The new Residence Maldivesat Dhigurah is the latest luxury hotel to grace this stunning chain of islands

This year sees the opening of The Residence Maldives at Dhigurah. It will be linked by a footbridge to The Residence Maldivesat Falhumaafushi, which opened in 2012.

Both lying in the Gaafu Alifu atoll, they will form one of the largest resort offerings in the Maldives. Along with properties in Mauritius, Tunis and Zanzibar, it brings the total number of The Residence by Singapore-based group Cenizaro to five hotels and resorts, with further expansion plans in the pipeline.

What immediately strikes me immediately is the warm welcome that I receive at The Residence Maldives at Falhumaafushi. In fact, this is the case throughout my stay: the hospitality and personal service is impeccable and no request is too much. For the duration of my stay I reside in a Water Villa, just one of 94 beach and over-water villas that has been designed with inspiration from the island; think thatched roofs, lush fabrics and natural materials.

Intended to be a home-from-home, it’s easy to relax and unwind here – it’s the ideal ‘fly and flop’ resort and perfect for honeymooners who want to remain in their own bubble. The wow-factor is without doubt the ocean views; waves lap on the villa’s doorstep while a school of fish flits between the bright coral reefs; it’s as though I’m in an aquarium. The veranda is the perfect spot to indulge in some Maldivian sunshine and kick back and relax. In fact, it’s quite easy to spend your whole time in somewhat of a lazy daze.

If you can be stirred from your slumber, however, start or end your day with sun salutations on the open-air deck, which is dedicated to yoga and meditation classes. It’s also the spot to watch the sun rise or set. For further relaxation, Clarins’ spa (the only one in the Maldives) can give you that added push.

For those who are more active, guests can not only enjoy a number of excursions such as swimming with dolphins, but can also make the most of the hotel’s PADI 5* Dive Centre. Offering all types of water sports, from snorkeling to scuba-diving, it’s the perfect opportunity to discover the coral reefs and rich marine life.

After burning off some energy, it’s important to refuel. The Residence Maldives offers a number of settings in which to dine, whether you’re after a light bite or a sumptuous à la carte meal. A highlight is the private dining experience, where a personal chef creates a bespoke menu. I enjoy a candlelit meal on the beach as the sun sets and a canopy of stars is revealed. It’s the ultimate finale to a magnificent Maldives experience.

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