Fly into the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives, for an experience like no other
A renowned tropical destination of breathtaking beauty, the Maldives is a top getaway for the rich and famous as well as elite tourists from the Gulf and the Middle East.
While choice luxury resorts abound, the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa offers well-heeled holidaymakers the option of hopping aboard their private jet and flying directly to a private airport right next to the resort, before being whisked off for a holiday in paradise.
The brightest gem in the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean, Villingili Island lies nestled in the Addu Atoll in the archipelago, 478 km south of the capital Malé.
Comprising seven inhabited and about 20 uninhabited islands, Addu Atoll extends the islands of the Maldives to the southern hemisphere, crossing the equator, with the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives being the first luxury resort in this location.
The heart-shaped atoll, which is about 18 km wide and 15 km long, has some of the biggest islands in the Maldives and stunning coral reef formation that is the largest in the country.
On the western side of the atoll, causeways connect the islands of Gan, Feydhoo, Maradhoo-Feydhoo, Maradhoo and Hithadhoo, making this the largest land mass in the country and the only other region of the Maldives other than Male to have road traffic. Unspoiled Maldivian villages and local coffee shops along this 17-km route provide an authentic setting to explore the fascinating lifestyle and culture of the real Maldives.
At the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, all experiences are bespoke and tailored to suit one’s passions, says Kirsty Danks-Brown, the hotel’s Director of Sales and Marketing.
“Getting to our resort by private jet is a spectacular arrival experience like no other in the Maldives,” she says. “Arrive in style as you land at Gan International airport, with onsite immigration at the Executive Lounge for a smooth and personalised process, followed by a five-minute speedboat transfer to our private hideaway.
“Retreat in style in one of our private villas perched atop the emerald green jungle, or strung along the turquoise shoreline. The spacious villas are the perfect haven for couples and families alike and our island host will ensure all your desires are catered for.”
FIT FOR A PRESIDENT
The resort offers a total of 132 villas. From private ocean retreats to tropical tree houses with panoramic views, resort accommodation features seven distinct styles of villas and two presidential villas. The villas are a minimum of 133 sq m in size, whilst the two presidential villas – Villa Muthee and Villa Laalu – are a sprawling 570 and 957 sq m respectively.
Villa Muthee, meaning “pearl” in the local Dhivehi language, features an airy living room decorated with Asian and Eastern influences such as Lipao teak with mother-of-pearl accents. Housed in a self-contained entertainment pavilion fronted by a 16-m pool, it also has an outdoor dining pavilion and its own spa pavilion. After a calming massage, guests can soak in the round bathtub that is the centrepiece of the spacious bathroom.
Offering the best in lifestyle features for VIPs, Villa Laalu is billed as the ultimate luxury experience at the resort and the jewel in its crown. Laalu means “diamond” in the local Dhivehi language, and Villa Laalu features the choicest amenities and accessories and is a gem of a place in which to stay.
Carefully selected artworks are on display throughout this exquisite villa together with precious, high-end Asian artefacts, sculptures and urns from Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The villa features two large bedrooms with high ceilings, an extensive garden and amenities to suit the needs of the most discerning guests. Round-the-clock in-villa dining can be enjoyed in the living room with timber-decked verandas, or in the air-conditioned or al fresco dining pavilions. The tastefully appointed master bathroom brings the outdoors in, accented by a luxurious tub for two raised off the floor on textured stone with an adjacent cascading water feature.
A spa pavilion set amidst the greenery means spa treatments can be enjoyed in the privacy of the villa. There is an outdoor designer shower with body jets, a sauna and a gym with its own private courtyard and garden, an inspiring study room that faces the ocean and a bedroom for personal staff. A personal villa host is on hand 24/7 to attend to any requests.
Sumptuous gastronomic treats await at the resort’s three restaurants – Dr Ali’s Restaurant and Bar, Javvu Restaurant and Fashala Restaurant and Lounge.
Dr Ali’s Restaurant and Bar offers cuisine from East Asia to the Middle East and includes an Arabian Gulf living room, where the culinary emphasis is on Lebanese cuisine as well as quintessential dishes from the entire Middle East region such as hummus, salads, tagine, kebabs and saj. Javvu offers world cuisine while Fashala specialises in Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Additionally, the M-Lounge is a beachfront venue perfect for sundowners and late-night drinks, while the Endheri Pool Bar offers an al fresco poolside scene at the heart of the resort.
Guests can also enjoy ‘Dine by Design’ experiences at the outdoor location of their choice, be it a lunch on the equator aboard a luxury yacht or a romantic dinner in the jungle, says Danks-Brown.
For wellness and rejuvenation, the resort has a massive Chi spa, spanning over 16,700 sq m, within the resort. Eleven spacious treatment villas offer the Chi signature “spa within a spa” concept, featuring private treatment rooms, lounging areas, steam rooms, outdoor gardens and bathing facilities along with two meditation pavilions and a yoga pavilion with views overlooking the Indian Ocean.
And for recreation, guests can walk or jog through the resort’s jungle, dive into lagoons or play a round at the only nine-hole golf course in the Maldives. Off shore, an aquatic playground of wave-surfing, kayaking, sailing and “snorkel gardens” awaits. For diving enthusiasts, there are more than 25 dive sites teeming with marine life, including year-round manta ray. There is also the dramatic 140-m British Loyalty shipwreck for experienced divers to explore.
Guests can also visit the local villages and farms on the neighbouring islands for an insight into the local culture.
“Memorable experiences await in the heart of extraordinary physical beauty. Villingili is the largest resort’s island in the Maldives, allowing for multiple activities, dining destinations, and for each one to enjoy his own piece of paradise in utmost privacy,” Danks-Brown concludes.
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