Everybody knows the W hotels as the chain that took the concept of the “design boutique” mainstream, with a series of stylish properties, mostly in American cities, attracting a design-savvy, upwardly mobile sort of crowd. So it’s a bit of a surprise to find that big white W cropping up in the Maldives, of all places — the Maldives have been about over-the-top luxury, while the W hotels have been a bit more accessible.
Here in the Maldives you’ll find that the W can do over-the-top too. In proper Maldives style the experience begins at the Malé airport’s W lounge, where guests are bundled onto a seaplane for the last leg to the resort’s private island. Once there it’s on to the villas, either the bi-level Beach Oasis, set just a yard or two from the sand, or the Ocean Oasis, out on stilts above the waters of the lagoon. All come with city conveniences like 42” televisions and high-speed internet, as well as Maldives-only touches like private plunge pools and transparent glass floors.
Everything’s impeccably designed, as you’d expect, as chic as any other W and quite a bit more luxurious. A private-island getaway in the Maldives would be nothing without a dive center (check) or a full-service spa, and this one doesn’t disappoint; treatments are administered on overwater platforms, open to the breeze, shaded by tent-like Teflon roofs. And unlike some of the old guard Maldives resorts, this W is about nightlife too, with a nightclub that’s thoughtfully set 15 feet underground, so as not to disturb the island’s idyllic calm.
North Ari Atoll, Fesdu Island
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This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at View full credits