Now open for just over a year the island resort of Reethi Rah has firmly established itself as the 'Burj Al Arab' of The Maldives with an impressive guest list drawn from royalty, football and fashion. But the best kept secret about this magnificent luxury island is that staying there is not so expensive.
UAE Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum visited with a business team from Nakheel and Istithmar. Prince Albert of Monaco has been a guest, and the Jordanian royal family. On our visit an Argentinian striker and Denmark's top chef were in residence. Models from the fashion world and designers love the place.
Welcome to the One&Only's Reethi Rah, the largest island resort in The Maldives and its most luxurious. With more space than the other islands and a focus on leading edge design and the finest food, it is hard to believe that things could get any better.
Yet since AME Info joined the launch party last year the resort has matured. The 16,000 coconut trees have grown to full height and the manicured gardens are in full bloom. The sea has settled, affording perfect swimming conditions. The menus have got longer and the wine lists even more impressive; forget the Petrus at $4,700, try a 1947 white wine at $15,000 if you want to splash out.
130 luxury villas
To step back: Reethi Rah is the jewel of the Maldives, and has become known as the 'Burj Al Arab' of the archipelago. This extended island has an octopus shape with 130 beach and over-water villas designed by Jean-Michel Gathy, built to conform to the highest standards of the One&Only chain and with 2.5 staff to every guest.
There are three world-class restaurants run by a team of over 50 chefs: the signature Reethi restaurant with contemporary international food in a choice of three distinct settings; the Tapasake for light, modern Japanese food; and the Fanditha restaurant for classic Arabic cuisine on the beach.
For those seeking rest cures the ESPA spa has 10 treatment rooms with a serene spa garden and yoga pavilion over the water. Plus there is a gym with the very latest in high-tech equipment.
But the best thing about the Reethi Rah is the privacy that this resort offers with a total of six kilometers of private coastline, and the necessary security to make the most important guests feel comfortable without being in any way intrusive. Indeed, with extensive villa dining options, you can be entirely self-contained.
The beach and water villas are the ultimate in luxury with sizes from 135 to 322 square metres, double-size baths, rainfall showers and private sea views. Transfer from the airport at Male is by a powerful motor yacht.
AME Info flew to Male in Business Class with Emirates which has eight flights a week to the Maldivian capital from Dubai. Emirates award-winning service is an excellent introduction to the very high service standards of the One&Only, and to be called by name on an aircraft these days is a rare experience.