AccorHotels Introduces First Fairmont Resort in the Maldives
With the opening of Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi in April 2018, AccorHotels has introduced the Fairmont luxury brand to an area celebrated for its pristine natural beauty. Located on the Shaviyani Atoll, which boasts one of the country’s largest resort lagoons, the stunning new property offers 112 luxury villas, each with private pool. Sirru Fen Fushi, which means ‘secret water island,’ is set on an exceptionally lush island bursting with flora and fauna. The picturesque locale is also surrounded by powder white sand and beaches, overlooking an endless turquoise sea. The all-villa resort is ideal for couples or families and features 200 metres of infinity pools, as well as luxury safari-style tented villas nestled in the islands lush interior jungle.
The 112 villas are categorised based on the islands stunning topography and include Beach Villas, Water Villas and Tented Jungle Villas. Copper bathroom fittings and carved wood detailing on furniture lend the villas a bohemian rustic chic vibe. Specially adapted to the Maldives, the unique tented jungle villas offer privacy and a romantic castaway vibe; guests can also experience the verdant island interiors with glamping, BBQs or jungle cinema.
Robbyn Carter, Associate at HBA, who worked on the Fairmont Maldives resort said: “We really drew inspiration from both modernism and a barefoot luxury to create the chic and rustic result we wanted. We combined local craft with an artistic twist to create an eclectic mix and a more unique experience for our guests. For the furniture, we took inspiration from objects found on the island itself and the natural system discovered on the island. We really turned towards the natural beauty and translated that into the design.”
Homage to the abundant sea life and pristine coral house reef surrounding this world-class resort has also been paid with the Maldives’ first coral regeneration project in the form of an Underwater Art Installation created by celebrated underwater naturalist and artist Jason deCaires Taylor.
A strong connection to nature guides guests throughout their stay, even at the resorts contemporary dining outlets. These include an over-water Japanese restaurant, sushi bar and sea lounge named Kata, where Chef Dharmen brings creative flair to add modern and Maldivian twists to Japanese dishes; and the over-water fine dining destination Azure, where fresh seafood and fish-market displays of daily local catches are complemented by fantastic wines and Champagnes. Throughout the resort, still and sparking water produced by the resorts desalinisation process are served in the Fairmont-branded glass bottles for guests’ ease of consumption.
Adjacent to the main all-day dining restaurant, the intimate Raha Market Bar is a relaxed space for guests to round off the day with a meal at the water’s edge. At the all bamboo Onu Onu, loungers and fire pits add to the laid-back poolside atmosphere, while sunsets are best enjoyed with a sundowner at the Kata Rooftop Bar and Lounge, overlooking the entire western side of the island. Destination dining experiences draw guests further into nature, with private meals enjoyed under the stars with powder-soft sand beneath their toes.
The resort also houses The Willow Stream Spa. The 2,000sq.m wellness area has been adapted to Maldivian island chic in its concepts with the use of endemic herbs and Indian Ocean-inspired treatments. The architectural design features hand-carved wooden doors, with sea breeze passages designed to draw fresh air into treatment rooms. A dedicated Olympic size Jacuzzi pool is provided for pre or post treatment immersion.
When the mood takes them, the resort’s on-site art studio offers guests all the tools and materials required to be inspired and express their creative spirit with the guidance of resident and visiting artists. With a tailored selection of units suitable for families and children at the resort, a variety of daytime activities including coconut painting, canvas creations, jewellery and making dreamcatchers are available. Families are well-catered for with a Kid’s Club, Toddlers Play Garden and the dedicated Teen Town, offering a wealth of exciting experiences for young adults.
Robbyn added: “I think as an interior designer you get, if you’re lucky, to work on projects like this and a few times in your life you get to work on projects that are in such stunning locations so I feel incredibly lucky. It wasn’t just the location but it was also the project team that made this project special. I think we had an incredible creative team on board where everyone got along and just gelled. The project meant a lot to me, the owner is now a good friend of mine and I think we all made lifelong friendship, as well as a beautiful island resort.”