Measuring no more than 180 metres long by 123 metres wide, Naladhu, which means, “pretty little island”, is precisely that. Accommodating a mere 19 couples at any one time, Naladhu is boutique, intimate and decadently private. Whilst the island may be a tiny dot in the Indian Ocean, ‘guestrooms’ are a colossal 300 square metres and aptly named as either an Ocean House or Beach House.
Gated entrances, landscaped courtyards, lofty gabled ceilings, white washed panelling, teak furniture, Ceylon motifs & details capturing all the charming qualities of a coastal colonial Sri Lankan home is the work of local Maldivian architect Mohammed Shafeeq and Singapore-based interior designer Julian Coombs.
Integrated joinery used with restraint throughout maintains a sense of buoyancy and lightness. Houses are fitted out with antique furnishings and bespoke pieces ranging from an early 20th century writer’s desk and demure bar cabinets to vintage freestanding screens. These character pieces seem to have been lovingly handpicked and collected over the years by the ‘owner’ of the house. The result is a sense of nostalgia and intimacy; and evokes a feeling of staying in the grand home of a friend, one with immensely great taste (and money). I am completely smitten and hope I can stay longer next time!
Story by our Luxury Travel scout Ella Lee Cansdell – Butler By The Sea