestic flight from Male International Airport, followed by a 15-minute speedboat ride from Kaadedhdhoo Airport.
Upon arrival to Male and after having picking up the luggage you are immediately greeted by a hotel representative who will help you with registration for domestic flight. Next you'll bel escorted to Raffles' lounge, located in the domestic terminal for relaxing and waiting for boarding your domestic flight. The lounge offers excellent service and facilities including an assortment of light snacks, drinks and complimentary Wi-Fi. After 50 minutes flight at Kaadedhdhoo Airport the Raffles team will greet you at the airport, collected your bags by golf cart, and pick up you to their private boat for short ride (about 15 minutes) to the island. Expect the cold towels, shoulder massage, bowl of delicious fresh coconut flakes and fresh pressed juice on the way. WiFi is available on board to post an instagram selfie.
A warm welcome with a drums, fresh sorbet, a welcome picture and champagne by your butler, GM and resort staff right at the jetty. After the beautiful welcoming ceremony, you'll be check in and then been escorted by your butler around the island by the buggy to the villa and he's insure you are aware of the amenities, spa/excursion specials and comfortable in your villa.
You will get a room tour and are pleased to see that the document you filled-in prior to your stay, in which the resorts asked for your preferences in terms of pillows, scent of toiletries, music, room temperature, mini-bar stocking, etc. was carried out to the last detail. Your butler also will show you how the in-room iPad worked, where to find the life jackets and snorkel gear in the room and how you could contact him for making restaurant and spa reservations. All-in-all check-in is very pleasant, fast and painless.
Set on the southern tip of the Maldives in the remote and pristine Gaafu Alif Atoll, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo’s Beach Island Experience opened in May. A palm tree-peppered private island, it comprises 21 beach villas and residences, a sublime spa, beachside restaurants and a world-class dive centre with an on-site marine biologist.
On Sep 2019 Raffles Hotels & Resorts has opened the overwater villas at Raffles Maldives Meradhoo, completing the resort’s offering. Just moments away by boat, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo’s Overwater Island Experience — a unique experience, offering complete intimacy, unreachable by foot. With its vast overwater villas and residences, sophisticated Nikkei restaurant Yuzu and sunset-facing Yapa pool bar, it will provide unparalleled luxury to those who dream of a life spent on the water. DOWNLOAD RESORT MAP
Together these two private islands offer two distinct experiences, bound together by Raffles’ legendary service. All the facilities of the resort – and the very best of the Maldives – are at guests full disposal. A unique offering, a Marine Butler is available to every guest and will happily lead snorkelling tours of the resort’s two remarkable and endlessly fascinating house reefs.
The resort is a very beautiful mix of modern and colonial with lots of blue and white, which feels very chic but at the same time very warm and cosy as well. The island however is totally a great style and looks way better in real life than it looks in pictures. Environmental protection was a priority, reflected in the use of sustainable materials such as bamboo.
Commissioned for the architecture and interior design renovation of the property, BLINK Design Group envisioned an oasis of laidback luxury. To deliver an exquisite balance between long-standing traditions and a unique design sensibility, designers selected colours associated with Raffles and motifs influenced by the island. A nod to Raffles’ distinct colonial style, striped monsoon blinds and louvered doors and windows, all in a signature grey-blue shade, punctuate public and private spaces.
Inspired by the local environment, design elements throughout the property depict nuanced takes on marine life and sea creatures. As materials on the island are scarce, BLINK sourced and designed a mix of imported and custom-built furniture suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Sea coral lamps mingle with figures of starfish, sea urchins, and turtle shells made from ecologically friendly resin material. Coral patterns and classic stripes alternately appear on linens and upholstery.
In all of the hotel’s airy spaces the style is modern classic and concepts of fengshui and biophilia are introduced. The colours – mainly blue and sand – evoke tones of the ocean, sky and beach. Painted in blue, windows help to frame sublime views. With glass flooring panels, the terraces encourage the observation of marine life beneath one’s feet at every moment. The art curator invited 14 artists to create 78 artworks inspired by the sea theme and Maldives landscape. Non-traditional materials such as bamboo, ceramic, lacquer, fabric and soil were incorporated into the artworks.
