overwater bungalow in the Maldives with a private pool

The Maldives are simply unlike any other beach destination on earth. The archipelago is set over 450 miles off the coast of India, out in the warm Indian Ocean. It can be slightly challenging to get to, but those willing to make the journey are well rewarded. In the Maldives, the beaches are quiet, pristine, and stark white; the water is crystal clear, and thanks to its location near the equator, the temperature is warm year-round. 

Image: Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort

The Maldives draw discerning travelers who come to experience the islands’ untouched beauty and get away from the grind of daily life. In the Maldives, it’s easy to enjoy life’s simple joys — a second cup of coffee, an extra hour of sleep, the flurry of life under the surface of the water. 
Among the plentiful resorts scattered across the islands is one property that stands out. The five-star Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort has everything you’d expect from a Maldivian resort — overwater bungalows, butler service, private beaches — and then a bit more.

The resort is set on two private islands in a remote atoll

Part of what makes the Raffles so spectacular is its setting. The property is spread across two private islands within a ring-shaped atoll in the southern Maldives. The atoll, Gaafu Alifu, is one of the world’s most remote and the surrounding water, reef, and sea life remains relatively untouched. 

Image: Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort

To reach this slice of paradise, guests arriving in the Maldivian capital city of Malé take a fifty minutes domestic flight to the island of Kaadedhdhoo followed by a short 15 min speedboat ride to Meradhoo, Raffles’ private island. On arrival, a Raffles butler is there to welcome you and get you situated in your Maldivian home. 

Overwater and beachfront villas with private pools and stairs to the sea

Overwater bungalows have become synonymous with the Maldives, and the Raffles does not disappoint. The property has a series of overwater villas and residences set just above the sea with views of the reef below. Each overwater dwelling has its own private pool, a staircase to the sea, and a terrace with a glass viewing panel so you can watch the sea life below. At night, the stars light up the sky, unencumbered by light pollution. 

Image: Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort

The villas are suited for couples, while the overwater residences provide a bit more space — with two separate bedrooms and a living room, ideal for small families traveling together. Those looking for sunset views need only book the sunset overwater villas or residences, which provide unobstructed western views toward the setting sun.

Travelers who prefer to nestle their toes in the sand can book the property’s beachfront villas and residences, which have a private garden and pool, opening directly onto the sandy shore. The most spacious offering at the Raffles, the Raffles Royal Residence, can accommodate up to 15 guests in six bedrooms. The multi-building residence includes an expansive personal chef, private pool, direct private beach access, and stunning sunset views.

Image: Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort

Every residence at the Raffles, whether overwater or beachfront, has a private terrace and pool, walk-in rain showers, and deep soaking tubs.

Dining al fresco over the sea — in your room, or in one of three restaurants

Image: Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort

At Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort there’s 24-hour in-room dining, so you can enjoy a cocktail or meal from the comfort of your private pool or terrace anytime of day. In addition, you can visit one of the property’s three upscale restaurants — overlooking the sea. At The Firepit, tables are scattered around a charcoal fire and across the beach providing a truly romantic atmosphere that’s only enhanced by fiery sunsets, starry skies, and the sound of the sea. 

For a drink, head to the Yapa Sunset Bar, where drinks and light bites are served in a stunning overwater setting. Meanwhile, at Long Bar, which was inspired by the iconic Long Bar at Raffles Singapore, sought-after Champagnes are served in an elegant beachside setting.

Legendary service includes 24/7 butler service — plus a childrens and marine butler

Raffles is renowned for their authentic take on service and hospitality, a reputation that is only enhanced by the warm Maldivian culture. From the moment you set foot on the islands, a butler will be at your beck and call. An unpacking (and packing) service is available, and you have full access to a childrens butler and a marine butler. 

The team at Raffles can teach your kids how to windsurf or take the whole family out in the lagoon on clear-bottom kayaks that let you watch sea life below. 

Image: Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort

An overwater spa and 24-hour gym with a pool and oceanview yoga

As you might guess, the spa at Raffles is perched right over the sea and private treatment rooms boast glass bottom floors, floor-to-ceiling windows providing spectacular views. There are also couples treatment rooms, including a VIP, overwater suite.

In addition to a state-of-the-art 24-hour gym, there’s a pool, a jogging path through the gardens, and regular oceanview yoga classes (you’ll find a yoga mat in your villa).