Local & Luxurious – Here’s What Makes W Maldives The Island Escape Of Your Dreams

W Maldives

“Clink clink,” went our champagne glasses as we raised a toast to a much-needed escape, standing on our beach cabana against the backdrop of palm trees, ocean breeze, turquoise lagoons and white sand. Drinking with a view this gorgeous is something I wouldn’t mind doing on repeat. Such is the feeling when at the luxurious W Maldives nestled on Fesdu island. But that’s not all that this 5-star private island resort has to offer. 

 

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The first time I visited The Maldives was way back in 2018. Of course, the beaches and pristine blue water had my heart, which made me eager to visit again. However, it was the dining experience that left me a bit disappointed. I had no access to the local vegetables or seafood and that was the only thing lacking on an otherwise beautiful vacation. Fast forward to 2022, my recent visit to W Maldives changed my perspective on the offerings of these islands. The Maldives is so much more than its crystal clear sea. It’s big on sustainability and local produce. This trip has been a learning curve for me, besides being a relaxing getaway from the otherwise hectic work life. Ahead, you’ll find out why I’m convinced W Maldives deserves a spot on everyone’s bucket list. 

W Maldives

Heavenly Abode 

W Maldives features 77 private escapes and suites, 27 on the beach and 50 overwater–all including your own infinity pool (hello in-room floating breakfast!). We opted for the beach bungalow as it gave us the best of both worlds–direct pool and beach access. The beach cabana is a part of this room and it comes with a swing for you to sit peacefully and listen to the sound of the waves. What’s more? A music system featuring speakers in every nook and corner of the room, even in the balcony and shower area (I grooved to Jack Harlow’s First Class as I enjoyed my luxurious bath–it just matched the vibe). And then I ended my first day by relaxing in the deluxe bathtub. One might prefer sitting in it during the day but I preferred soaking in it at night. ‘Cause as you lean back in the tub, and look above, there’s a small open window in the ceiling that gives you a peek into the sky filled with stars! With a room like that, it does get hard to get out. 

W Maldives

Tranquillity Redefined  

Called the AWAY® Spa and rightly so, you feel like you’re far away from all your worries as you step into this serene space. Your muscles will get the TLC in an overwater treatment room with an unobstructed ocean view–which made me feel relaxed even before my spa began. From the multiple options of treatments that are offered, I chose the 60-minute Detox Spa, perfect for my body after the sunset yoga from the previous day. I felt light as a feather when I was done. If you want the relaxed feeling to continue, you can indulge in some jasmine tea and fruits on the seabeds outside and continue watching the beautiful blue sea. 

 

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Gastronomical Delights  

W Maldives lets you indulge in the finest global flavours including its own traditional Maldivian cuisine. But taking into consideration not only the need for sustainability but also the dietary preference of every individual, the island resort has introduced a year-long vegan and low-waste menu by the vegan chef and author of The Modern Tiffin, Priyanka Naik. 

W Maldives
Chef Priyanka Naik

You might wonder what’s the need for a sustainable lifestyle in The Maldives. The fact is that it is in dire need of it because of how it is being affected by global warming. “The sea levels are rising, and the islands are likely to submerge by 2050. That’s a scary thought. So if we can think of how we can live more sustainably through the lens of food, that could be a way to start breaking the cycle of the negative effects of global warming,” Priyanka explains.  

W Maldives
Charred Sweet Potato – Chili Sesame Dressing, Fresh Coriander, Toasted Almonds

The chef has developed a custom vegan menu comprising two starters, two mains and one dessert, each paired with a different cocktail. “I want to highlight local indigenous produce, and support the local communities and farmers. It’s the most sustainable way to eat by using what the farmers have grown on the island and to use what’s seasonal. When you use things that are seasonal, it’s much more sustainable from the core and the vegetables are more nutrient-dense. Each dish is very unique in flavours but each dish incorporates something that is locally sourced,” Priyanka shares. 