The island is small, and apart from the villas, the restaurants and the spa, there are only a couple places that come to mind where you can spend some time. There are just the right number of pools and areas to sneak off as a couple. The pool area is definitely the place where you'll spend most of your time. A stunning infinity pool with beautiful views over the Indian Ocean and only a few meters away from the legendary Raffles Long Bar where you can get the best cocktails and snacks. Another one is the arrival lobby, which is on the main jetty and where you can just chill in the nets over the sea and look at both the island, as well as the beautiful sunset. you will spend more than one evening here looking at one of the most beautiful sunsets you’ve ever witnessed and it is magical! Sometimes you'll feel as though you have the island to yourselves. Breakfast on the beach, Lunch in the Sala or under the Loggia and dinner near the water.
Emphasising the spectacular scenery of the atoll, pathways that connect various public spaces are built overwater. In the footpath towards Raffles Spa, lounge areas are appointed with handcrafted dark rattan outdoor seating and birch wood accent tables; a coral motif enlivens sand-coloured upholstery. Inside, the eye is immediately drawn upward to the intricately fashioned white bamboo ceiling, which anchors the space and serves as a dramatic decorative element. The beaches on both sunrise and sunset side are really beautiful.
Raffles focuses on sustainability, trying to avoid plastic and producing own bottled island water. All bath amenities are provided in refillable ceramic bowls.
What really stand out is the marvellous service. This hotel gives luxury a new meaning. It is not just the outstanding rooms and facilities, but the service that is given by every member of the staff. The GM Olivier Lacher and the staff try to go the extra mile in service. They are always ready with a smile and will take the next step to make your holiday memorable. Staff members remember your names and food and drink preferences. Nothing is too much trouble, and they delight in making your stay however short, as pleasurable as possible.
Huvadhoo Atoll is the second largest Atoll in Maldives located on the chief sea path nearby southern India. Thousands of tourists choose this tropical destination with another aim – to relax in top-class resorts, sun-bath on palm-fringed beaches and dive in pristine ocean waters. This enchanting archipelago is your paradise, embracing the beauty of nature and serenity of a borderless horizon; and the perfect destination for underwater adventures. Read More
To reach this unparalleled 5-star property near the equator take a 55-minute domestic fligh from Male International Airport to the southern end of the Maldives archipelago followed by a 15-minute speedboat ride from Kaadedhdhoo Airport to Raffles Maldives Meradhoo. Once there, the feeling is clear: This is paradise.
Villas and Residences
The generous space is matched by unparalleled views from each of Raffles Maldives Meradhoo’s 38 villas. Accommodation comes in the form of Beach Villas, Beach Residences, Over-water Villas and Overwater Residence, and the Raffles Royal Residence.
Wherever guests spend the night, they will reside in some of the largest villas in the Maldives – each featuring a large marble bathtub, private pool and outdoor shower. Surrounded by lush foliage, the beach villas offer a sunrise or sunset view whilst the overwater villas overlook the dazzlingly turquoise water. Four types of villas, the Beach Villa, Overwater Villa, Sunset Overwater Villa, and Deluxe Beach Villa range in size from 220 square metres to 260 square metres, while the Beach Residence, Overwater Residence, and Sunset Overwater Residence range from 260 to 300 square metres.
Raffles Maldives Meradhoo’s standalone villas and residences possess generous living spaces and private pools. The guest experience is designed to be discreet and lavish, with a prudent composition of raw and polished furnishings in teak and dark oak complemented by rattan and straw accents. Shades of navy, sand, and grey-blue define the colour palette in varying applications.
Soaring seven-metre ceilings with exposed beams painted in grey-blue allow natural light to flood into the rooms, easily adjusted with fully retractable blinds that lend the feel of a colonial home. The design blurs boundaries between the indoors and outdoors with views of the Indian Ocean framed by louvered windows in the same grey-blue shade. Super-king-size four-poster beds are crowned with white canopies and elevated atop solid dark wood platforms. Opulent bathrooms are finished with marble, replete with a walk-in outdoor shower and double vanities. The sumptuous bathing experience continues into a separate sunken tub, backed by an accent wall of white, grey, and black marble, and surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
Outside the villas and residences, blue rattan chairs and veranda tables mirror the vivid waters in full view. An achievement of the resort's team thoughtful landscaping, Maldivian nature features prominently in all private and public areas.
