This November will mark the opening of SO/ Maldives, a sartorially-rooted retreat set on a pristine private island and surrounded by the Emboodhoo Lagoon. Located just a 15-minute speedboat ride from Malé’s Velana International Airport, the hotel harmoniously blends rare accessibility with exquisite privacy, with each of the 80 individually designed villas nestled directly on its own slice of white-sand beach or on stilts above the lagoon. Innovative restaurant and bar concepts are designed to offer a refreshing counterpart to the ubiquitous resort all-day dining buffet, while the cultural programming will bring together the best of music, fashion, design and art. Throw in an oh-so-chic spa and you have the ultimate exotic-island experience that will never go out of style.
The design of SO/ Maldives is bold and structural, drawing inspiration from the craftsmanship and theatricality of contemporary couture. Upon arrival, guests are met by a spectacular, over-water pavilion, which sets the aesthetic tone of the hotel with clean lines, cool neutrals, and natural wood, juxtaposed against vibrant accents and a sculptural, red-latticed central staircase. The ho-tel's distinctive walkways are framed by billowing fabrics or architectural timber canopies, making a striking counterpart to the island’s lush natural flora, and referencing the dramatic styling of high fashion presentations.
Created in collaboration with leading artists and fashion designers, the 80 over-water and beach-front villas are a lesson in inclusive luxury, perfectly suited to everyone from young families and couples to groups of friends seeking sartorial experiences in this covetable pocket of seclusion. Set across eight categories, the collection ranges from the 120 sqm Lagoon Water Pool Villa Collection to the spectacular 330 sqm Three-Bedroom Ocean Water Pool Atelier, while the 238 sqm Family Beach Pool Villa with Capsule come complete with fun adjoining sleep pods for younger guests. Private pools come as standard, as does an invaluable personalised concierge service courtesy of the hotel’s guest experience hosts.
A complete antithesis of the staid all-day dining buffet, the hotel offers three distinct dining options, each with its own unique food-driven concept. The Citronelle Club is inspired by the flavours of Asia, serving up spice-filled dishes family style, while the menu at destination restaurant Hadaba will feature slow-cooked dishes and smoked delicacies, using both local produce and the finest Levantine ingredients and spices. Guests looking for a more laid-back vibe can head to Lazuli, a hybrid beach bar and lounge oozing Cote D’Azur charm and elegance, which will play host to DJs and live music programming as the nights draw in.
Surrounded by lush greenery, the spa features specialist treatment rooms alongside hammam, steam rooms and a full-fitted gym, while those looking for a more organic workout can head to the watersports centre located on the beach. For families, The Nest kids club is fully equipped with toys, games, and activities, while teens have their own dedicated space, The Zone, complete with games room and outdoor deck.
Set in the stunning Emboodhoo Lagoon within the extraordinary multi-island destination of CROSSROADS Maldives, SO/ Maldives will put down roots on a paradisiacal private island de-fined by sugar-white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Located in the so-called Golden Triangle, just a 15-minute speedboat ride from Malé’s Velana International Airport, the area is awash with natural splendour and teeming with exotic sea life making for exemplary diving and snorkelling.
SO/ is a coveted collection of hotels, rooted in the world of fashion. Making its stylish debut on the global hotel scene in 2011, SO/ continues to command attention with its avant-garde design and creative approach to the world of luxury. SO/ is renowned for its signature fashion collaborations, having worked with some of the world’s most celebrated designers, including Guillaume Henry, Christian Lacroix and Viktor&Rolf to create spaces, uniforms, amenities and experiences that feel sartorial and polished.
SO/ is located in some of the world’s most vibrant and sociable destinations, including Berlin, Bangkok, St. Petersburg, and most recently Paris (opened September 2022). Exciting expansion plans will see the brand continue to spread its bold footprint globally, with SO/ Uptown Dubai set to open last summer 2023 and SO/ Maldives to open in November 2023. SO/ is part of Ennismore, a creative hospitality company rooted in culture and community, with a global collective of entrepreneurial and founder-built brands with purpose at their heart.
Ennismore is a creative hospitality company with a global collective of entrepreneurial and founder-built brands with purpose at their heart. It curates and manages unique properties and experiences in some of the most exciting destinations around the world.
Founded in 2011 by entrepreneur Sharan Pasricha, Ennismore and Accor entered a joint venture in 2021 to create a new autonomous entity, with Accor holding a majority shareholding. Creating the world’s fastest-growing lifestyle hospitality company, it brings together Ennismore’s know-how in building brands with creative storytelling, design, and authentic experiences, with Accor’s wealth of knowledge in delivering scale, network growth and distribution.
Under the leadership of Sharan Pasricha, Founder & Co-CEO, and Gaurav Bhushan, Co-CEO, Ennismore comprises 14 brands – with 91 operating properties and further 143 in the pipeline – and a collection of over 150 culturally relevant and diverse restaurants and nightlife destinations.
Ennismore puts innovation at the centre of everything it does, with four dedicated in-house specialist studios, which obsess every guest touchpoint including Carte Blanched – a fully integrated F&B concept platform; a creative studio of interior and graphic designers; a digital product and tech innovation lab, and a partnerships and collaborations unit. Ennismore is committed to positively impacting the world, with a key focus on creating inclusive communities among its teams and in the places it calls home.
Ennismore has been included in Fast Company’s World’s Most Innovative Companies lists in 2020 and 2021; ranked#29 in FT1000: Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies; and is part of FT Future 100 – the UK’s fastest-growing businesses that are shaping the future of their sector. Ennismore brands include: 21c, 25hours, Delano, Gleneagles, Hyde, Jo&Joe, Mama Shelter, Mondrian, Morgans Originals, SLS, SO/, The Hoxton, Tribe and Working From.
About CROSSROADS Maldives
Crafted from tales of the past, and designed to inspire the present, CROSSROADS Maldives is the next chapter in the story of one of the world’s most amazing destinations. The archipelago’s only “one-stop, non-stop” lifestyle destination invites adventurous travellers from the four corners of the globe to cross paths and explore a treasure trove of iconic oceanfront resorts, upscale lifestyle outlets and endless entertainment offerings, as well as the stunning natural, cultural and nautical attractions that have lured maritime travellers to the Maldives for centuries. CROSSROADS Maldives is where cultures meet.
Jessica is a wellness travel consultant at Renshaw Travel, a family-operated travel agency in Vancouver, she is a passionate outdoors enthusiast and a world explorer. Her interests include aspects of Holistic health ranging from fitness to yoga, meditation and Ayurvedic medicine.
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