Christian Stan, at 27 Sep. 19, in Hotels, News, Ocean View Hotels, Where to go next

The Maldivian oasis of Gaafu Alifu Atoll welcomes Accor’s fourth property in the Maldives, and the first under the Raffles brand, in the form of a 21-villa beach island experience known as Raffles Maldives Meradhoo.

Raffles Maldives Meradhoo soft-opened in May, unveiling 16 overwater bungalows. The official opening of the Overwater Island Experience, completing the resort, took place on September 22.

In an island nation where luxury resorts compete to dazzle with their over-the-top offerings, Raffles is checking all the boxes. For one thing, these are some of the most spacious villas in the country, equipped with marble baths, private pools and outdoor showers. Then there’s the dive center with an on-site marine biologist. Raffles is known for its personal butler service, and the Maldives is taking it up a notch with a so-called “Marine Butler” who can arrange snorkeling tours and the like.

There’s a variety of F&B outlets, and the overwater Raffles Spa features top beauty brands; think facials by Biologique Recherche, body treatments from Aromatherapy Associate; and manicures by Margaret Dabbs London. Yoga sessions overlook the ocean, while a jogging path threads through tropical gardens. Fitness-minded guests will also find a gym and classes (like Tai Chi) led by visiting professionals.

Since acquiring the Raffles Hotels & Resorts brand in 2016, Accor has looked to expand the portfolio. The Raffles collection now includes 14 hotels across 12 countries, with properties in the pipeline in Jaipur, Udaipur, Bali and Singapore.

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