Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, will open Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives, the first luxury resort south of the equator in the Maldives, on 26 July 2009. The resort will offer guests a stylish experience in a spacious, boutique-style environment. Located on Addu Atoll, the resort will encompass over six kilometres of coastline and nearly two kilometres of breathtaking white sandy beach.
First-time visitors and Maldives aficionados will be rewarded with a distinctive new experience of the archipelago. The natural dense vegetation sets it apart from many other resorts in the Maldives. The three-kilometre- long island features 12 hectares of lush vegetation, 17,000 coconut trees and 45 species of plants. The island has over six kilometres of coastline and three natural freshwater lagoons, naturally tinged red, green or blue. Guests will be able to enjoy walking trails, prodigious wildlife, and a plethora of underwater discoveries.
The unique Shangri-La hospitality envelops guests as they disembark from their international flight at Male airport. Guests are then escorted by the Shangri-La host into the relaxing domestic airport lounge before taking the connecting flight to Addu Atoll. As air-conditioned domestic flights from Male to Gan International Airport operate round the clock, guests no longer need to waste their vacation time due to the limited operation of seaplanes, which are required to access other resorts. The resort is just an eight-minute boat ride away from Gan, and is also accessible by private jet which can land at the newest Gan International Airport.
The resort will comprise 142 spacious stand-alone villas, from private ocean retreats to tropical luxury tree house villas with panoramic views. All villas will feature both an indoor and outdoor shower, a private terrace leading to the beach and either a waterfront or lush garden. Each villa will be equipped with two iPods and docking stations, a DVD player and an espresso machine. The villas will be a minimum of 133 square metres in size, while the two presidential villas will measure up to 957 square metres each.
The resort will feature 16 luxury tree house villas, a first for the Maldives, perched on stilts offering a special three-metre high perspective of the island through tropical foliage. The tree house villas, with separate bedroom and living room, will measure 218 square metres, each with its own private infinity pool.
Other distinct villa options available to guests will be the water villas with terraces and outdoor showers extending over the clear ocean water; beach villas with separate bedroom and living room, connected by a wooden deck to a private infinity pool; twin beach villas, comprising two bedrooms and an infinity pool; and water pool villas. Two presidential villas will also be available for guests who prefer to indulge in ultimate luxury and exclusivity, one of which is constructed over water and featuring a 96 square metre private pool.
CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La—Shangri-La’s signature spa brand inspired by the legend of Shangri-La in the Lost Horizon novel - will offer treatments, therapies and well-being programmes based on Chinese, Himalayan and Asian healing rituals and traditions from across the region as well as “Kandu Boli” experience, unique indigenous treatments inspired by the cowrie shell and other natural treasures found in the Maldives. CHI will be located in its own spa village in the resort, with spacious individual treatment villas, offering “spa within a spa” privacy and luxury. Ocean views and enchanting gardens will make this secluded sanctuary a haven of healing power and deep calm for guests.
In addition to long stretches of fine white sand beach, the natural lush vegetation of the island features a nature trail for guests who are keen to explore. To discover the fascinating lifestyle and culture of untouched Maldivian villages, guests can simply take a short boat ride to neighbouring islands. International diving enthusiasts are already familiar with the island’s colourful coral reef and the dramatic 140-metre shipwreck of the British ship Loyalty, which is located within a half-hour boat ride from Villingili Island.
To preserve the vegetation, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives has been constructed around large trees, including some towering old banyan trees. Underwater work and detailed marine surveys have been carried out to ensure the preservation of coral.
Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives will provide a selection of bars and restaurants. The Khazaanaage Restaurant, meaning House of Treasure in Dhivehi, is inspired by Ibn Battuda, will serve cuisine from the regions he travelled to, including the Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and South China Sea. Dishes with enchanting flavours will be created using spices and herbs from the chef’s organic garden. International culinary experiences at the Javvu Restaurant will provide guests with further variety.
In the heart of the natural island is a 30,000-square-metre Village Centre. The centre will encompass an eco-centre and a water sports centre featuring surfing, scuba diving, snorkelling and a variety of non-motorised water activities. The Village Centre will also include a free-form pool, two tennis courts, a dedicated indoor and outdoor area for children, boutiques and an entertainment centre. A medical clinic with international doctors and decompression chamber, fully-equipped to deal with diving-related disorders will provide medical services for guests. The resort’s salon will also offer wedding gowns and wedding ceremonies for couples who are swept off their feet by the natural beauty and mesmerizing experience at the Shangri-La Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives.