A canvas of luxury amid nature, the W Maldives is an unforgettable escape celebrating life’s many
By SHAHNAAZ BAKSHI
“Have you met Bob?” They asked excitedly. “You must!” was the response when I shook my head. “You’ll adore him!” I had no doubt I would. On the island just a few hours and I was already captivated by the heart-shaped escape in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Earlier that day, as I neared the end of a 25-minute seaplane ride from Malé, the aerial view had revealed a mesmerising tapestry of turquoise lagoons, pristine beaches, thatched roofs, and dense greenery. This was my first introduction to the W Maldives, and it was love
at first sight!
As we landed and I stepped out on to the wooden deck with my fellow passengers, we were greeted by friendly cheers of welcome by the resort staff and refreshing glasses of a chilled, fruity beverage. The air was filled with the sound of lively music and the convivial chatter of mingling holidayers. And just like that, the party had begun! Barely five minutes in, and the W Maldives was already living up to its reputation as a getaway with a vibrant and playful personality.
A last round of cheers and everyone left for their abodes. Surprisingly, the small island is home to 77 expansive villas: 50 over water and 27 on the beach. Driven along the foliage-lined pathway, I’m struck by how the entire property seems to be a harmonious blend of nature and opulence, where a palette of earthy tones pay homage to the island’s natural beauty. And a mix of contemporary chic with Maldivian charm is evident at every turn.
All this comes to life in my aptly-named Wonderful Beach Oasis villa—a lavishly furnished two-storey vision with bespoke design elements, wooden accents, and bursts of crimson. The open-to-the-skies bathroom has an outdoor shower. Since each villa is nestled amid lush vegetation, one is assured complete privacy. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors lead out onto a deck with a pool and cabana bed. A narrow path takes me within a few steps to the beach and the ocean beyond. As my toes sink into the powdery soft sand and I feel the waves lapping at my feet, I’m enveloped by blissful tranquillity.
The Fabulous Overwater Oasis villas, lining a long wooden walkway over the azure waters, are equally enchanting as they capture the energy of the sea with a blue and white colour theme. In addition to the elements from its beach counterparts, they offer netted beds over the waters and a ladder with access to the reef below.
And what a reef it is! The W Maldives is home to possibly one of the most gorgeous house reefs in the region. I experience it closely on my snorkelling adventure the next day! After a brief orientation session with the in-house guide, it’s time to dive in. And just like that, I find myself in a kaleidoscopic world of swaying anemones, colourful fish, stingrays, and even baby sharks! Suddenly, I find a friend swimming beside me. It’s Bob—the much-loved resident turtle! A gentle being, he seems content to share his space with me. It’s a memory I will
Flavours of the Sea
Since nothing whets one’s appetite more than a close-up encounter with a shark and a turtle, I was ready to indulge in some hearty fare at any one of the resort’s five amazing restaurants. From WET, the poolside bar offering cocktails with light bites and Asian fare—the Phad Kaprow is a must-try—to SIP, an outdoor lounge boasting breathtaking sunsets, handcrafted drinks, and live music. For
dinner that night, I headed to FIRE, the beachfront, barbecue restaurant. Its dramatic vibe, complete with tiki torches and crackling bonfires, added even more flavour to my meal of juicy grilled steaks and jumbo prawns.
Fish, as the name suggests, offers the freshest catches of the day. The open-air setting presented the perfect ambience as I savoured a selection of sushi, sashimi, and grilled seafood. The scoops of raspberry sorbet at the end were utterly refreshing. For all-day dining, KITCHEN, with its range of international cuisines, is very inviting; its outdoor section with tables set in an ankle-deep pool is
Fun—in its many forms—is something Maldives does very well. A trip to Gaathafushi, a private paradise a short boat ride away, is proof of that! With soft sandy shores, a beach barbecue, sparkling drinks, and a DJ playing hypnotic music, the scenic retreat felt other-worldly! An unsurpassable experience. Or so I thought till I stepped onto the Escape, the resort’s luxury yacht that took me on a sunset cruise towards the horizon. This floating haven, with two spacious cabins, a large sitting deck, and a crew intent on pampering you with the finest delicacies, is ideal for romantic getaways, as well as family adventures.
More indulgences lay in wait at the stunning AWAY Spa—a secluded sanctuary offering panaromic views from four private tented rooms, each with an open deck and a bubble-bath tub. The wide selection of treatments here leaves one spoilt for choice; try the 60-minute detox massage—you’ll feel lighter than air! After all, that’s what W Maldives is designed to do. Give you an experience like no other.