The epitome of beach luxury, One & Only Reethi Rah rules the jewelled waters of the Maldives on a private island so far removed from reality that it commands its own time zone – locals set their watches an hour ahead of mainland Male to optimise daytime hours.
Reaching the resort requires a transfer by private yacht. On arrival you’ll be beckoned by meandering pathways lined with perfumed orchids and luscious foliage, leading to 6km of pristine beaches and a 30m infinity pool that stretches like glass into the sparkling lagoon. If the Garden of Eden had a beach, this would be it.
Each of the 130 villas provides an intimate pocket of luxury, with high ceilings, two-person bathtubs and expansive verandas. Beachfront rooms open out onto sandy havens equipped with giant four-poster day beds and hammocks swaying in the sea breeze, while ocean villas boast undisturbed sunsets and hammocks suspended above the water.
What’s for breakfast?
A wake-up call that’s worth it, breakfast is served a la carte in the Reethi restaurant, offering an array of continental classics alongside energy-boosting fruit smoothies and, of course, a good old fry up.
How about lunch and dinner?
Grab a bite on one of the muslin-draped daybeds, egg-shaped rattan swinging chairs or huge beanbags at The Beach Club. With an all-day resident DJ dishing out laid-back, easy listening, feast on a menu of fresh seafood, sushi and beachside snacks.
For dinner, head to the twinkling lanterns of Tapasake, a Japanese restaurant where we recommend opting for “omakase” which means “I will leave it up to you” – and by you, we mean Nobu-trained chefs. Wash it down with sake which was created exclusively for the resort.
If you’re after something healthy, hit up Botanica, a 100% organic farm-to-fork restaurant beneath the canopy of a banyan tree, while a brilliantly British complimentary afternoon tea is served daily at The Lawn Club.
Is there a bar?
Of course. Kick off your wedges and go barefoot to the Fanditha, which means “magic” in Dhivehi. Tucked away on the northern tip of the island, this Arabian hideaway is the place to indulge in post-dinner shisha and tropical tipples.
A state-of-the-art fitness centre with beachside boxing bags and personal trainers will help keep motivation levels high. But we preferred to cure our jet lag at the nature-inspired spa, complete with crystal steam rooms and a healing watsu pool.
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