It's crazy that we've not travelled in over a year. Boarding a flight, eating airline food, landing where the native language is foreign… it all seems like a foggy distant memory. If you really think about it, this is possibly one of the longest times we've not left the country.
Fortunately, an island remains open to us. And no, we're not referring to Coney. Actual white sand beaches and vivid azure waters. If we wanted anywhere to still be able to travel to, Maldives is certainly not a bad choice. Now if we wanted somewhere to stay at in Maldives, the Ritz-Carlton looks even more desirable. Opened just last week, the new resort is located on the Fari Islands, an archipelago on the north-eastern tip of North Malé Atoll.
Picture a scenic ten-minute seaplane ride (or 45 minute luxury boat ride) from Velana International Airport into the welcoming circle on pristine waters and beach coves. A minimalist design respectful to the visual impact on the environment, the hotel's latest property is designed by award-winning Singapore-based Kerry Hill Architect. You see this in the bedroom villas, each offering spacious living spaces that seamlessly connect indoors with outdoors through panoramic sliding doors and the wide sun deck.
Oh and the private infinity pool to soak up both the sun and the envy of your Instagram followers. Speaking of envy, The Ritz-Carlton's highly personalised service also gets a touch of the ancient Maldivian royal courts customs. Each room is assigned an 'Aris Meeha' or island butler to fulfil a guest's every wish. If for some inexplicable reason that's not enough, there are ways to take the pampering further.
We can't say it's a resort vacation without the spa, which has nine treatment rooms including a suite with its own lounge, salon and boutique. The spa partners London's holistic (and sustainable!) wellness brand Bamford for bespoke healing and artisanal body and skincare.
Finally, Singaporeans, you also won't be short on food with seven distinct culinary venues. Ranging from alfresco Japanese teppanyaki grills to Lebanese dishes in a traditional Bedouin tent, there are plenty dining choices to spoil you through the day. Special shoutout to the lantern-inspired overwater Summer Pavilion, which takes after our own Michelin-starred restaurant in The Ritz-Carlton Millenia.
You'll likely want to settle in and waste away in paradise, which is completely understandable, but don't miss out on the packed-out program options i.e. tennis tournaments, traditional boduberu drumming classes and more that will make you forget about the 21-day Stay Home Notice you have to serve when you return. Scroll through the photos; it's hard to say it's not worth it.