The pristine atolls of the Maldives are usually more associated with smooching honeymooners than adrenalin junkies, but this new opening is set to draw an adventure-hungry clientele to the island chain. Located in the North Malé Atoll, Kuda Villingili offers easy access to Chickens, one of the world’s top 10 surfing spots. First discovered when Australian surfers Tony Hussein Hinde and Mark Scanlon were shipwrecked nearby in the 1970s, this roping, high-performance “left” (a good wave, for those who don’t know the lingo) still attracts surfing aficionados from across the globe.
Back on dry land, the 16-hectare island’s resort, which was originally slated to open as a Chedi, does have some of the hallmarks of a traditional luxury property in the Maldives. At its heart sits a 150-metre pool encircled by palm trees and cream sun loungers, and its sprawling spa features eight overwater villas, with free-standing bathtubs filled with tropical flowers. However, Kuda Villingili’s ethos is deliberately different. The island’s bevy of activities – ranging from lobster and champagne nights to sunset DJ sessions – and millennial-friendly interiors (think local Maldivian textiles and rugs manufactured from recycled plastic bottles) are testimony to its intention to draw in a decidedly cooler crowd.BOOK NOW