By Raul Dias | Opening Doorz Editorial |May 17, 2023
“I can still smell the fresh paint. The china had never been used. The sheets had never been slept in…”
Remember these iconic lines from the Hollywood blockbuster Titanic? Well, they were my exact thoughts as I first checked in and checked out the relatively new (opened in 2019) Baglioni Resort Maldives in late April, this year. This one is located on the island of Maagau in the pristine Dhaalu atoll, just a 45-minute seaplane hop from Malé, the capital of the Maldives archipelago.
Baglioni Resort Maldives … Plush Villas
Featuring a total of 85 villas including the beach villas and the Maldivian staple of the overwater villa, the accommodation options here are lavish to say the very least. Everything and everyone at this resort with decidedly Italian underpinnings sparkled at their brilliant best. A few of the villas even feature a private infinity pool and are furnished with a refreshing colour palette that reflects the warm hues of the sky and shore. Locally inspired accents and considered amenities are complemented by panoramic views of the beachfront and surrounding lagoon.
I was lucky to have been given the experience of spending my three nights at Baglioni in one of the over-water villas. These villas amid glorious tropical nature are surrounded by virgin turquoise waters and velvet-smooth white sands. I had my eye on the grand three-bedroom Baglioni Residence. This, however, is a haven for larger groups, set apart on a private cul-de-sac at the end of the water villa pier.
Picturesque spaces for indoor and outdoor entertaining, including an over-water deck, set the scene for memorable celebrations, while the residence’s fully-fitted kitchen and living-cum-dining room, outdoor pool, and private pier ensure a sense of exclusivity.
The resort’s villas inventory, I was told, has been enriched with new categories: ‘Two Bedrooms Pool Suite Beach Villa’, and ‘Pool Sunset Beach Villa’. The Two Bedrooms Pool Suite Beach Villas are perfect accommodations for families wanting to enjoy a comfortable stay. These elegant Villas offer an exceptional space with two bedrooms, direct beach access, and a private pool. The Pool Sunset Beach Villas are designed for an intimate beach getaway. They offer a relaxation space with direct beach access and a private plunge pool to enjoy a sublime stay. Perfectly placed for dazzling sunset views.
Baglioni Resort Maldives … Thought for Food!
From breakfast to after-dinner, an array of food and drink is on offer, all in the resort’s signature Italian style. A Pool Bar and three restaurants serve, what they claim to be, “gourmet dishes alongside a Healthy Menu of light, nutritious creations and a Kids’ Menu crafted especially for younger guests”. Sophisticated aperitivi, wine tastings, and personalised private dinners complete the offering.
‘Gusto’, the resort’s signature, dinner-only Italian restaurant offers a feast of authentic Italian cuisine, the center-piece of a stay with Baglioni Hotels. Gazing across the ocean, this is the ideal location for a romantic dinner under the stars, with the seductive murmur of the waves in the background. My pick off the menu: the veal osso bucco with saffron risotto and the grilled octopus. All washed down with a Chianti.
Located on the same pier that houses one set of overwater villas, Umami is the Baglioni Resort’s dinner-only Japanese restaurant. The gourmet culture of Japan is a perfect complement to the Baglioni Hotels style, as form and substance come together at this restaurant. The dishes on offer here are said to marry a love of design with a meticulous insistence on the finest-quality ingredients. Don’t miss the show as the chefs dazzle the guests with a ‘live’ teppanyaki dinner, every evening.
The Pool Bar, on the other hand, is a sophisticated, yet casual space with a range of cocktails, mocktails, and Italian-style coffees on offer. It was here that I spent my nights enjoying an after-dinner Amaretto and the ‘live’ Maldivian music and dance performances. In the evenings, it doubles up as an upscale yet unpretentious venue serving pizza fresh from the oven and flame-grilled specialties under the stars. This was a hit with many couples enjoying a romantic evening.
For a casual and easy vibe, I’d suggest the vibrant all-day dining restaurant ‘Taste’. From local Maldivian to Western, Asian, Indian, and of course, Italian, a whole host of flavours are on display here.
And if one so desires, Chef Sandeep Kumar is only too happy to give you a lesson or two in rustling up some local Maldivian dishes. Especially the mashuni tuna salad and vegetarian sweet potato kattalariha curry that his deputy and local Maldivian, Chef Kudabe Abdul Rahman patiently taught me to make.
Baglioni Resort Maldives… A ‘Dhoni’ Experience for Every Traveller
Primed to welcome multi-generational and celebration travel, the resort offers inspiring experiences for seasoned holidaymakers and junior explorers alike. Speaking of kids, The Kids’ Club runs different activities for different age groups. The youngest guests can take part in simple, fun games and events like the ‘Mini Olympics’, with running races and balloon releases. They also have ‘Kids dance’, with dances and little songs to sing and learn apart from sandcastle-building competitions to help develop their imagination and dexterity.
For the adults, there are always plenty of water-based activities to choose from. One can pick from ‘Discovering Maldives’, which is a tour of the nearby island to get to know the locals and their way of life. Or perhaps, the ‘Golden Sand Bank’, which is an excursion for a mix of snorkelling and relaxing on the soft sands that rise from the crystalline waters not far from Maagau. Then there are other things to do like the exciting two-hour boat tour to meet the dolphins, in the expert company of a marine biologist.
For evenings, one can pick from a romantic boat trip for two to gaze at the stars while sipping the aforementioned Ferrari bubbly and nibbling on some traditional Italian snacks, to a sunset cruise. Here, one sets out at 6.30 pm on board a traditional Maldivian boat called a dhoni to enjoy an unforgettable aperitivo as the sun dips into the ocean.
Baglioni Resort Maldives … R & R
But the sybarite in me found his calling at the Baglioni SPA. This truly is an Italian oasis located deep in the heart of nature. With a unique design, the SPA features four rooms for individual and couple treatments. Amid the tropical vegetation’s warm embrace, the Baglioni SPA is the perfect place to ease your way to a profound sense of peace.
The spa menu includes Thai and Balinese rituals, personalised massages, and treatments to tone, purify and rejuvenate the face and body or to strengthen hair stressed by the sun and sea. For those into health and fitness, the resort will have you sorted. Wellness programming for families includes yoga sessions and retreats, alongside a selection of gently formulated vegan and gluten-free products for children and teens. A fully fitted fitness centre, and yoga pavilion ensure that fitness enthusiasts stay active on holiday.
FOOTNOTE: But that’s not all! Other amenities include an on-site resort wear boutique and an in-the-sea hammock. The latter is a particularly favourite haunt for those with a social media penchant. As the opportunities for that picture-postcard shot at the Baglioni Resort are mind-boggling to say the very least!
Starting at Rs.3,76,000 approximately for a four nights’ stay in the base category Beach Villa. This is for a family of four (two adults and two children below 12 years of age). The cost includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, beverages including spirits and wines, in-room mini bar, daily snorkelling, non-motorised water sports, and Wi-Fi. Excursions, sunset cruises, spa treatments and sea plane transfers from and to Malé at an additional cost.
R A T I N G Parameter: Out of 5 Stars
Overall Ambience: * * * *
Staff: * * * * *
Amenities and Facilities: * * * *
Accomodations: * * * *
Location and Surroundings: * * *
Address: Baglioni Resort Maldives, BodurasgefaanuMagu, K. Atoll, Malé, Maldives
Pic Credits: Baglioni Resort Maldives and Raul Dias
(Raul Dias is a Food and Travel writer. He has over 18 years of media experience and has visited 64 countries. Raul writes for a number of Indian and International publications.)
Also Read: Opening Doorz to Buggy Driver Camilo Peixito