I was thrilled to visit The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort in the beautiful Baa Atoll, since it had only been open for a few weeks after more than three years of construction. We flew from the Male airport to an island close to the Westin Maldives, a 45 minute flight by seaplane which is always an experience in itself. The view from a seaplane is just spectacular with all the small islands, bright coral reefs and countless beautiful variations of blue ocean as far as you can see.
The Baa Atoll is the only Unesco biosphere reserve in the Maldives and I was looking forward to seeing all the marine life. When we stepped off the seaplane to board a speedboat that swiftly took us to the Westin Maldives, the pilots (in flip flops, only in the Maldives!) advised us to look out for dolphins since they had spotted many earlier in the day. We didn’t spot any dolphins on the short boat ride to the island, but we more than made up for that over the next few days!
There are now over 170 resorts in the Maldives and many of these are almost cookie cutter villas, but not at the Westin Maldives! The first thing I noticed is how much care and attention to detail has been given to the design of the entire property. The architecture, the finishing, all esthetics have clearly been designed very thoughtfully and lovingly by the Italian architects. The overall design theme of the Westin Maldives is inspired by the ocean, which seems obvious on an island, but it’s the way that this theme reverberates throughout the entire island that makes it very special. The architects describe it like this: “Innovative architecture with contemporary organic shape, essential and sophisticated interiors and decorations, with precious local materials and art & crafts with the best advanced and invisible technologies.” What that means to a guest, is that just stepping off the boat onto the jetty becomes an experience. The first and last thing I saw from the Westin Maldives was the beautiful white sea shell canopy over the jetty, which provided shade as the friendly staff that greeted us handed out cold drinks. We were then swiftly taken to our villa for the check-in by Mausool, who took great care of us during our entire stay.
Driving from the pier onto the island on the quiet golf cart, we passed the reception and the kids club which resemble the shape of fishes and rays before we arrived at our wonderful beach villa. We only noticed later, taking the drone shots, that from above these beach villas look like turtles heading out to sea. All 41 on-island and 29 over-sea villas have these beautiful shapes and colors. I also really like sustainability practises like repurposing shipping containers that were used to build the resort, to now house the dive center!
BEACH VILLA VS. WATER VILLA? //
We had the opportunity to compare a spacious beach villa with an overwater villa and I truly think both are just wonderful, it really depends on your personal preference. The beach villa offers the opportunity to wander straight from your villa, past your private plunge pool onto a beautiful white sand beach for a quick dip in the crystal clear ocean. The overwater villa has unique Maldives features like being able to relax on a sofa and read a book, while occasionally glancing down through the glass floor to see the most incredible colored fishes swim by right underneath you. Both villa types offer distinctively stylish furniture, the famous Westin Heavenly beds and the ingenuous Japanese toilets that greet you by opening up automatically upon approach. Another fun feature I loved was the orange squeezer to make fresh orange juice every morning, such a cool and refreshing gimmick! The beach villas are surrounded by beautiful landscaping, whereas the water villas offer complete privacy and unobstructed views of the ocean.
So, you may wonder, what are the most striking differences? I actually don’t think it’s the choice between being situated on a beach or over water; for me, the striking difference is that the water villas are essentially one large open space, with sliding walls that can create four separate rooms within a minute. Suddenly you’re in a villa with a separate living room, dining room, bed room and bathroom, yet with each room offering a breathtaking view across your plunge pool over the Indian Ocean. Anytime you feel like taking a swim in the ocean, it’s just a small ladder from your terrace away. Having the option to create one large open space in the daytime and a real apartment with separate rooms at night, is something I had never seen before in a resort in the Maldives.
The Westin Maldives has three excellent yet very distinctly different restaurants. What they have in common is a commitment to fresh, high quality ingredients and a dedicated approach to sustainability: so no glass bottles, no single-use plastics and as many locally sourced ingredients as possible.
The Island Kitchen //
We had breakfast every day at the Island Kitchen (although it also serves lunch and dinner) and it was an experience in itself. While some resorts offer a buffet and others prefer an a la carte breakfast, Island Kitchen offers both! I ended up selecting pastries, cheeses and even sushi(!) plus the more healthy options like fruit and fruit juices from the buffet, then capping off breakfast with some tasty treats like eggs (in every possible variety), fresh waffles and pancakes from the a la.carte menu.
