Recently our Sales and Marketing Manager, Mie – went back home to the Maldives. She got to spend some time at One&Only Reethi Rah and we are delighted to share her experience with you!
I was excited to return to One&Only Reethi Rah. I had first visited the island when the resort had just opened, and it blew my mind then and it is no surprise it blew my mind again!
I arrived in Velana international airport in the morning and was greeted by Hussain, the Airport Manager of One&Only of 20 years and my dear Dad (I am Maldivian for those who didn’t know)! I could not have asked for a warmer welcome. Hussain is a bit of a legend at the airport, so it was great to have him welcome me, he escorted me to my private yacht transfer and had plenty of stories to tell me. Once I got settled in my boat host, Ahmed gave me a welcome drink and briefed me on all the safety aspects of the boat in case of an emergency. I felt very safe. He then gave me small orientation around the boat. There was Wi-Fi, speakers to connect my music, a charger for my phone and a room for me to have a little nap if I felt like it. They had thought of everything. The transfer from the airport to the resort took 1 hour. I was impressed.
As the yacht approached the island, I could see Jan (GM), Sian (Director of Sales & Marketing) and Jeremy (Marketing and Communications Manager) and I was so excited to finally meet the team! After a quick hello my Butler Irufan was ready to take me to my villa. He first took me for an orientation drive around the island and I am glad he did because it is huge! It is well laid out, the paths are all clearly sign posted and covered in lush vegetation, which is quite important in the Maldives. It can get extremely hot in the afternoons. I later went for a cycle ride around the island and just loved it!
I stayed in a Beach Villa with Pool located on the Grand Beach, which is the biggest of them all and in my opinion the best location. It has a sunset view and is in the middle of the island where nothing seems too far away. I can easily walk to breakfast in the mornings at the Reethi Restaurant and the rest of the restaurants were a short cycle away. Irfan was also always around to pick me up and drop me off in the buggy if I did not fancy cycling and if you really do want to go the extra mile, you can rent your own buggy for the day at One&Only Reethi Rah.
My room was incredible, it had a beautiful landscape layout and overlooked the beach and the water. I do have to note, that I have not seen this much of private beach per villa anywhere else in the Maldives. It had a pool, a day bed, a hammock, and some lounge chairs to sunbathe. The inside of the room was impressive too and well thought out. My favourite bit was the bed, I had such a great sleep that I had missed out on breakfast on the first day!
My dining highlight was at Tapasake, the signature restaurant with Sian the Director of Sales and Marketing. It was lovely to have a catch up and I had some delicious sushi that was made with crispy black Maldivian rice and tuna and chocolate fingers for dessert. I also had a wonderful hot stone massage by Ubon – a delightful therapist and a meditation session with Tamara the visiting Yogi. It is safe to say I left One&Only Reethi Rah feeling very zen.
As for Covid, it is an oasis amongst the chaos of the world. All the staff wear masks, but guests can roam freely without one as all guests provide a negative PCR test on arrival. They do take your temperature every morning at breakfast to be safe and ask you to wear a mask when inside the Reethi Restaurant when you go up to the buffet, other than that it was business as usual. It was such refreshing change for me from being cooped up in a London flat over 15 months.
The service at One&Only was faultless, it is so clear why even after so many years the resort remains at the top, setting the bar for luxury in the Maldives.