Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts and Singaporean developer Chiu Teng Enterprises have announced the opening of Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa. Located on Thilamaafushi, the southern pocket of Lhaviyani Atoll, the 141-villa resort celebrates the fabric of the Maldives, its people, nature and art and energy of the destination.
“Le Méridien inspires travelers to explore the world in style, savour the good life and enjoy experiences that offer something more than meets the eye,” said Jason Nuell, Senior Vice President, Premium Brands, Marriott International.
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 (MLE) International Airport, Malé.
“We are thrilled to introduce the iconic Le Méridien brand to the Maldives,” Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding China), Marriott International. “The opening of Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa marks the second Marriott International property that opened in the Maldives this summer and the seventh brand entry in the destination. We look forward to expanding our portfolio further in the Maldives in order to offer distinctive and personalized experiences for travelers.”
The resort presents 141 villas that are tucked amongst the tropical landscape and dotted over the Indian Ocean, featuring unparalleled views across the beaches, the Indian Ocean or turquoise lagoon. A selection of one, two and three-bedroom villas designed in a muted color 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.
Guests will have the opportunity to indulge in six restaurants and bars, showcasing global tastes and locally harvested produce. The signature Japanese restaurant Tabemasu features a 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.
Le Méridien’s signature brand program “Au Soleil” will be hosted as part of the resort’s weekly culinary events. “Au Soleil” at Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa celebrates the “Golden Hour”- the magical hour at the end of a day under the sun where guests will enjoy European-inspired petit plates, specially designed rosé cocktails and Le Scoop by Le Méridien handcrafted gelato or sorbet.
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 that 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.
The resort will also house the Waves Lifestyle Hub, a well-being, boutique lifestyle space that 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 focuses on local contemporary art. The space also features a retail emporium showcasing hand-crafted and contemporary lifestyle pieces.
At the Marine Hub, a range of conservation program including mangrove and seagrass protection and turtle identification and snorkeling with the marine biologist, will be available for guests. Guests can also embark on marine expeditions to some of the Atoll’s 50 dive and thila sites that the atoll is renowned for. For children, the Le Méridien Family and Kids’ Hub, will offer programs like 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.
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.
“We look forward to welcoming 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,” said Nilesh Singh, General Manager, Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa. “Along with Le Méridien’s focus on timeless midcentury design and signature brand programs, guests are invited to savor the moment and delight in the discovery of everything the resort has to offer.”