Posted on Sunday, October 04, 2009
Think Maldives, just 340 miles southwest of Sri Lanka, to experience limited-edition Japanese sake, celestial sightings while sipping champagne, deep-tissue Balinese massages and signature orchard table settings.
Hailed as one of the world's most luxurious getaways, the Conrad Maldives Resort & Spa is perched on two private islands surrounded by a royal-blue lagoon and vibrant coral reef. Guests can choose from luxurious over-water villas, new exotic beach villas with private plunge pools and secluded gardens or fabulous new spa suites, over-water villas with private spa treatment rooms. Seven world class restaurants offer exciting dining options from organic spa cuisine served over-water to the fusion menu of Ithae, an underwater dining from 16 feet below the wavers with 30 degree views of a pristine coral reef.
Prices range from $700 per night during low season and $1,066 per night in high season. Rates include breakfast daily and private airport transfers.
The 130 villa "One & Only Reethi Rah (beautiful Island) boasts occupancies in the 90% range, as well as a high percentage of repeat guests and celebrities. Emirates Air flies nonstop from New York to Dubai and a connection on to Mali, capital of the Republic of the Maldives. One & Only offers a one hour transfer by luxury yacht to the resort. There’s no winter season in the Maldives, although rain comes in May and June, bringing afternoon showers followed by steamy twilights.
Spa treatments and culinary offerings are the focus at Reethi Rah. The menus of the resorts three restaurants follow a theme of water, earth or fire, offering a total of 110 dishes complimented by a wine cellar of 20,000 bottles bearing 900 different labels.
The resort plays up to its culinary program with organic garden classes, wine tastings and sushi-making instruction. They cater to families with a Kids Only Cooking program for kids 4-12 years of age, where they attend cooking classes, learning how to roll sushi and make pastry. They also swim, snorkel, go on treasure hunts, attend drama workshops and have spa-themed day. The Kids Only Clubhouse is open 12 hours a day and has its own dining area, playroom, playground, pool, arts and crafts , sports facility, stage area and access to the beach. Teenagers have their own program and activities.
Reethi Rah has 12 beaches and three miles of coastline, a tennis academy, water sports, boutiques, 300 bicycles, classes in champagne tasting, flower arranging, cooking and wine tasting; an orchard garden and an afternoon tea service with mini Thai pancakes, called khanom krok.
Weddings are becoming very popular at the resort, with the services of an on-site wedding planner and online gift registry. Honeymooners flock to the One&Only Spa by Espa, with 14 treatment rooms and several over-the-water spa suites. The spa and fitness consultants will design a program of exercise, sports, nutrition and treatments tailored to each guest’s lifestyle and requirements.
Each villa has a host, on call to attend to every need. The hosts move to the beach during the day, polishing sunglasses, spritzing imported water, taking orders for food and drinks and helping arrange the next day’s excursions. Popular activities include excursions to nearby fishing villages, private Island barbeques, trips to the market in Mali and diving and snorkeling lessons. Picnics under the night sky can be arranged by the Star Concierge.
Low season rates from June through September begin at $870 per room, per night, double in a beach villa with breakfast. High season rates begin at $1200 per room per night, double.
Written by C Kennedy