THE HAWKER //
The Hawker is based on the famous street food offered in stalls in Asian countries like Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. I enjoyed sitting on the beach, sipping a coconut and watching the kitchen crew whip up the most delicious Asian dishes that look just as great as they taste. I highly recommend The Hawker for lunch!
THE PEARL //
On our last night we were treated to a special Chef’s menu at The Pearl, the over water Japanese restaurant. The Japanese chef had created a mouth watering variety of vegetarian, fish and meat dishes that were presented beautifully and tasted so delicious! The ambiance of The Pearl added to the experience, because it is quite small, beautifully lit and creates an intimate, romantic experience.
I’m not much of a bar person, but I really enjoyed having drinks at the Sunset Bar that overlooks the western part of the island and offers, as the name suggests, spectacular sunsets. It made me realize, again, how smart everything has been designed at the Westin Maldives, because the breakfast at Island Kitchen offers a marvellous view of the ocean where often dolphins swim by in the morning, exactly during breakfast. But more on dolphins later…
THE GYM //
In my experience, the Westin Maldives strikes a very nice balance between exercise and relaxation. There is a fully equipped two storey (!) fitness studio open 24 hours a day, that even has a sauna and steam room and with personal trainers available to work out with you whenever you like. There really is no excuse not to work out, because they even offer the use of brand new fitness clothing and shoes if you happen not to have brought any! The boyfriend ‘enjoyed’ crossfit exercises and a morning run around the island with the wonderful personal trainer Kennedy, who makes sure to tailor the workouts everyone’s personal preference. There is also a large lap pool for people that like to swim longer distances than just the occasional dip in their private plunge pool and the dive center offers every possible marine activity. So if you want to be active, this island is for you!
THE SPA //
I have to admit that although I visit the gym regularly to stay fit, I am more of a spa girl than an exercise freak. The Heavenly over-water spa is just incredible, with a truly spectacular view of the lagoon around the island due to the floor to ceiling glass windows, the fish swimming beneath me over the coral reef that I could see through the glass floor when I was lying face down enjoying my treatment and the soothing sound of the ocean all around me: it was such an amazing experience! I’d almost forget to mention the fantastic treatment. My Balinese massage therapist worked wonders on my back, neck and shoulders that had tightened up after spending too much time behind my laptop. She was a real professional that knew exactly how to loosen me up again, but in a very pleasant way without any strain or pains.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS ABOUT THE NATURE AND THE STAFF //
Finally, a few quick notes in closing, because this post has to end somewhere! I really want to recommend the excursions on offer like the dolphin sunset cruise we thoroughly enjoyed, or the turtle snorkeling cruise. The Baa Atoll is a UN Biosphere Reserve for a reason, the marine life is overwhelmingly beautiful. And perhaps not so important to people that just want to relax, but we really enjoyed the fast internet, when we were working at night or watching a movie on Netflix, and fast internet is not so common on the Maldives.
Most of all, I have to highlight the staff members that are not just very professional and courteous, but a group of fun loving people that clearly enjoy their work and taking great care of people. We really enjoyed our interactions with them throughout our stay. Their attitude and spirit were highlighted on our final trip from the Westin Maldives, when we were getting close to the seaplane that would take us back to Male. A staff member at the front of the boat suddenly gave a signal, the boat slowed down and for the next 10 minutes, we slowly drifted among a large pod of dolphins. We were surrounded by dozens of dolphins that were jumping out of the water and at a certain point I counted no less than eight dolphins swimming along our bow. When the dolphins veered off course we saw them slowly disappear behind the Westin Maldives: it was almost as if they were saying goodbye to us. I hope we will see them again soon!
LOCATION // The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort
52 thoughts on “The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort: beach villa vs overwater villa”
This hotel looks amazing!! I’d love to stay there!!
Your photos and descriptions make this sound like heaven on earth!! I will HAVE to add this to our list of places to go. It would be incredible!
Wow, the Maldives look incredible!! I would love to go there one day!
Those lounge pods in the pool are seriously amazing! What a dreamy spot
Marvelous! One villa for me please hahaha!
I’m at a lost of words that this kind of paradise exists!
Wow, the photos are amazing and it looks like heaven, I’d love to go and relax there!
wow! amazingly wonderful places, it will be great to have that wonderful experience and the pictures are so beautiful. thanks!
Wow, can’t believe that’s a Westin. It’s so beautiful. I just love tropical locations like this.
x, Julie | thismainlinelife.com
Your travel posts always give me wanderlust – this trip looks amaaaazing! so so jealous.
