The latest private-island sanctuary in the Lhaviyani Atoll offers nature-loving travelers an indulgent yet eco-conscious escape.
The seventh Marriott International property to splash down in the Maldives, Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa opened its doors to guests last week. Located on the nine-hectare island of in the Lhaviyani Atoll, a 35-minute seaplane ride north from Velana International Airport, the solar-powered resort celebrates Maldivian island life and nature through a design that also nods to the French Riviera of the 1960s. Guests here bed down in 141 beach and overwater villas with a simple and functional appeal, characterized by clean lines, a muted color palette, and natural materials.
The resort’s six dining and drinking venues cater to global tastes while showcasing the local produce. Signature Japanese fusion restaurant Tabemasu features a teppanyaki counter and a private open-air pavilion for omakase meals. Riviera, the resort’s adults-only bar, has a private beach and oceanfront infinity pool; the place also hosts Le Méridien’s weekly Golden Hour, when patrons enjoy European-inspired small plates, rosé cocktails, and handmade gelato or sorbet to a soundtrack of live music before sundown.
Meanwhile, Waves Café offers healthy food made with organic farm-to-table ingredients (many of which are sourced from the on-site hydroponic farm), while the menu at poolside Velaa Bar + Grill changes from light bites during the day to grilled seafood, meats, and wood-fired delicacies by night. The Le Méridien Hub, a social place where baristas pour coffees with roasted beans from Illy. Rounding out the culinary lineup is Turquoise, which serves up local dishes and a diverse array of international fare from breakfast to dinner.
Recreational facilities on the property extend beyond the two infinity pools and Explore Spa by Le Méridien; Waves Lifestyle Hub features an ocean-facing gym and greenery-swathed yoga pavilion, as well as Waves Café, a studio that spotlights local contemporary art.
Parents traveling en famille can rely on Le Méridien Family and Kids’ Hub, where activities range from nature walks by day or night and storytelling to sustainable art classes. The Greenhouse also offers immersive family experiences such as micro-green planting and foraging and cooking classes for all ages.
Adventurous kids will want to sign up for the Thilamaafushi Marine Master’s, an educational program led by the resort’s marine biologist. Available in bite-size modules or a full curriculum for different age groups from young children to teens, the immersive course covers topics such as atoll topography, coral identification and health monitoring, turtle identification and, for young adults, ray and shark protection.
The in-house Marine Hub allows guests to get involved with conservation programs, including mangrove and seagrass protection and turtle identification. The resort’s house reef features four dive sites and a thila (sea mountain), all brimming with green and hawksbills turtles, stingrays, and schools of colorful fish.
For rates and further details, visit lemeridien-maldives.com