Jumeirah Maldives coming soon to North Malé Atoll
Deciding to go to the Maldives -- currently open to all visitors who can show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than four days before arrival -- isn't the hard part.
It's deciding where to stay in the Maldives where things get tricky, so dizzying are the options when it comes to private island resorts, overwater bungalows, luxury villas and the like that are constantly popping up, whack-a-mole style, across the seemingly endless atolls and isles of the archipelago.
And with the Oct. 1, 2021 opening of Jumeirah Maldives just announced, you can add one more luxury option to the mix of difficult decisions to make when it comes to where to stay in the tropical Indian Ocean archipelago.
The all-villa property is opening on Olhuhali Island in North Malé Atoll, which is easily reached by seaplane or speedboat from the capital city, Malé, home to the international airport (MLE).
And it's not to be confused with the Jumeirah Vittaveli Maldives, which was on South Malé Atoll and was taken over by different owners in late 2020, or Jumeirah Dhevanafushi, which is also no longer a Jumeirah.
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In fact, the Jumeirah Maldives was formerly the Lux* North Male Atoll resort, so there's a new takeover in town, so to speak.
In case you don't have your Maldives geography down, North Malé Atoll is already home to a slew of luxury properties, including the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Haraa and the just-opened Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Island. So the Jumeirah Maldives has some stiff competition in the neighborhood.
But the property is nonetheless differentiating itself with the brand's own spectacular touches while targeting families, groups of friends and active travelers.
The first thing to know about the Jumeirah Maldives is that, like other resorts in the area, it's an all-villa property, with no standard hotel rooms in the mix.
Among the 67 beach and overwater bungalows at Jumeirah Maldives, guests can choose from one-, two- or three-bedroom options, all of which have views of the surrounding Indian Ocean and amenities that include private infinity pools and rooftop terraces where you can sit for a meal or do some stargazing at night.
Your main decision when booking, in addition to how many bedrooms you need, will be if you want to be able to stroll right out to the white sand beach from your villa or prefer a direct plunge into the surrounding turquoise seas from an overwater setting.
Accommodations are spacious, even for the indulgent Maldives, with the smallest villa sprawling over 560 square feet, so you count on room to spread out and take in the views through those floor-to-ceiling windows and doors meant to maximize them. Sky-light openings in the ceilings also help flood the villas with all that sunshine guests surely come seeking in such a spot.
Travelers familiar with Jumeirah Group's Dubai restaurants might be pleased to see Kayto (with Nikkei cuisine that blends the flavors of Japan and Peru) and Shimmers, serving Greek and Mediterranean dishes, among the familiar options at the Maldives outpost. Other on-site dining options at the resort will include a coffee spot and an all-day dining restaurant that will presumably be more casual than the aforementioned restaurants.
Guests who like to stay active on vacation can count on doing so here with the resort's spread of daily yoga offerings, on-site water sports, tennis, beach volleyball and other activities to entice you out of your infinity pool. There's even talk of a submarine tour from the resort where you can get underwater and up-close views of the reefs and marine environments surrounding the property. The resort will have dedicated water and indoor play areas for kids, too.
Wellness, as you'd expect from the brand, won't be overlooked at the Jumeirah Maldives.
The Jumeirah Group's flagship Talise Spa will feature six overwater treatment rooms in its Maldivian incarnation, as well as a 24-hour fitness center where you can work out whenever you like with more water views as inspiration.
Jumeirah Group's properties in the Maldives have come and gone in the past, so it's hard to say what the future holds for the new Jumeirah Maldives. But a little more friendly competition in this high-rent destination never hurts when it comes to giving travelers options for where to stay in the Maldives -- even if the Jumeirah Maldives doesn't have a ton to differentiate it (at first glance, anyway) from its tony neighbors.