Wow absolutely gorgeous, the trip looks fabulous!!!!
You always travel to the most gorgeous hotels!
OMG these pictures are soo stunning!!
The Maledives are still on my absolute To -go List and definitely need to keep your tips in mind for this trip 🙂 Hopefully very soon 😉
Happy New Year babe ♥
Woooww the hotel and the scenery surrounding it look amazing! Everything looks like a dream.
The Style Intermission
The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo looks absolutely dreamy! Thanks for sharing your experience.
The hotel looks extravagant, it’s nice to see your travels again. Happy New Year!
OMG this place is literally heaven. Love all the pics!
Very nice hotel. I love the place. It will be a nice experience to be there.
Wow this place looks like a dream !
So obsessed with your pictures !
I always love your gorgeous photos! This looks like the dreamiest place to stay! Definitely putting this on my bucket list!!
What a gorgeous post! I’m actually in the process of drafting a blog post about our recent trip to Reethi Faru resort in the Raa Atoll. We also got to compare a water villa with a beach villa, and for my heart will always be with the stunning water villa! Beautiful photos…I almost felt like I was there! Angharad x
WOW! Is this for real? 🙂 This is an amazing post! I love your blog, it’s so tasteful and classy! Pictures are gorgeous. Makes me wanna go there so much! ^_^
Very luxury and exclusive! Great place 🙂
WOW! These are SO pretty! This is inspiration to the next level!
Raindrops of Sapphire
You look so amazing. Love all your vacation photos!! Thanks for sharing!
Have a great day!
Much love, Len
As per usual, your posts have me wanting to book a trip! I love the Westin’s design – especially all of the round furniture! Gorgeous xx
Wow! This looks amazing! I love the photos!
This place looks like paradise, Merel! Wow! Thank you for sharing. Looks like you had a fabulous and relaxing time. 🙂
WOW, places like this make me wish I was a millionaire. Great shots!!
What a dream heavenly place, I really need to find a way to get to Maldives (soon).
That villa thing is a though choice, but somehow I really love that outdoor shower at the beach one ❤
xx, thanks for inspiration
Okay, I need to book a ticket to the Maldives asap haha. These pictures are stunning, and the resort looks absolutely amazing! Beautiful post and blog Merel!
xx Tamara Chloé
Oh my goodness, i’ve missed your blog so much! This entire post is a total dream; so tropical and dreamy. I love the way you edit the lighting in your photos by the way babe; you’re so talented.
WOW this place looks amazing! I wasn’t planning to do a Caribbean holiday this year but after seeing your photos now I want one!! xx
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This entire post is a tropical dream!
xGabi | http://gabiwahl.com
Omg this place is a dream coming true.
Oh my goodness how stunning is this resort!! It’s truly a paradise, I don’t think I’d ever want to leave!
Jenny // Geeky Posh
Oh my goodness how stunning is this resort! I don’t think I’d ever want to leave, it’s like a paradise!
Jenny // Geeky Posh
Oh my gosh – this place is absolutely stunning!! Totally love love love that bathroom too – it’s total goals!
These photos are absolutely stunning. It looks like an amazing trip!
Wow this resort looks incredible . I bet, you had an amazing time there. xx
Nina’s Style Blog
ooooh I waaant to go there now! Such a wonderful place, it looks like paradise! I loved the pool – and the food looks so great as well 🙂
xx, Carmen – https://carmitive.com
This resort looks incredible!!
Would love to visit it one day
Wow this is definitely a trip of a lifetime! I loved the fact that the the villas look life sea turtle from up above because it speaks to the special touches and details that the architectures took in building this beautiful getaway. So awesome!!
Oh wow what a beautiful place! Your photos are so beautiful xx
Gemma Etc. ❤️
This resort looks incredible
How much does a week there cost?
every thing from your stay looks amazing! I would Love to stay at a place as beautiful as that! What camera do you shoot with? Your photography is beautiful
xo, Andrea | http://www.elurbanstyle.com
Oh this is just GORGEOUS. I have heard good things about the Westin chains. Over water or on the beach I will take it. Bring it on! Stunning photos too btw.
This place looks absolutely breathtaking, we are planning to visit the Maldives this December and I shall be using your post as reference. Thanks for sharing, the pictures are amazing!
Firstly, your blog is absolutely gorgeous! Secondly, I’m in love with your framing and macros! Great post!
This resort looks incredible! We loved the Maldives but want to go back and see so many more islands including this one!