Milaidhoo Island Maldives is not just another five-star destination. Set over 13 acres on top of the beautiful Baa Atoll’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the resort first opened in December 2016, quickly capturing the imagination of couples (no children under 9 years old are allowed in the resort) with its barefoot informality, intimate location and world-class cuisine.
Located 126 kilometres northwest of Male, Milaidhoo really is a tropical paradise. Encircled by a coral reef, the island measures just 300 metres by 180 metres, making it one of the cosiest destinations on the planet. Keeping the intimate feeling of the Maldives are the resort’s 50 villas, all of which have a private pool and interiors designed by local architects and artisans using responsibly sourced materials.
Each water or beach villa opens up 180 degrees, allowing guests to enjoy the sea views in total privacy. Your neighbours may as well be on a different continent, with your private butler being your only visitor.
All villas feature a classic hanging Maldivian swing (undhoali); an outsize day bed; oversized minibar; private fridge; flatscreen satellite TV; en suite bathroom with soaking tub and separate rain-shower and a full range of toiletries by Acqua Di Parma.
For those wanting an even more luxurious experience, Milaidhoo’s new Ocean Residence and Beach Residences are the ultimate desert island retreats. The 475 sqm Ocean Residence comes complete with a ‘secret’ loft deck hidden inside the roof of the villa, and the completely private sundeck comes with a plush swing chair, sun loungers, huge freshwater infinity swimming pool with steps straight into the sea.
The two 490 sqm Beach Residences are more sand orientated with each featuring a 60 sqm private freshwater infinity pool, circular living rooms, adjoining kitchenettes and huge bathrooms with indoor and outdoor rain showers and separate deep bathtubs.
There are three laidback, world-class restaurants to choose from on Milaidhoo. Ba’theli, the resort’s signature eatery also happens to be the only Maldivian restaurant in the Maldives. Shaped like a dhoni (a traditional Maldivian sailing boat) expert local chefs serve up local dishes (seafood, is of course a specialty) with a wealth of different flavours, textures and colours.
The Shoreline Grill is so laid back that the Chef simply cooks whatever dish takes your fancy. Black tie is definitely not the dress code here (barefoot is encouraged) and the meat, fresh local fish and seafood are simply cooked in front of you on a Teppanyaki table.
For casual dining, the chefs at the Ocean Restaurant cook up an array of specials during the day, while at night, a fusion of Mediterranean and Asian dishes are served.
Total relaxation comes in the form of the Compass Pool Bar, where guests can sit by the pool with a drink by day, and enjoy sundowner cocktails along with live music at night.
Although relaxing in the Serenity Spa’s over-water treatment suites are some of the main appeals of Milaidhoo, being surrounded by the water means you can get the heart pumping kayaking, windsurfing, paddle boarding and even zayaking (a mix of snorkeling and kayaking). With its own coral house reef, the resort is also big on diving and nothing is more exciting than joining the island’s experienced divers, or taking a trip to Hanifaru Bay, a marine protected area that attracts the largest seasonal groupings of manta rays in the world.
The trip to Milaidhoo is an adventure in itself as guests can reach the resort via a 35-minute seaplane trip from the international airport in Male, or a 15- minute domestic flight to Dharavandhoo airport in Baa Atoll, followed by a 15-minute speedboat to Milaidhoo.
Rates start from $1,625 per night in a Water Pool Villa on a half-board basis, based on two sharing, which is a small price to pay for your own tropical island retreat.