Located a domestic flight away from Male on Falhumaafushi, a pristine island in the Gaafu Alifu Atoll, The Residence is a luxury paradise and blissful retreat.
Just around 40 miles from the Equator, this 5-start resort feels a million-miles away from the hustle and bustle of our normal lives. The atoll is one of the largest in the world and teeming with sea life, and dotted with remote uninhabited palm and golden sand fringed islands. Spread now over two islands linked by a super-long over water jetty, the resort is large but still feels intimate and prides itself in creating the time and space needed for you to rediscover the meaning of relaxation, with attentive yet discreet hospitality.
There’s a choice of beach and over water stunning villas, each designed in harmony with the natural environment, seamlessly blending traditional Maldivian architecture with contemporary elegance and modern comfort. We loved our villa perched over the lagoon with its own private infinity pool and sun deck, plus spacious, bright and airy separate lounge, bedroom and bathroom. The views were incredible, and we spent many blissful hours in the pool gazing out to sea, watching all manner of sea and bird life pass by.
The pools are excellent – large and deep enough to actually enjoy a short swim in, unlike those found in many resorts. The jetty our villa was on curved gently along a shallow lagoon fringed by the reef and deep blue beyond – prime snorkelling territory, and it was so nice to be able to snorkel straight from your own villa – and safely enjoy a swim in the sea also.
This is a great resort to enjoy a walk or cycle in. Strolling along the various jettys we loved seeing so much marine life, from octopus to turtles, sharks and also rays. The interior of the island is gorgeous too – white sand paths and fringed with tropical flowering trees and shrubs with comical little coots grumbling and scuttling by.
If you fancy a change from the delights of your own pool you can enjoy one of the main large ones, complete with a swim up bar. Or you can head off on a sunset dolphin cruise, dive on completely unspoilt reefs, enjoy early morning yoga and even get your hair done in the salon. We particularly loved the over water Spa by Clarins – the only one of its kind in the Maldives. Located at the end of a jetty it really enjoys a spectacular location with enviable views and a welcome breeze.
When you’ve worked up an appetite, there’s a good choice of dining options. Whether its afternoon tea, beach bar snacks or fine dining above the ocean, there’s something for everyone to savour. Do spoil yourself to dinner at The Falhumaa. It really has a prime position far out on a jetty and with the cooling breeze, sound of the waves on the distant reef and the sparkle of countless stars above, it’s incredible special and romantic, and the dishes are delicious of course too.
This is a fantastic resort, with so, so much to appreciate. It may be a flight away from Male, but is most definitely worth it.
Visit the website: The Residence, Maldives