The Luxe List 2018: Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi

The decor is carefully curated castaway-chic—think knotted ropes, glass fishing floats, and giant copper bathtubs so big you could sail away in them.

Poolside at Fairmont Maldives. Photo: Instagram/@michutravel

From an intimate tented camp in the green foothills of Bali to a converted 19th-century Jesuit retreat in Tamil Nadu, our editors and reviewers have roamed the Asia-Pacific region to bring together DestinAsian’s annual collection of the year’s top hotel openings. Read on to discover which new properties stood out from the rest in terms of service, setting, amenities, and a singular sense of style.

How do you improve on the underwater perfection of the Maldives? At the Fairmont Maldives in the northern Shaviyani Atoll, you ask famed underwater artist and activist Jason DeCaires Taylor to create the world’s first semi-submerged art gallery. The result is the Coralarium, a perforated silver cube full of figurative sculptures that are part human, part plant, and part coral, accessed via a short snorkel across the lagoon. It’s astonishing, but so too are the onshore facilities. The resort’s 120 beach and overwater villas, all with their own pools, are oriented toward sunrise or sunset (two- and three-bedroom options are available) and the decor is carefully curated castaway-chic—think knotted ropes, glass fishing floats, and giant copper bathtubs so big you could sail away in them.

There are also tented “jungle” villas tucked inside pandanus-shrouded groves. The crescent-shaped island is petite enough that you can walk from end to end in 15 minutes, but you’ll nevertheless be assigned a personal butler with a golf buggy. Get him to take you to the Willow Stream Spa or the Balinese-inspired Onu Onu bar for some beachside bubbly. Dining is another highlight here, with all-day restaurant Raha Market offering local flavors like Maldivian tuna curry, Kata specializing in sushi and robatayaki, and Azure, the most romantic of the bunch, serving superlative seafood from its perch above the lagoon.

960/654-8888fairmont-maldives.comdoubles from $US650, half-board.

This article originally appeared in the October/November 2018 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Luxe List 2018: Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi”).

Share this Article

Related Posts

The Luxe List 2018: Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur

The 209 guest rooms on the hotel’s lower floors are accented in beige and steel blue, with oversiz...

The Luxe List 2018: The Hiramatsu Atami

Built around a 40-year-old besso, or country villa, it features just 11 rooms and two tatami-matted ...

The Luxe List 2018: Wild Coast Tented Lodge

Set above a boulder-strewn shoreline near the entrance to Yala National Park, its 28 cocoon-like ten...

The Luxe List 2018: Six Senses Duxton

The beds are supremely comfortable, but should travel-induced insomnia be a concern, the hotel’s T...

The Luxe List 2018: Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur

The hotel's 55 spacious guest rooms are among the city’s best, each elegantly furnished with hardw...

The Luxe List 2018: Rosewood Luang Prabang

The tropical-elegant look and feel of the resort, by prolific Bangkok-based hotel designer Bill Bens...