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Best Of The Best 2006: Shifting Sands

Scott Goetz

The Maldives island of Reethi Rah was less than half its current size before One&Only Resorts arrived on its shores. The luxury resort chain, which opened the One&Only Maldives at Reethi Rah last May, dredged enough sand during construction to form what is now, at more than 100 acres, one of the largest of the 1,200 islands in this Indian Ocean nation. The developers created 12 beaches and numerous coves, and they imported more than 1 million plants to ensure that privacy-protecting foliage borders each of the resort’s 130 villas.

Inside the villas, One&Only applied a simple, contemporary Asian motif to cavernous spaces composed of such materials as mahogany, coconut shell, silk, teak, and rattan. Towering, sculptural, Thai-style doorways open to black-tile reflecting pools and terraces accented by plumeria trees; some villas feature decks with broad, flat hammocks that hang over the ocean. The soaring columns and carved-wood ceiling of the 100,000-square-foot spa create a templelike space that is accented throughout with waterways and flowers—including the One&Only orchid, which the company engineered solely for the island.

One&Only Maldives at Reethi Rah
866.552.0001, +960.664.88.00
($680–$3,180)
www.oneandonlyresorts.com

Photo by Bonhams
Photo by Simon Clay/RM Auctions
Photo by Shooterz.biz/RM Auctions
Photo by Daniel Simon