Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Why we love it: A three-island sanctuary oozing luxury and exclusivity that’s surrounded by immaculate beaches. The Highlights: - Spread across three islands, the resort is home to Ithaafushi Private Island, accessible only via yacht - Terra, a dining destination set in bamboo pods hanging from trees, is just one of 11 restaurants and bars - A water park, variety of water sports, and PADI dive center The Review: Perched on three inter-connected islands a 30-minute boat ride away from Malé International Airport, this newly opened (July 2019) high-end resort marks a new pinnacle for Waldorf Astoria and Maldives luxury. 122 villas (all with private infinity pools) are spread across the three islands, with three of them set on the exclusive Ithaafushi Private Island. The private island includes a dedicated chef and personal concierge team, its own overwater spa and gym, five swimming pools, an entertainment center, and pristine beaches. Not to worry if you’re on the other two islands: there’s plenty of luxury and plenty to keep you busy—or not—the beach and multiple pools are calling. Set aside time for the lavish spa, comprised of ten overwater or garden treatment villas while your kids spend time at the Waldorf Astoria Young Discovery Water Park. The whole family will enjoy the Ocean Pavilion, which hosts a range of activities like yoga and paddle-boarding; has a fully-equipped fitness center; and is home to a combined water sport and PADI dive center. The resort features 11 distinct dining destinations, each more interesting and extravagant than the last. From Terra and its bamboo pods to a grilling spot from Dave Pynt, the Michelin-starred chef behind Singapore’s Burnt Ends. There’s also a wine cellar carved into rocks, Middle Eastern spot Yasmeen, and Glow, which offers interactive garden-to-table dining using the bounty of the on-island garden.

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