Just one look at the beauty of the Maldives is enough to get you wondering what it would be like to live on this island paradise; thankfully, you can find out with The Residence Maldives. Traditional Maldivian architecture and life are woven throughout the property, giving you the sense that you’ve escaped the hustle and bustle of city life for the laidback joy of living on a remote island.
Of course, the Residence also offers all the comfort and luxury you’d expect from a five-star resort – but I really did love the warm and authentic touches.
Journey to the Resort
As the Maldives is made up of hundreds of islands dotted throughout the sea, getting there is a bit of an adventure. We first arrived at Male, the main international airport, where we received a warm welcome from a hotel representative.
We were then escorted across to the flight lounge where the rep took care of some formalities and helped us to board our domestic flight. After a relatively short journey, we touched down at one of the closest airports, and then it was just a short boat ride journey to our island paradise.
A refreshing drink was on offer once we arrived, and after a short buggy ride, we were able to check in and meet the lovely PR Manager. We were soon whisked off to our water villa.
It doesn’t seem to matter how many days I spend in the Maldives; every morning, I wake up pinching myself over the experience. The Residence Maldives boasts such a stunning location on an island that looks like a postcard come to life – complete with tropical plants and trees, fringed by white sandy beaches and dazzling cerulean water.
One thing I just adore about The Residence Maldives is the way that it blends with its setting. With structures that emphasise natural textures, the traditionally-inspired architecture complements the stunning surrounds.
The décor of the resort is also inspired by the local Maldivian style and environment, with beautiful hardwood accents and traditional art pieces. It’s undoubtedly luxurious, but it’s also authentic.
The luxury soul of The Residence Maldives can be seen in the facilities, including a spectacular pool and, of course, the Clarins spa – more on that shortly.
We were lucky to enjoy the beautiful Water Villa with pool, which really is something like what dreams are made of. Hovering over the dazzling sea, it was an incredible experience to spot colourful fish gliding through the sea while we relaxed near our private pool.
The views were similarly spectacular from inside the room, and one of the main things I fell in love with. The views on offer are almost unparalleled, giving you panoramic views out over the ocean from the bedroom, bathroom and lounge area. It really was jaw-droppingly beautiful – true Instagram goals!
When we weren’t exploring the island or in our private pool, the villa was the perfect luxurious place to retreat. The gorgeous room décor constantly reminded us we were on holiday in paradise, while the ultra-luxe bathroom – complete with automatic toilet, designer toiletries and that sumptuous bath – was another highlight.
Just to make things even more spectacular, The Residence Maldives offers the unique “floating breakfast”. It was such a thrill to enjoy a delicious, fresh breakfast literally floating over the water of the pool, surrounded by the jaw-dropping ocean views. All you need to do is let the staff know, and they make the magic happen – truly unforgettable.
Of course, exceptional dining is a crucial part of any luxurious retreat – and The Residence Maldives did not disappoint.
Beach Barbeque at Sunset Grill
Is there anything that goes better with a stay in the Maldives than enjoying a decadent seafood extravaganza prepared right on the beach, and experienced with your toes in the sand? I think not – and that’s what is on offer with the Beach Barbecue at Sunset Grill. There is a seemingly endless supply of dazzling seafood, as well as other salads, meats, starters and desserts. It happens several times a week and is certainly unmissable. We were lucky to dine at Sunset Grill during our stay and highly recommend.
Main Dining Room
During our stay at The Residence Maldives, most days began with a scrumptious and healthy breakfast at the Dining Room. A relaxed yet elegant beachfront bistro, I loved the seaside feel, complete with rattan lounges.
The breakfast is buffet-style, meaning that you could enjoy as much of the delicious selection, including fresh fruit, as you wish.
We also enjoyed a fabulous dinner at the Dining Room one evening. Each night, here is a different themed buffet where you can enjoy delicious food, and even watch it being prepared by the masterful chefs. We were particularly excited to try the traditional Maldivian Tuna Curry, which was a great introduction to local cuisine.
The Falhumaa Restaurant
If you are looking for a glittering culinary experience at The Residence Maldives, you can’t look further than the Falhumaa Restaurant. This is the resort’s premier offering, set at the end of a long jetty, hovering over the ocean so that you can hear the sound of the waves lapping near you. We were lucky enough to be seated on the deck, and feel of the breeze in my hair was just refreshing in the tropical weather; although the elegant inside portion is beautiful as well.
The menu is Mediterranean influenced and, fittingly, heavy on the seafood which we just adored. While this restaurant is undoubtedly luxe, we also loved the personal touches such as being told a story about a sailor and the Falhuma flower which inspired the roof of the restaurant and being given a small bag of local spices to keep.
Louisiana Seafood pot on the beach
Because I believe you can never have enough seafood, we got to try another unique experience which was enjoying a delicious seafood pot under the stars. Using the Louisiana seafood boil approach, the seafood is cooked with spices to your liking, and then you’re left to enjoy the informal and delicious feast. It was undoubtedly one of the highlights for us!
Finally, we had the opportunity to try the Beach Bar for lunch one afternoon. Nestled between the sea and hovering just over the swimming pool, this is a gorgeous, relaxed spot. We enjoyed a light lunch here, and couldn’t help but indulge in a fresh coconut as we admired the view.
Spa by Clarins
One of the unique features of The Residence Maldives is their beautiful Clarins spa (the only one in the Maldives), which of course I had to try.
Just stepping into the spa, you immediately feel a sense of calm and rejuvenation; it boasts six overwater treatment pavilions each of which have staggeringly beautiful sea views.
My husband and I enjoyed an incredible couple’s massage. It began with a singing bowl vibration before Balinese massage techniques were used to relax and restore our muscles. It was so soothing and enjoyable that despite our best efforts, we found ourselves drifting off at times. It really was a magical experience.
While simply lying by the sea and savouring the stunning tropical atmosphere is an activity of choice at The Residence Maldives, there is much more on offer. We were lucky enough to try a few.
Dolphins are undoubtedly one of the most loved local residents of the Maldives, and we were so excited to set off in search of them on a beautiful sunset cruise. As the sun set, we cruised through the ocean, enjoying a drink and trying to spot these smart and friendly sea mammals. While seeing them is not guaranteed, we were lucky to be visited by a curious pod, who put on a fantastic show of spins and jumps around the boat. It was a completely magical experience.
Castaway Island Experience – Cast Away Picnic
This beautiful and romantic picnic was one of my favourite activities. My husband and I were taken off to a smaller, yet no less beautiful, island by a quaint boat – along with a phone and a picnic box filled with delicious treats.
On the island, the staff set up an umbrella with some beach mats, where we sat and enjoyed our picnic lunch and basked in each other’s company. The setting was so incredibly beautiful, and the experience was just so memorable. An extraordinary experience that we will always treasure.
I firmly believe that paradise looks something like the Maldives, and The Residence Maldives is befitting of its beautiful surroundings. We were utterly enchanted during our four days in this beautiful paradise, enjoying all that was on offer and just the sublime atmosphere.
Disclaimer: Our stay was courtesy of The Residence Maldives
but of course, all opinions are 100% my own.