HONORS CIRCLE: MALDIVES
InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort
Maamunagau Island, Raa Atoll, Maldives
Families and romance-seekers alike will appreciate InterContinental’s first property in the Maldives, which opened in 2019 at the southern fringes of the Raa Atoll. Not only is the private-island setting sublime, but guests can be assured of the utmost in indulgent service — each of the 81 villas and residences come with the services of an Island Curator along with complimentary Club InterContinental benefits. These include daily breakfast, afternoon tea with rare loose-leaf varietals selected by the in-house tea sommelier, evening aperitifs, and all-day refreshments by the pool or beach. As the first and only all-Club InterContinental resort anywhere in the world, the property offers a degree of personalized service that makes any stay here an unforgettable one.
InterContinental Maldives is certainly easy on the eyes. Singapore-based architecture firm Eco-ID was responsible for the resort’s rustic-chic design, which makes the most of the postcard-perfect surroundings and breathtaking Indian Ocean views. Stylish barefoot living awaits in the private villas; each one features contemporary Maldivian interiors by Avalon Collective Interior Design Studio, also hailing from the Lion City.
Created with families in mind, the resort’s two- and three-bedroom Residences offer luxury pleasure in a secluded slice of paradise and ample space for all. Exuding discreet luxury, these spacious abodes come with indoor and outdoor living and dining spaces, a fully equipped kitchen, as well as an infinity pool. Alternatively, the two-story Two Bedroom Family Lagoon Villas are ideal for couples traveling together or families with older children. Built half over the water and half on the beach, they’re a first of their kind in the Maldives.
Meals and drinks can be enjoyed at one of the six restaurants and bars on the property. Fish Market serves up a tantalizing blend of Maldivian seafood and aromatic Southeast Asian flavors, and those wanting to sip on sundowners can gravitate to the dhoni-shaped Sunset Bar and its well-stocked wine cellar. Meanwhile, The Lighthouse is a romantic option for 360-degree views and Spanish-influenced cuisine. Café Umi, a Japanese-inspired restaurant, presents elevated pan-Asian comfort food and classic favorites (think teppanyaki and ocean-fresh Maldivian lobster) made with organic, sustainable ingredients. Poolside venue The Collective is just the place to tuck into wood-fired pizza, freshly baked pastries, and gelato, while The Retreat offers an adults-only enclave with a private bar and its own infinity pool at the water’s edge.
Wellness-minded travelers also have much to look forward to at InterContinental Maldives. The resort’s signature AVI Spa features six overwater treatment villas along with steam rooms, ice fountains, a yoga pavilion and a fitness center. An in-house Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, specializing in acupuncture and herbal medicine, will be on hand to restore harmony and balance through various treatments. These include anti-ageing facial acupuncture, cupping therapy, and remedial tui-na massage.
On the environmental front, InterContinental Maldives takes sustainability seriously. Highlighting its commitment to safeguarding the ocean for future generations, the property has teamed up with the Manta Trust to create a dedicated manta ray sanctuary in the resort’s lagoon, where guests can swim alongside these graceful creatures and snorkel over vibrant coral gardens. InterContinental Maldives is also minimizing its environmental impact with a commitment to reducing waste from both plastic and glass, and composting bio waste.
And there’s no shortage of recreational pursuits for all ages. While grownups can look forward to sunset cruises aboard a luxury yacht, younger guests will love the fun-filled Planet Trekkers kids’ club, where travelers aged four to 12 will learn about the natural wonders of the Indian Ocean through games, arts and crafts, and a rotating schedule of educational activities. Add in a vibrant house reef, long stretches of powder-soft sand, a lagoon frequented by manta rays, and proximity to the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and it’s no wonder InterContinental Maldives ranks among the country’s most beguiling resorts.