The first hotel for the group in the Maldives is the result of a management takeover of a former Jumeirah property in the southern atoll of Gaafu Alifu.
Raffles Maldives Meradhoo is now offering 21 beach villas featuring private pools, generous living spaces and a marble bathroom with sunken bathtub and outdoor shower.
The Raffles Royal Residence and a collection of overwater villas adjacent to one of the house reefs and reached by a traditional Maldivian Dhoni boat will follow later this year, with the brand saying work should be complete on them “during the last quarter of 2019”.
The resort benefits from two reefs and guests can learn more about underwater life from the resident marine biologist and team of "marine butlers” who can personalise guest experiences.
“Boasting 1,200 islands, Maldives is home to the best beaches in the world and now, with the opening of Raffles Maldives Meradhoo, is also home to the best of luxury hospitality,” said Patrick Basset, Accor’s regional chief operating officer. “We look forward to offering guests the most natural beauty set within an incredible resort that offers the finest luxury hotel experience and unrivalled service in the destination.”
Restaurant options include Thari for all-day dining; Yuzu, for Peruvian and Japanese fusion cuisine; and The Firepit, for flame-grilled speciality dishes. The resort also has the overwater Yapa Sunset Bar and Long Bar.
An overwater Raffles Spa is also available, featuring treatments from Biologique Recherche, Aromatherapy Associates or Margaret Dabbs London.
The resort sits at the southern end of the Maldives archipelago on the Gaafu Alifu Atoll near the equator. Guests arrive by a 55-minute domestic flight from Male to local airport Kaadedhdhoo followed by a 15-minute speedboat to the resort.
This is Accor’s fourth property in the Maldives. It joins a Raffles portfolio that already includes destinations such as Paris, Istanbul, Warsaw, Jakarta and the Seychelles. Raffles Singapore is due to reopen following an extensive renovation at the end of the summer.