On both islands, the luxurious two-bedroom residences provide an exclusive retreat for families and friends, whilst the Raffles Royal Residence offers the perfect setting for a very special celebration. These rooms feature a private pool, generous living spaces and a lavish marble bathroom with a sunken bathtub and outdoor shower. Set on the main island, this three-bedroom hideaway (1,400 square metres) is the ultimate Indian Ocean luxury that features 40-metre-long swimming pool that leads into multiple living and dining areas, and a retractable roof on its upper level so guests can enjoy the beautiful night sky under the stars.
The villas are amazing, and the beach villas offer such privacy, that you really do feel you are on your own private island, and can be as relaxed as you could wish. The private pool is a pool you can swim in, not just a plunge pool, and in the early evening you can sit in total peace, and watch the sun set. All villas come with a high level of privacy, especially the ones on the sunrise side are almost completely hidden behind the lush vegetation. If you are more into view of the ocean, sunset side is the better option. The deluxe beach villas feature a separate living-room and a bigger outside area.
The beach villa is the lowest category at the resort, but still measures 220 square meters and has a private pool! The outdoor area is a lovely place to relax and offers a great amount of privacy. The privacy however, comes at a cost… The reason you get that much privacy is because you are completely surrounded by trees and plants, which unfortunately also hides the beautiful view to the ocean, as well as block out quite a lot of sunlight if you stay on the island's north side.
The living room and bedroom is beautifully decorated and very spacious. The bed is very big and comfortable, as you can expect from Raffles and because the whole space is surrounded by windows, you get the feeling of being outside the whole time, without the heat and humidity. The bathroom is absolutely huge. It features a big indoor shower, an even bigger outdoor shower, his & hers vanity and a walk-in closet that’s big enough for fashionistas who want to stay for a month or longer. The best part about the bathroom is definitely the bathtub, which you can also mistake for an indoor private swimming pool. The only cons about a bathtub this big is that you have to plan taking a bath, as it needs a while to fill up. Towels are big and fluffy. You can choose on the preference planner your lovely bath amenities. They are sensational in terms of scent and also quality.
Suited for relaxation with generous outdoor spaces including a private garden and pool, a wide verandah opening directly onto the beach and a choice of daybeds both inside and outside, the Beach Villas are footsteps away from the white sands. Most of the Beach Villas face east or west but the best beaches you will find on the sunrise side and around the south part of the sunset side. The interior colour palette takes inspiration from the marine environment and soothes the senses so you can relax completely and absorb the extraordinary atmosphere of this special place.
All the Beach Villas features: private pool, private terrace, living room area, personal bar, nespresso coffee machine and tea set, walk-in closet, yoga mat, beach bag. Bathroom: his and hers vanity, Separate walk-in shower with rain shower head, deep soaking bathtub, bathrobes. As for technology expect: complimentary high speed Internet connection (wireless), 55-inch HD LED television and high quality surround sound audio system. All rooms come with Raffles Butler service, Children's Butler service, Marine Butler service, Packing and unpacking service, Digital international newspaper, 24-hour In-villa dining, access to Wellness Centre.
Just moments away by boat, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo’s Overwater Island Experience completes the resort. With its vast overwater villas and residences, sophisticated Nikkei restaurant Yuzu and sunset-facing Yapa pool bar, it will provide unparalleled luxury to those who dream of a life spent on the water with a unique experience, offering complete intimacy, unreachable by foot.
These secluded collection Villas and Residences adjacent to one of the vibrant house reefs and all terraces offers extraordinary views of the marine life below through the glass flooring panels.
With cool marble bathrooms and luxurious furnishings, each villa is a haven of calm and space. Alongside the villas sit the stunning Overwater Residence and Sunset Overwater Residence
Restaurants and Bars
The most important part... the food! You'll very impress with the high quality of the food and the variety and every dish is unbelievable and better than the one prior. From the finest, freshest ceviche to private chef experiences, the restaurants and bars of Raffles Maldives Meradhoo blend local and international cuisine to create memorable dining experiences. For casual meals or themed affairs, guests can head to one of Raffles Maldives Meradhoo’s food and beverage outlets: Thari, an all-day restaurant; The Firepit, for barbecues on the beach; and Yuzu, a restaurant specialising in nikkei cuisine.
