Memories of Maldives, Waldorf Astoria

Waldorf Astoria, Maldives


Few destinations are as famously picturesque as the Maldives. Enamoring the world with its unique geography and aesthetic charm, the tropical getaway has become a hotspot for the world's elite hotel chains and the subject of countless, lifestyle Instagram posts. Characterized by clear, cyanic waters that stretch to the horizon, white, powdery beaches, and a tropical landscape, it’s no surprise that the Waldorf Astoria chose to build its newest hotel on this remote archipelago in 2019.

The five-star resort is located 983 kilometers off the southwest coast of Sri Lanka on the small, hairpin-shaped island of Ithaafushi. From Male, the country's colorful capital, guests must journey forty minutes by one of six luxury Princess Yachts, or fifteen minutes by seaplane, to reach the hotel. Designed by Stickman Tribe, the general architecture feels simple; modern, and upscale, but with a touch of local nuances, such as a hint of south Indian décor and paintings of herons throughout, which are native to the region and a symbol of calm and meditation. The pervading atmosphere is serene and complementary to the beauty of its tropical environment, mostly consisting of refined wood interiors, grass hut roofs, and soft, natural tones. Though among several lavish hotels in the area, the Waldorf quickly established itself as one of the more luxurious and accommodating, claiming several awards and accolades, including Departures Magazine 2019 Legend Awards Best New Hotel Openings of the Year, TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Award 2020, and ranking #5 on Travel + Leisure Magazine's Top 100 Hotel Openings in the World 2020.


119 reef, beach, and overwater villas are divided and situated along the two parallel branches of the island, forming a shallow inlet of clear, cyan waters. Most feature grass hut roofs and contemporary architecture with a blend of wood and marble that doesn't distract from the natural beauty. Each includes a terrace with an infinity pool, significant outdoor seating, floor-to-ceiling windows, gorgeous ocean views, and its own butler. One of the hotel's more premier residences, The Stella Maris Ocean Villa, is a 5,767 square foot, overwater duplex only accessible by pontoon boat. The spacious retreat comprises spacious living, dining, and outdoor areas, a bedroom overlooking the ocean, and a luxurious monochrome bathroom. Its upper deck offers a BBQ station and chef's service, while the lower deck showcases an infinity pool, hot tub, and overwater hammocks.

Nearby, Ithaafushi Private Island epitomizes luxury in seclusion. The exclusive, 344,445 square foot property is a world-class destination for the privileged elite, starting at $75,000 per night. Waldorf Astoria began offering this heavenly retreat during the pandemic, as it afforded natural isolation a million miles from the cares of the world. Practically a resort itself, the private island features a three-bedroom beach villa, a two-bedroom overwater villa, and a four-bedroom residence with a private entertainment clubhouse. Each residence boasts lavish amenities, such as massive infinity pools, whirlpools, water sports, and yacht mooring, as well as a private concierge team and dedicated chefs. Guests can take in the beautiful landscape of powdery sands and well-kept vegetation on morning bicycle rides or peaceful, afternoon strolls. For quicker transportation, a speed boat is readily available to bring you to the main resort.

Spa & Wellness

The Waldorf incorporates a personalized approach into its Spa experience, offering each villa a Wellness Concierge, the first of its kind on the archipelago, that comes with a unique consultation process. It offers an exhaustive range of accommodations, including a jet lag revival and signature journey treatments based on the natural elements. Among its 10 treatment centers and overwater spa villa is an Aqua Wellness Center, a pool with designated zones that each target a different body part. The spa also includes the Wellness Visiting Practitioner program, affording guests to be treated by industry-leading specialists in acupuncture, Pilates, personal healing, and traditional herbal medicine. Unsurprisingly, the hotel's wellness experience received the Luxury Lifestyle Award for Top 12 Best Day Spas in Maldives 2020.

Eleven Dining Locales

Though guests can achieve a perfectly sublime meal on their villa's private terraces with a tailor-made bespoke menu, the Waldorf includes 11 uniquely situated restaurants and bars. Shimizu serves locally sourced fish and modern Japanese cuisine from former Nobu Chef Andrei Palm in an open, overwater setting. The Rock hosts exclusive wine dinners in a cave-like dining room built from Jordanian limestone and two-hundred-year-old Jarrah wood. Yasmeen, adorned with Arabic décor and artifacts, presents a gastronomic journey of Levant cuisines while overlooking the Indian Ocean. And at Terrace, guests dine within one of seven bamboo nests suspended among the treetops, savoring the world's finest ingredients, such as Alba White Truffle and Miyazaki Wagyu Beef.


Ithaafushi Island South Malé Atoll Male, 20009, Maldives

+960 400-0300




Guest Rooms

Room Types

Bar / Restaurant

Spa / Fitness