Ritz-Carlton debuts in the Maldives with luxury all-villa, ocean-inspired resort

The top of the line global hotel chain in Fari Islands offers waterfront villas, private butlers, a floating spa and a Culinary Island

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The Ritz-Carlton has opened its first resort in the Maldives.

Now accepting guests for overnight stays, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands is a 100-waterfront-villa resort on the north-eastern tip of the North Male Atoll.

Reachable via a 10-minute seaplane or 45-minute speedboat ride, the newest resort in the Maldives is spread across three islands and an overwater quay.

Villas range from one to three bedrooms, and are set over the Indian Ocean or nestled along private shorelines. Stays start from $1,470, in an ocean pool view villa.

Interiors feature spacious living areas that blur the line between indoors and outdoors. Each residence has full-length sliding doors, an infinity pool with sundeck and an outdoor rainforest shower. The waterfront villas also come with overwater hammocks and direct access to the ocean below.

All guests staying at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands will have their own Aris Meeha (personal butler) on call 24 hours a day.

The resort's most exclusive accommodation is the sprawling Ritz-Carlton Estate, which takes up 1,500 square metres of oceanfront real estate and comes with a private beach, spa room and full kitchen complete with a private chef.

Ocean conservation and Maldivian drumming

The Ritz-Carlton, Fari Islands is the newest hotel in the Maldives and is located in an area famed for its clear waters teeming with marine life. Courtesy Ritz-Carlton / Marriott

Getting around the resort is easy, with bicycles provided for every guest, which is handy as there is plenty to explore including a family cooking class, a plant and animal safari around the resort, or a traditional dhoni (wooden fishing boat) sunset cruise.

Connecting with the surrounding environment is high on the agenda here and guests can take part in conservation activities designed by Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ambassadors of the Environment Programme, the first time that the oceanographic explorer's programme has been implemented in the Asia-Pacific region.

There's also a “Wonders of Water” ocean mystery programme, and an on-site dive school offering snorkelling and scuba-diving experiences.

Children have more than 30 activities to keep them busy including treasure hunts, drone lessons, campfire stories and more. Traditional boduberu drumming classes, the heart of Maldivian music, are also on offer.

Indulge on Culinary Island

The Ritz-Carlton, Fari Islands has a minimalist design inspired by the swirling waters of the Indian Ocean. Courtesy Ritz-Carlton / Marriott

When it comes to dining, guests can visit Culinary Island, where there is a host of restaurants. These include the Summer Pavilion, inspired by Ritz-Carlton's Michelin-starred Millenia restaurant in Singapore and Iwau – an open-air Japanese eatery with teppanyaki grills.

La Locanda serves Italian coffee and cuisine while the family-friendly Beach Shack is inspired by the carefree spirit of the Mediterranean, and has a menu packed with sharing plates and grilled seafood.

For a touch of opulence, Eau Bar offers fresh oysters or Maldivian afternoon tea, complete with a drumming and fire ritual every afternoon.

Further afield at Fari Marina, reachable via an eight-minute dhoni ride, is Arabesque, located inside a Bedouin tent. Tum Tum food truck can also be found here, serving up light Asian bites.

Designed by Kerry Hill Architects, the name behind both The Datai Langkawi in Malaysia and Amankora in Bhutan, the resort's design was inspired by its natural surroundings.

The swirling waters are conceptualised via the circular shape of the villas and the resort's floating spa, and the shape is also meant to represent the flow of island life.