The resort's main Thari restaurant is revamped with nicely designed furniture and décor. The wooden tables are loosely scattered around the beach, providing now a more intimate ambiance. Also the sitting options on the deck of the restaurant are pretty appealing. At Thari, the indoor area maintains a refined look with solid dark wood seating; outside, rattan chairs and whitewashed teak wood tables evoke a laidback ambience. Starting with healthy smoothies and freshly baked pastries, breakfast is a highlight at the all-day international restaurant. All dishes are excellent and of a superior quality including superb croissants, tasty homemade jam and pretty good eggs benedict. Throughout the day, the chefs present a tempting assortment of fresh dishes. From fried rice and fruits to vibrant salads and lighter meals, guests can enjoy the open, relaxed atmosphere of dining on the beachfront.
The thing that really impress is the vegan and vegetarian options that are available. Every single member of staff is aware of your dietary requirements and personal preferences and was also aware of every single ingredient in all the dishes and drinks. We can only hope more hotels take dietary requirements as serious as Raffles Meradhoo.
The rustic and romantic the Firepit is barbecue restaurant to enjoy a unique beachside experience at Raffles Maldives Meradhoo. As the flames of the firepit flicker, watch the chefs use one of the oldest forms of cooking to create stunning, full of flavour dishes. With chilled cocktails and an exceptional wine list, this is the place to soak up the beauty of the setting sun or the clear, star-filled night skies in a relaxed, natural environment. Relaxed feet-in-the-sand gourmet dining is encouraged here, too. Try their hearty seafood and meat specialties such as spicy lobster with green papaya and tender beef tenderloin are flame-grilled over the charcoal fire. The tables and chairs carved from the sand are set directly on the shore for uninterrupted views of the starlit skyline. The very memorable meal and staff is amiable and provides best service.
Yuzu has a more casual atmosphere, where layered interiors – a seamless classical-tropical fusion of patterned flooring, whitewashed wood, and spirited tones of coral, red, and yellow – echo the eatery’s vibrant Japanese-Peruvian fare. Peruvian - Nikkei cuisine is a rich melting pot of influences, blending indigenous traditions with those introduced by immigrants, including Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Japanese. Ceviche is inspired by this vibrant, diverse tradition, with a menu that bursts with flavour and colour.
The two Peruvian chefs are in charge of the overwater signature outlet Yuzu - Nikkei Cuisine where you can enjoy a wonderful fusion menu. They also order some ingredients directly from their origin country to get the authentic taste.
Adjacent to Yuzu, Yapa is a charming terrace overlooking the lagoon where guests can sample authentic Japanese sake or cocktails with pisco, mezcal, or tequila. The overwater island makes the most of its seascape setting and not to be forgotten is the island interpretation of the emblematic Long Bar, warmly lit by sconces affixed to every column. In this intimate and breezy watering hole, striped monsoon blinds, vertical timber panels, seashell terrazzo countertops, and a bamboo-accented ceiling come together to express the barefoot luxury of its location as well as the timeless elegance of a Raffles icon – much like the rest of Raffles Maldives Meradhoo.
Paying homage to its namesake at Raffles Singapore, guests can enjoy the signature Maldives Sling at the Long Bar which features a special concoction of gin, grapefruit, coconut, cinnamon and clove that mirrors the Maldivian evening sunset. The lounge & shisha corner on the rear is removed, also the hammocks at the close-by palm trees and the wooden pool cabanas so less things around which gives the benefit of a more unobstructed view over the ocean.
Bespoke dining experiences include a sunrise breakfast on a private sandbank or an exclusive Champagne and sashimi by the cruise deck with the company of playful dolphins.
DIVING & SNORKELING
Gaafu Alifu atoll is one of the world’s largest and deepest atolls and the clear, blissfully warm waters immediately surrounding the Raffles resort teem with a kaleidoscope of colourful fish. Guests are encouraged to keep an eye out for Apollo, one of the 20 resident hawksbill and green turtles that regularly swim by to say hello.
Thanks to the hotel’s resident marine biologist and team of marine butlers, guests can learn more about the underwater world. With the resort’s Padi-certified dive centre, guests are assured of being ready to explore the pristine waters.
All butlers have been trained by marine biologist Dr. Sonia. Upon request they accompany you on snorkelling sessions, showing the interesting spots and explaining the things around. They also know the best spots of where you’ll have a bigger chance to find turtles, sharks and rays, and they also give you tips and tricks which came in super handy for novice snorkelers. If you are travelling with kids they are pleased to take care of them, arranging experiences and so on. The house reef is fishy and expansive with different snorkelling areas, entry point is on sunrise side. The most interesting route is probably the one from the main island to the water villas island.
Activities & Pampering
On the beach island, the overwater Raffles Spa combines Eastern practices with age-old local influences and offers highly personalised facials by Biologique Recherche; rejuvenating body treatments from Aromatherapy Associates; and signature manicure and pedicure services by Margaret Dabbs London. Recommend to enjoy a realaxing aromatherapy treatment from the talented Bhutanese masseuse.
The spa is located overwater with 4 separate rooms. Each treatment room has a separate changing room with a beautiful bathtub overlooking the ocean. The music, the scent, the softness of the bathrobes and slippers, the massage itself, … everything is just perfect. There’s even a glass window in the floor right under your head where you’ll see many rays and other fish swimming by during your treatment.
An expansive gym caters to all fitness levels; In this dream environment yoga sessions are held on an ocean-facing deck; a jogging route winds its way along gardens abloom with hibiscus and bougainvillea; visiting practitioners will lead practice sessions in tai chi, mindfulness and more. Guests also have access to a vast array of water sports. Both through its concept and aesthetic, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo honours the beauty of nature.
With a lovely atmosphere Raffles Meradhoo Maldives is a small but beautiful secluded resort with outstanding service. A bit into elegant, of course, still with a relaxed vibe and also into barefoot-style. It’s great value for money for Maldivian standards and we would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a relaxing stay with great privacy and who enjoys snorkeling and spa treatments. The food is quite good but nothing spectacular. We think there are better resorts in the Maldives if you are traveling with smaller kids, but for couples or families with older kids you have a hard time coming up with a better place to spend your holiday.
Pros: Why Stay Here
- a beautiful island, surrounded by crystal clear waters with an abundance of marine life in the reefs just off the beach
- The staff is amazing - from meeting at the Velana Int airport (Male) to check-out.
- The ultimate in luxury
- Fabulous butler service
- Marine Butler
- The overwater villas are some of the biggest water villas in the Maldives
- The Water Villas, beautifully appointed, with easy access down steps straight into the blue water, great for snorkelers and swimmers. Comfortable bed
- The rooms are brand new , spacious , with everything you need. Beach Villas with the gardens & pool and private beach area
- The food is varied and delicious by reasonably (really cheap) priced
- the spa is wonderful
- The house reef is a full of marine life and easily accessible.
- Gym is excellently appointed and it has a beautiful view over the ocean.
Things to Know before You Go
- Raffles Maldives Meradhoo is great value for money if you’re into true luxury
- food is very cheap here for Maldivian standards, and other activities such as spa treatments and excursions won’t exactly break the bank either.
- Check-in 14:00 – 23:30; check-out 05:00 – 12:00;
- Children of all ages are welcome but there are not kids club and family facilities on the island
- Raffles Meradhoo actually consists of 2 parts: the main island with the beach villas and then the overwater island with the overwater villas.
- The overwater villas are some of the biggest water villas in the Maldives
- All villas come with a 24/7 butler service. The service is impeccable and the staff go out of their way to cater to your every need
- the resort is super luxurious, but relaxed, and you can walk barefoot along the sand to breakfast, and no one minds
- There is an on site marine biologist, who leads snorkeling trips, and also is a fund of knowledge about the whole marine situation in the Maldives, great to chat to, and very patient with the less confident.
- Highly recommend Deep Sea fishing
- The food is outstanding, and do not miss the Firepit experience, an unexpected treat.
- Spa treatments are a must
- Due to lack of light pollution, the stars are amazing, infact, there is nothing that is not outstanding at this resort.
- Best spots for house reef snorkeling: north and east the island's sides. The drop-off is not far from the beach
- the Peruvian Japanese fusion restaurant is a must
- And because of Raffles location, if you sit one the beach at night, you can literally watch the milky way moving across the night sky - it is breathtaking.
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