Luxury reaches new levels in the Maldives at One&Only Reethi Rah
Privacy, luxury and space are the hallmarks of One&Only Reethi Rah, an exclusive all-villa retreat on one of the region’s largest resort islands. Reethi Rah, which means “beautiful island” in Dhivehi, the national language, is home to 130 of the most luxurious and spacious villas in the Indian Ocean, ranging from splendid beach villas with large verandas and direct ocean access to grand water villas featuring magnificent sunbathing platforms, ocean hammocks and extensive leisure areas. Many of the beach villas have their own pools, set amidst 109 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds.
Great attention has been given to preserving the privacy of guests with beach villas being spaced at least 65 feet apart, while over-water villas are set in small clusters of four, on walkways which stretch far out into the lagoon, to enhance the feeling of solitude. Just 75 minutes by luxury yacht from Male’ international airport, One&Only Reethi Rah, located in the North Male’ Atoll, has set new standards in five-star comfort with its space, design, 12 soft white sand beaches and personalised 24-hour villa host service.
Each villa has an elegant and airy ambience with high cathedral ceilings, highlighted by bamboo arches. The stylish décor is heavily influenced by Asian style and furnished with tropical materials and natural textures – teak, rattan, sea grass, mahogany, coconut shell and silk. The spacious bathrooms have huge terrazzo baths, each of which took seven days to form and polish, as well as power and rain forest showers, while all have external showers too. The villas are also provided with flat-screened 30-inch LCD interactive televisions and CD/DVD players, high-speed broadband access, customised private bars, espresso machines and Sealy posturepedic mattresses. To add to the sumptuousness of 300 thread-count fine Egyptian cotton bedding, a comprehensive pillow menu is on offer, plus a choice of plush terry or fine linen bathrobes.
The 54 beach villas, enjoying some 1,400 square-feet of space, occupy their own stretch of sand and are so positioned as to allow guests unobstructed views of the ocean. Each has a large veranda for outdoor dining and relaxing as well as external showers. A further 25 villas come complete with their own private swimming pool, while the 30 water villas have split level verandas with large netted ocean hammocks suspended from the deck for over-sea lazing and sunbathing.
The six duplex villas, ideal for families, are made up of two individual beach villas just five metres apart, which are linked by a walkway hidden in lush tropical vegetation. Three of these villas also come with their own private pool.
Larger accommodation is provided in two grand water villas and seven grand beach villas. The former face westwards for the full enjoyment of the magnificent Maldivian sunsets, each with its own private pool overlooking the ocean, large decks, sun-loungers, ocean hammocks and a separate sitting and dining room inside. The grand beach villas provide the ultimate hideaway with their own section of coast and private beach, individual pools, canopied day beds, separate dining areas and sitting rooms.
Award-winning architect Jean-Michel Gathy of Malaysia-based Denniston International Architects and Planners says: “I wanted to keep the rooms simple – the shape of a simple rectangle with an incredible feeling, an extravagant, almost flamboyant, feeling of space, height and luxury. We wanted a more urban and less rustic feel to them while still maintaining their island situation.” He points out that the simple use of strong, vivid colours in the fabrics, mixed with local Asian woods such as teak and coconut, help achieve this goal.
His enthusiasm and excitement about the resort is tangible: “The island is spectacular as is the privacy it allows – the space between the villas is at least 65 feet, which is exceptional. It is pure luxury – and that is all down to the vision of Sol Kerzner, who took that decision.”