“Island Couture” – SO/ Maldives Invites Fashionistas to Step into a Bespoke World of Art & Design

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Conceived by eco-id, Stickman Tribe and S Hotels & Resorts’ own design team, this vibrant all-villa retreat – which officially opened on 23 March 2024 – is a “see-and-be-seen” destination where a glass-enclosed runway and chic social spaces set the stage for glamorous vacations

Having arrived in style by speedboat, guests will traverse an illuminated catwalk to SO/ Maldives’ reception “carousel”

BANGKOK, THAILAND: The Maldives is one of the world’s most dazzling destinations – a sparkling collection of island jewels where the world’s discerning explorers come to kick off their designer shoes and experience barefoot luxury in paradise. This enchanting archipelago is now home to a new “Island Couture” resort that makes an iconic design statement, as the worlds of fashion and art blend seamlessly with serenity and sustainability.

Following a grand opening party on 23 March 2024, SO/ Maldives has become the new one-of-a-kind island retreat at CROSSROADS Maldives, the Indian Ocean’s first and only integrated resort. Owned by S Hotels & Resorts and operated by Ennismore, the creative hospitality company, this sensorial and sartorial all-pool villa retreat lets glamorous travellers express themselves in paradise. Winner of the “Architectural Design Resort – Luxury” category in the LIV Hospitality Design Awards 2023, the resort’s unique playful and interactive design concept was crafted by eco-id, the Singapore-based architecture and design experts, in collaboration with Anthony LaCaprara, Senior Vice President of Hospitality Design & Construction for Singha Estate, the international real-estate developer, investment company and parent of S Hotels & Resorts. Another key player in this project was Stickman Tribe, an internationally recognised boutique interior design studio founded by Marcos Cain, which conceived the resort’s stylish dining and social venues such as Lazuli Beach Club, HADABA and The Citronelle Club.

Arrival with a Private Catwalk

The SO/ Arrival runway boasts a comprehensive collection of original art & design pieces

Having arrived in style by speedboat (just 15 minutes over the sparkling sea from Malé Velana International Airport), visitors are greeted at the dedicated SO/ Arrival runway and invited into an elegant red pavilion which appears to float above the lagoon. Within this striking space, freeform shapes and artistic installations evoke the feeling of being immersed in a one-of-a-kind art gallery. For instance, this private catwalk features “Sanguine Sea,” a sustainable and meaningful handwoven artwork made from upcycled yarn and other sea waste. Crafted by Ploenchan Vinyaratn, the famous Thai textile artist, this unique piece is inspired by the captivating crimson-hued waves encountered in the enchanting seascapes of the Maldives. Ploenchan’s work can also be seen in every villa. In addition, the arrival hall boasts a trampoline armchair designed for Cassina by Patricia Urquiola, the renowned “Interior Designer of the Year” at the prestigious Dezeen Awards 2023. Another masterpiece, an almost 10-metre-long handmade Italian glass mosaic along the bar, enthrals guests when they arrive. 

This welcoming “exhibit” is connected to the rest of the resort through a series of over-water runways where guests can embark on their vacation with the feeling of being the star of their own personal fashion show.

The Indian Ocean’s Place to Dine and Party

With its vibrant colours and contemporary design, Lazuli Beach Club creates a striking visual impact

The “see-and-be-seen” theme flows throughout the SO/ Maldives experience. Lazuli Beach Club is a colourful and creative venue which appears to blend into the sand. The bespoke finish of the swimming pool, with its linear mosaic tile stripes, is inspired by traditional Latin blankets, a spatial bench has been created by Vondom, a famous Spanish outdoor furniture brand, and guests can experience a masterpiece from the renowned Italian architect and designer, Fabio Novembre. Dreamy daytimes can be enjoyed under the iconic “Frou Frou” sunshades by Symo, a designer handcrafted parasol brand from Belgium, and after dark, guests can revel in the upbeat ambience of the Maldives’ hottest parties, with international DJs and inspiring events. Epicurean excellence abounds at HADABA, the Middle Eastern restaurant which shines brightly yet offers a sense of atmospheric calm, while The Citronelle Club mirrors the organic curvature of the beach with its sweeping roof and light-filled interiors. 

A Supermodel’s Private Sanctuary

Each villa blends elements of luxurious opulence and blissful serenity

For moments of blissful seclusion, each of the Beach Villa and Water Villa Collections is designed to feel like a supermodel’s own dressing room – a sexy, ultra-exclusive sanctuary. Wrapped in glass to let natural light flood in and project panoramic views across the ocean, these luxurious spaces let guests write their own stories. Step straight into the lagoon or plunge into the private pool, sink into the free-standing bathtub, and get glammed-up at the Maldives’ longest make-up tables, which stretch horizontally across each room and subtly divide the living and sleeping areas. And with solar panels crowning every villa, eco-conscious explorers can rest assured that they are powering their own sustainable adventure.

