Raffles Meradhoo: a turquoise paradise close to the equator.
Raffles Meradhoo is located in the splendid atoll of Gaafu Alifu, at the extreme south of Maldives. All that can be expected from these coral paradises of the other side of the world is offered by the hotel: intimacy, serenity, naturalness, elegance. As a worthy representative of insular Raffles Singapore, the hotel revisits colonial influences in an all-tropical style, with open verandas, parquet floors and wooden shutters.
The atoll is known for its proximity to the equator and the abundance of sea turtles in its vicinity. Due to its distance from the capital (400 km), seaplane transfers are not allowed. Guests are welcomed by a hotel representative upon their arrival at Malé’s airport, where they subsequently take a domestic flight from Malé to Kaadedhdhoo airport, then transferred by speedboat towards the island.
From the plane, the naturally graphic landscape offers astonishing colours. The beach is a perfect ring of platinum sand, wreathed by turquoise, aquamarine and royal blue-hued waters. Its corals are the ideal multicoloured fish habitat.
A kind of homey feeling on the other side of the world
The villas, 21 of which are located on the island itself, are intimate and hidden behind tree and flower-covered walls. They open on a large patio with a private pool surrounded by daybeds, a sofa and an external dining area. The interior style is simple. The beige and navy blue fabrics, the blue-grey paintings and the warm wooden furniture form a discrete extension of the natural environment’s brilliant tones.
The villas are roomy, furnished with a king-size bed, with huge bathrooms and tiled with travertine.
Separated from the island, 16 villas are arranged in a loop and accessible by boat in a couple of minutes. Their large terraces offer a direct access to the ocean. Incidentally, beds are lifted so that guests can enjoy a wonderful sea view from their pillow.
The spa is stilted. Balinese therapists perform a signature massage starting with the humming of a Tibetan singing bowl and ending with warm coconut oil poured on the “third eye” to alleviate the spirit and promote sleep. Each treatment room has a separated cloakroom and is equipped with a bathtub facing the ocean. All massage tables are placed on a glass floor: during the treatment, guests enjoy an enchanting view on marine life. Another way of reaching serenity through contemplation.
A responsible luxury
Aside from the private pools, the resort features two swimming pools (one on the island and one on the individual villa complex on the water). A resident marine biologist is at the hosts’ disposals to organize reef visits or even, under his supervision, swimming outings with the about twenty sea turtles living on the island. Other activities are accessible for free, like kayaking, paddling and tuba diving. The emphasis here is clearly placed on eco-tourism aimed at raising awareness in its hosts.
Another specificity of Raffles Meradhoo is, despite the smallness of the island, its impressive selection of gastronomical offers.
Thari is ideal for sumptuous relaxing breakfasts or dinners facing the sea.
Beach restaurant Firepit celebrates the art of cooking over flames with an extensive menu of barbecue dishes, while Yuzu delights its hosts with nikkei cuisine (Japanese-Peruvian fusion). Yapa Sunset Bar is an atypical location, stunning its guests with sake tastings or trendy tequila or mezcal-based cocktails.
Lastly, Raffles Meradhoo makes a point in celebrating its mythical Singaporean sibling venue with its Long Bar, an allusion to the Raffles Singapour’s Long Bar, where the famous Singapor Sling cocktail was created. Its list features a large selection of the best champagnes.
Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort
Gaafu Alifu Atoll
MERADHOO ISLAND, 17100, Maldives
(Photo credit: Raffles Meradhoo)