If you’ve ever looked at a photo of overwater bungalows and thought, “That’s paradise,” you might have to invent a new word for Waldorf Astoria’s latest property. As Hilton celebrates its 100th anniversary, the company’s luxury brand opened the doors this week to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi resort, and it could redefine the overwater experience as we know it.
After landing at Malé International Airport, guests will take a 30-minute yacht trip to the resort’s three interconnected islands. Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi boasts 122 beach, reef and overwater villas, all of which include a private infinity pool in addition to world class amenities.
At 2,500-sq. ft. the “smallest” offering is the King Beach Villa, which opens directly onto the beach and accommodates two adults and two children. The King Overwater Villa offers a little more space in addition to a large deck that features a dining pavilion, daybed and overwater hammocks that might make guests forget there’s a bed inside. The three villa styles are also available with two queen beds.
For larger families, the 11,976-sq. ft. three-bedroom overwater villa can host six adults and three children. Of course, more people mean a second infinity pool and two outdoor dining areas, as well as a hot tub and relaxation gazebo, just in case parents need to get away from the kids without ever leaving the deck.
Need a little more privacy? Two Stella Maris Ocean Villas are only accessible by boat, and not only do they include an infinity pool, hot tub and overwater hammocks, but they also have an upper deck area with a BBQ station and chef service.
Still need even more privacy? Rent the Ithaafushi Private Island. This option includes five bedrooms, two villas, five pools, an entertainment club house, spa and gym, children’s pool and playground, watersports and yacht mooring. There are also dedicated chefs and a personal concierge to ensure everything lives up to the Waldorf Astoria standard.
For guests who don’t book a villa with private chef, there are 11 dining options at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi. Leading the way is the BBQ grill restaurant The Ledge, which is run by chef Dave Pynt, who also operates Singapore’s Michelin-starred Burnt Ends. Other dining concepts include Glow, which offers farm-to-table meals in a greenhouse setting, and The Rock, a rustic wine cellar made to look like a cave.