The Maldives’ first Cuban fiesta, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo’s festive season is full of surprises
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and to celebrate its very first festive season Raffles Maldives Meradhoo is hosting a celebration like no other.
From 28th December to 1st January, this idyllic resort in the Maldives’ remote and pristine Gaafu Alifu Atoll will draw inspiration from the colour and glamour of Cuba’s golden age to host Revolution, an exuberant festival of movement, music and wellness. From awe-inspiring dances on water to a non-stop programme of events and an array of surprises will make this holiday one to remember forever.
Among Revolution’s many highlights will be a succession of performances by Cuban-born, New York-based singer, bandleader, composer and dancer Chino Pons. An authority on Son Cubano music, Chino also draws inspiration from cha-cha-cha, bolero, yambu and more to perform joyous, energetic sets that will undoubtedly get the whole resort rumba-ing and rolling.
Dancing is also encouraged by Cuban-born performer Yesenia Fernandez Selier, who will host welcoming dance classes – if one of your new year’s resolutions is to move more, then this is an exceptional way to get started. Her exceptional agility can be admired from the most staggering of settings too. Erected solely for the festive period, an incredible floating island with its own palm tree, hammock and even waterfall will be converted from a gently bobbing sun deck by day to a stage come night. After the sun has set over the soft sands of Meradhoo, guests can watch in wonder as she moves magnetically upon the water.
Nightly DJ performances come courtesy of German duo Rob Flo, with the New Year’s Eve party celebration reverberating the spectacular sound of the conga drums and the sultry spirit of Havana. Meanwhile, the days are reserved for full relaxation and regeneration.
Also joining Revolution is Dr Buathon Thienarrom, the founder of Thailand’s Sukkasart Institute of Healing Arts. Dedicated to enhancing the health of body, mind and spirit, she will draw from practices including Himalayan sound therapy, Taoism, Tibetan medicine and sleep therapy to induce in guests a sense of supreme restoration. For those who are concluding 2019 somewhat worse for wear, her healing hands promise a new start and fresh hope over the year to come.
Devised by Gabriel Doucet Donida, art director and co-founder of Atelier Voyage, the entire Revolution festive programme can be seen here, but don’t forget that there’s much more to enjoy at Raffles Maldives Meradhoo besides. Some of the largest villas in the country, here each beach and overwater residence comes with a large marble bathtub, private pool and outdoor shower; Raffles’ legendary service reaches new heights at this exclusive Indian Ocean hideaway, too: dedicated Marine Butlers are on hand to lead snorkelling tours of the resort’s two wondrous house reefs (watch out for Apollo and friends, the 20 resident hawksbill and green turtles) and Children’s Butlers are on standby to meet the needs of younger guests.
Set steps from the beach and just over the water, the superlative Raffles Spa combines Eastern practices with age-old Maldivian influences and offers highly personalised treatments by Biologique Recherche, Aromatherapy Associates and more. Whether intent on a special breakfast, lunch or dinner, distinctive dining options abound. Among them, The Firepit is an outdoor barbecue restaurant where tables and chairs are carved from the sand and set directly on the shore for uninterrupted views of the starlit sky; for fine dining soundtracked by gently lapping waves, overwater Yuzu makes judicious use of the best sustainably sourced local fish to serve exceptional Nikkei cuisine. For a New Year’s Eve cocktail, the Long Bar’s Maldives Sling is a golden blend of gin, grapefruit, coconut, cinnamon and clove that mirrors the Maldivian sunset.
All in all it’s an offering that will ensure guests’ stays are full of delights and wonders – and as it’s the season of giving, the resort is taking further steps to make its first festive season extra special. A bounty of gifts, from all-original vinyl records to Les Ottomans headscarves and Ligne St Barth toiletries, will be dispensed during the holiday. For stays from 24th December 2019 to 10th January 2020, those who book stays for four to six nights will enjoy a 25% discount on room rates those who stay seven nights and above will enjoy a 30% discount. As we approach 2020, it’s a gesture that should make for a very happy new year.
Accommodation at Raffles Maldives Meradhoo during the festive season starts at $3,000 per night, including breakfast and complimentary speedboat transfers from Kaadedhdhoo Airport, an hour’s domestic flight south of Malé International Airport.