On February 1st, 2019, LUX* North Male opens: the week before, on January 26th, over 30 global media and self-styled influencers will be hosted for a preview of this luxury resort. But, you’ve guessed, the gal has already been. The instant report is that for those who are drawn to the white-blue chiaroscuro of Mykonos or Santorini, or the vibe of Miami Beach, this is just the perfect luxury resort here in the Maldives. Apparently the three owners, all first-time hoteliers, are already thrilled: they did trials over Christmas, though they could not use LUX*’s signature London red telephone box to Call A Friend, back home in Moscow or wherever, as the instrument had not arrived.
GM John Rogers moved to this 67-villa resort four months ago. I have seen him run the oh-so-English Tresanton, and La Residencia on Mallorca, and Carlyle Bay on Antigua, and the first difference he notices in the Maldives is that all staff have to be housed. For Maldivians, this is not an issue – because of the extended layout of the islands, about 823 km from north to south – everyone is brought up knowing they will have to travel. During my days in The Maldives I spoke to many hotel staff about how they save up their time off and then fly to their home island for a good stay.
LUX* always has a reputation for cool design, cool fun and such signatures as the phone boxes, and sensational ice creams, all day long. Here, at North Atoll, ICI has really enticing selections of flavours, all made here. Since all the 67 villas not only have private pools, at ground level, but flat rooftop decks above the main buildings (smallest interior size 110 sq m), I can easily imagine guests here having a swim and then retreating up to their rooftop to lie under a canopy and enjoy a couple of scoops of mango ice cream. Main restaurants, by the way, will feature ceviche tastings, and healthy all-day dining in GLOW. There is also, as in all LUX* properties, on-site coffee roasting, and here the Café LUX* coffee shop is upper-level, above what could be called ‘reception’, although LUX* was one of the first companies to realise that that function, as such, is now as dead as a dodo.
John Rogers and I had a great lunch, outdoors at Beach Rouge – simple fresh fish and salad– and then espresso, for me, and capuccino, for him, up in Café LUX*, looking out across its outside deck and down to the resort’s jetty (it is a great advantage for any Maldives resort to have a jetty so that arriving and departing is direct plane-to-land rather than having to travel via an offshore pontoon). My plane arrived, and I had to leave. Next time I will be able to stay, and having morning yoga on an upper deck above the LUX* Me Spa’s welcome house, and perhaps try a Shirley Page aromatherapy treatment, and enjoy learning, later, about the night sky with Steve Owens, visiting the resort’s art studio, and perhaps taking a trip to a nearby local island, to meet Kashidoo villagers… yes, there is plenty to look forward to at this white-and-bright luxury resort. SEE THE ROOFTOP AND INTERIOR, VILLA 20