Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi: Featuring The Ledge by Dave Pynt and other inventive dining concepts
When you're in a place like the Maldives, residing in the quarters of royalty isn't a specialty, it's a normality. Prestigious hotel groups are abundant in the tropical nation; then again, it's easy to see why — crystal blue waters, aquatic animals and sweeping schools of marine life make up the dreamiest vacation package.
But with Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, it's more than spotlighting the breathtaking villas on stilts —which are still a sight for sore eyes and 'gram envy. Instead, it's about the grub. A tricky field to navigate, especially in Maldives, when people hardly rave about the culinary scene. After all, we don't take a seaplane for the food; we take a seaplane because it's a seaplane.
The New York hotelier's Maldivian tavern will span across three private islands, encompassing 122 swanky villas (each boasting a pool of its own), a Waldorf Astoria Spa, kid-friendly water park and more. More importantly, unlike the typical subpar hotel offerings one might be accustomed to while waking up to unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean, Waldorf Astoria went above and beyond with 11 specialty dining venues. Each representing a league of its own; starting with The Ledge by Dave Pynt (the mastermind behind 1-Michelin Burnt Ends) — a barbeque grill restaurant boasting the techniques of smoking, slow-roasting, hot roasting and baking. Standout plates to look out for include a 45-day dry-aged beef rib, lobster roll and local grouper.
Other concepts are equally impressive — including a treetop hotspot opening up views of the vast horizon, a cave-like setting chiselled out of a boulder at The Rock, a Middle Eastern restaurant, Yasmeen, where you'll be sated with flatbreads and mezzes as well as a garden-to-table serving up holistic and healthy cuisine harvested from the resort's very own herb garden. There's something exceptional to be savoured here for everyone, and we're just talking about a single resort. This clearly must be paradise.
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