As travel starts to resume, The Maldives is the perfect escape from the city to a safe, family-friendly, picturesque paradise. LUX* North Malé Atoll, offers contemporary luxury that defies all the norms.
Reviewed by Lara Mansour Sawaya
Accessed via a short boat ride from the capital, this stylish hideaway in the tranquil Indian Ocean offers a modern atmosphere and unique attention to detail. Designed by Singaporean design group MIAHA, the unusual property replaces the traditional Maldivian style of thatched villas with striking penthouse residences that bring a touch of South Beach to the Indian Ocean islands. I called it a hidden gem.
Each of the 67 residences is situated along the beach or over water, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the beauty of the landscape and feel at ease from the moment they arrive.
Choose from one, two or three-bedroom villas. Each residence comes complete with a 120sq metre roof terrace – a magnificent private deck elevated 5-12 metres above the lagoon – from which guests will have a unique perspective to marvel over the planet’s flattest country.
The two-bedroom residences feature private infinity pools, while the three-bedroom retreats offer a dedicated living room, walk-in closets and steam, sauna, private fitness area, private beach area and a private Infinity pool. As well as a possible villa access by yacht thanks to private docking facilities on the three-bedroom overwater retreats. All of the rooms feature modern, spacious interiors. Bright and airy they feel relaxing from the moment you enter.
For the ultimate in luxury, the three-bedroom LUX* Beach Retreat is the star of the show. It offers the ultimate private island experience to rest, relax and play. Featuring three storeys, three bedrooms and 970 square metres of unparalleled luxury set on a stretch of exclusive private beach, this sanctuary is truly a first in the Maldives. The tastefully decorated villa is open onto an expanse of terrace bordering a large infinity pool and gazebo, ideal for dinners outdoors overlooking the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean – the most magnificent backdrop for an unforgettable holiday.
The highlight is the 12-metre high rooftop, which a perfect space for yoga, barbecues, movie-screenings, intimate candlelit dinners and cocktails at sunset. The unique architecture and design of the LUX* Beach Retreat, offers a spacious living room area, indoor and outdoor bathrooms, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows, showering the interior with sunlight throughout the day.
The sense of finesse extends to the fitness area inclusive of a gym, steam room and sauna. There are several extra special touches available from bedtime storybook reading for kids, to customised in-villa activities. This truly is the best way to travel, and there’s room for all the family!
Food & Dining
With options ranging from fine dining to eating in the comfort of your suite, to extraordinary al-fresco experiences, no request is too much for the team at LUX*. The food is truly special and a rare find on the islands of a vast offering of cuisines of a great standard. INTI; the resorts Peruvian-Japanese culinary sensation offers a unique blend of two cuisines. Its uniqueness comes in the form of a live sushi and ceviche bar as well as a stunning outdoor terrace for dramatic views of the Indian Ocean. Simple, clean and sharply executed, the menu features the finest and freshest fish, meat and vegetables and finds a perfect balance between these two distinct cultures. Savour octopus with black olive mayo, Tiradito breads and smoky guacamole – or take in a five-course fresh fish Ceviche tasting. Served with imaginative sophistication, these are dishes created by local and international masters that make INTI an experience you won’t forget.
Accessed via a secret door, Barium is a special, hidden chamber that offers an unforgettably unique dinner experience for select guests. Situated amongst an aquarium of dazzling fishes, Barium’s divinely seductive decor is only the start of a truly bespoke journey towards enduring memories. Located beneath The Bar, this private and secluded area is the ultimate, ethereal spot for a personalised celebration or a special event – a place where moments are weaved into an evening that is yours and yours alone. Personal butlers will lead you through tailor-made menus featuring the most delicately innovative food by award-winning chefs. Barium can be booked for exclusive dinners and events for a limited number of people.
If you’re looking for a more casual experience Beach Rouge is complete with a hint of the French Riviera in the airy white and red decor. In the lounge area, mocktails and tapas make for lazy days, and as the night’s sky takes over, Beach Rouge brings in smoky aromas of premium meat to Ora king salmon with delicious side dishes and sauces from its steak house menu. Glow Bar provides island-inspired bites and refreshments by day and becomes sophisticated by night. Also a must-try is the in-resort ice cream parlour Ici which is a home away from home, while Café LUX* ensures you will never go without your morning coffee.
And finally, the dining destinations offering allows guests to dine at various locations around the resort from residence rooftops, to the beach even dining while relaxing in your private infinity pool. The level of creativity is incredible and no request is too much!
Spa & Wellness
Lux* Me Spa is comprised of overwater treatment villas with uncompromised views of the ocean. With five private treatment villas and an overwater beauty salon, this will be a spa experience like no other! As well as specialised treatments Lux* Me Spa also features a sauna and fitness city as well as a children’s spa and rooftop yoga classes.
The spa adopts a personalised approach to your wellbeing, offering a unique combination of treatments and activities that cater to your personal needs. Must-try experiences include the Zhengliao Chinese Medicine Treatment, the Shirley Page Absolute Relaxing Massage and of course, the Balinese massage. Experience your treatment surrounded by blue seas and the sounds of ocean waves.
Sports & Leisure
One thing is for sure, you won’t get bored on this island thanks to the abundance of sports and leisure activities offering once in a lifetime experiences. From private yacht charters to snorkelling, fishing, jet skiing and even surfing, there is something for everyone from thrill-seekers to those looking to expand their horizons.
The island is surrounded by extraordinary wildlife, from colourful coral reefs to unusual fish to turtles and dolphins. You’ll be truly amazed by everything there is to discover. Make sure to book a sunset cruise on the Catamaran, it is guaranteed that you will enjoy a memorable moment.
For more details on the resort as well as bookings visit