St. Regis Maldives is one of several Marriott Bonvoy brands in the Maldives drawing visitors from around the globe. Marriott Bonvoy counts 30 brands within its portfolio, but St. Regis is one of its most historic and traditional. General Manager Vincent Pauchon explains what makes St. Regis Maldives unique while also explaining how traditional brand touches are not lost, even in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
When did the hotel open?
The resort opened in 2016, but it has not stopped evolving. New food and beverage venues as well as recent upgrades to the decor keep repeat guests happy.
How do people get to the resort?
Once they land at Male International Airport, a St. Regis staff member meets them and takes them to the sea plane terminal where the hotel has a dedicated lounge. There, they can relax with a snack or refreshment while waiting for the seaplane departure to the resort. It takes about 40 minutes to get to the property. The staff greets all arrivals once they get to the resort and ushers them to their accommodations by golf cart for in-villa check-in.
What is new at the St. Regis Maldives?
One of the most exciting additions to the resort is T. Pan, an upscale teppanyaki restaurant with a variety of set menus. With two teppan grills and a private sake or whisky tasting room, this is a fine dining experience that will truly “wow.” Everything from the plates to the ingredients were carefully selected for the experience. On the menu are unusual ingredients like Kobe beef, kagomi (ostrich fern), matsutake (wild mushroom) and Japanese artichoke.
Seven-course menus are meant to be both artistic and delicious; this is not your traditional hibachi restaurant with chef-performed antics. Instead, the culinary team shares details about the history of this style of dining while guests watch them in action. There are lunch and (adult-only) dinner seatings with a panoramic view of the sea from floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows.
In addition, the resort boasts the largest sake and Sochu collection in all of the Maldives and is the only property to have its own sake sommelier. This is the only place in the country where you can order Juyondai Sake as well as a limited edition Dassai beverage.
The menu also features the largest collection of Japanese Whisky and is the only place in the Maldives with Koji Whisky. Even those not partaking in strong libations are in for a treat. The resort boasts the largest collection of Japanese tea from boutique producers of Kyoto.
What other restaurants do you have?
The resort specializes in offering a broad base of options. The average length of stay is around five nights, and most guests choose to dine around in a different venue. That’s why variety is paramount, but the resort takes things a step further. The menu at Alba and Decanter (where special wine-pairing dinners are served) has one of the largest wine collections in the Maldives. Each morning, guests can enjoy a sumptuous breakfast buffet with Champagne.
There’s also Orientale with a sushi and pan-Asian menu plus Cargo with a Middle Eastern menu in a garden space. At Crust & Craft, guests can order tasty pizzas from the wood-fired pizza oven as well as an array of salads and drinks on the beach.
Signature offerings at the resort are plentiful including “The Island Mary,” our own recipe for the traditional Bloody Mary, Champagne sabering at sunset (another St. Regis hallmark) and floating breakfasts that include a glass of bubbly.
What is the Blue Hole?
This is a pool and relaxation experience inside the spa. As the only one of its kind in the Maldives, it features massaging jets, sunken sitting areas and pummeling waterfalls in a private oasis along the sea. It can be reserved as a private experience or as an add-on to any spa treatment. The sundeck has shaded sitting areas with chilled water, towels and a stunning infinity-edge pool that seems to spill directly into the Indian Ocean.
Which are the most popular accommodations?
That’s a tough one. Each guest has their own preference. Many people like to split their time between the overwater villa and the beachfront villa. Others prefer to spend their time exclusively in one area. It’s really a preference, but having the option to step directly from your villa to the sea (whether by stairs or by walking on the sand) is a special treat.
Each of the accommodations has bespoke art pieces made using repurposed items that tell a bit of the Maldivian story.
All of them have a private plunge pool, which is something special that guests really treasure. A favorite of travelers is treating themselves to the floating breakfast. It comes with Champagne, a long list of dishes from hot egg specialties and sweet options to fresh fruit, pastries and granola delivered whenever you want in a floating presentation to enjoy on the patio or in the pool. It’s a special and romantic experience.
The villas also come with bikes that they can use to cycle around the resort, which makes it easy to get around. Kids can request bikes with training wheels. Some of these have two levels with separate living and sleeping areas making them very popular with families.
In fact, the duplex, three-bedroom John Jacob Astor Suite is the largest overwater suite in all of the Maldives. It comes with its own spa treatment area, kitchen and living room, and enormous patios with swimming pool.
Are there activities for families?
The resort caters to both couples and families. There is everything from a children’s pool by the main pool to a supervised kids club with daily activities. This is a great option for parents that want to indulge in the spa or relax on the beach. They can also partake in watersports while their kids enjoy educational and safe experiences with the resort staff.
In addition to activities, the restaurant and room service menus have options for kids. The staff takes extra care to make sure they are having the best vacation experience possible. Don’t be surprised to see an inflatable raft in the private plunge pool for young guests to enjoy.
Can guests use Marriott Bonvoy points to redeem for food, beverage or spa spending?
Yes, this is an option for people to use points to lower the cost of their final bill. For every 250 points redeemed, guests will receive a $1 discount on the invoice.
Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe.