Need to know
67, including Treehouses, and Beach Residences.
12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm. Early arrivals can store their luggage and explore the resort.
Double rooms from $1260.00, excluding tax at 23.2 per cent.
Rates usually include à la carte breakfast (US$45 a person).
If you have a residence with a kitchen, or you’re simply feeling peckish, visit the Emperor General Store, which sells fresh fruit and vegetables, cakes, breads and pastries, and high-end treats such as truffle honey and jamón ibérico de bellota. Coffee and sandwiches are served here too.
At the hotel
Spa, private beaches, diving and watersports centre, tennis court, marina, Emperor General Store, kids club, teen games area, DVD library, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: 42” flatscreen TV with satellite channels, Bose surround-sound system, Blu-ray and DVD player, iPads, iPod dock, free high-speed WiFi, beach bag, private bar, minibar and air-conditioning.
Our favourite rooms
Shaded from view by palm fronds and dressed in shades of aquamarine, gold and navy, the Maldives’ first luxury stilted treehouse is a step above the rest (sorry); its private pool, hammock and barbecue make it a must-stay. Those eager to befriend the marine life should check in to an Ocean Reef House, which has direct access to world-class snorkelling, alongside an infinity pool and terrace with super sunset views.
The huge, coconut-palm-fringed main pool is between the beach and the sociable Baazaar dining area and bar; it’s unheated, but the sun keeps it at swim-ready temperatures. An infinity edge overlooks the ocean, and loungers, bean-bags and dining tables are laid out along the sides. The pool menu’s by-the-glass wines, cocktails and comfort food can be brought straight to where you’re lounging. For secluded swims, each villa has a private infinity pool surrounded by huge day-beds. Or you could dip a toe in the ocean from the overwater villas or the beach.
Each guest is offered a free 50-minute spa treatment during the first 48 hours of their stay, and Javvu spa has an open-door policy; yoga lessons and sauna and steam-room sessions are free too. Be pampered in the lounge – with a glass of champagne or herbal tea from the drinks trolley – or abscond to a wooden treatment pod (with either a sauna or steam room and a tea lounge). Treatments include pummeling from Pure Massage, !QMS facials, Ila body treatments, Margaret Dabbs mani-pedis, Louise Galvin hairstyling and Gentleman’s Tonic barber primping. Unwind on the ocean-facing yoga and meditation pavilion afterwards.
You can rent a GoPro and scuba mask, but it’s cheaper to bring your own. Stash a UV-resistant top in your suitcase unless you want to look like you’re blushing all over.
Therapists can be dispatched to your villa for in-room treatments. Residences and villas each have a butler, a sort of fairy godmother who’ll organise excursions, meals and pretty much anything else.
Children are welcome. The kids club has a playground and pool, and Baazaar and Lonu have kids menus (including wagyu sliders, healthy salads and fish). Babysitting and baby-listening are available too. Most residences can fit an extra cot or bed.
Pre-schoolers to teens will thrill at the resort’s charms, but it’s best suited for swim-confident kids.
A Treehouse is magical place for a family stay; however, all two-bedroom residences have oodles of space to spread out in. The super-sized, eight-bedroom Beach Residence is a decadent space where a large family can sleep very comfortably.
There’s no crèche on site, but your personal butler can arrange babysitting on request.
Onsite there are beautiful beaches to construct sandcastles on and a tennis court. Watersports cover everything from hobie cats and windsurfing to snorkelling and Bubblemaker scuba diving. The colourful kids club has a playground and a shallow pool, and there’s a lively programme of activities.
The huge freeform pool is unheated, but the sun keeps it at bath-tub temperature. There’s a shallow ledge for kids to play on, swim nappies and arm bands are provided, and kids can ride inflatable flamingoes. The kids club has a supervised shallow pool.
Baazaar has five restaurants, including a pizza parlour and fish and chip shop, so fussy eaters will be appeased. Lonu is more grown up, but kids are allowed in, and they have a sophisticated kids menu, with wagyu beefburgers, reef fish and bocconcini. The chef will adapt meals on request and staff can heat up milk and baby food, but there are no high chairs in restaurants.
Babysitting is $20 an hour, per child (excluding tax). It can be booked two hours in advance.
No need to pack
Leave the monitors at home, and there are plenty of toys, board games, craft materials and books, but to make kids feel truly at home in the residence bring a few treasured items.
A baby-listening service is available. If you’ve left an essential item at home or want to plan a child-friendly day out, talk to your butler – they’ll be brimming with ideas and tips.