One&Only Reethi Rah

A celebrity island retreat for everyone

One & Only Reethi Rah is one of the largest luxury resorts on the Maldives and, although the island has been augmented to create its distinctive shape (like Dubai’s famous Palm Islands), the results are spectacular, even in the context of the natural paradise it resides.

The 109-acre island has 3.7 miles of coastline, separated into 12 beaches, rather than one main beach, which is the norm for the Maldives. This means there’s more than enough space for each villa to have sections of private sand, extensive ocean views and spacious private verandas.

To channel the current, the island is split down the center with a small bridge connecting the two pieces of land. It’s one of the resort’s most Instagrammed locations. Beneath the bridge, the crystalline water is as calm as a millpond.

There are a few ways of getting to this exclusive North Male’ Atoll resort. The resort’s private (or a charter) seaplane will deliver you to Reethi Rah in just 15 to 20 minutes, but the 45-minute journey aboard the resort’s 56-foot luxury yacht has to be experienced at least once.

There are some 700 staffers behind One & Only Reethi Rah’s well-oiled machine. The friendly and attentive team is used to dealing with A-list guests like Madonna, Tom Cruise and the Beckhams, so when it comes to your own honeymoon, romantic getaway or family adventure, they’ll know exactly how to handle you with care.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • Hire a pedal boat from the watersports center and foot it to the house reef. You can moor to a buoy then jump in and snorkel about, spotting baby sharks, rays and all manner of tropical reef fish.
  • The impressive KidsOnly kids club makes little ones between 4 and 11 feel just as pampered as their parents. There’s a mini pool with scaled-down sun loungers, tiny sun umbrellas and even a mini restaurant. The jam-packed activity calendar includes sushi-making classes, manta snorkel trips and a pirate day.
  • The ClubOne Beach Club, on the southernmost beach, serves up Latin American fare (salads, seafood, grills and cocktails) with a side of unbelievable lagoon views. Go there for a Club 1 Bellini with peach puree and prosecco while the DJ spins chilled-out tunes. (And speaking of which, actor Idris Elba did a surprise DJ set at the property on New Year’s Day 2020.)
  • Several manta ray cleaning stations are within easy reach (the season is December-April) from the resort. Additionally, the 1988 Hembadu tugboat wreck, in the Rasfari Protected Marine Area, is also excellent for scuba divers to explore.
  • One&Only Reethi Rah’s most extravagant villa, the Grand Sunset Residence, offers more than 26,000 square feet of beachfront brilliance. In fact, it has the largest private stretch of beach on the island. With a hidden driveway (sealed off by an electronic gate), two swimming pools, an outdoor private cinema and a private chef, many guests never leave it for the duration of their stay.

Things to Know

  • Due to the island’s size, bikes are available for every guest, but if you’re staying in the Grand Villas, you get your own private golf cart.
  • Each of the 12 beaches is shared by a few villas. And between the beaches, you’ll find vegetation or a structure of some kind to help to create privacy. But the beaches are so quiet anyway that you could be fooled into thinking you’re alone on the island.
  • The Epicure Wine Cellar houses an incredible collection of thousands of bottles of vino, priced from $50 up to $15,000 a bottle.

The Rooms

  • The attractive interiors provide surprisingly understated Asian luxury. You won’t find avant-garde artwork or excessive bling inside, but you will get a sense of quiet sophistication and elegance.
  • High ceilings help give the villas a feeling of space, but the oversized bath tubs and outdoor living areas are where you really see the wow factor.
  • Instead of having a private beach, the water villas have massive verandas and decks with hammocks, which are perfect for sunbathing over the crystal-clear lagoon.
  • Because of the curved shape of the island, the views from the villas vary. Some units look out to sea while other vistas are framed by the white beaches.

The Restaurants

  • Fanditha is the only restaurant where you can dine barefoot. Located on the beach and furnished with chill-out swing chairs, bolsters, Arabian carpets, huge candles and tents, it’s an atmospheric setting to enjoy wagyu kebabs with Arabic spices and a selection of chilled rosés and champagnes.
  • On selected evenings, there are late-night gatherings at Fanditha. The Full Moon Party, for instance, is a good time set to live entertainment under the twinkling stars and chandeliers dangling from trees.
  • Reethi is perhaps the pinnacle of architect Jean-Michel Gathy’s dramatic design at the resort. The overwater venue frames the island’s natural beauty while floor-to-ceiling windows reveal the show kitchen. The eclectic menu of contemporary international cuisine includes an incredible Peking duck every Saturday.
  • Tapasake is an overwater establishment specializing in contemporary Japanese cuisine done with a Peruvian twist. Try the fresh bluefin tuna nigiri with a Honjozo Martini (sake, plum wine, cucumber and mint).
  • For light meals and afternoon tea, Rah Bar is the spot. In the evenings, though, the poolside space transforms into a vibrant cocktail bar with live music, martinis, sparkling champagne and a fine collection of vintage rums from the Indian Ocean and Caribbean islands.

Outdoor pool
Getting There
Reethi Rah, North Malé Atoll, 08440 Maldives
Additional Details
To reach the resort from Male, take a private seaplane (15 to 20 minutes), a yacht or speedboat (45 to 50 minutes) or a shared seaplane ride. One&Only Reethi Rah can arrange any of these options.
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