A Day in Maldivian Paradise: Raffles Maldives Meradhoo 
30 November 2023
Shama Rashid

Travel Consultant

A Day in Maldivian Paradise: Raffles Maldives Meradhoo 

Soaring above the blues

We arrived at Hulhule, Velana International Airport, just an hour after the sun peeked from above the horizon. Though you can reach Raffles Maldives Meradhoo via domestic plane, followed by a short speedboat ride, our chosen mode of transportation is Seaplane, which takes 90 minutes. The Raffles team picked us up from the international airport and we arrived at the Noovilu Seaplane Terminal where breakfast was served in the impeccable Coral Lounge. 

An hour later, we were boarding the seaplane, but not just any plane; it was the renowned Vistaliner, or more commonly referred to as the MBH photo flight. Unlike the other planes on the TMA fleet, this houses a modified passenger deck with much larger windows — perfectly framing the Maldivian vistas. With the sun rising slowly above, the blues of the sea and the ringed atolls lit brightly, giving us an opportunity to peek into the wonderful scenic views. Raffles Maldives, ever the maestro, gifted us a care package highlighting their devotion to warm hospitality.

The authentic welcome 

As the seaplane descended, the impeccable arrival team awaited us on the jetty, smiles painting their faces. Stepping onto the platform, the first notes of our Maldivian symphony echoed — the sound of the Sangu, a sea conch steeped in Maldivian history. It was the initial whisper of the authentic Maldivian culture awaiting us at Raffles Maldives.

Check-in unfolded not in a lobby but within the villa, a seamless transition from arrival to the cocoon of our haven. Nestled in the iconic Ocean Pearl, a mere 1-2 minute speedboat ride from the main island, was our villa — the Two Bedroom Sunset Overwater Residence with Pool. As we arrived for check-in, our personal butler greeted us, preparing the Maldivian Sling — a local homage to the iconic Singapore Sling, enriched with local spices like star anise and cardamom. Yet, it was the unexpected ensemble of local snacks in the villa — Theluli Gulha, Kulhi Roshi, Banbukeyo, Ala, and Addu Bondi — that warmly welcomed us. It spoke volumes, revealing that Maldivian culture was not confined to the aesthetics but intricately woven into the very fabric of the island.

Underwater ballet in Gaafu Alifu

Fins and snorkelling masks awaited us at the villa, ready for an exploration of Gaafu Alifu's reefs. This fairly untouched atoll housed a marine wonderland distinct from any other, offering a glimpse of fishes native to the southernmost part of the Maldives. Turtles, denizens of Meradhoo island, held a special place in this aquatic ballet. A unique finding awaited those who photographed a turtle and took it to 'The Muraka' — each turtle, named after Greek gods, had its identity revealed.

A culinary rhapsody

As the sun centred in the sky, we headed to the main island, where Thari, an all-day dining restaurant, awaited. Southeast Asian, Italian, and Mediterranean dishes tantalise your taste buds, each plate a masterpiece where local fresh seafood took centre stage. Between a beachside BBQ night under the full moon at the iconic Firepit and meals under the palm trees at Thari, the culinary symphony at Raffles Maldives unfolded. However, it was the dinner at Yuzu, the Japanese restaurant overwater at the Ocean Pearl, that resonated the most. Every dish captured the essence of fine dining intertwined with Maldivian magic, showcasing fresh seafood prepared with a unique culinary fusion that left us in awe.

A tapestry of memories

Choosing the most memorable aspect of our stay at Raffles Maldives is an impossible task. The impeccable service, the endless activities, and the exemplary fine dining each carved a memory that will be cherished. Yet, amidst these moments, one stands unrivalled — the spectacle of the sunset from the private pool at our villa. 

The sky adorned with the brightest hues of orange, pink, and yellow, mirrored on the sea and the freshwater pool. The slow descent of the sun, witnessed in quiet settings, provided the perfect serenity. Whether strolling amidst lush walkways on the main island or resting on an overwater hammock, the island offered peace that embraced the soul. The soft sound of waves lapping on the shore became a constant companion, a melodic backdrop to our vacation in our very own corner of paradise.

Your paradise awaits

Raffles Maldives transcends the ordinary, weaving moments of passion, culture, and natural beauty into an eternal love affair. Book your escape now and surrender to the embrace of this Maldivian masterpiece.