With its white powdery beaches, unreal turquoise lagoons and lavish one-island resorts, the Maldives’ enduring appeal certainly is timeless. But that doesn’t mean things stay the same around these parts. New hotels pop up here and there, adding even more choice for luxury holidaymakers to this tropical paradise. And when they do, the Indian Ocean specialists at Kenwood Travel are first in line to get a glimpse. Check out our castaway collection of new hotels in the Maldives for 2019 and 2020.
Here’s one for divers and diners with an eye for contemporary style. Great food and a superb house reef are accompanied by interiors and architecture that remain at once rustic and cutting edge – think open air verandas that showcase the beachy views. The dining offer is generous and varied, with a seven-venue dine-around service and fully all-inclusive minibars which are restocked each day. The all-day breakfast menus really suited our schedule, and we loved diving and snorkelling in the surrounding lagoon; Heritance Aarah resort lies within the Raa Atol – famously one of the Maldives’ best for marine life. Discovering new hotels in the Maldives can be as delicious as it is adventurous, it seems.
The name alone conjures peerless status in the world of hotels. Factor in an otherworldly setting alongside regal hospitality, and you have a resort ranked among the top five most luxurious in the Maldives. It’s a commendation you’ll experience first-hand before even stepping foot on Waldorf Astoria Maldives’ sugar-white beach, thanks to your a-list arrival via luxury yacht (30mins from Velana International Airport). The set-up is all-villa, and each villa is capacious to the say the least. Private pools and unique features like overwater hammocks grace each accommodation, so taking time to relax in your own space is a must.
But if you can tear yourself away from your personal paradise, don’t miss The Ledge by Dave Pynt: a poolside restaurant where the Michelin-starred chef brings his modern Australian BBQ flavours to the Maldives. For other unique gastronomic concepts at Waldorf Astoria Maldives, try The Rock for wine-region pairings around a 200-year-old Jarrah wood table set in a Jordanian limestone dining room. Overdone it? Glow Restaurant’s garden-to-table food and detoxifying drinks will see you right.
The first thing you notice about this seductive and memorable resort is its long, arching jetty of over-water pool villas leading to the verdant island. We upgraded to one of these villas for uninterrupted views day and night, and the chance to sleep under the stars! It was at the far end of the jetty, but bike-hire meant it was easy to get around and explore the spa, kids club, gym & sports centre, water-sports centre and diving centre (Emerald’s house reef makes this a must). It seems new hotels in the Maldives are responding to the culinary tourism trend with gusto, and Emerald Resort & Spa is no different. This beacon for foodies on holiday to the Maldives has a wonderful choice of onsite dining including the only South American restaurant in the country.
The most recently opened property in our list of new hotels in the Maldives is VARU by Atmosphere, which launched as recently as 17th October 2019. So, as the paint dried we familiarised ourselves with what is set to be a long term addition to the resort bucket list of Maldives holiday aficionados around the world. Conceptually, we knew to expect an immersive experience, if the Dhivehi language translation of ‘varu’ – life in abundance – was anything to go by. And so it transpired. There’s so much to see and do, such as snorkelling, excursions, non-motor watersports, gym, tennis, kids club and more, all included. Better yet, it’s a breezy 40-minute speedboat hop from Male Airport, so you’ll be savouring Varu’s five-star hospitality and refreshment at six restaurants & lounges sooner than you think.
Accommodation-wise, 69 of VARU by Atmosphere’s 108 villas are over water, so there’s a good chance you’ll get to experience this most indulgent of room types. And guests can elevate their stay even further by booking The VARU Plan – a unique all-inclusive basis that includes a 45min spa treatment every fourth night, and an additional a la carte meal every third night.