The Unforgettable Escape
Fashioning Inspirational Environments Through Authentic Design, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Offers Luxury Leisure Seekers an Unforgettable Escape
Hilton’s luxury brand, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, welcomes guests to a world of visionary design at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi. Having opened on 1 July 2019, the all-pool-villa resort is designed for elite travelers with a discerning eye, with all 122 villas, dining venues and spa and wellness sanctuary boasting exquisite architecture and design that blends perfectly into the landscape.
Spanning three interlinking islands in the South Male Atoll, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is a tranquil retreat surrounded by crystal-clear azure ocean. Designed to meet local environmental requirements and needs, every aspect of the resort has been guided by the natural setting and local architectural style, with a luxury edge. Upon arrival, guests are greeted by a breath-taking view of villas nestled within the sparkling Maldivian landscape, inspired by the islands’ beauty, natural resources and local culture.
The resort was built with the preservation of the natural beauty and ecosystem of the area in mind. Where possible construction made use of durable and recyclable materials and native or naturalized plant species in landscaping. Special care was also taken to limit energy and water consumption.
The resort’s villas, ranging from one- to two- and three-bedroom layouts, are contemporary in style and clad in solid wood. The rich exterior is contrasted by the modern open plan interior, with a lofty seven-meter-high ceiling elevating the space. All rooms boast spectacular views, with each space facing an enticing lagoon, ocean or beach view, where sun, sea and sand awaits. Every villa also boasts a large (minimum 10 meters in length) infinity pool, a hanging gazebo and a sunbed, as well as a covered terrace with contemporary Maldivian outdoor furniture.
“Over the years, Waldorf Astoria has continued to define the hospitality experience for the modern-day traveler through sophisticated and timeless style,” said Etienne Dalancon, general manager, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi. “No effort was spared in designing, crafting, engineering and building Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, right down to the final finishing touches. We are delighted that we are able to bring guests to a truly inspiring destination, where serene, generous spaces were made for the perfect escape from the busy world.”
The sensorial design experience is also evident in the dining venues. Stickman Tribe, an internationally recognized boutique interior design studio, led the creative vision for four of the 11 dining venues: Terra, Glow, The Rock and Li Long.
Inspired by the Latin name for Earth or Land, Terra invites guests to ascend into the treetops along a feature staircase, where they’ll enjoy a unique dining experience in bamboo pods amongst a vast canopy of foliage. Strategically layered to optimize the vista, guests can expect sublime views of the Indian Ocean.
A greenhouse-like structure shaded by greenery, with modern, contemporary lines creating an airy dining experience, Glow is a welcoming space offering plenty of sunlight during the day and a glittering view of the night sky in the evening. The eatery serves up delectable dishes with a focus on wellbeing, which are created from the resort’s own on-island nurseries and on-site herb garden — so diners are guaranteed the freshest flavors and ingredients.
Set in an atmospheric cave, The Rock is a sumptuous wine cellar and dining experience that caters exclusively to 12 people each night. Guests begin their evening in a sunken seated area where pre-dinner drinks are served, before proceeding into the carved-out space for dinner, where the venue’s piece de resistance awaits — a remarkablefour-meter-long table crafted from a 3,000-year-old reclaimed Jarrah tree from Western Australia, which was retrofitted and shipped to the Maldives specifically for The Rock.
Li Long serves contemporary Chinese fine dining in a setting that combines traditional elements with a modern twist to create the perfect blend of old and new. An 800-kilogram Ming Dynasty inspired chinoiserie bell draws the eye upwards when first entering the space. The kitchen has been designed to be fully visible, allowing guests to witness the cooking process as they dine on authentic regional delicacies such as Peking duck, prepared in the first wood-fired oven in the Maldives and carved tableside by a Chinese master chef.
“When considering the dining design briefs for these venues — a treehouse dining concept, a cave wine cellar restaurant, an organic farmhouse and authentic Chinese restaurant — the architectural envelope and interior must go hand-in-hand to ensure that the end result is as iconic as the vision,” said Marcos Cain, CEO of Stickman Tribe. In addition to the restaurants designed by Stickman Tribe, meticulous design is integral to other key venues at the resort, including:
Yasmeen is a unique beachside restaurant where guests can admire the lapping waves of the Indian Ocean. Created from a historic Arabian house discovered on the island during construction, Yasmeen is filled with decorative artefacts and antiques, including 31 Arabic doors and windows, some of which have a 400-year-old history. A village square–inspired courtyard, complete with towering fountain, acts as the centerpiece of the restaurant, with each dining area offering guests a view of the soothing sight.
A partnership with chef Dave Pynt, the culinary mastermind behind Singapore’s Michelin-starred Burnt Ends restaurant, The Ledge brings culinary theatre to the Maldives. With a warm, inviting ambience, the space embraces the sandstone of the surrounding walls and builds this texture throughout to give the feel of it being fused to the island. Complementing the fire from the chef’s custom-built oven, this warmth is further emphasized through the distinct selection of lighting, in-light troughs, fixtures and fittings, as well as the reclaimed timber floors, leather and antique bronze touches, exuding a sense of relaxed luxury.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is located at Ithaafushi Island, South Malé Atoll, Republic of Maldives.
For more information or to make reservations, please visit Waldorf Astoria Maldives.