As Product Manager for our Indian Ocean portfolio here at the Inspiring Travel Company, I was excited to visit the Maldives recently, especially as it was going to be my first chance to savour the exclusive surrounds of the One&Only, Reethi Rah.
When flying long-haul from anywhere other than London our clients often have to go via another destination; this was the case on my journey from Manchester to Malé (the capital of the Maldives), which involved a change at Doha International Airport. It was my first time travelling with Qatar Airways and I was looking forward to comparing Doha to other Middle East hub airports that I have flown to/through.
After a smooth check-in at Manchester, I was soon sitting in my very comfortable Business Class seat, being welcomed by a friendly air stewardess who really did want to cater to my every need. She asked me if I would prefer a hot or cold towel, offered with the entertainment system, gave me my menu for dinner and of course a welcome drink of pink Tattinger Champagne. Bliss!
I always struggle to sleep on flights, so entertainment choices are very important to me. Qatar Airways did not disappoint in this regard, with a very impressive range of movies, TV and music on hand. Plus, the transfer in Doha was very easy - unlike some other huge airports where there seems to be more terminals each year - my only concern was whether I could take a photograph of Urs Fischer’s $6.8 million, 23-foot, giant yellow teddy bear without being in someone else’s selfie!
Then it was onto our smaller flight to take me the Maldives, where the luxury yacht of One&Only Reethi Rah awaited me, complete with its own smiling crew, air-conditioning and wifi! A short and very smooth 55 minute ride and I'd finally arrived at One&Only Reethi Rah for my first ever stay!
This resort is a favourite with the Inspiring Travel Company clients and it is not hard to see why. The private island is much larger than average for the Maldives, and so offers plenty of space privacy and a wide variety of activities and amenities. Children will enjoy taking part in a pottery class, tackling the climbing wall (the only one in the Maldives!) and running up the inflatable pontoon in the ocean! In fact the KidsOnly club is an all-round hit with youngsters, whilst teens love ClubOne - making this a top choice for a luxury family holiday in the Maldives.
The levels of service were perfectly pitched; staff were attentive and professional, whilst still being friendly and giving you plenty of your own space. In fact, overall the resort had an amazingly casual atmosphere, which was a pleasant surprise for me. Previously, knowing that Reethi Rah plays host to many rich and famous guests, I'd thought that this would be a luxury resort where I had to take my designer shoes or be out of place. But as I sat on a daybed at Fanditha and sipped a sunset cocktail, my glittery sandals were the perfect accessory!
Once the sun had set, it was the perfect time to dine with Residence Manager, Jean Noel Sangaraille at the over-water Tapasake restaurant. The location is stunning; looking out over the Indian Ocean with the waves crashing gently nearby. The delicious contemporary Japanese cuisine and sparkling sake were an absolute delight! For an extra special dinner I would recommend dining in the garden at Tapasake, with sunken tables where your own chef comes to the table to create teppanyaki just for you. Great for a romantic treat on a luxury honeymoon! After dinner you can either head back to the privacy of your luxury villa, or onto the Rah Bar where there is evening entertainment and a huge choice of cocktails to enjoy.
I was bowled over by my time at One&Only Reethi Rah. If you've always fancied a luxury holiday in the Maldives but been put off by the idea that there's not much to do apart from laze on the beach (not that there's anything wrong with that) I'd highly recommend Reethi Rah to you; I really don't think anyone could get bored here! But with so much space and miles of beautiful beach this remains a great location to 'fly and flop' too.
If you'd like to take your own luxury holiday to One&Only Reethi Rah, ITC can offer you fantastic savings and bespoke service. Speak to one of our Travel Specialists on 01244 355 600, or request a quote online to find out more.