W Maldives is not only wacky, wild and wonderful and all the other W words that Barry Sternlicht envisaged at the end of the last century, but it is colour, and no-colour. This is the Maldives resort for those who want laid-back luxury with bursts of wow. The gal arrived on a Maldivian Airways Twin Otter that cruised right up to the dock where a vista of brightly-painted Lvtong buggies, from Dongguan, was ready and waiting – see above. Some of the 206 team members, who all wear sparkling white, with no colour, also waited, to drive arrivals to their villas. Of the 78 units, 30 are on the main Fesdu Island, in North Ari Atoll: these beach villas are all two-floor with, up 21 outside stairs, the day-room sala. Swing up here on your day bed and look out to sea.
Come to think of it, I could also swing inside Villa 125, as I had a blood-red hammock that matched part of the bed’s throw, and scatter cushions – see the video below. It was really nice to have an exterior bathroom behind the bedroom, and, from the bed, I could see through French doors out to my 12-foot long pool with integral vitality station, and directly south to the beach beyond. 125 is really convenient as it is only five minutes’ walk to the upper-level library, with two big Apple computers and printer, and, adjacent to it, the Technogym, blissfully 24/7. It is also another couple of minutes’ walk to KITCHEN, a really agreeable all-day restaurant with a superb breakfast buffet.
I had arrived in the thick of the every-Wednesday pool party that seems to start with the noon hour and go on and on. By the main pools a DJ played and a tower of plastic water pistols was at the ready – battle with your mates, if you want, or relax with a shisha. There is something for everyone here. Tonight, the sunset was particularly lovely, and everyone, including a group of six young Chinese ladies having a girlie beach dinner by one of the many selfie-ideal W signs, was busy taking as many photos as fingers and cocktail glasses would allow. Earlier, I had joined some holidaymakers looked at dolphins as they ate, over-water, at FISH. After canapés that included superb tiny-bite tuna maki, we went to FIRE.
In case you are not sure where you are, dayglo signs somewhere on the floor say the name of each restaurant. FIRE is mostly out on the beach, however. Our table, with its red Chilewich mat and wine glasses and divinely heavy Walco for FISH steak knife, stood in the sand. Anuj Sharma, who has just arrived as new GM of this WOW-luxury hang-out, and I both went red – forgetting his Delhi roots, where beef is of course off any menu, he had a tenderloin and mash, and we both had Wishbone wines, from Marlborough. Continuing the red theme, in the morning, after plunging into my blue pool, I made an excellent espresso in my scarlet Nespresso, and said goodbye to team-members in white. It was time to go, and the buggy took me back along the ‘main road’, past a couple of refreshment stations where they generously put out not only ambient but chilled waters and apples, all with their compliments. Plus, more thoughtfulness – a local manager, Hassan Arif, kindly escorted me all the way back to Male and on to my next plane. AND NOW SEE VIDEOS OF VILLA 125 AND THE SUNSET