One&Only Reethi Rah
“We love the Maldives, but this was our first time at One&Only Reethi Rah – and wow, we were impressed. We wanted to be in a resort that could give us a special experience as a couple and cater for the kids - not an easy ask but the entire family left raving about it. One of the biggest atolls in the north Maldives, there is so much to do, from lazing on the beach or in the water to exploring the surrounding atolls by boat, or even visiting a local island. Food and service were spot on, making this one of my top family stays from the past few years.”
- Trusted Friends: Douglas & Samantha Forsyth, London
(Date Experienced: February 2011)
Escaping from the world in your own little pocket of paradise.
The Maldives work equally well as a romantic retreat (its a very popular honeymoon destination) or for family fun. At this resort you can combine both - the KidsOnly program keeps little ones occupied with a myriad of excellent activities (I kinda wished I could have gone!), including some specially designed for teenagers. Don’t worry about the setting, the lagoon is shallow enough to be perfectly safe and kids will never forget the natural encounters it offers them.
Our eldest is still talking about spotting “a real life shark” (safely small) on the sailing trip they took with KidsOnly. It provided classroom kudos for weeks. We loved watching the sun go down in total tranquility onboard a sunset Dhoni cruise.
Best time to go
December to April is the best Maldives season. The rest of the year is rainy season, but don’t let that put you off if you want to take advantage of out-of-season prices/less crowds as rain comes in short, sharp bursts.
The “sunset side” of the island has stronger currents, so the evenings are best enjoyed from the beach.
The resort is all-villa, and these are some of the largest villas in the world so expect plenty of space. Loved the design: sleek and comfortable at the same time with lots of natural textures such as sea grass, rattan, silk... We opted for a beach villa - direct beach access, private terrace and, in ours, a private pool. For families with older kids, the Duplex Beach Villas consist of two Beach Villas, five metres apart, joined by an external walkway. If this is your first time to the Maldives, do look at the water villas - there is something magical about looking directly into the clear lagoon beneath you or stepping straight into the water from your room! Kids under 12 not allowed in water villas.
Service & vibe
Our personal villa host Badhur was on hand 24/7 to organize our trip which was super helpful. The rest of the staff managed to maintain the delicate balance between exceptionally attentive and giving us enough space to relax. The GM Mark is super - always around and greeting everyone to ensure everything is running smoothly.
As with all Maldives trips, you pretty much stay on the island, so it helps that there is a good selection of restaurants to ensure you never get gastro-fatigue. The smartest option is Reethi Restaurant, which serves a delicious mix of Far Eastern, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean. For something a bit different try boho-chic, beach-side, Arabian-themed Fanditha or the healthy lunches (or cocktails!) at Rah Bar. We also really enjoyed the excellent Japanese at Tapasake - something a little different to keep our palettes interested. In-villa dining is also available.
Price per night
From $990 for a Beach Villa King
To Do & See
Really recommended if you’re into snorkeling or scuba is the atoll cruising in the resort’s 55-foot yacht as it allows guests to get out and about to new reefs and secluded sandbanks. The house reef is ok, but not the best in the area and it’s nice that they have this option for exploring. Even if you don’t want to go underwater its lovely to escape for an afternoon for a romantic picnic on a slip of sandbank or see the islands from above via the seaplane. Fishermen can try it Maldives-style from a traditional Dhoni, while those who want to know a little more about where they are can opt for a visit to a local island.
Sport & Activity
There is a well-equipped gym (with trainers to borrow - no excuses!) and two flood-lit tennis courts, but really, you should be getting out and about into the scenery: snorkeling and diving in the sea, beach volleyball, bicycling or jogging through the jungle. There’s even a Pétanque pitch for something a little more sedate.
Spa & Grooming
If the Maldives are all about relaxing, then a fab spa is a must. One&Only Spa by ESPA truly delivers. Secluded from the rest of the resort it is all about tranquility and retreat - helped by amazing ocean views. Natural therapies are administered in eight individual treatment suites and two over-water couple suites. Everything from massages to body firming to beauty. Loved the invigorating sun ritual with exfoliating sea salt and essential oils to stimulate circulation. There are also 7-14 day spa programs for a true overhaul!