Hot New Hotels: The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

Courtesy of Kerry Hill Architects, the brand-new resort’s minimalistic villas and communal spaces set the scene for an indulgent post-lockdown vacation.

An aerial view of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands. (All photos: Marriott International)

The Ritz-Carlton has splashed down in the Maldives with a private-island resort by an acclaimed studio behind some of Asia’s most celebrated hotels. Located at the northeastern tip of the North Male Atoll, and part of the upscale Fari Islands development, the week-old property is just 10 minutes by seaplane or 45 minutes on a speedboat from Velana International Airport.

Kerry Hill Architects’ first-ever project in the Indian Ocean archipelago is characterized by a minimalistic, contemporary design that eschews a rustic-chic aesthetic (there are no thatched roofs) and keeps things low-rise to draw attention to the idyllic surroundings. Guests here bed down in 100 overwater ocean villas or beach villas in various configurations, ranging from one to three bedrooms. All accommodations come with panoramic sliding doors, a sun deck, and a private infinity pool, and each villa is assigned an Aris Meeha (Island Butler), who will guide and assist guests during their stay.

The bedroom of an Ocean Pool Villa at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands.

The resort’s circular overwater spa.

Tables for two at the breezy Eau Bar.

A westward-facing beach at the private-island resort.

Gourmands have much to look forward to at the resort. The Ritz-Carlton Maldives features seven culinary venues, including an outpost of Summer Pavilion, the Michelin-starred contemporary Cantonese restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia, Singapore. Open-air Japanese eatery Iwau is focused on teppanyaki, while La Locanda, the all-day restaurant, specializes in southern Italian fare. Afternoon tea gets a Maldivian twist at Eau Bar, where guests can also enjoy craft cocktails and freshly shucked oysters. Two of The Ritz-Carlton’s eateries are located at Fari Marina, an eight-minute boat ride from the property. Arabesque serves up an eclectic range of dishes hailing from the vast region between Lebanon and North India, while Tum Tum is a food truck offering Asian snacks and light meals.

Guests can expect a diverse range of pursuits, including snorkeling, scuba diving, tennis, bike safaris, and family-oriented cooking classes. They’ll also get to explore traditional Maldivian music through boduberu drumming sessions, join dolphin-spotting cruises on traditional dhonis, and embark on a Wonders of Water ocean mystery tour led by one of the resident naturalists. Wellness enthusiasts will want to check out the circular overwater spa for bespoke treatments that utilize botanical body and skincare products from Bamford. The resort offers a Ritz Kids program with no less than 30 activities, including a treasure hunt to keep the little ones entertained. Teenagers will even have the chance to sign up for lessons with expert drone cinematographers, promising a unique 21st-century spin on their Maldivian holiday.

More information here.

An aerial view of Ritz Kids, the in-house kids’ club.

A cozy treatment room at The Ritz-Carlton Spa.

Inside a Two-Bedroom Beach Pool Villa.

The exterior of a Two-Bedroom Beach Pool Villa, seen at dusk.

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