The Maldives really is a special place and unlike any other. Situated south-west of Sri Lanka and India, the Maldives is comprised of a number of atolls and 1,190 islands. There are 132 resorts to choose from and this time, for our second visit to the Maldives, we chose to stay at Reethi Rah by One&Only. Two years ago we stayed at Huvafen Fushi, which is also in the North Male Atoll but is very different – smaller and more intimate.
How to get there
We started our two week holiday in Hong Kong so we flew in to Male from there. As our flight was only landing at 8:30 pm, we opted to stay one night in Male as the speed boat to the resort takes an hour and we didn’t see the point in arriving so late. In Male we stayed at the Samann Grand, which was actually really nice – very modern in design and the staff were absolutely lovely.
In the morning we got a taxi to the airport where we waited around 45 minutes for other guests to arrive before getting the boat to Reethi Rah. Within an hour we had arrived – in style!
Waiting for us on the jetty was the lovely Oni, who was to be our personal butler during our six night stay. The resort is really quite large so Oni took us on a tour so we could orientate ourselves, en-route to our water villa which was situated on Frangipani beach.
The room was absolutely stunning! It’s 149 square meters (1603 square feet) so really spacious. And just look at the view!
There are two kinds of water villa – one with a pool and one without. Ours didn’t have a pool but who needs one when you’ve got the sea at your feet? I loved these hammock-style places to lie but honestly, they were quite difficult to get on and off!
The king sized bed was super comfy and luxurious with beautiful bedding and cushions. We slept very well! There was motion sensor lighting under the bed so if you got up in the night to go to the bathroom, it would come on for a few seconds so you could see better.
The bathroom was huge! It was also where the wardrobes were and for once in my life I actually completely unpacked all our clothes so we wouldn’t be living half out a suitcase. It was a game changer!
It had his and hers basins with lovely customised toiletry bags full of essentials such as vanity kits, toothpaste, toothbrush, mouth wash and shaving gel and razor.
The bath was just glorious. I am definitely a bath person and having a bath whilst watching the sun set, with the blinds up, was so relaxing. I was just hoping no one swam past!
The TV had loads of films to watch, which is handy if the weather isn’t great. Luckily for us, we had great weather – apart from one morning when it bucketed down for about 20 minutes.
You can order breakfast in your room for just a tray charge. We did this one morning before we were meant to go on an excursion, however this is the morning it bucketed down with rain and the excursion was cancelled. This photo was taken about 10 minutes before the rain….
The only negative aspect was that, whilst the villas were fairly far apart, you could see some of them from your terrace so it wasn’t completely private.
The resort was much bigger than we were expecting. In fact, we had bicycles to get around, which we loved! The island is 6km and is shaped a bit like an octopus. It’s got 12 beaches (most of which are by villas) and two pools – one of which is an infinity pool. There are also six restaurants and a spa, gym and tennis courts.
Our favourite beach was Reethi beach, which was by the main restaurant, which had three different areas – French, Italian and Asian. This is also where breakfast was served and I have to say, the options at breakfast were fantastic. There was so much to choose from – from eggs Benedict to dim sum and waffles.
They also had a wonderful selection of fresh juices and smoothies, which you could order at your table or at the juice bar. And the view wasn’t bad either…
Reethi beach is also where the pool is as well as the infinity pool. Oddly it was pretty quiet, which is why we liked it. There were a lot of families when we were there and I think they preferred the Beach Club or swimming by their villas.
The infinity pool is for adults only and it also has a built-in jacuzzi!
The pool was so tranquil and I loved how it was surrounded by palm trees. Like the infinity pool it also had a built-in jacuzzi.
The Beach Club wasn’t our cup of tea because the sun beds were too close together and it was definitely for families, with inflatables in the sea, games, table tennis and art classes. We did eat lunch there a few times though. The food was good!
In terms of restaurants there are six to choose from. We had half board which included dinner at Reethi and Fanditha. If we wanted to dine at the other restaurants we got credit. We ate at every restaurant bar one, at least once.
Surprising Reethi was one of my favourites, even though it’s also where you have breakfast. I liked it because there are three areas, with three different menus – French, Asian and Italian – so it didn’t feel like you were eating in the same place.
I thought Tapasake, the Japanese restaurant would be my favourite but it wasn’t. The food was good but it lacked something… what was awesome was this was where the sharks came at night, which was very cool to watch.
Another restaurant I really liked was Botanica, which is a garden to fork restaurant. All the herbs and vegetables are grown in their garden and the rest of the food is locally sourced. I liked it also because it was different – it wasn’t situated by any water but rather under the Banyan trees and the stars. The bar also has an extensive gin and tonic menu.
What to do
When you’re in paradise, the only thing to do is enjoy it! Seriously though, if you’re wondering whether a beach island holiday is for you, there are lots of things to do.
We loved spending some time before or after lunch cycling around the island. We don’t get to cycle at all at home in London so it’s always a treat when we can do so on holiday.
Spend the afternoon or morning relaxing at the spa. I only went to the spa once but it was really nice. Anyone can go and enjoy the facilities without having to have a treatment. There are different relaxation areas for men and women with a sauna, steam room and outdoor pool.
If you’re quite active, there are loads of activities you can do – from water sports to playing tennis, beach volleyball or football. There’s also a gym and two running routes, yoga classes in the morning and more. We did a private snorkelling trip to a reef to go and see the turtles and it was amazing! If you’re into diving, check out the best dive sites in the Maldives.
One of the highlights of our trip was a sunset champagne cruise which I bought for my husband as a birthday present. It was absolutely magical.
We were lucky in that there was only one other couple on the trip so we basically had the boat to ourselves! I would 100% book this again if we return!
We had an absolutely wonderful time at Reethi Rah. We loved the resort, our room was amazing and the food was great and we’d definitely return to this island paradise!
Binita3 years ago
Wow Maldives has now shot up on my list! You’re right who needs a pool when you have that stunning azure ocean right there! Like that you had dining options as thats one of my bug bears as I get bored easily if I am in a place for a longer stay. Looked fabulous and the perfect break.
Kirsty Marrins3 years ago AUTHOR
Definitely no need for a pool! Didn’t miss it at all. Yes, the resort we stayed at two years ago only has two restaurants at dinner so it did get a bit boring!
Bejal3 years ago
Great read Kirsty! I went to the Maldives many moons ago but I think it’s time to head back with Dr C. I think a few days would be good for me as I can’t just sit around. You’ve got me thinking…
Kirsty Marrins3 years ago AUTHOR
Thanks Be! We always combine it with somewhere in Asia, so you could do that? Sri lanka is less than a 2 hour flight away!