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Hotel Review: Alila Kothaifaru Maldives, Raa Atoll in the Maldives

Rupali Dean enjoys an indulgent break at this luxury island retreat.

By Rupali Dean   |  

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Alila Kothaifaru Maldives
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Nestled on the beautiful natural island of Kothaifaru in the Raa Atoll, just 45 minutes away from Malé International Airport by seaplane, this paradise is adorned with pristine white beaches and graceful palm trees, creating a picturesque setting like no other.

Raa Atoll, deep in the Maldives archipelago, provides convenient access to Hanifaru Bay UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, renowned for manta rays, and is close to Vaadhoo Island’s captivating Sea of Stars.


alila maldives overview
Indulge in the best of both worlds with the exquisite blend of overwater and beach villas at this stunning sanctuary

Indulge in the best of both worlds with the exquisite blend of overwater and beach villas at this stunning sanctuary. The lush jungle vegetation, featuring majestic banyan trees, sea hibiscuses, and an array of tamu, Indian almond, and tamanu trees, gives the resort a harmonious and established ambience. Care has been taken to preserve the natural beauty, ensuring that each beach villa is secluded by lush greenery, providing a sense of serenity and seclusion.

As the only Alila property in the Maldives, this resort embodies the brand’s sophisticated essence, incorporating sleek, contemporary design by renowned Singapore-based firm, Studiogoto.

Embracing an eco-conscious philosophy, understated luxury, and iconic wooden lattice patterns, the resort seamlessly integrates with nature. Drawing the outside in, all villas boast one floor-to-ceiling glass wall, effortlessly blending the breath-taking natural surroundings with the interior. The sublime dining venues and bars along the water’s edge provide captivating views of the sea, while the spa, elevated amidst the treetops, offers a tranquil hideaway enveloped by the intimacy of the jungle.

The resort exudes a minimalist charm that reverberates throughout, creating an atmosphere of unpretentious elegance. It is also committed to sustainability, which is evident through their own bottling plant, plastic-free resort, and composting/waste management programme in their kitchens. They further demonstrate this ethos with solar panels on administrative buildings and the organic garden.


alila maldives villa
Beach villas provide a serene oasis amongst lush greenery

I recently had the pleasure of staying at this exquisite hotel where I immersed myself in the sheer luxury and tranquillity of their pool villas. With 36 overwater villas and 44 beachside villas, each offering stunning sunrises or captivating sunsets, the options are truly breath-taking.

The beach villas, adorned with private swimming pools, provide an exceptional level of privacy amidst lush greenery, creating a serene oasis. A charming pathway leading directly to the sea offers easy access to the sparkling waters. The spacious villas impress with separate sitting rooms adjacent to elegant bedrooms. However, what makes these beach villas truly unique is the placement of their bathrooms in internal courtyards. Luxurious showers and expansive tubs invite guests to indulge in pure bliss.

The overwater villas offer a different yet equally mesmerising experience. Thoughtfully designed bathrooms with sliding doors provide captivating views of the sea. Rain showers and elegant egg-shaped tubs positioned to offer uninterrupted views of the turquoise waters add a touch of enchantment. The incredible addition of a swimming pool on the deck, along with stairs leading to the sea, adds to the allure.

Regardless of villa type, every guest is treated to a range of luxurious Alila amenities. From fragrant bath salts infused with ylang-ylang, lavender, and lemongrass, to his and hers collections featuring invigorating pillow mists, tantalising lip balms, and comforting insect repellents, every detail is curated to elevate the overall experience.

Food and drink

alila maldives food
The resort allows guests to explore the world through food

As someone who loves exploring the world through food, my experience at this exquisite resort was nothing short of a culinary adventure. With two magnificent restaurants and bars to choose from, there was no shortage of delicious options. Sea Salt, the delightful all-day eatery, immediately captured my attention with its exquisite asparagus risotto. The combination of mint, peas, spring onions, truffle oil, and parmesan elevated the dish to a whole new level of flavour. For a truly immersive experience, I tried the Taste of the Maldives at Sea Salt. This unforgettable meal featured three delectable preparations of tuna, perfectly complemented by roasted aubergine and freshly made chapatis.

As the sun began to set, I found myself at Mirus Bar, a tranquil spot perfect for savouring unique cocktails. The Mirus Martini, infused with local chili, and the coconut-aged Negroni were both delightful surprises. Sake enthusiasts like myself will find solace in Yakitori, a place that serves tantalizing sake cocktails. The Umami Balance, with its infusion of peach schnapps, sage leaves, and lime juice, was a true delight for the taste buds.

Umami, the resort’s esteemed fine dining establishment, showcased the flavours of Japan with dishes such as exquisite sushi, miso-marinated black cod, and a remarkably crispy tuna sashimi taco. Each bite was a revelation.

Breakfast was a treat with its à la carte experience featuring pastries, including the intriguing curry croissants, and a vibrant selection of fruits. If you’re in need of a quick snack or pick-me-up, Pibati, the grab-and-go café, offers a variety of snacks, ice creams, freshly brewed coffees, and teas.

For a truly unique dining experience, The Shack provided an exclusive opportunity to dine on a private sandbank, just a boat ride away, offering a picturesque picnic lunch or evening barbecue. Overall, my culinary journey at this extraordinary destination was captivating and satisfying. Every meal was top drawer, leaving me craving for more.

To do

alila maldives spa
The spa is a hidden gem tucked away within the island’s interior

Nestled amidst lush jungle foliage, the unique and refreshing approach to its spa experience sets it apart from the rest. Instead of the typical sea-facing setup, they have chosen a hidden gem tucked away within the island’s interior. Four treatment rooms, delicately perched on stilts, blending seamlessly with the treetop canopy, invite a sense of serenity. Connected by intimate walkways, a yoga platform offers a transcendent experience, enveloped in the symphony of surrounding jungle sounds. Expert therapists hailing from Bali, Thailand, and Bhutan offer their skilled touch, employing exquisite Alila Living products.

Elsewhere, guests can enjoy snorkelling, diving, windsurfing, stand-up paddling, kayaking, and sunset cruises on a traditional wooden Dhoni, suitable for the whole family. The perfect holiday for small children includes sand, sea, and a Kid’s Club with crafts, shell collecting, bowling, and crab hunting.

In a nutshell

alila maldives yoga
This exquisite resort combines nature and refined luxury to create an unforgettable experience

From the moment you arrive at Malé airport, Alila’s impeccable service sets the tone for an unforgettable stay. Hamdhoon, the friendly face of the resort, ensures a warm welcome with efficiency and genuine smiles. But the exceptional service doesn’t end there as your personal host, goes above and beyond with attentiveness and multitasking skills. The staff’s attention to detail is remarkable, remembering your drink preferences, and even your favourite table. By the time I left, this resort felt like a second home, and the desire to return was overwhelming, even before my first visit was complete.

In conclusion, this hotel exemplifies luxury at its finest, offering an exceptional range of pool villas. Whether you opt for the beach or the overwater experience, you can expect nothing less than sheer opulence and impeccable service. Prepare to be captivated by the lush surroundings, pampered with a wealth of Alila amenities, and indulge in the ultimate relaxation provided by these elegant villas. Discover a sanctuary where nature and refined luxury harmonise to create an unforgettable experience.


The Sunset Beach Villa would cost £1,325 approximately for a night including full board and a spa for two.

Address: Alila Kothaifaru Maldives, Kothaifaru, Raa Atoll, Republic of Maldives
Phone: +960 659-1234

Check Availability

And Book Online

Alila Kothaifaru Maldives
LLM may receive some revenue if you click BOOK NOW & book a stay via See terms of use.

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