Mar 7, 2020
THE THOUSANDS OF ISLANDS in the Maldives are justly famous for some of the most spectacular beaches on the planet. Sun, sand and crystalline waters teeming with whale sharks and other marine life would be reason enough to visit the archipelago. What some travelers may not realize, however, is that the Maldives is also host to a vibrant restaurant scene. At these superb hotels by Crown & Champa, you can experience the height of the Maldivian cuisine.
Guests at this dazzling, all-inclusive six-star resort can indulge their every wish, even if it includes a personal butler and a private chef. Here, guests indulge in selections from a private cheese cellar with 50 different varieties of cheese, not to mention aged Parma ham, salami and chorizo. The resident sommelier can happily make expert recommendations from the expansive wine cellar with 80 different labels. The owner’s private wine collection also includes an exquisite collection of champagnes including Louis Roederer, Delamotte Blanc de Blanc, Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart, Bollinger Rose, Taittinger Prelude and Moët. Guests can dine in their private residences, poolside at The Retreat, or right on the beach under the stars. For an intimate dinner surrounded by lush foliage, the Jungle the perfect romantic bolt-hole, while Dream Island, a secluded sandbank, feels like have dinner in a Robinson Crusoe fantasy.
At this luxe five-star resort, guests can dine at Kashibo, a beautiful overwater restaurant named for the Dhivehi word for sea urchin. In this stunning setting, diners can indulge in mouth-watering Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Indonesian-inspired dishes such as yellowfin tuna tataki, beef cheek penang and lamb shank keaong om. For a sundowner, Kashibo Bar pours impeccably balanced craft cocktails with a view. For a fun, laid-back vibe, head to J.F.K., or “Junk Food Kitchen,” which serves everything from vegan-friendly dishes such as gluten- and dairy-free nachos to tomahawk steak. If you’re craving something sweet, be sure to check out the exceptional dessert menu. Finally, 5.8 Undersea Restaurant is the largest glass-encased underwater restaurant in the world. Here, diners can enjoy superb five- and six-course tasting menus highlighting exceptional seafood, meat and farm-fresh produce. Unsurprisingly, this magnificent space 5.8 meters below the ocean’s surface is especially popular for wedding proposals.
This intimate resort is one of the most romantic spots in the whole archipelago. The signature restaurant Madivaru, which means “island” in Dhivehi, specializes in ethically sourced seafood, including the delicious Maldivian lobster. Guests can opt to dine indoors, al fresco or on the beach on sophisticated a la carte menus that merge Western cooking techniques with Asian ingredients. Highlights include Angus beef with massaman risotto, lobster tempura with asparagus salad, and wok-fried noodles with seafood, capers and basil.
All photos courtesy of Crown & Champa