At the southernmost point in The Maldives, just below the equator, lies Addu Atoll and, within it, the island of Villingili. That’s where Shangri-La Villingili has opened its newest resort, a 142-villa affair that utilizes the country’s crystal clear waters regardless of where on the island you stay. The coral-laden sea is most obvious from 60 waterfront villas that extend out over a lagoon where hawksbill turtles frolic alongside swimming guests.
Almost a full half of each of these spacious villas is set aside for the bathroom, one that includes both indoor and outdoor showers, opposing sinks and vanities, and a large central tub that just begs to be soaked in. Sliding doors shut the bedroom off from the entrance and bathroom.
The bedroom itself, crated from a mélange of Indian, Indonesian and Thai designs, is fitted with two iPods and a docking station, a 40-inch television, DVD player and espresso machine. There are plush bathrobes in the closet, but what is unusual is hat each villa comes with two lifejackets as well. Look out the window, and it’s not so strange.
The water villas really come into their own when they step down across two wooden balconies and a net hammock towards the atoll’s rich blue lagoon. There are also beach villas that follow a similar layout, while the resort’s “tree top” accommodations offer 218 sqm of space divided between a bedroom and a bathroom, and a separate living room. Between the two buildings is an infinity pool and outdoor deck area that overlooks the Indian Ocean. It’s all as if you’re never meant to leave your villa, and that is the general attitude in The Maldives.
Eventually, guests will explore the rest of Villingili, whether along nature trails both on land an in the water, or at a more relaxing pace at CHI, the resort’s spa that specializes in traditional Chinese and Himalayan treatments. The Spa itself is located on the highest point of the island, at a not so dizzying 2.3 meters.
Source: Condé Nast Traveler – South East Asia Edition