The two- and three-bedroom villas are fully furnished by Kettal, a Spanish outdoor furniture brand with collections crafted by Patricia Urquiola and Vincent Van Duysen. Timeless, functional and expressive, these contemporary villas perfectly answer the needs of today’s discerning, lifestyle-seeking travellers.

Moments of Blissful Tranquillity

SO/ Maldives’ spa is a masterpiece of art, design and wellness from every angle

Tranquillity meets exclusivity at the resort’s Wellness Camp, where flowing lines and graceful curves reflect the shapes of nature and the rhythm of energy through the body. A traditional Vichy Rainforest Shower, steam room, sauna, organic treatment rooms and a state-of-the-art fitness centre with ocean views set the scene for moments of mindfulness and personal pampering.

The Ultimate Lifestyle Destination

CROSSROADS Maldives is the Indian Ocean’s only integrated lifestyle destination with a wealth of world-class facilities

SO/ Maldives is the third five-star island resort at CROSSROADS Maldives, along with SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives. Nestled in the Kaafu Atoll and Emboodhoo Lagoon, this integrated destination is also home to a wealth of world-class facilities at The Marina @ CROSSROADS, an 800-metre lifestyle area and beach walk lined with restaurants, bars, retail boutiques, wellness centres, water sports, diving and snorkelling, kids’ clubs, and a 30-berth yacht marina, plus the Maldives Discovery Centre cultural hub and Marine Discovery Centre, which is dedicated to underwater conservation and education. 

“SO/ is a coveted collection of hotels and resorts which are rooted in the worlds of art, design and fashion. As the first SO/ resort in the Maldives, this exciting project embraces the spirit of this contemporary brand and the tropical vibe of these idyllic islands to create the ultimate place to stay, play and party. We wanted to give fashionistas an opportunity to combine their love of the visual arts with unparalleled hospitality in a spectacular island setting. And so, we are proud to present SO/ Maldives – an inimitable island retreat where ‘Castaway Meets Runway’ and discerning travellers can kick off their shoes and mingle with like-minded adventurers in paradise,” said Mr. Anthony LaCaprara, Senior Vice President of Hospitality Design & Construction, Singha Estate.

“We are delighted to partner with Ennismore, the renowned global brand of creative resorts, and to work with the talented architects and designers at eco-id and Stickman Tribe to bring this iconic luxury destination to life. With its focus on avant-garde art, design and fashion, SO/ Maldives will expand our customer segment and attract a new generation of lifestyle-focused travellers to CROSSROADS Maldives,” said Mr. Michael Marshall, CEO, S Hotels & Resorts.

SO/ Maldives was developed by S Hotels & Resorts in partnership with Wai Eco World Developer (WEWD), the leading business and real estate conglomerate. To learn more about SO/ Maldives, please visit so-maldives.com and to discover how CROSSROADS Maldives is elevating hospitality in the Indian Ocean, please visit crossroadsmaldives.com

For more information about S Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.shotelsresorts.com or follow us on Facebook, InstagramYouTube or LinkedIn.


About S Hotels and Resorts Public Company Limited

S Hotels and Resort PLC or SHR, a subsidiary of Singha Estate PLC, is a fast-growing holding company that engages in the management and investment of hotels and resorts. In 2023, its performance has been outstanding with its portfolio featuring world-class hotels and resorts in not just Thailand but also beyond. An expert in the upscale hotel and resort management and investments in the most desirable global tourism destinations, SHR develops several lifestyle hotel brands organically and collaborates with some leading hotel/resort brands that have had strong distribution channels. As of 2024, SHR has 38 hotels in its portfolio. Together, these hotels have had 4,552 rooms. Each of them is located in a key tourist destination that attracts tourists from all over the world.  Guided by its parent company Singha Estate, SHR enjoys management strengths and pursues Sustainable Diversity Strategy. It thus has a diverse yet balanced investment portfolio, with sustainable growth as the ultimate goal of is operations. Thanks to its environmental focus, the five resorts in Thailand and the Maldives and The Marina @ CROSSROADS have won Green Globe certifications that effectively provide assurances to both investors and guests. To learn more, please visit www.shotelsresorts.com or follow us on FacebookInstagramYoutube, or LinkedIn

About SO/ Maldives

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, Paris, and most recently Uptown Dubai (opened September 2023). Exciting expansion plans will see the brand continue to spread its bold footprint globally, with 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. Please visit so-hotels.com.

For more information and high-resolution images, contact:

Lalita Somboonsuk (Ta)

Senior Manager - Corporate Marketing Communications

S Hotels & Resorts | Singha Estate PCL

Tel: +66 (0) 2058-9888 ext. 320

E-mail: lalita.s@shotelsresorts.com 

Website: www.shotelsresorts.com

Jerome Richard

Delivering Asia Communications

Tel: +66 (0)91 723 1648E-mail: jr@deliveringasia.com