Unforgettable taste of paradise: Waldorf Astoria Maldives’ 11 speciality dining venues offer feast for senses

Hilton’s luxury brand, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, takes guests on an unforgettable culinary journey at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, which opened its doors on July 1.

In line with the brand’s rich legacy of culinary innovation and excellence, the all-pool villa resort has been designed to appeal to luxury leisure seekers with a refined palate and an appreciation for international cuisine, featuring 11 speciality dining venues serving the freshest produce in extraordinary settings — the diversity of which is a first for the Maldives.

“Dining is undoubtedly one of the most integral parts of hospitality. The Waldorf Astoria brand has been redefining the standards of culinary excellence for generations, and our latest opening only elevates this further. Taste is personal to every individual, so our strategy was to create an unparalleled variety of dining concepts to suit all, ensuring every guest remembers their unique dining experience long after they depart the island,” Adam Crocini, Vice President, Food & Beverage, Luxury & Lifestyle Group, Hilton, said.

Terra

Located on the highest point on the island, Terra provides a picturesque dining-in-the-sky experience in private dining nests for two or four, crafted from natural bamboo. The finest ingredients are transformed into impeccably curated flavours for diners to enjoy as they take in the sublime views of the island.

The Ledge

Created by Chef Dave Pynt, culinary mastermind behind Singapore’s Michelin-starred Burnt Ends restaurant, The Ledge uses specialty barbecue techniques such as smoking and slow roasting using a custom-built, four-ton, dual-cavity oven and elevation grills fired by sustainable Jarrah wood, to serve up unique flavours against the stunning Maldivian backdrop. It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely lunch of poolside favourites — including the signature lobster roll — during the day, and it’s the place to go for the finest cut of succulent, wood-fired meats and wine in the evening.

Dave Pynt elaborates, “The food we serve and our approach fit perfectly with the stunning beaches of the Maldives. Guests dining at The Ledge can expect simple but perfectly executed barbecue food featuring amazing local seafood and a well-curated meat selection.”

The Rock

Nestled amongst boulders, The Rock is a rustic wine cellar and dining experience set in a carved-out space. Guests can indulge in exquisite food and wine pairings or opt for an elevated dining experience with a menu that pays homage to the renowned wine regions around the world.

Yasmeen

Named after jasmine flowers, which represent the unity of an Arabic village, Yasmeen’s traditional aesthetic matches its culinary offering. Inviting guests to savour authentic Middle Eastern cuisine, hot pitas and puffed breads are baked in ovens that are based on centuries-old designs. Charcoal-roasted meats and hot and cold mezzes are served in al fresco settings filled with a carefully sourced selection of one-of-a-kind decorative artefacts and antiques, creating the perfect blend of sensorial experiences that will not be forgotten.

Li Long

Guests seeking an authentic contemporary Chinese fine-dining experience will find themselves immersed in the Shanghainese era once they pass through the moon gate at Li Long. After marvelling at the restaurant’s two-metre-high, bespoke feature bell with an intricate oriental design, guests can enjoy Peking duck that has been prepared in the Maldives’ first wood-fired oven and carved tableside by a Chinese master chef — all while taking in the breath-taking ocean views, as the restaurant perches overwater. A private dining room is also available for those seeking a more exclusive experience.

Glow

Set in a greenhouse-like structure shaded by greenery, Glow celebrates the concept of interactive garden-to-table dining by serving healthy and holistic cuisine made from the freshest ingredients harvested from the edible garden surrounding the restaurant’s main dining area. The garden, which features 20 types of herbs and fruit plants, including coriander, curry leaves and lemongrass, is the first thing guests see when they walk into the restaurant, providing an immersive prelude to the dining experience.

Amber

A champagne bar with an unrivalled view of the magnificent Maldivian sunset, Amber is the idyllic setting for perfectly chilled champagne, modern cocktails and gourmet canapés.

Nava

A beach club that spans the Mirror pool, Lagoon pool and sandy white beach, Nava also offers refreshing cocktails, light meals and pizza from a wood-fired oven for savouring by the poolside or the beach.

Tangled

The island’s favourite lunch spot, Tangled, offers unique tastes of Asian delights, including innovative, flavourful noodle creations and handcrafted dim sum, complemented with a selection of infused tea, beer and sake.

Peacock Alley

A serene lounge overlooking the water with live entertainment, Peacock Alley serves a wide selection of handcrafted cocktails, wines, tapas and cigars, making it the ideal meeting place for a pre- or post-dinner rendezvous. In keeping with the Waldorf Astoria legacy, the speciality here is afternoon tea, enjoyed in comfort on the lounge’s dual-tone furnishings.

Tasting Table

At Tasting Table, guests can start their day with a gourmet breakfast while enjoying tranquil views of the sunrise over the horizon. When day turns into night, the sunset views transform the restaurant into a beachside dining venue offering international favourites.

Culinary Director at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Chef Vijayakant ‘Vijay’ Shanmugam, Director of Culinary, leads the gastronomic vision for the resort. With nearly 20 years of experience in prestigious restaurants and hotels, Chef Vijay is renowned for creating new dishes and flavours inspired by local ingredients, traditional culture and the native landscape.

Under Chef Vijay’s direction, the resort focuses on sustainable, locally sourced ingredients to create innovative, modern dishes that pay homage to the iconic destination. The resort grows its own fruit, vegetables and herbs in its on-island nurseries and partners with the community of local fisherman to ensure a consistent supply of the freshest catch of the day — so guests can delight in an unparalleled epicurean experience.

“I believe hospitality and in particular food and beverage operations have an important part to play in the sustainability of our environment and planet,” said chef Vijay.

“Here at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, we have plenty of opportunities to adopt sustainable alternatives and solutions, such as locally sourced, organic produce, Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Stewardship Council certified seafood and bottled still and sparkling water, which we produce at the resort — we are extremely fortunate to be able to extend these options to our guests.”

Spanning three interconnected islands in the South Male Atoll, and a short 30-minute yacht journey away from Velana International Airport, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is an iconic resort paradise surrounded by the natural beauty of the Maldivian landscape and the crystal-clear Indian Ocean.

Aside from the excellent restaurants and bars, the resort also boasts 122 spacious villas, the Waldorf Astoria Young Discovery Park and a world-class spa.

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