The Residence Maldives
What We Love
- The range of watersports on offer, from diving and snorkeling to windsurfing and paddleboarding
- The heavenly treatments at the Maldives’ first Spa by Clarins
- Thatched villas feature Maldivian architecture and local art
What To Know
- Airport transfers to/from Malé (via a domestic flight and speedboat) are an additional fee per person, each way
- Falhumaafushi is a small island; you can walk around it in 15 minutes
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Room Service
Set on a diminutive private island on a remote atoll, the Residence makes good use of traditional Maldivian architecture and local art in its 94 spacious thatched villas—19 of which are right on the beach, with hammocks strung between palm trees, and 75 overwater villas snake out from both sides of the island. Sliding glass doors open onto wooden decks, and half the villas have plunge pools, perfect for cooling off. Light streams through the floor-to-ceiling windows, and the view is the thing: Even the freestanding bathtubs in the Italian marble bathrooms look out to the sea. The Dining Room is a beachfront bistro offering à la carte breakfast and lunch and chiefly Asian dishes in the evening. The poolside Beach Bar serves light snacks and tapas and is the place to bag a double daybed for a sunset cocktail. The Falhumaa is the jewel in the culinary crown, set at the end of a long jetty looking out to the ocean. The Mediterranean-influenced menu focuses on seafood and grilled meats (tuna tartare; grass-fed sirloin). For romance without the crowds, you can dine in-villa or feet-in-the-sand on a private island. You can spend your days in blissful idleness, flitting from sundeck to beach, pool to ocean, but there’s also plenty of ways to stay active, in and out of the water. The Spa by Clarins’s six overwater treatment pavilions and meditation deck look out to sea, and there are five exclusive massages administered by a team of Balinese and Indian therapists to go with Clarins’s traditional treatments.
In the Area
A good way to start the day is with yoga on the spa deck. Divers and snorkelers can try out the pristine reefs around Gaafu Alifu Atoll, and there’s a house reef close to the shore. Lounge by the pool or get active kayaking, paddle-boarding or windsurfing, learning to sail a catamaran or deep-sea fishing. For a glimpse of Maldivian life, take a boat to a nearby island village, or sail into the sunset on a traditional dhoni surrounded by curious dolphins. Have a romantic picnic on a deserted beach, or take a cooking class and enjoy the results for lunch. You can even learn how to mix and muddle at the bar while you create your own cocktail.
How to Get There
For starters, when we travel, I do a TON of research. I contacted a few resorts, and in some cases, the resorts took DAYS to respond. The Residence was always quick to reply, even noting the time difference. I knew this was the first sign of great service I would come to find on the island.
First... the Over Water Villas. We chose the Sunset villas, but you can't go wrong with any over water experience here. We had a gorgeous infinity pool, comfortable king bed and spacious living area and bathroom.
Every morning, from our own deck, we say Rays, Sharks, Fish... and a giant swimming fruit bat that eventually climbed our villa ladder. So cool.
Anyway, get breakfast served on your pool deck one morning. It's incredible. Also get the bubble bath, which was drawn by the staff and beautifully adorned with flower petals. It ended up being so romantic. Don't fear. the staff leaves AFTER they draw your bath... lol
The Staff: Absolutely on point. From Sue at the front desk, to Virgo the driver, to Francis our butler. They were all amazing. They knew where we were at every minute, like Ninjas. It was quite cool. Anything we needed, they helped with.
The Food: The Christmas dinner we had there was about $350 USD a piece, but so worth it. Another theme night was seafood bbq and that too was amazing.
The fancy spot... the Falushimaa(?) was actually our least favorite spot. We didn't enjoy either night there. I would avoid booking there, since their main dining hall usually has theme nights that are quite good as well.
We attempted to do The Sand dinner, but weather wouldn't allow for it. We were disappointed, but we understood. They have these special intimate package dinners. I recommend trying one. Book it early in your trip, since weather will make a HUGE difference on if you have do it or not. Nice to have back up dates in case of rain. That was a mistake we made.
The pool bar was great. Decent food for snacks. Really good, fresh drinks. My tip, ask them to NOT put sugar in things. We found the mojitos were so good without the added sugar. After a while, we didn't want any more sugar.
if you're there for a Management Cocktail reception, DO attend it. It was a ton of fun, with free food and drinks. Many of the staff show up to mingle. They had music and fun activities. The whole experience was excellent.
Don't miss breakfast. It's the best!
Activities: Snorkel Gear... and life jackets... all available for free. Grab them on Day 1, so you can snorkel from your own villa. There is plenty to see. Turtles, Rays, Fish, small sharks... and swimming bats. Yes, Fruit bats!
Everything was stellar. The staff will take 10,000 photos if you ask them to. They really want you to be happy.
Use the bikes they provide, or call for a buggy... or walk.
Beach is beautiful. You can use their Paddle boards and kayaks free of charge as well. Such a cool experience too.
Everything about Maldives was pure fantasy. If you're spending this much time to get there from the USA, you will want to carefully book for resort. I can recommend The Residence, simply from our amazing stay.
Amazing resort. Food incredible. Had a wonderful time and incredibly well looked after by the staff who were professional, yet friendly. Nothing was too much trouble. One hell of a journey and the reef a bit far out but other than that it was perfect and would definitely like to return.
We stayed at Villa 331 during 30.04.2018 and 17.05.2018 and this was our visit nr. 18 to Maldive islands.
This Villa has a well-equipped bathroom, a comfortable bedroom and a spacious living room. The living room could be prettified / decorated as it is a little impersonal / uncomfortable. Suggestion: Let a woman do this job to give the Villas a female touch.
Additionally an A/C for the living room is highly recommended.
All staff we met during our stay was quite professional and very friendly. We had a lot of fun with them on a professional way.
The only disadvantage of The Residence Maldives is the time we have to spend for getting there. Form door to door it takes almost 23 hours while the time in air was less than 12 hours. The uncomfortable 4 hours waiting time in Male for the domestic flight were annoying most. To increase the number of (non-stop) flights from Male would help but I do understand that this is not in their hands.
The food was good in "The Dining Room". They offer buffet (repeats every 7 days) and a la carte.
At our time the guests came mostly from Asia therefore you can get also Asian food including sushi for breakfast. Why not, it was of good taste :-).
"The Falhumaa" offers very good food (but you have to wear long trouser - or a funny sarong). The ambience there was very pleasant.
I highly recommend to choose a sunset water villa WITH pool (300 to 332) as the water there was wonderful. Only during low tide some of the villas (at about 320 to 324) are not in the water but surrounded by sand. But this may change from season to season.
Overall we like this beautiful green island with it's sandy roads.
The Residence Maldives is one of the best hotels visited and like to visit every year.
The quality of services is par excellence...from the time of check in to check out you are well taken care.
Their staff will leave no stone unturned to ensure that your stay was comfortable and memorable.
Great place to stay. The kids loved it. Two boys aged 6 and a baby 10 months. They took really good care of us and saw to oure every need. The kids did not want to leave.
Great food, great service and a smile on every face. 10/10 would go again.