Review: Discover laidback luxury and island bliss at The Residence Maldives Dhigurah

With a sublime setting, sprawling villas, and a lush natural wilderness, The Residence Maldives Dhigurah is where you can discover your own private luxury hideaway.  

Hopping on my complimentary bicycle, I start pedalling across the kilometre-long wooden bridge. The cool, crisp air gushes through my face, shaking off any ounce of morning grogginess left in me. I look to my right — the sun is slowly coming up, taking shape and casting a rosy hue across the sky, while the endless ocean below is starting to glitter in the golden light. I am late for my Aqua Yoga session at The Beach Club, but decide to stop and admire the rising sun. Just when I think it couldn’t get any better, I spot an eagle ray casually floating in the warm coastal waters. Pure island bliss!

The residence maldives dhigurah
The twin resorts of The Residence Maldives sprawl across four kilometres and are connected via a jetty. Image: Courtesy The Residence Maldives Dhigurah.

I am at The Residence Maldives Dhigurah, where such surprising encounters with nature is not uncommon. There’s no seaplane transfers available but the hour-long domestic flight from Malè to Kooddoo airport followed by a 10-minute speed boat is totally worth reaching this island paradise far down south. For The Residence Maldives Dhigurah tucked away on the secluded fringes of the mostly untouched Gaafu Alifu Atoll, has the most spellbinding edge-of-the-world location.

The two-kilometre-long island is, well, big and green and unlike anything I had experienced in the archipelago before. White sandy pathways wind through leafy tunnels of over 2,500 coconut palms and other trees, endless swathes of white beaches run into secluded sandbanks, schools of fish sashay along the shore, and endless horizons give way to dramatic night skies.

The residence maldives dhigurah
The wooden bridge leading to The Residence Maldives Dhigurah. Image: Courtesy The Residence Maldives Dhigurah.

I notice how the unique Dhigurah property doesn’t try to offer luxury at the cost of disturbing the fragile marine ecosystem that surrounds it. Instead, the island’s bountiful corals and preserved seagrass gardens across the emerald waters act as natural feeding grounds for marine creatures and truly stand out. Their conscious efforts resonate with the vision of the Maldives Tourism and the Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) of promoting sustainable practices across the archipelago.

At The Residence Maldives Dhigurah, you feel completely immersed in nature at all times — whether you are simply relaxing in your sprawling villa with thatched roofs and Maldivian touches, enjoying sundowners in a breezy cabana by the 42-metre infinity pool raised slightly above the beach, or getting pampered at the overwater Clarins Spa set amidst lush tropical pavilions.

The residence maldives dhigurah
The property has 173 beachfront and overwater villas. Image: Courtesy The Residence Maldives Dhigurah.

Each of the 173 villas is spaced well apart and lets you luxuriate in an island paradise designed in harmony with their surroundings. While beachfront villas are cocooned with their own patch of cottony white sand, overwater ones transfers you to a private sanctuary surrounded by turquoise lagoons. Either way, there’s not a room with a bad view.

My generously spacious Sunset Water Pool Villa floats atop the clear turquoise lagoon, and comes with a private pool, large bathroom featuring ‘His’ and ‘Her’ vanities and a tub, a wide deck with outdoor shower, and a ladder leading straight into the ocean! On my first morning, I wake up to the sounds of waves crashing into my beautiful abode, enjoy floating champagne breakfast in my pool while basking in the panoramic views, and cycle through the rustic, all-inclusive resort, stopping at every chance I get to catch a sunset or a starlit sky.

The residence maldives dhigurah
The outdoor deck at the Sunset Water Pool villa. Image: Courtesy The Residence Maldives Dhigurah.
The residence maldives dhigurah
All villas at the resort is done in soft palettes with Maldivian touches. Image: Courtesy The Residence Maldives Dhigurah.

For the first dinner, Lynnette, the dedicated Guest Experience manager at the resort, takes me around for a spin on a buggy across the wooden bridge, all the way to the resort’s twin island property, The Residence Maldives Falhumafushi. Under a shimmering pearl-drop chandelier, we sit at The Falhumah, an overwater dining venue spectacularly located at the end of a 230-metre-long jetty above the reef. The menu features an exquisite selection of western cuisine with the emphasis on fresh seafood and grilled meats, complemented by fine wines and cocktails from around the world.

Dining on the Dhigurah island is an entire different experience in itself. I lunch at Cafe Del Sol where poolside relaxation is paired with fresh Mediterranean flavours and vibrant tapas like tomato bruschetta, gambas ajillo, baked brie and fried asparagus in cream sauce. Multiple-course Italian dinners at the fine-dining Long Island serving a mean antipasto salad to delicious stuffed ravioli with seafood, are swanky and absolutely delicious!

The residence maldives dhigurah
Floating breakfast in the private pool is a must! Image: Courtesy The Residence Maldives Falumaahfushi.
The residence maldives dhigurah
The dining outlets at both the resorts offer an eclectic mix of gourmet dishes, international flavours, and local Maldivian cuisine. Image: Courtesy The Residence Maldives Dhigurah.

I spend rest of my days at the resort soaking in laidback luxury and experiencing bespoke hospitality at its best. Enjoying elaborate breakfast spreads at The Dining Room, feeding black-tip sharks every evening, snorkelling amid breathtaking corals and a variety of fish, picking freshest fruits and vegetables for chef-led cooking sessions at Earth Basket, and basking on a hammock at one of the sun-kissed beaches are all part of daily routine. Occasionally, I’d try to find my balance (and tranquillity) on a wobbly float in the pool while performing Aqua Yoga with an expert professional, or go kayaking along the serene lagoon as it ripples with every dip, filling me with an ineffable sense of timelessness.

On the last evening, I sit with my toes dipped into the private pool, trying to cease each moment left amid this ethereal beauty that surrounds me. As the sun slowly goes down, I too descend into the ocean for one last swim. In return, the island paradise decides to surprise me one last time — two hawksbill sea turtles decide to drop by to bid me adieu, making my stay at The Residence Maldives Dhigurah all the more unforgettable!

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