Reethi Rah is probably one of the most spectacular resorts that you're ever likely to visit. Everything here is on a large scale, from extraordinarily luxurious and fabulously well-appointed villas to the island itself, which is the single biggest in the whole of the Maldives. The prices are big too, but arguably entirely worth it for the sheer splendour of the experience.
Major plus points include the villas themselves, all huge, with high, vaulting ceilings and stunning design; also the quality of service provided by our Maldivian villa concierge, who was faultless - charming, thoughtful and impeccable in his attention to every detail. Food on the island was excellent as well - we sampled both the main central restaurant and Japanese specialist Tapasake during our short stay. A major benefit is the comparatively recent introduction of buffet-style breakfasts and extravagant themed dinners in the main restaurant. (All meals were originally a la carte only).
As divers and keen snorkellers, we were also surprised and impressed by the richness of the local marine environment. We know the Maldives well, but hadn't expected Reethi Rah in particular to offer such variety of sea life considering its comparative proximity to Male and the fact that the island itself is almost entirely man-made. You'd think that the sea life would have been frightened off permanently by the intensive construction work which preceded Reethi's opening in 2005. Not at all. If our trip was anything to by, you'll almost certainly see sharks here, either from the comfort of your own beach lounger, or from the terrace of one of the restaurants. (Don't worry - they're not interested in humans). A group of six or seven nurse sharks visit Tapasake restaurant every night (they've even been given names by the staff), and we spent one afternoon enthralled by a pack of juvenile black-tip reef sharks feasting on a shoal of smaller prey right in front of our villa. Mantas also make regular visits, although we didn't see them. Very impressive. Didn't get a chance to dive on this trip, but the dive centre looked excellent, very well-equipped and organised.
We had only one major reservation about Reethi Rah - its size. Bicycles are provided with your villa, and a golf buggy is only a phone call away, but it's almost entirely impractical to walk anywhere other than to a neighbouring villa. The trip from our villa to breakfast in the main restaurant took seven minutes by fast golf buggy, and in three days we never even began to make sense of the winding and labyrinthine roads. I doubt we could have found our own way by bike without many wrong turns. Definitely don't make the mistake of leaving anything behind in your villa - you can't easily nip back and get it.
The size of the island also limits social interaction with other guests. With many different places to eat or relax, you're unlikely to see the same people more than once other than by appointment. That might sound like a big advantage at first but in fact it makes Reethi Rah slightly impersonal, especially compared to some of the Maldives' smaller boutique hotels. Despite those reservations, though, this is a truly exceptional resort, and definitely worth a trip if you can manage the cost.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives in the North Male Atoll has 128 exquisite villas, some of the largest in the Maldives, designed by world famous architect Jean Michel Gathy. The resort offers an unrivaled level of style, choice, and personalized service. An eclectic and imaginative menu caters to every taste and occasion in three restaurants, with an extensive wine cellar with more than 900 premium labels and 18,000 bottles on the island. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives Hotel North Male Atoll
- One And Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
- Reethi Rah Maldives