For those with the means, a private island in a tropical destination is the ultimate place to isolate from the global pandemic.
Among the destinations most well-equipped to capitalize on this desire is the Maldives, which is made up of 1,200 small islands.
Though the majority of the Maldives’ resorts are already relatively private, with one property per island, there are a few options for travelers looking to take things to the next level.
The latest comes courtesy of the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi resort, which this week officially opened “Ithaafushi – The Private Island”.
Spread over 32,000 square meters, it’s being marketed as the largest private island in the Maldives and can be bought out for $80,000 a night.
The island can accommodate 24 guests in three buildings: there’s a two-bedroom overwater villa with indoor and outdoor rain showers, a shared living room, infinity pool and Jacuzzi; a three-bedroom beach villa with two swimming pools; and the four-bedroom residence, which comes with two king bedrooms, two queen bedrooms, Jacuzzies and large common living area, all with direct access to the beach.
The island’s architecture and interiors are described as “refined yet modern,” “with a nod to Maldivian charm.” Guests will have their own personal concierge team.
“Designed for the most discerning of travelers, the Ithaafushi – The Private Island is the epitome of exclusivity, perfectly placed within one of the most inspirational destinations in the world where a dedicated team anticipates every need and delivers the brand’s elegant and effortless service at every turn,” said Nils-Arne Schroeder, vice president of luxury and lifestyle for Waldorf Astoria parent company Hilton Asia Pacific, in a statement.
Bonus: It’s easy to get to from the international airport in capital Male. Guests can access the island via a 40-minute ride on one of the resort’s six yachts. For those who want to enjoy those amazing seaplane views, a 15-minute flight option is available.
In terms of dining, the private island has its own dedicated culinary team that can create a bespoke menu served in a variety of settings.
Alternatively, the main Waldorf Astoria resort is a short boat ride away for guests who want to check out its 10 specialty dining venues. This includes The Ledge, created by Dave Pynt of Michelin-starred Burnt Ends restaurant in Singapore.
Worried you’ll get bored? Ithaafushi – The Private Island offers all the usual delights the Maldives is famed for, including watersports, diving and yacht trips. There’s also a dedicated wellness concierge at the island’s overwater spa to provide customized treatments.
Additional amenities include a meditation and yoga pavilion and a fully equipped gym. For kids, there’s a dedicated children’s pool and gaming area.
Maldives is open to all travelers
The Maldives reopened to international tourism on July 15.
Almost all global travelers – US citizens included – do not have to enter into a mandatory quarantine upon arrival at Velana International Airport in the capital, Male.
However, all arrivals other than Maldives citizens must present a certificate of a negative PCR test carried out within the 96 hours prior to departure, clearly showing the name and address of the laboratory, as well as the date of the sample taken.
Like all countries heavily reliant on tourism, the country has been hit hard by the crisis. According to the World Bank, tourism directly and indirectly accounts for two-thirds of the country’s GDP.
The industry boomed in 2019 as visitor arrivals grew by 14.7% (year on year), with total arrivals reaching a record 1.7 million. Officials were hoping they’d hit 2 million arrivals in 2020.
In a statement issued in May 2020, Ali Waheed, the country’s minister for tourism, described the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as “more devastating than the 2004 tsunami and the 2008 global financial crisis.”