At the southernmost reach of the Maldives, in the remote and pristine atoll of Gaafu Alifu, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo has been welcoming travellers in search of true tranquillity and complete escapism since its opening in 2019. Now, as the world slowly emerges from lockdown, this Indian Ocean idyll is ready to reveal a retreat that will provide the ultimate hideaway for those who want to relax in unparalleled style: the Raffles Royal Residence.
Occupying an unblemished stretch of the resort’s blissful Beach Island, the vast six-bedroom villa is perfect for groups of friends gathering for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration, as well as families who want to kick back and take things easy. Stretching comfortably over 1,700 square metres and accommodating up to 15 guests, the Royal Residence’s heart is the three consecutive reception rooms that border its 40-metre pool and look towards the property’s private beach. Whether savouring a fully catered barbecue, enjoying a boisterous pool party or simply admiring unimpeded views of another staggering sunset, everything the property offers can be enjoyed in absolute exclusivity.
With interiors conceived by Singapore-based design firm BLINK, the Royal Residence melds Raffles’ respect for tradition and timeless elegance with the Maldives’ unique maritime beauty and relaxed, restorative approach to luxury.
Raffles’ distinct colonial style is seen in the property’s striped monsoon blinds and louvered doors – the signature grey-blue shade visible throughout was in fact created especially for the Royal Residence and the resort more generally. The spectacular seascapes to be found immediately beyond the resort are affectionately referenced in the coral patterns that are embedded on upholstery; contemporary furniture inspired by sea life; and ecologically friendly decorations that replicate the can’t-be-bettered shapes organically produced by nature, from turtle shells to sea urchins to starfish.
Guests inspired by those flourishes will have ample tailored opportunities to explore the many wonders of the world surrounding them. Raffles Maldives Meradhoo’s Marine Butlers can lead guided explorations of the resort’s two spectacular house reefs, while the Royal Residence Butler will be available at any time of day or night to facilitate private boat trips, hearty feet-in-the-sand meals under the shimmer of flickering tiki lights at barbecue restaurant The Firepit, or indulgent treatments at the resort’s overwater spa.
Of course, with so much space entirely and solely at their disposal, guests might simply while away days without leaving the Royal Residence at all. Spa treatments can also be arranged on site; Raffles Maldives Meradhoo’s team of Children’s Butlers can be enlisted to entertain younger visitors; and a multitude of special events, from surprise birthday parties to decadent anniversary dinners, can be happily facilitated. Up to 24 guests can gather for a show-stopping meal to remember in the villa’s kitchen and dining room. Overlooking the lagoon and with its private bar stocked with rare spirits and the finest cigars, the expansive roof terrace works just as well as an intimate eyrie for evening sundowners as it does for morning yoga sessions sound-tracked by gently lapping waves.
Shaded by palm trees and flanked by silken sands, it makes an incomparable retreat for groups who, for just a while, want to leave the real world behind entirely.