Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

A sprawling nirvana in the Maldives

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi made a big debut in 2019. Sprawled across three islands, the resort is one of the most sizable in the Maldives. It boasts the country’s largest spa, and it’s the Maldives hotel with the most culinary choices (an impressive 11 restaurants). It’s also home to an exclusive offering: a separate private island — the biggest in the country — that could be rented out in its entirety.

But once you get a glimpse of this sun-soaked nirvana, size is almost beside the point. Luxurious villas act as vast private indoor-outdoor playgrounds. The spa carries a substantial menu of bliss-inducing services. And when it comes time for food, choose among a treetop dining perch, a wine cellar cave and everything in between.

And everywhere you look, from your standalone villa bathtub to the glass-bottomed floors in the spa’s treatment pavilions, the azure water steals the show.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • While delicious dining options abound at the Maldives hotel, Terra is a must for its Instagram-worthy backdrop: you’ll sit in handcrafted bamboo nests above the treetops while sipping Krug and noshing on Miyazake wagyu beef.
  • As if a villa weren’t enticing enough, each one comes with an infinity pool and submerged loungers, swinging daybeds, dining gazebos and endless ocean vistas.
  • Start your own spa journey by selecting a path toward relaxation, rebalancing or results. And if you need assistance, a wellness concierge will personalize a course of treatment at the more than 107,000-square-foot facility.
  • For the utmost privacy, book the Waldorf Astoria’s Ithaafushi - The Private Island. The 344,445-square-foot piece of land comes with two villas, five swimming pools, an overwater spa and an entertainment center with a cinema.
  • A personal concierge (who essentially functions as a butler) will attend to every detail of your stay.

Things to Know

  • The family-friendly hotel offers the Young Discovery Park, a kids club that includes a water recreation area and a slate of activities for little ones through teens.
  • In-villa dining is conveniently available 24 hours a day. Order a floating breakfast basket to have a memorable morning meal served in your pool.
  • Expect to be pampered during the 45-minute yacht ride from Male’s Velana International Airport. The private vessel has bedrooms for jet-lagged travelers, Wi-Fi and refreshments.
  • A resident marine biologist is on hand to teach about the fish and other sea life in the surrounding waters.
  • Explore the island by land (use your villa bike) or by sea (snorkel or dive around the private reef or go sailing or windsurfing).

The Rooms

  • An iPad lets you control everything from the blinds to the air conditioning in your bright, modern villa.
  • Every bathroom features a standalone oval tub that overlooks the water, along with Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries in eco-friendly refillable marble containers.
  • Aside from accommodations that come with the rent-an-island option, the Stella Maris Ocean Villa is the most sumptuous alternative. The more than 6,000-square-foot duplex villas guarantee seclusion, as they are only accessible by boat.
  • The Overwater Villas are the iconic accommodations expected in these parts, and they clock in at 3,045 square feet.
  • The more than 2,500-square-foot Beach Villas put you on the white powdery sand, but don’t worry — you’ll still have your own pool.

The Food

  • Chef Dave Pynt of Singapore’s famed Burnt Ends cooks up his modern Australian barbecue at The Ledge.
  • Nosh on Levant cuisine (like fresh pita, mezzes and charcoal-roasted meats) in a re-created traditional Arabian village at the alfresco Yasmeen.
  • Shimizu serves locally sourced Maldivian lobster and fish with Japanese flavors. It offers teppanyaki stations with Beluga and Cristal caviar, an interactive sushi bar and à la carte dishes.
  • Tuck into contemporary Chinese fare at Li Long. Order the Peking duck — it’s made in the Maldives’ first wood-fired oven — and peruse the Chinese tea menu.
  • Tasting Table is the main restaurant at the luxury hotel. It serves breakfast (the international spread includes spicy Maldivian omelet with fried tuna, congee and waffles) and dinner (offerings include local rock lobster, burgers and Malaysian favorite nasi goreng kampung).

24-hour room service
Babysitting services
Fitness classes
Outdoor pool
Getting There
Ithaafushi Island, South Male Atoll, Republic of Maldives
Additional Details
Fly into Male International Airport and then take a 45-minute yacht ride to the hotel.