Le Méridien Maldives Resort turns 1
Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa has celebrated its first anniversary.
On Friday, guests at Le Méridien Maldives Resort were invited to a sundown cocktail event and a Maldivian themed buffet dinner to celebrate the first year of operations.
During the event, Nilesh Singh, the General Manager at Le Méridien Maldives Resort, thanked the resort’s trade partners and guests for their support to make the first Le Méridien resort in Maldives a success.
“In just a year, we have had guests who have come back three times to our island for their holidays — all the way from the US. This past year has been incredibly rewarding for all of us at the resort. Immense hard work from all the associates and support from all our patrons has made this journey more joyous and successful,” he said.
“As we begin our second year of operations, we look forward to welcoming more guests to unlock the sights, sounds and aromas of the destination, showcasing matchless hospitality and enriching experiences that bring to life the Maldives through Le Méridien’s distinct European-lens.”
Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands, along with Singaporean developer Chiu Teng Enterprises opened Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa on September 1, 2021, marking the Paris-born brand’s debut in one of the world’s most captivating destinations.
Located on Thilamaafushi, the southern pocket of Lhaviyani Atoll, the 141-villa resort celebrates the fabric of the Maldives, its people, nature and art, channeling its energy to uncover the charm of the destination through Le Méridien’s distinctive European-chic lens.
Spanning nine hectares, Thilamaafushi is defined as “island surrounded by vast lagoon” in Dhivehi, the local parlance of the Maldives. The natural island is an eco-conscious haven abundant with indigenous flora and fauna, enveloped by a shimmering lagoon and coral reefs bursting with vibrant marine life, including pods of Manta Rays and turtles.
Guests can easily access the resort by a 35-minute seaplane journey north of Velana International Airport Malé.
Timeless chic design
The distinct timeless chic design at Le Méridien Maldives Resort is inspired by the brand’s roots in the glamorous halcyon days of travel, something that permeates throughout the Le Méridien experience.
In a nod to its environs, the design also takes inspiration from the formation of the Maldives Archipelago, emulating the Atoll’s unique topography, its bordering reefs, coral gardens, marine life and underwater pinnacles known as “Thilas”.
Interior and exterior design celebrates the Maldives’ distinct life and culture and vibrant landscape, fused with Le Méridien’s signature mid-century modern and Bauhaus aesthetics to present a resort that sits in harmony with the natural environment.
The resort presents 141 villas that are tucked among the tropical landscape and dotted over the Indian Ocean, featuring unparalleled views across the pristine beaches, the Indian Ocean or turquoise lagoon.
A selection of one, two and three-bedroom villas unites the concept of art and industrial design with clean lines, a muted colour palette and a contrast of renewable materials that fosters simplicity, openness and functionality. Guests can also relax and rejuvenate at the Explore Spa by Le Méridien and the two infinity pools at the resort.
Global flavours with local flair
Guests have the opportunity to indulge in six restaurants and bars, showcasing global tastes and locally harvested produce.
Inspired by Japanese fishing villages and water lanterns, the signature restaurant Tabemasu features a lively teppanyaki counter and a private open-air pavilion where guests will enjoy an expertly prepared Omakase tasting menu.
The resort’s adults only bar, Riviera, is a beachside playground framed by an oceanfront infinity pool and private beach where lazy lunches flow into sunset spritzes as vivid hues are splashed across the ocean.
The shores that frame Riviera is the locale where Le Méridien’s signature brand programme “Au Soleil” is hosted as part of the resort’s weekly culinary events. “Au Soleil” at Le Méridien Maldives Resort encourages a summer state of mind with an activation at “Golden Hour”, the magical hour at the end of a day under the sun where guests can enjoy European-inspired petit plates, specially designed rosé cocktails and Le Scoop by Le Méridien handcrafted gelato or sorbet, set against a soundtrack of live music and waves lapping at the shore.
Located amongst the banyan trees and swaying palms, Waves Café is a mindful eating space that fosters a healthy and nourishing approach with a focus on organic farm-to-table ingredients.
Velaa Bar + Grill, situated poolside, features crafted cocktails and light dishes to savour in the summer sun, and grilled seafood, meats and wood-fired delicacies to indulge in once the last ray’s fade.
The Le Méridien Hub, a social gathering place for the creative-minded traveller, serves custom-brewed, barista-crafted coffee beverages as part of the brand’s collaboration with illy coffee.
Rounding out the culinary mix is Turquoise, a beachside marketplace where guests can choose from an array of global tastes and local dishes from breakfast to dinner.
New discoveries around every corner
Conceiving spaces that spark conversation and inspire fascination was pivotal throughout the resort’s design process.
At the centre of this is Waves Lifestyle Hub, a wellbeing collective set against the pristine landscape with unparalleled views of the ocean. This boutique lifestyle space features an ocean facing fitness studio and yoga pavilion positioned high in the jungle, as well as Waves Café, an interactive creative arts studio that focusses on local contemporary art.
The space also features a retail emporium showcasing hand-crafted and contemporary lifestyle pieces.
An energetic mix of cultural and lifestyle programming at the hotel is designed to celebrate the art of travel and unlock the heart of the destination.
The Marine Hub at the resort offers a range of conservation programmes including mangrove and seagrass protection and turtle identification and snorkelling with the marine biologist, with the opportunity for guests to name a turtle for themselves.
Curious guests can discover an aquatic playground at the resort’s house reef that features four dive sites and a thila (sea mountain), all brimming with green and hawksbills turtles, various stingrays, shoals of colourful fish and many more unique reef dwellers waiting to be discovered.
Guests can also embark on farther afield marine expeditions to some of the Atoll’s 50 dive and thila sites that the atoll is renowned for.
Waiting to be explored is the resort’s private island Bodu Finolhu, complete with tropical greenery and 360-degree beach.
Families can take advantage of the Le Méridien Family and Kids’ Hub, with programming that ranges from day and night nature trails, folklore storytelling and sustainable art classes.
The Greenhouse also offers immersive family experiences including micro-green planting and family foraging and cooking classes.
Unique to Le Meridien Maldives Resort is Thilamaafushi Marine Master’s, a specially designed programme that inspires young adventurers to connect with the environment around them in the hope of future preservation.
The immersive programme is available in bite-size modules or a full curriculum that is scalable from young children to teens. Led by the resort’s marine biologist, topics include atoll topography, coral identification and health monitoring, turtle identification and for young adult’s ray and shark protection.
Ensuring minimal environmental impact was and continues to be paramount throughout the build and resort operations.
The hotel safeguards a low carbon footprint through leading-edge practices that focus on renewable energy, waste reduction and usage of renewable resources.
Standout initiatives include the widespread use of solar panels and lighting and one of the Maldives’ largest state-of-the-art hydroponic farms that has been purposely designed to promote hydroponic farming and consumption.
Guests can learn first-hand hydroponic practices and its links to traditions of foraging and preserving – garden-to-plate philosophies and their impact in an archipelago formed nation.