W Maldives
Spiced Up Watermelon Mint Salad In Tahini Lemon Crema

Fun fact: There is an island in the Maldives that is dedicated to growing local fruits and vegetables. And that’s exactly where Priyanka sourced her ingredients from. The very first dish is a Spiced Up Watermelon Mint Salad featuring red and yellow watermelons. Yup, yellow watermelons are grown locally in the Maldives, and it’s tastier. The rest of the menu includes Chilli Sesame Dressed Charred Sweet Potatoes, W made Pappardelle Local Kale Pesto, Double textured Spicy Blistered Eggplant in peanut sauce, and Coconut Rose Gulab Jamuns with Local Passionfruit Puree.  

W Maldives
Coconut Rose Gulab Jamuns with Local Passionfruit Puree

There are multiple dining options if vegan food isn’t your jam. Seafood lovers can head to the overwater specialty restaurant FISH® featuring Ocean To Table cuisine, the must-try being the fresh catch of the day. We opted for the red snapper with one half grilled and the other half made into a lip-smacking Maldivain fish curry. We also devoured the pan-fried scallops before this dish and the Kanamadhu chocolate cake (a local delicacy) right after–it was the perfect sweet ending. 

 

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FIRE® offers a romantic and casual BBQ dining experience under the stars. The restaurant KITCHEN® features a unique and modern reinvention of the bistro, offering Pan Asian dishes with a focus on Southeast Asian cuisine. The Pepes Ikan Kakap–a marinated snapper in banana leaf with tomato, basil, chilli, bok choy and rice–is highly recommended. This restaurant is also your go-to breakfast spot. Choose from a vast breakfast spread to kick-start your day. At the Maldivian pop-up café KADA, you must opt for the Kopi fai satani, a leafy salad made with local lettuce, coconut, onion, chilli and lime–I would go back to W just to dig into it again! Another unmissable is the Grilled Prawns. 

W Maldives

Sunset bar SIP® and poolside bar WET® sort you for cocktails. But the former is my personal preference as you unwind with a refreshing cocktail while watching the captivating sunset. Recommended cocktails include Mojoy, Chunk 47, Double Trouble. 

 

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Escape To Gaathafushi 

Looking for some privacy? W Maldives lets you get off the island and experience an ambiance where all you see is the deep blue ocean as you step onto its private yacht, Escape. Watch the varied colours of the sunset as you sip on wine with your partner and just be grateful for your surroundings. Then head straight to the private island Gaathafushi, which is 2 minutes away from Fesdu island, for a lit-up romantic dinner date or intimate dinner with friends and family. Indulge in an ocean-to-table dining experience with fresh grilled lobsters and king prawns along with a tropical dessert platter. When you head back to the main island, don’t forget to take a last look at the magical sky filled with stars–it looks like a scene from a painting!

W Maldives

For The Water Baby  

Set the adventurer in you free and flirt with the waves through paddle boarding, kayaking, and parasailing, among other water sports set up by the in-house water sports centre Wave. I tried jet-skiing for the very first time. Imagine being right in the middle of the Indian Ocean surrounding the resort or venturing to the nearby uninhabited islands with a guided jet-ski tour–the adrenaline rush right after is real! The Fun Tube is another exciting ride you can enjoy with your friends.

But if I had to choose the best, it would be snorkelling, which again, I tried for the first time. W Maldives gives you the opportunity to explore its reef which is in close proximity to the island. Say hello to multiple Nemos and Doris along with other colourful fish and corals. I was lucky to spot all three turtles including the biggest and oldest one–Bob. These species have such a calming presence, I came out appreciating the marine life even more. You can also join a night snorkelling session to see the underwater world come alive when the sun goes down. 

 

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Wish to go beyond the surface of the sea? Get up close and personal with the mesmerizing marine life as you dive into the waters with the PADI diving professional and discover some of the best dive spots in the Maldives all within close proximity to W Maldives. 

 

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From savouring an all-new vegan menu, exploring the local produce of land and sea through Maldivian flavours to sippin’ on delectable cocktails while watching the sunset and enjoying a well-lit dinner on a private island–W Maldives ensures you are taken care of luxuriously with Whatever/Whenever you need.

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