Every great resort has something unique to offer. At The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, tucked away on a private atoll, it’s the John Jacob Astor Estate – Presidential Water Villa Suite. Spanning over 1,540 square metres, this extraordinary space (priced from US$27,600) is good enough for six guests. The suite would impress the pickiest of epicureans with its private balcony, spacious terrace with sunbeds and cabana, walk-in wardrobes, private cinema room, eight (yes, eight!) Bang & Olufsen LCD TVs, three (yes, three!) Jacuzzis and three large bedrooms with attached spa treatment rooms.
It comes as no surprise to learn from our butler that this just happens to be the largest three-bedroom overwater villa in the Maldives. The domain has a 92-square-metre swimming pool and Jacuzzi on its elegantly minimalist deck. Arranged over two levels, the space also boasts a private gym. Equipped with a kitchen large enough to host 12 for private dining, the estate offers opulent design and unrivalled panoramic oceans views. Well, of course it does. If the John Jacob Astor Estate is not available for some reason, there is always the Caroline Astor Estate, priced from US$17,600. This 620 sqm space for six guests is located at an expansive white sand beach with alluring views of the turquoise lagoon.
The three-bedroom, bi-level suite is touted by St. Regis as “the epitome of barefoot luxury in the Maldives”, and no one could argue with that statement. The estate’s ground floor has a terrace with a 67 sqm private swimming pool, along with sun loungers, an outdoor shower and a plush daybed. Lofty floor-to-ceiling glass doors beckon entry into the living room, where elegant furnishings complement wood floors. Meals are prepared in the show kitchen and set for eight at the dining table. Entertainment is provided by a Bang & Olufsen 55-inch LCD television and sound system, as well as iPad room controls. Each of the three exquisite bedrooms has wonderful ocean views – naturally. When it launched in November 2016, St. Regis said the Vommuli Resort “brings the iconic St. Regis brand and its trademark luxury services to one of the world’s most magnificent destinations”.
A 45-minute seaplane ride from Malé International Airport, the resort boasts private swimming pools along with 33 on-land and 44 overwater villas suspended over the Indian Ocean, with unobstructed views of the lush forest or ocean views. At Vommuli Island, cutting-edge design blends effortlessly with local craftsmanship. Designed by WOW Architects | Warner Wong Design of Singapore, each building draws inspiration from the treasures found on and around the island. The overwater villas mimic manta rays; the distinctive pods of the Iridium Spa form a lobster; the library takes its form from a delicate spiral seashell; and the shape of a whale shark juts out into the ocean and forms the bar. The island’s lush jungle is also celebrated. Vommuli House, where one will find a beautiful yoga studio, fitness center, children’s play area right into the greenery, is based on a banyan tree that was discovered on the island. Divided into four zones – Lagoon, Beach, Jungle and Coastal – the interior of the resort reflects its location.
Whether it’s a piece of locally carved driftwood placed on the wall or a beautiful artwork made from glass bottles washed up on the shore, the St. Regis signature style of exquisite elegance and glamour can be found everywhere. All manner of international cuisines and cooking styles can be enjoyed at the resort, where the finest produce from all over the world is transformed into exquisite dishes. Offering everything from classic Italian and Asian fine dining to tapas and pizza, the resort’s head chef’s culinary philosophy is clear: use the very best quality ingredients and cook them perfectly. Here, the chefs cultivate their own kitchen garden, growing an array of herbs, vegetables and salad leaf. Everything served at the resort’s five restaurants – Alba, Orientale, Crust, Cargo and Decanter – is made from scratch, from the bread, pastries and donuts to other breakfast items freshly baked and prepared each morning.
The resort also offers an idyllic place to unwind at its signature Iridium Spa. As the only overwater spa in the Maldives, the retreat takes a holistic approach to relaxation and rejuvenation. Six overwater treatments are dedicated to healing Ayurvedic treatments. Using a bespoke combination of Balinese and Malaysian massage techniques, along with a blend of natural oils tailored to each individual, the Iridium Signature Touch treatment offers the ultimate in deep relaxation. Moreover, the ritual draws on the anti-aging properties of caviar extract to revitalise the skin. It concludes with a lavender-scented bath, accompanied by (lovely touch!) a glass of champagne and a serving of caviar. The Blue Hole Pool at the spa is also apparently the most expansive hydrotherapy pool in the Indian Ocean. The resort is home to a new Azimut Flybridge 66 yacht named Norma.
It is the most technologically advanced luxury yacht in its class, according to St. Regis. Norma takes her inspiration from the St. Regis heritage and its founder, John Jacob Astor VI. Available for guests to charter at their leisure, Norma features three decadent cabins perfectly suited for those looking to dive, enjoy family adventures, indulge in a romantic getaway or escape on an overnight trip. An overnight stay is priced at US$25,000. A daily charter, which includes up to eight hours of cruising time, is charged within the range of US$14,000 to $18,000. A veritable heaven on earth, a stay at the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort is the perfect escape to unwind, whether you opt for the John Jacob Astor Estate or a regular garden villa with pool (from US$2,600) – accompanied, of course, by those ever-so-beautiful and always marvellous Maldivian views.