Launched last year, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort exudes luxury from every nook and cranny. From the overwater spa to the array of lavish villas, its offerings make this sun-kissed property dazzle in the Asian hospitality orbit like a diamond. We took our cover girl, Bollywood actor Malaika Arora, for a wellness-centric weekend to South Asia’s aquamarine paradise. By Priyanka Chakrabarti
Producer Aindrila Mitra
Photographer Rohan Shrestha
Assisted By Sheldon Santios & Homyar Phiroze Patel
Stylist Tanya Ghavri
Assisted By Nidhi Jeswani
Hair & Makeup Mehak Oberoi
Location The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort
A 25-minute seaplane flight from Malé takes us to The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort. The idyllic vibe of the island evokes a sense of lasting tranquillity. We are in the heart of Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve that encapsulates 75 small and large islands. The reserve is a significant region with habitats ranging from coral reefs to islands, sea grass beds to mangroves. In fact, the coral reefs of the Maldivian archipelago account for five per cent of the world’s reef area, supporting nearly 250 species of corals and 1,200 reef fish species, besides turtles, manta rays, whale sharks, and seabirds.
Located amid such riches of nature, the Westin resort is the perfect place for a holistic holiday. It spoils you silly with features like glass-floored villas standing over lagoon waters, sea-facing spa therapies, an all-purpose gymnasium, and restaurants that ring with the sound of gushing waves.
A buggy glides smoothly on the white sands of the private island, taking us from the jetty to our accommodation in a couple of minutes. Each of our beach villas opens to a private pool and deck, and a few yards farther, a gorgeous stretch of beach. Magnificent coral gardens and reef fish are merely steps away from the room. Malaika Arora opts for a Heavenly Beach Residence Pool accommodation; it is a two-bedroom villa that has amazing views of the ocean, easy beach access, and an open-air private pool. “I love this place. The property is gorgeous!” she utters in delight.
The extravagance of these leisure citadels takes your breath away. The villas have optional open-air bathing areas contoured with lush green flora. Each room comes with modern state-of-the-art amenities, a brimming minibar, toiletries in environment-conscious glass bottles, and lavender-infused sleeping oil in case the perpetual sound of rolling waves doesn’t put you to sleep. The best part is the bed. They call it the Heavenly Bed, and I can vouch for the nomenclature. After a long day, the mattress feels as light and soft as a ball of cloud. The linen has a silken touch to it and instantly purges your body of the day’s exhaustion, inducing deep slumber.
Evenings are meant for beach strolls. To call the setting picturesque would be an understatement. Think of a white-sand beach laced with palm trees and a rose-hued sky dotted by synchronous flights of seabirds. If you are lucky, you might just spot schools of dolphins in the sea at sunset.
The resort has been conceptualised by Italian architects at PEIA Associati. The design incorporates plenty of marine elements: the arrival pavillion looks like a clamshell, the kids’ club is set in a structure that resembles a huge gaping fish, and the overwater villas remind you of turtles floating on water.
At Island Kitchen, the all-day diner of the property, we gorge on a huge spread, where the tuna curry and crab salad steal the show. Here, you can enjoy breakfast by the pool. Elsewhere on the island, Hawker, an Asian fusion joint, dishes out street food-inspired plates: think pork satay, prawns, spicy noodles, etc. If you swear by Japanese cuisine, head to The Pearl and order your sushi and sake while soaking in the beauty of the Indian Ocean. On laid-back evenings, guests prefer the rooftop lounge called Sunset Bar for handcrafted cocktails with stellar views of the ocean bathed in golden sunlight.
The resort practises responsible hospitality. The construction material used in the villas was re-purposed, and the resort promotes sustainable fishing by purchasing catch from local fishermen. Coral farming is also in the pipeline with the help of a marine biologist, and given the state of the world’s oceans, it sounds like a timely idea.
“Westin goes by the tagline ‘Let’s Rise’, and the philosophy behind it is our services, where we say—‘no matter where you are, whether in a city hotel or at a leisure resort, we support you with all kinds of services to ensure you don’t need to move out of your wellness regime’,” says a hotel representative. The brand has six pillars of wellness—Sleep Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, Play Well, and Eat Well. Under the concept of Eat Well, there is a set of corporate recipes circulated across properties. Moreover, the curated cocktail menu lacks any synthetic ingredients.
Under the Sleep Well model, the Heavenly Bed in each room is made up of 10 layers to ensure high levels of comfort.
The epicentre of wellness at the resort, Heavenly Spa by Westin™, is built over the ocean with a glass floor to ensure that your sensorial experience is heightened. Each therapy room has spectacular views of the cerulean waters. My 60-minute Balinese massage is beautifully accompanied by a lilac sunset. For those who favour active holidays, there is the contemporary WestinWorkout® Fitness Studio and a multi-function recreation ground, where you can burn all those holiday calories. Hit the gym, try a yoga class, or partake in a game of tennis, basketball, or volleyball. The choices are many, the goal one.
Offering a relaxing vacation, enveloping you in paradisiacal views of the sapphire-blue sea, and tossing in enjoyable fitness activities, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort delivers the wellness vacation you deserve.
SriLankan Airlines runs frequent flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Malé with a stopover in Colombo. Ask the resort to book you the 25-minute seaplane flight from Malé International Airport to the island.
The resort has a menu of 70 well-appointed villas and suites. Among these, 41 are on the white-sand island and 29 perch over the lagoon water—all of them look out to picture-perfect views of the azure ocean. The one-bedroom Beach Villa Pool starts from INR 29,413 per night, including breakfast.
The Pearl is the resort’s Japanese restaurant. Endowed with exceptional views of the ocean, it serves Japanese delicacies in an elegant setting. Island Kitchen, the all-day dining spot, plates Maldivian, Indian, and Asian delights. Here, you can enjoy superfoods for breakfast in an al fresco setting. Hawker, on the other hand, serves authentic Asian food in a casual setting; it has a bar and a live kitchen as well. Overlooking the ocean, Sunset Bar is a lounge bar that provides the perfect spot to unwind at the end of the day.
The Heavenly Spa by Westin™ has an array of services that will rejuvenate you. Try a combination of body wrap, facial, and full-body scrub to maintain that vacation glow. If you are looking for a body massage, we highly recommend the 60-minute Balinese massage ( INR 10,356).