They tell you that the Maldives is beautiful; they sell it! In short, the W Retreat and Spa, Maldives is the ultimate Maldives experience: exactly as you imagined-days, months, weeks, even years before you finish your pristine journey. When we moved from a sister station in Starwood, we were dropped off at Male Airport, from where we were escorted to the W Lounge while waiting for the seaplane. The W Lounge stages the real deal, with refreshing drinks, coffee, tea, small bites and music. When we were waiting for the seaplane to turn, we were recorded in the salon itself, because we had time left.
After seeing many aerial photos of the station before the trip, it was clear that one of the Islands was the most similar, which should be our home for the next few days, when we flew over several atolls by seaplane. Fesdu Island, an island in the North Ari Atoll, one of the smallest in the Maldives Archipelago, is home to the W Retreat and Spa, Maldives. A crescent-shaped projection to the west, as large as the island on which the pieces are located. Upon landing, all passengers of the seaplane were personally greeted by a team of staff from W-Retreat. Thanks to our already worked Check-Ins at the W Lounge, we were able to enjoy the facilities of the complex while our room was occupied for a While.
It wasn’t long before an employee took us to our room, an oasis by the sea. An all-Suite resort, There are five types of suites, a total of 78: Beach Oasis; Ocean Oasis, Ocean View and Lagoon View; Seascape Escape and the’ Presidential Suite’, The Ocean Haven. Our Ocean Oasis was a sea view suite sitting on the outer side of the Crescent, ensuring uninterrupted views of the sea and beyond, as well as the highest level of privacy, since each of the adjacent villa sat a little behind our own.
The 1,600 square meter Suite is breathtaking. The entrance leads directly to the large round thatched chamber. The cubic-shaped stilt suites transform into open spaces with smart curves inside, like the curved floor-to-ceiling windows that separate the bedroom and living room from the private deck. The large bathroom also has a side view to the outside terrace and beyond, just obscured by the oversized bathtub. The king-size bed occupies most of the special bedroom, but a poor level leads to a more relaxed living space with a bed-side lounge chair and a partial glass floor that gives you ocean views.
Unlike many W retreats that use more funky design styles, the resort built in 2005 features more natural elements like wood and marble. Although the decor and interior are modern, the tones are soft and make the view and its natural surroundings shine, which is most evident on the deck.
On the private deck separated by floor-to-ceiling windows, we probably spent most of our time. The large wooden tiled terrace has a curved sofa, a round bed and a large infinity pool where you can watch the ocean. A loaded entrance to the sea just behind the pool invites the guest to snorkel or swim. With a hidden BBQ on the side, a common activity is to enjoy a fish bbq lunch or an early deck-side dinner that the resort kindly arranges.
There are three other dining options in the complex. The KITCHEN, a casual restaurant, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a mix of cuisine. FIRE offers a more special experience without straying too far from the resort’s laid-back nature: a BBQ buffet is offered on the beach, with a strong emphasis on seafood and local cuisine.
FISH, the resort’s more sophisticated restaurant just above the sea, serves the freshest catch of the day in a mix of fine dining styles. While the food at the resort was good, it was the romantic environment and ambience that is the highlight.
In addition to food, there are two Bars in the resort; the WET Bar is located right next to the public pool, while SIP, the resort’s Sunset Lounge, perched just above the water, is ideal for observing the day’s color change with oysters, sushi, and caviar. However, in keeping with the station’s worldwide reputation as a party destination, the station is also home to a unique Funky nightclub, 15BELOW, which offered a joyful change to our usual relaxed nights and a much-needed party atmosphere with cheerful rhythms. The W Retreat also hosts occasional events – we were lucky enough to enjoy a stay, while Thai fashion designer Milin showcased his latest collection with a runway fashion show at WET, complemented by Cocktails and meals from chef Severin Huerlimann. The Party continued with beats from DJ Aline and Sünne.
Wellness is an important feature of the resort, with the AWAY spa, located at the eastern tip of the Island, DOWN UNDER and WAVE, the resort’s water sports centers that direct the procedure. Several open cabins with white tent roof offer a luxurious, private and natural environment to enjoy many of the characteristic treatments. The AWAY Spa also offers rejuvenating morning (and evening) Yoga sessions that trained me and my partner a lot on our last day there.
With a reef that rivals the best dive sites in the world, snorkeling and scuba diving near the resort, even right in front of your Villa, are of the highest quality-with the sea full of different types of marine life, including rays.
DOWN UNDER also offers educational programs, guided diving and snorkeling tours as well as a night snorkeling excursion.
Other guided tours will take you to nearby locations such as cetacean Shark Point and Hammerhead Point, where you can swim with some of the world’s biggest fish.
Highlights of the W include scuba diving in the wreck of Fesdu and, for romantics, a private stay, whether a few hours a day or all night, on Gaathafushi Island or a trip on the resort’s private Yacht, ESCAPE.
Finally, the W is known worldwide for its Service, with the motto “Whatever [you want], whenever [you want]”. From asking for a lighter to light my partner’s cigarettes to asking for an underwater camera when we were going to dive on the beach, the resort’s service motto was tested to the fullest. The W Retreat and Spa Maldives gone brilliantly, with the staff ready to make all the necessary offers.