The Residence, Maldives
Lose Yourself in the Magic of The Residence Maldives
If you are like me, you must have fantasized about spending quality time in a tranquil, mystical and luxurious resort on a lovely and exciting island. Well, of course, there are many travel destinations that are every bit as stunning as they are thrilling, but the appeal and excitement of the Maldives are indeed unmatched. Made up of nearly 1,200 small coral islands, the Maldivian islands are truly paradise on earth. The Maldives is also home to some of the world's best resorts. One such resort—and my personal favorite—is The Residence Maldives at Falhumaafushi.
So, what is it about The Residence anyway?
The Residence is part of Cenizaro Resorts, a Singapore-based international hotel chain with a portfolio of high-end hotels in some of the world’s most sought-after travel destinations. Other locations include Tunisia, Mauritius, Zanzibar and Bintan. Cenizaro resorts are known for their chic and tasteful design style, so it follows that The Residence is as tastefully done as one might expect from one of their resorts. The Residence has an unprecedented reputation for offering first-rate services, which is rather evident by its glowing reviews on travel sites. Designed in a classical Maldivian style, the resort echoes the spectacles of its natural surroundings and exhibits Maldives’ fascinating heritage in style and opulence. The Residence flaunts a spectacular setting in the secluded and unspoiled Gaafu Alifu Atoll, perfect for exploring the scenic beauty of the Maldives. Blend this with a smattering of classy villas, and you have a truly unbeatable combination.
Breathtakingly beautiful and incredibly luxurious accommodation
The Residence encompasses 94 charming and spacious villas, designed to fuse time-honored Maldivian architecture with contemporary sophistication. Lavish in space and complete privacy and enhanced by breathtaking sparkling sea views, each villa is luxuriously furnished and comes equipped with all the modern comforts such as complimentary Wi-Fi, LED flat panel satellite TV, mini bar, in-villa safe, indoor and outdoor showers, sun loungers and even a personal butler!
There are actually two types of villas you can choose from – a beach villa nestled in a lush garden setting with private views to the sea and a water villa perched above the turquoise waters of the lagoon. You can choose between a standard overwater villa with a deck but no pool or deluxe overwater villa with sundeck and pool. There are actually two sets of overwater villas—one on the west side that are all sunset facing (the island itself runs north to south, with rows of villas on the west side running parallel to the island but with perpendicular views) while the villas on the northeast side of the island are have dual views (since they run perpendicular to the island and therefore face either north or south).
We were lucky enough to get a villa on the west side of the island, which ensured insanely beautiful sunsets each night. I booked a deluxe water pool villa and actually requested a sunset-facing room by email. Though the resort responded that they had noted my request, I was told that no room requests were guaranteed. However, much to our surprise, when we arrived we found out we were not only given a sunset-facing room but actually had one of only four of their biggest villas—a two-bedroom deluxe villa with pool right in the middle of all the other villas. We absolutely loved it!
The Residence Maldives features some of the finest restaurants in the Maldives. From local specials to exotic delights, the award-winning restaurants of the Residence will serve anything on your plate. The Dining Room is the main restaurant, where they serve a buffet breakfast each morning (which was included in our stay) and has options for lunch and dinner. It features alfresco dining to stunning beachfront views. I am a fan of its tasteful, yet comfortable ambiance. My favorite restaurant here was actually Falhumaa, which is a completely overwater restaurant that serves fine dining dishes in a romantic setting. There's also the Beach Bar that serves casual food and drinks by the pool.
They even can arrange private dining experiences--either in your room or on the beach--if you want something a bit more unique or something more special. We were actually treated to a private dinner on the beach after my husband helped retrieve a sinking boat earlier that day. The beachside dinner we had was absolutely magical.
So much to do!
The island’s serene location allows for diverse and vibrant marine life and coral. What this means is that witnessing rich marine life up close with a private dive session needs to be on your to-do list. They have their own dive shop right there on the island.
Not into diving? That's okay too. You can see manta rays, black tip reef sharks, lion fish (yes, they're poisonous--don't touch them!), turtles and dozens of species of fish right from the beach or from your overwater villa.
Other water-based sports and activities include snorkeling, windsurfing, kayaking, catamaran sailing, waterskiing, and parasailing. There is also a state-of-the-art fitness center, steam room, meditation and yoga classes, world-class "The Spa by Clarins" and a dedicated Kids Club for younger guests from ages 3 to 12.
Be prepared to spend $350 per person for domestic airline transfer and a short speedboat ride. Though the transport isn’t as luxurious as a seaplane transfer (which we were lucky enough to get to do getting to The W), the resort really made the transfer pain-free and seamless. Immediately upon arrival in Male, we were greeted by a Residence staff member, who took our passports and our tickets and booked our domestic flight transfer for us. We were then led to a members lounge, where we took advantage of the free WiFi and breakfast buffet. Then about 45 minutes later, we boarded a short 50 minute flight to Koodoo, where we then took a 25 minute speedboat ride. During the speedboat ride, we were greeted by a school of dolphins, who decided to show off a bit and follow the boat, leaping in the air and giving us an extra special welcome to the Maldives!
Escape to the alluring vacation paradise of The Residence and experience unrivaled satisfaction and charm paired with heartfelt bespoke service where your every need is looked for and catered to in exceptional comfort.
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