The design of Maldives’ new Milaidhoo Island Resort showcases the traditional history and heritage of the region with custom-made, locally produced elements throughout. There are a number of examples that make it distinctly Maldivian (as opposed to Balinese or Thai which have inspired many other resorts’ architecture in the destination).
Almost everything at Milaidhoo has been custom-made for the resort from craftsmen around the region, including the hanging swing-chair on every deck (called ‘undhoali’ in the local language) that is a staple of Maldivian residents.
Natural building materials and decorations (wood, stone, coconut thatching) were used in construction to ensure that the style remains in touch with nature. Product was sourced from renewable forests, making Milaidhoo one of the few remaining resorts on the atoll with traditionally thatched roofs in cadjan (coconut leaves).
Local artisans also add culture and character throughout the hotel, including at the entrance of each beach pool villa. Walls made of limestone blocks are loosely held together with white cement, similar to a dry stonewall effect. This traditional building technique dates back to the days when Maldivians used blocks of coral to build their homes.
Additionally, the resorts Ba’theli restaurant was built by local boat builders. The restaurant, which is supported on stilts, is an arrangement of three traditional wooden cargo sailing boats (called ‘ba’theli’ in the local language) joined together, topped with coconut leaf thatching.
The wooden parquet floor found in every beach pool villa is another design highlight. The idea itself was inspired by wooden flooring found in one of the old sultan’s palaces which dates back 300 years. The historic wooden flooring concept is used at Milaidhoo in a modern honeycomb pattern made of whitewashed ash wood.
Maldivian-owned Milaidhoo Island Maldives opened in November 2016 and is proudly rooted in the local island traditions, curating a bespoke selection of experiences to showcase the destination. Set over 13 acres in the Baa Atoll’s beautiful UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, each of Milaidhoo’s 50 private villas have been designed by a local Maldivian architect and each thatched-roof villa features generous private pools and is serviced by Island Hosts. The villas are just a short, barefoot stroll away to three world-class restaurants, incredible watersports, fitness, spa, yoga and world-class diving. A 35-minute seaplane flight from Maldives International Airport, Milaidhoo is a member of The Small Luxury Hotels of the World.